BERGAMO, Italy — At Papa Giovanni XXIII hospital in Bergamo, one of the worst-hit cities in the country of Italy, doctors call the outbreak of COVID-19 coronavirus “Armageddon.”
Their message to the rest of the world is simple: Get ready.
Coronavirus overwhelms a hospital in Italy
More than 4,500 residents of the northern Italian city tested positive for the novel coronavirus, almost instantly overwhelming their hospitals.
UK broadcaster Sky News visited their hospital and found doctors inundated and struggling to treat patients in critical condition, suffering from the coronavirus.
Warning: This video contains images of patients suffering from acute COVID-19 coronavirus that some may find difficult to watch.
The hospital’s head of emergency care, Dr Roberto Cosentini, told Sky News this is not like the flu, it is chronic pneumonia.
“It’s a very severe pneumonia, and so it’s a massive strain for every health system because we see every day 50 to 60 patients who come to our emergency department with pneumonia, and most of them are so severe they need very high volumes of oxygen,” Cosenti said.
That rapid influx of critical patients, he says, led them to reorganize their entire hospital to three levels of intensive care.
This isn’t just a rural hospital, either. Sky News describes Papa Giovanni XXIII as one of Europe’s most advanced facilities, but struggling to cope with being at the center of the epidemic in Italy.
Funeral service providers overwhelmed, too
Bergamo Mayor Giorgio Gori wrote to surrounding cities asking for help with cremations. The exact number of deaths in the city is unknown, but country-wide, Italy counted more than 31,500 confirmed cases and over 2,500 deaths in just four weeks.
A #Bergamo hanno dovuto chiamare l’esercito per caricare camion e camion di bare da destinare a crematori fuori regione. Prima di lamentarvi della proroga del #lockdown riguardatevi sto video in loop.#coronavirusitalia pic.twitter.com/ofR1raGVTb
— Alessandro Zanoni (@AlexZan87) March 19, 2020
So many more people died than usual for the area, the local newspaper expanded its obituary section from two or three pages to 10. The demand for funerals outpaced the ability of service providers to offer them.
How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus
COVID-19 coronavirus is transmitted from person to person. It is a virus that is similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:
- Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
- Don’t touch your face.
- Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet)
- If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.)
- Get a flu shot.
State of Utah: https://coronavirus.utah.gov/
Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707