In Bergamo, Italy, health researchers discovered that more than half of its citizens and surrounding areas have tested positive for coronavirus antibodies, making it the highest rate yet discovered. The entire province has already been hit hard by the pandemic since the first case in February.

As Italy's outbreak epicenter, the nation's count is at about 235,000 confirmed cases with 34,000 COVID-19 deaths. More than 20,000 blood tests were carried out between April 23 and June 3, resulting in 57% positive antibody tests, confirming that they have come in contact with the virus. Medical staff comprised of 30% of those cases. Health authorities have assured that many citizens are already under quarantine.

The new study by Italy's National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT) suggests that the province may be heading towards 'herd immunity,' at about 60% to 65%. Herd immunity is a result of enough individuals becoming resistant to disease from previous exposure or via vaccination.

As a result, the virus can no longer have a significant infection rate for the rest of the area's population. Nevertheless, researchers are still saying that no guarantee having antibodies mean that one is immune from getting reinfected by the virus.


Bergamo and surrounding areas have confirmed 13,600 cases and 3,000 deaths. The city is no stranger to long lines of military trucks transporting dead bodies as the morgues can no longer cope up with the increasing number of dead bodies. In the Lombardy region, including Bergamo, there have been over 16,000 registered deaths.

In an earlier statement, Mayor Giorgio Gori said in a press conference that the Lombardy region had initially made mistakes tracing and identifying coronavirus cases at the outbreak's first phase. He explained that there was an extended delay in isolation of infected persons after cases emerged as early as January.

'The real number of deaths is also much higher than the official one,' said Gori. The actual figure might be double the official tally.

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Renaissance Program

Before the pandemic, Bergamo was a prominent Italian city characterized by a strong sense of both region and family belonging, writes Anna Bonalume about her hometown. Its people 'take pride too in a no-nonsense, practical approach to life and a powerful work ethic.'

Today, she calls it a town that no one wants to deal with an overwhelming number of deaths that neighboring communes are asked to take back their corpses for cremation. Lombardy had Italy's largest concentration of small to medium-sized enterprises, as well as international brands like San Pellegrino and Brembo.

Because of this, the Mayor has called for a 'renaissance program,' to slowly restore the region of its former glory. 'the city needs now to restart breathing and we're all at work for its recovery," he said. His administration designed a special recovery fund to help families, boost cultural activities, and give financial aid to the small and medium enterprises. 'Especially for the smaller businesses, which were particularly hit, we earmarked €30 million [$34 million] in contributions and zero-rate loans.'

There are signs of hope all over the city of Bergamo. Bonalume said that as the Alpini volunteered at a new field hospital, the elite Italian army troops were side by side with craftsmen and Atlanta B.C. fans chanting 'People like us never give up.'

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