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Former exchange students to Nottingham who are now back in their respective countries  shared their views on the current death toll of the pandemic and the impact it has on their personal well-being: “We can feel the pain,” one of them says.

Globally, the number of deaths is increasing.

So far in the UK close to 5,000 people have died from the coronavirus, of which more than 150 of those were reported from the Midlands.

More than 75,900 deaths are reported throughout the world. Italy reported the highest, with over 15,300 deaths.

Audio: Helena Milano, Ventimiglia, Italy

Former Nottingham Trent University linguistic student Helena Milano is from Ventimiglia, Italy, who has been in lockdown for over a month and is devastated about the mortality rate.

Helena finds it hard to concentrate and stay positive but she is grateful for being safely home with her loved ones and her dog. “It‘s very difficult, we are trying to do our best.” For her one outing a day, she takes a walk on the beach to escape the news if only for an hour.

The situation in France is no better than in Italy or Spain is former exchange student to Nottingham University, Ornella Palazzolo’s comments. Everything is shut down and “I just want to wake up when all this is over,” she says.

Her source of information is her cousin who is a nurse at the local hospital who says they are struggling to help everyone and the situation is getting worse by the day, with many dying. “But they do not count the people that are at home and in the centre where there are elderly people.” Ornella admits she is mentally not in a good space.

Audio: Ornella Palazzolo, France

Christian Albiña Palmarola is from Chile, South America. His brother is a medical surgeon and his fiancée a nurse, both frontline key workers.

The three of them live together and when asked about his thoughts on the death rise, Christian says he is automatically at risk and there is nothing he can do about it.

He is a former Nottingham University Masters graduate, working from home due to the lockdown. His biggest frustration is the permit you have to obtain in order to go just about anywhere, and calls it “stupid”.

Santiago has never been this quiet, he claims, and that is affecting him mentally, every time he steps out on the balcony and see nothing but buildings and empty highways.

This is what isolation looks like in Santiago, Chile and Ventimiglia, Italy

Country                Cases                  Deaths                 Recovered

Chile                       4,161                         27                        528

France                  68,605                    7,560                  14,138

Italy                    124,632                  15,362                  20,996

UK                        51,608                    5,373                        135

COVID-19 is an illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It is caused by a virus called coronavirus. Symptoms are a cough, a high temperature and shortness of breath.

Simple measures like washing your hands often with soap and water can help stop viruses like coronavirus spreading. Isolation and self-quarantine slow down the spread too and can save lives.