Italy CCP Virus Death Count Jumps to 2,503

March 18, 2020 Updated: March 18, 2020
FONT BFONT SText size

The death toll in Italy from the COVID-19 disease has climbed to 2,503, more than triple the number since the country intensified its lockdown on March 12.

According to a Johns Hopkins tally, Italy has also noted 2,941 recoveries and 31,506 confirmed cases of the disease, caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus.

The Epoch Times refers to the novel coronavirus as the CCP virus because the Chinese Communist Party’s coverup and mismanagement allowed the virus to spread throughout China and create a global pandemic.

An unprecedented lockdown imposed on Italians last week to halt the spread of the virus might be extended if the incidence of new cases doesn’t slow, officials said on Wednesday.

The government has ordered restaurants, bars, and most shops to shut down until March 25. In addition, it has shut schools and universities and told everyone to stay at home unless absolutely necessary until April 3.

Since the restrictions in Italy were ramped up on March 12, the number of new cases has more than doubled, while the number of deaths has more than tripled.

“I do not know if the measures will be extended beyond April 3. We will make a decision based on the numbers and events. I cannot rule it out. We will see in the coming days,” said Infrastructure Minister Paola De Micheli.

Epoch Times Photo
A woman places an Italian flag that reads “everything will be alright” on her apartment balcony as part of a flashmob organized to raise morale during Italy’s CCP virus crisis, in Milan, Italy, on March 16, 2020. (Daniele Mascolo/Reuters)

While Italy continues to be the worst-affected nation outside of China, the number of new daily cases has been fairly stagnant over the last four days, sparking hopes that the restrictions may be bearing fruit.

“Let’s hope it is the start of a trend reversal. I am saying it in a whisper, this could be the start of a trend reversal,” said Attilio Fontana, the governor of Italy’s worst affected region, Lombardy.

The head of welfare in Lombardy, the epicenter of the contagion, said even tougher curbs might be needed to halt the trend.

“Either the curve goes down by Sunday or we will probably have to consider adopting even more rigid measures,” Giulio Gallera told 7 Gold TV.

Lombardy has previously signaled it wants to shut down all businesses, including production lines, and idle the public transport system to try to extinguish the outbreak.

The average age of those killed by COVID-19 is 80.3, with the majority diagnosed with underlying health conditions, Silvio Brusaferro, the president of Italy’s Higher Institute of Health, said last week.

Meanwhile, a recent study found that SARS-CoV-2 is stable on surfaces for hours and can survive for up to three days on some.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) said in a news release that a new study has provided key information about the stability of SARS-CoV-2.

It concludes people may pick up the virus through the air and after touching contaminated objects.

Epoch Times Photo
This scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (yellow), the virus that causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the United States, emerging from the surface of cells (blue/pink) cultured in the lab, on Feb. 13, 2020. (Courtesy of NIAID-RML)

Through a number of recent experiments cited by NIH, researchers tracked the virus’s viability on different surfaces.

On copper, the virus survived just four hours, while on cardboard it could last for up to a day.

But on some surfaces, it remained active much longer, researchers wrote, with the virus able to survive for up to three days on plastic and steel.

Researchers said that in aerosol form, the virus lasted for three hours after being sprayed.

The conclusions come from a joint study by the NIH, Centers for Disease Control (CDC), UCLA, and Princeton University scientists, and was first published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Follow Tom on Twitter: @OZImekTOM