New figures show Italy now has one-third of the world’s total deaths from the coronavirus.
Italy on Tuesday added more than 3,500 new positive cases, bringing its total to 31,506. In addition, another 345 people with the virus have died, bringing Italy’s total deaths to 2,503.
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Italy is the second-hardest-hit nation after China in the world’s coronavirus pandemic, and the country has the world’s second-oldest population after Japan.
It has been blindsided by the virus that appears to be much more deadly for the elderly and the infirm.
The Doctors Without Borders charity says Italy lacks key medical equipment like protective gloves or masks.
“Nearly 1,700 healthcare workers, or 8 percent of the total COVID-19 cases in Italy have been infected whilst tirelessly caring for the rising number of severely ill patients who require long-term hospitalization,” the group said.
So far, Italy has been the hardest hit country in Europe by coronavirus, which has infected more than 190,000 people and killed more than 7,500 globally.
Italy’s government has implemented a wide lockdown, encouraging its 62 million people to stay home unless it’s absolutely necessary to go out.
The European Union’s space agency’s earth-observation satellites have detected a significant reduction in the pollutant nitrogen dioxide, a byproduct of the use of diesel motors and other human activities, in northern Italy as the advance of the COVID-19 has led to drastic measures curtailing ordinary life.
The agency’s Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service reported Tuesday that with the “abrupt changes in activity levels” in northern Italy, it has tracked a “reduction trend” of nitrogen dioxide, or NO2, for the last four to five weeks.
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The COVID-19 illness causes mild or moderate symptoms in most people, but severe symptoms are more likely in the elderly or those with existing health problems. More than 80,000 people have recovered so far, mostly in China.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Frank Miles is a reporter and editor covering geopolitics, military, crime, technology and sports for FoxNews.com. His email is Frank.Miles@foxnews.com.