As the death toll in Italy and Spain continues to rise at an alarming pace, a doctor from Bergamo, Italy has warned that Turkey could see just as devastating an epidemic as Italy has if speedy action is not taken, German state broadcaster Deutsche Welle’s Turkish language page reported.
Ankara reported the country’s 1,872nd case and 44th death from the novel coronavirus on Tuesday. However, that could rise dramatically just like Italy, which recorded 743 deaths in one day on Tuesday, said Dr. Luca Lorini of Bergamo’s Pope John XXIII Hospital, unless the government forces stringent measures and enforce a complete lockdown.
As the deadly virus spread, Italy imposed a series of lockdowns weeks ago before Ankara forced a full lockdown on March 9. However, in Turkey, the curfew is only imposed o only on aged and vulnerable people, while the government advises other citizens to stay at home and maintain social distancing.
“My dear Turks, I could show you images to convince you of all the many coffins we have to take to cemeteries every day. Our crematoriums can’t keep up any more,” Lorini said. “Each day you stay at home, you are saving dozens, hundreds, even thousands of lives,” he said. “You must demand that the government imposes a lockdown without waiting for them to do so.”
Lorini said that during the height of coronavirus cases, his hospital’s intensive care unit was receiving up to 100 patients per day, but that rate dropped to between 55 and 60. One of the main reasons leading to the virus’s accelerated spread in Bergamo was a crowded Champions’ League match between the city’s Atalanta football club and Valencia on Feb. 19, the doctor said.
However, another key reason was how late the tight restrictions came to the city. “I wish they had come 15 days earlier,” he said.