Following 475 reported deaths in a day in Italy, the Mediterranean country has the highest death toll from COVID-19 with 3,453 deaths (AP). Aside from holding the second oldest population in the world, the volume of cases is contributing to a potential breakdown of the health system (AP). Of the dead, 87% were over 70. The total number of confirmed cases in Italy as of Thursday afternoon is 41,035 cases (BBC).
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte claimed the lockdown put in place on Mar. 12 was to prevent a “collapse of the system” (BBC). The Northern region of Lombardy has become the COVID-19 epicenter (AP). Lombardy reportedly had 319 deaths one Wednesday (CNBC). A potential reason for Italy’s proportionately higher death toll is that a large percentage of elderly live in the same home as people aged 18 to 34 (BBC).