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Hopes that Italy’s coronavirus epidemic might be in retreat suffered a setback on Thursday when data showed that both the number of new cases and deaths had ticked higher, underscoring how hard it is to halt the disease.Officials said 712 people died of the illness in the last 24 hours, pushing the total tally to 8,215, well over double that seen in anywhere else in the world, while new infections rose by 6,153 to 80,539.The number of cases is nudging close to the more than 81,000 infections recorded in China where the pandemic began. The relentless rise in Italy is despite stringent lockdown measures introduced progressively since Feb. 23 to try to stop the spread, which authorities had hoped would be having more of an effect by now.There had been slight declines in both new cases and deaths earlier this week, but the northern region of Lombardy, the epicenter of the outbreak, saw its numbers climb on Thursday.”I do not know if we have hit the peak or if we have missed something … all I can say is that I am worried,” Lombardy governor Attilio Fontana told reporters, adding that the situation would soon become clearer.”I think that in two or three days we will understand if the measures we have taken are working,” he said. However, he warned that when new cases finally receded, the government would not necessarily be able to relax the lockdown, which is due to be lifted on April 3.”Even if the number of cases declines, I think we will have to carry on with (the restrictions) until we are quite certain that this contagion has been stopped.”The situation appeared particularly worrying in Lombardy’s capital Milan, which is also Italy’s financial hub, where new infections jumped by more than 800 to almost 7,000.Only the neighboring provinces of Bergamo and Brescia have a higher number of cases.Highlighting the scale of the drama, Bergamo said that over the last 10 years it had recorded on average 45 deaths a week. This ticked up to 64 at the end of February and then soared, hitting a peak of 313 deaths between March 15-21.Anxiety in the south The disease has also taken a heavy toll amongst medical workers, with the national federation of doctors and surgeons saying on Thursday that 40 doctors had so far died, many of them general practitioners in northern towns and cities.Italy’s less developed south is growing increasingly anxious as it sees its own numbers push up, with several regions reporting growth rates in new cases that are above the national average.In an open letter to Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, the head of the Campania region, which is centered on Naples, warned of impending disaster.”At this point there is the real prospect that Lombardy’s tragedy is about to become the south’s tragedy,” Vincenzo De Luca wrote. “We are on the cusp of a major expansion of infections that we might not be able to manage.” Topics : read more
Published on October 13, 2015 at 11:09 pm Contact Jon: [email protected] | @jmettus SU Soccer Stadium was empty — save for one player and two adoring fans. Syracuse defender Louis Cross held a cellphone out in front of the three and snapped a picture as the man and woman decked out in Syracuse apparel, including bright orange scarves, smiled widely next to him.Cross’ parents, Tony and Joanne, traveled thousands of miles from England to watch him play — like they do once every year. They’re in the middle of a two-week trip in which they’ll get to watch six of SU’s games.In front of his parents, Cross netted his first goal of the season and shut down Bowling Green forward Pat Flynn, who came into the game tied for fifth in the country in goals and tied for sixth in points.Cross’ play helped the No. 16 Orange (9-3-1, 2-2-1 Atlantic Coast) shut out the Falcons (6-6-1, 0-1-0 Mid-American) and hold them to just four shots — two on goal — in the 3-0 victory at SU Soccer Stadium on Tuesday.“Usually we’re watching these games after midnight so I’m normally watching it in bed,” Tony Cross said. “If he had scored I could see that a cup of coffee would’ve ended up all over the bedding.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“We were up and down. We jumped and probably ruined everybody else’s night.”From the start of the game, Cross matched up with Flynn one-on-one. When the forward tried to sneak behind the backline Cross was there to jab out his right foot and stop the pass. And when Flynn’s teammates tried sending long balls into him Cross consistently headed them away.When the Orange offense was maintaining possession of the ball, SU head coach Ian McIntyre constantly yelled to Cross to “squeeze up some.” The result was Cross forcing turnovers in the midfield and sustaining the Syracuse offensive possession.One of Bowling Green’s best chances of the game came in the first half when forward Tate Robertson headed a cross on goal. But Cross was standing just a few feet in front of the goal line and kicked it away.“I don’t think they had any shots that were actually inside the box,” Cross said. “We limited them to just the outside area. They didn’t create anything behind the defense.”When Flynn was substituted out in the first half, Bowling Green head coach Eric Nichols pulled him aside, barking tips into his ear and pointing to where Cross was standing on the field.The second half was much of the same with SU stifling Flynn and the entire Falcons offense. Robertson tried dropping behind SU’s defense more, Cross said, but he and the rest of the back line were able to keep the Bowling Green offense quiet.With 15 minutes left in the game Cross contributed on the offensive end, too. Midfielder Julian Buescher’s shot was blocked by two defenders and Cross crashed into the box to knock the ball out of the air for the goal.“The last couple of days we’ve been giving Louis a hard time,” McIntyre said. “It’s nice for him to chip especially when his mom and dad were here. It was a quality strike from about 2 inches.”After the game, Cross was announced as the man of the match. He signed posters for fans, then greeted his parents — receiving a kiss on the cheek from his mom — before doing interviews with reporters.As Cross was interviewed, his dad stepped onto the field to capture the moment with more pictures, capping the special evening.“To come out here and see him play is extremely special,” Tony Cross said. “And to see him score is fantastic.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ read more