At a press briefing on Tuesday night, Hans Henri P. Kluge, the World Health Organizations regional director for Europe, said that 152 countries were now affected by COVID-19, creating a “new reality” for millions of people across the world.
“Europe is the epicenter of the first pandemic of coronavirus and every country, with no exceptions, need to take their boldest actions to stop or slow down the virus spread. Boldest action should include community action. Thinking that “this does not concern me” is not an option,” he said.
Italy’s civil protection agency said there had been a further 3,500 new infections and that intensive care beds were full in Bergamo, a city in the worst-hit region of Lombardy.
Italy, which has the world’s second-oldest population after Japan, has been blindsided by a virus that appears to be deadlier for the elderly and infirm. The entire country remains on a strict lockdown, but it has so far failed to stem the flow of new infections.