Robots are being used to aid in the care of coronavirus patients at a hospital in the Lombardy region of Italy.

READ MORE: Negasi Kibrom remembers the day he first felt ill. He had been working in his electrical supply shop in Milan's Porta Venezia neighborhood when a customer walked in, needing help. Negasi barely noticed the man's sneezes — until later, when he had gone upstairs to the apartment he shares with his wife and their two teenage daughters. Then he, too, started sneezing.

That Thursday, March 18, marked the onset of Negasi's symptoms of COVID-19, the terrifying infection that has engulfed his family, his country and the world. Milan is the capital of Lombardy, the hardest-hit region in the nation most ravaged by the coronavirus. Italy had recorded more than 17,100 deaths from the respiratory disease as of Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University researchers.

People in Lombardy and other parts of northern Italy mostly have been restricted to their homes since March 8, a government-imposed quarantine extended to the whole country days later. The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11.


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Associated Press 11 May 2020 11:44 CEST

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