Concerns about Italy’s south over rising Coronavirus numbers

While the epicentre of the Coronavirus outbreak in Italy is in the northern region of Lombardy, there are fears that the virus is now spreading rapidly in the south of the country, which is much poorer and less equipped to cope with the emergency. 

Numbers coming from the north of the country suggest the rates of new cases and deaths might be slowing, although there have still been peaks in the last few days. But reports from the south are noting a sharp rise in cases sparking concerns about the ability of the health care service to deal with the numbers. 

Italy currently has 80,589 positive cases of Covid-19 and 8,215 deaths. Most of these are centred in the north, but the regions of Campania and Lazio in the south are recording 83 and 106 deaths respectively. 

The south of Italy is poorer than the north, and there are fears that its hospitals will quickly become overwhelmed. Vincenzo De Luca, president of the Campania region, has voiced anger at the lack of resources provided by the state for less well-equipped hospitals in the south. 

“At this point there is the real prospect that Lombardy’s tragedy is about to become the south’s tragedy,” he commented. “We are on the eve of a major expansion of infections which may not be sustainable.”

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Rebecca Ann Hughes

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