Italy on Sunday reported a one-day record death toll and leaders warned of a bed and artificial respirator shortage in the European epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic.
Official data showed the number of fatalities shooting up by 368 to 1,809 — more than half of all the cases recorded outside China.
The Vatican took the drastic step of cancelling Easter week celebrations that were set to begin on April 5 as the country of 60 million braced for an extended crisis.
Milan’s Lombardy region governor Attilio Fontana said the situation in areas around Italy’s financial capital was “getting worse.”
“We are close to the point where we will no longer be able to resuscitate people because we will be out of intensive care unit beds,” Fontana told Italy’s Sky TG24 channel.
“We need those machines (doctors) use to ventilate lungs, artificial respirators that unfortunately we cannot find,” Fontana said.
“As soon as those respirators arrive from abroad, we will be ready to go on the attack.”
Milan mayor Beppe Sala said he had managed to secure shipments of surgical masks from China to help cover a growing shortage.
“Milan has always had excellent relations with the main Chinese cities and I made a few phone calls over the past few days in search of masks,” the Milan mayor said ai
“The first shipment arrived (Friday) and we will now distribute them to doctors, to our staff.”
European Commission also announced the imminent delivery of one million masks from Germany.
Lombardy welfare councilor Giulio told reporters Saturday that “there are no more ambulances” in areas around Milan.