Shocking pictures show Italian coronavirus patients on ventilators in hospital corridors as country battles second wave

SHOCKING pictures show Italian Covid patients on ventilators lined up in hospital corridors as the country battles a second wave of the virus.

Patients in some hospitals are given oxygen lying on stretchers in corridors as the country desperately runs short of enough beds to cope.

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Earlier this week Italian doctors warned hospitals faced a Covid "tsunami" if the government didn't impose stricter measures to tackle the virus.

Filippo Anelli, the president of the Italian order of doctors, wrote on Facebook on Tuesday: “Our worry is that this second wave won’t be a coastal storm, but a tsunami that could overwhelm the national health system.

“That’s why we’re asking the government for more aggressive measures.”

“If we keep going like this, the situation could get out of control,” he added.

Italy has registered 39,811 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours, the health ministry said on Saturday, the country's highest ever daily tally and up from 37,809 on Friday.

The ministry also reported 425 Covid-19 related deaths, down from 446 the day before.

A total of 41,063 people have now died because of Covid-19 in Italy, which has registered some 902,490 coronavirus infections since the start of its outbreak.

The northern region of Lombardy, centred on Italy's business capital Milan, remained the hardest hit area, reporting 11,489 new cases on Saturday against 9,934 on Friday.

The neighbouring Piedmont region was the second-worst affected, chalking up 4,437 cases versus 4,878 the day before.

Italy has approved a new aid package to cushion the blow to the economy from restrictions it introduced earlier this week in an effort to stem a resurgence of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The measures agreed by cabinet overnight are worth €2.9billion (£2.6billion), a person with knowledge of the matter said.

Coronavirus curbs which came into force on Friday divide the country into three zones according to the severity of the latest outbreak.

The limitations are less severe than the nationwide lockdown Rome imposed when the coronavirus first took hold in March, but many shops have been shut in the highest-risk zones such as Milan's Lombardy region, where people can only leave their homes for work, health reasons or emergencies.

The package delays to the spring tax payments due in November and increases transfers to businesses operating in regions classed as "red" or "orange" which have been hit by the strictest limitations.

"We have increased compensations because we realised that what was granted for the spring lockdown wasn't enough," Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte told Corriere della Sera daily in an interview. "We've also widened the number of beneficiaries."

The package provides funds for childcare or work leave for parents who are not able to work from home, after the government moved classes online for high schools and the last two years of middle school.

Conte said funds had also been set aside for regions that could turn into high-risk zones under the current system, which has been attacked by some politicians in the worst-hit areas.

"There's no turning back. The alternative is to shut down the entire country causing enormous damage. It would not be a case of 'a sorrow shared is a sorrow halved', just disaster for everyone," Conte said.


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