Why there are so many coronavirus cases in Italy?

Italy, a new epicenter of a coronavirus outbreak, is now under a complete lockdown after being hit so hard by COVID 19.

With more than 80,000 cases and death ticked over 8,000, Italy is the second-highest with a number of infected cases still growing.

In less than a month, coronavirus has overwhelmed the health care system in northern Italy by raising a number of cases by 50%.

By looking at the risk of the new virus can transmit, the government in Italy has placed almost its 60 million people under self-isolation mode.

The First Coronavirus case in Italy

Spreading of this mysterious virus has all its roots from the few towns of northern Italy when a person with a travel history returned in an asymptomatic phase. This means though they don’t show any symptoms, they can still spread the virus.

Initially, 2 tourists from China has detected and isolated as first cases and all transportation from China was stopped. But, as of 21 February, a 38-year-old man from Lombardy tested positive for COVID-19.

After that, the outbreak started as he was apparently circulating locally, unnoticed and even without social distancing. By mid-March, things started getting worse with a number of local transmission cases and even death tolls surpassing China’s ratio.

Later, on 8th March, prime minister Conte has declared this and nearby provinces as a “red zone” and isolated the entire country and placed restrictions on any movement of people.

Everything including travel is constrained except urgent work, emergencies and health care requirements. Limited stores are open with limited customers.

Furthermore, the government has even assured people to not do panic buying as supermarkets will remain open and have enough stock.

But, how did Italy get such pandemic so bad and quickly and why there are so many coronavirus cases in Italy? There are varied answers to this question.

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Why there are so many coronavirus cases in Italy?

Some officials believe one reason for such a bad outbreak is, the virus keeps transmitting from person-to-person before an infected and sick people found.

Undiscovered cases are highly threatening because each individual can pass the infection among 3 other people. Which results in a chain reaction, for example, 3 to 9, 9 to 81 and so on…resulting in a more difficult outbreak to control.

The testing is an effective way to recognize a person with infection and this remains unnoticed at first. And, by the time they realize, a lot of transmission chains began happening.

Coronavirus: Italy’s quarantine lockdown to extend into April as hospitals run out of beds

Older People are at high risk

Moreover, several possible reasons for the extremely high fatality among confirmed infected cases are one’s population’s average age. The rates scale up since the majority population already has underlying health conditions.

And, Italy has one of the greater percentages of older adults having age 60 years or older in the world. Logically, aged ones are already facing health issues and more likely to be affected by severe symptoms.

CDC also suggests that elderly people are at high risk of COVID-19 and need to stay home during this crisis. In fact, the average age of the patients with coronavirus died was over 65 years.

Additionally, its young tend to mingle with their old relatives, often doing hello with physical contact. This has more chance to spread to young people too.

Social distancing is hardly maintained in Italy.


Smoking is another clear factor known to weaken lung function and an immune system, which in turn, making them more vulnerable to severe respiratory illness after contracting the virus.

The polluted air could also be the culprit for the higher death ratio in Italy since studies show a high association between air pollution and respiratory diseases.

Overwhelmed Health system

There’s no doubt that because of the delayed response and reported cases, the health care system of Italy is completely devastated.

Due to which, they’re struggling to cope up with the more critical cases and give them the appropriate treatment they need. Each doctor is dealing with a vast number of patients and the ratio is around 1:1200. That means, per 1 doctor there are as much as 1200 patients!

This is more likely to infect those healthcare workers and put them to the risk of the coronavirus. This further, leads to significant loss of medical staff and increases the number of cases.

Right now, Lombardy is running out of the free beds in ICU so the doctors need to make a harsh choice on who is going to survive and who is not.

The rapid spread is the reason why Italy’s health care system is on a shortage of resources.

Economic center and tourist site

No doubt Italy is a famous economic center and a tourist site for people across the world. It sees a lot of international visitors for business or leisure purposes.

If one of the tourists with infection came here being asymptomatic, the virus will keep spreading secretly via an unseen chain.


There can be many reasons why Italy has soaring numbers. Though, there were also misunderstandings that allow this virus to spread.

By simply testing and making it hard will not save the lives of thousands of people with COVID-19. In fact, the right preparation before it enters might save us from becoming it a scary eruption.

Form Italy’s example, it’s essential to take steps to limit the number of coronavirus cases and the spreading of it.

Know what you can do to protect yourself from coronavirus, understand the necessity and support your country to stop this pandemic.

Featured image: skynews