Italian government calls thousands of fresh medical graduates to battle coronavirus after reporting 10,000 deaths
- The government has eliminated the hospital exam and asked young graduates to join the workforce.
- Initially, Italy reported only three cases of Covid-19 on February 21. However, the number rose to 283 leaving seven dead within four days.
- Italy is also losing doctors to the infection, as 50 died of COVID-19.
As the number of cases reaching a 100,000, hospitals are running short of doctors. To tackle this, the government eliminated the hospital exam and asked young graduates to join the workforce. Italy is also losing doctors to the infection, as 50 died of COVID-19.
As per existing rules, fresh medical graduates are supposed to go for a residency — training where doctors are specialising in some particular field.
“The abrupt changes to the procedures for fresh graduates entering the workforce, marks a major shakeup of Italy's education system,” Dr Alessandro Grimaldi, Director of Infectious Disease at S.S. Salvatore Hospital of L'Aquila told CNN
Initially, Italy reported only three cases of Covid-19 on February 21. However, the number rose to 283 leaving seven dead within four days. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte locked down the entire country on March 9. While the lockdown -- which is officially due to end on April 3 -- is economically painful, officials appear determined to extend it until the coronavirus is finally stopped in its tracks.
Regional affairs minister Francesco Boccia said the question facing the government was not whether it would be extended, but by how long.
Italy looks to extend lockdown as cases near 100,000
Italian authorities said on March 30 they would extend a month-long lockdown to stem the pandemic, after its massive death toll.
The civil protection service reported another 756 fatalities in the world's worst-hit nation on March 30, while the number of officially registered cases of COVID-19 increased by 5,217 to 97,689.
AdvertisementNevertheless, the daily rise in infections has slowed to 5.6% — the lowest rate since Italian officials started tracking cases following the first death on February 21.
In the epicentre of the pandemic, the region around Milan where the number of cases previously increased daily, the number of Italians receiving intensive care remained almost unchanged.
"We are witnessing a slowdown," University of Milan virologist Fabrizio Pregliasco told the Il Corriere della Sera daily.
Advertisement"It is not plateau yet, but it is a good sign."
Italy closed all its schools at the start of the month and then began gradually imposing a lockdown, tightening it successively until almost all stores were shut on March 12.
The measures — since adopted to varying degrees across most of Europe -- did not prevent Italy's death toll from overtaking that in China, where the disease was first reported, on March 19.
AdvertisementIn theory, the existing state of national health emergency allows Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte to extend the lockdown until July 31.
Conte has said that he would like to lift the severest restrictions -- including those forcing the suspension of Italy's Serie A football season -- a few months prior to that.
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