Covid-19: Italy warns of increase in ICU admissions as new cases continue to rise

Covid-19: Italy warns of increase in ICU admissions as new cases continue to rise
Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP
Health experts warned of a 62 percent weekly increase in the number of Covid-19 patients admitted to intensive care, as another 1,733 new cases were reported on Friday.
The figure reported by Italy's department for Civil Protection on Friday was a new post-lockdown high, with similar numbers last seen on May 2nd before restrictions were eased.
 
The number of new cases of the virus reported in Italy has been on the rise for several weeks now after falling to an average of below 200 daily cases in July.
 

Italy analysed a record 113,085 coronavirus swabs in the last 24 hours, up from yesterday's 92,790. On both days, 2.2 percent of all swabs came back positive.
 
Italy is of course not alone in seeing this trend of rising new cases, with numbers rising in many European countries: neighbouring France reported more than 7,000 new cases on Thursday as well as a similar rise in intensive care admissions.
 
Until last week however the number of people becoming seriously ill due to Covid-19 in Italy stayed fairly stable, and the majority of cases were reported to be asymptomatic, prompting some to hope that the virus had weakened and become milder.
 
But Italy has reported a steady growth in the number of hospitalisations, and a sudden increase in the crucial number of Covid-19 patients in intensive care.
 
 

 
Overall, ICU admissions have risen by 62 percent in a week according to Italy's evidence-based medicine foundation, GIMBE.
 
One more patient was admitted to intensive care in Italy due to Covid-19 on Friday for total of 121 – up from 70 a week ago.
 
The number of patients in intensive care is a key figure, both for hospital capacity and for the likely future death toll.
 
 
“This week the increasing trend of hospitalizations is confirmed, and that of patients in intensive care is soaring,” stated GIMBE foundation president Dr Nino Cartabellotta in a report published on September 1st. “These are signs the epidemic is returning in our country, on the eve of the crucial moment of the reopening of schools.”
 
“Fortunately, the numbers are still small and do not show any signs of overloading hospital services. The constantly increasing trend, together with the increase in infections, however, invites us to keep our guard very high in the coming weeks.”

At the height of the epidemic Italy had more than 4,000 Covid-19 patients in intensive care, which put a massive strain on the healthcare system.

There were 11 further deaths reported in Italy in the past 24 hours, and 537 more patients were classed as recovered.

 


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