“Italian situation is what awaits Belgium in ten days”

Flemish epidemiologist Iris De Ryck is currently in Siena, Italy.  She says that in the whole of Lombardy – a region with a population the size of Belgium – there are no more than 20 intensive care beds still available.

Italy has some 21,000 confirmed coronavirus cases.  Over 1,400 patients have died. Iris De Ryck: “In the north of the country where the virus appeared first the situation in hospitals is very precarious.  This morning’s figures show no more than 20 intensive care beds available in a region with the same population as Belgium.  Heart attack and brain haemorrhage cases too still need to be treated!”

Italian doctors are having to make choices. Iris De Ryck: “There are too few ventilators for the number of patients arriving.  Choices are having to be made.  That’s happening now.”

“Italians feel the rest of Europe is still underestimating the situation, even with the measures that have been taken.  Italy is the situation that awaits Belgium in ten days, unless there is drastic action.  Italians had expected that the rest of Europe would follow an Italian-style lock-down.” 

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