March 20, 2020 By TheNewYorkNews
Earlier today, Italian officials announced that 475 citizens there have died from the virus in just one day, raising the total number of deaths to 3,405. That surpasses the 3,250 deaths reported in China.
In all, Italy now has 41,035 total cases, second only to China’s 81,238.
Coronavirus Treatments on Fast Track
President Donald Trump says the U.S. is working to fast-track possible anti-viral medications to treat COVID-19.
In a press conference, the president said the U.S. is looking at the possible use of anti-malarial drugs called chloroquine and hydroxychlroquine for coronavirus. The drugs are also used now to treat rheumatoid arthritis.
Stephen Hahn, MD, the FDA commissioner, says potential COVID-19 treatments will be checked in large clinical trials. Hahn says the FDA will also look into making some potential medications available through “compassionate use” rules, which let some sick people use drugs outside a clinical trial.
Vice President Mike Pence says tens of thousands of coronavirus tests are now being done every day around the country. He says results from the tests will be sent to the CDC to help health officials track the spread of the disease.
Pence also says the U.S. is also working with industry to increase the number of N-95 respirators that can be used by health workers. He says millions of these masks could now become available.
Small Italian Study Shows Fatalities Linked to Other Conditions
A new study from the Italian national health authority reports that more than 99% of those who have died from the coronavirus there had other medical problems. However, the study only looked at the backgrounds of 18% of the nearly 3,000 people who have died, which means of the estimated 536 cases investigated, 531 had a pre-existing condition.
Italy has more cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, than any country outside China. As of Thursday morning, more than 35,000 Italians were infected.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has ordered much of the country shut down until at least April 3, halting much of the country’s economy, limiting internal travel and closing most businesses.