Grim addition to Italian newspaper shows toll of coronavirus

A man has shown the impact coronavirus has had on Italy simply by opening the newspaper.

Italy currently has more than 21,000 cases of COVID-19 with more than 1400 deaths.

Its government has forced the country into lockdown with schools, restaurants and most retailers closed for the foreseeable future.

A Facebook video uploaded by Giovannia Locatelli shows the extremities of the deadly virus in the European country.

In the video, Mr Locatelli opens the February 9 edition of L’eco di Bergamo – a daily newspaper based in Bergamo in the country’s north.

A single page of obituaries is seen with photos of the deceased followed by another half a page.

He then opens Friday’s edition of the same newspaper.

Mr Locatelli counts 10 pages, one by one, of obituaries.

Giovannia Locatelli flips through the obituary pages. Source: Facebook/ Giovannia Locatelli

The man’s video was shared on Instagram by actor Debi Mazar who starred in the film Goodfellas and the HBO TV series Entourage.

Some people called the video “chilling”.

“This is so sad,” one woman wrote.

“I know the situation is very serious but this was the most haunting and sobering video I've seen about COVID-19. Thank you for sharing,” another woman said.

Officials said the health system in the worst affected regions in the north was holding up but was under strain of a kind not seen in Europe since World War Two.

Authorities have been scrambling for equipment, including masks and ventilators as well as qualified personnel for increasingly stretched intensive care units.

A woman walks her dog in Piazza di Spagna in Rome. Source: Getty Images

In Lombardy – the northern region that has seen the highest number of positive cases and deaths – authorities have been working to make an emergency hospital in the Fiera Milano exhibition centre but are still waiting on ventilators and staff.

"Every day is more complicated but the system is reacting with all the capacity it has," Giulio Gallera, the region's top health official, said.

He expects an extra 130 intensive care beds to be added in the coming days.

Underlining the international dimension of the crisis, a group of Chinese specialists arrived in Italy with medical equipment, including 40 ventilators and some 31 tonnes of other material and advice, Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said.

with Reuters

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