Milan Staggers as Hospitals Fill Up
In Italy's Second Wave, Hospitals Fill and Crematories Cannot Keep up.
With infections, hospitalizations and deaths linked to Covid-19 rising exponentially, hospitals in Milan are running out of beds even after having converted wards and suspended nonurgent procedures. Ambulances have been forced to wait for hours to drop off patients at hospitals where Covid-19 patients are sometimes kept on gurneys in crowded corridors.
On Friday, the government sealed off Milan and the surrounding Lombardy region, along with three of Italy’s other 20 regions. In these so-called red zones, freedom of movement is severely curtailed, most stores are shut, cafes and restaurants can sell only takeout, and children from the second year of middle school onward have reverted to remote learning. The government said it would assess the situation in two weeks.
A Milan crematory said it couldn’t keep up with the number of deaths and stopped accepting for cremation the bodies of nonresidents who die in the city. A temporary hospital set up in April at Milan’s trade-fair center has reopened.
The Policlinico and Milan’s other hospitals are racing to discharge non-Covid patients as quickly as possible to free up space.
A month ago, Lombardy had just 41 Covid patients in intensive care and 361 occupying non-ICU beds. On Sunday, those numbers had jumped to 650 and 6,225
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