Italy has been the hardest-hit European country from COVID-19 with more than 35,000 cases and almost 3,000 deaths.
But if there's a sliver of good news, it's about how the spread of the new coronavirus has been decreasing air pollution, and possibly even saving lives in the process.
Like in Italy, the tough measures introduced by China during the outbreak have curbed air pollution, potentially saving the lives of "up to 75,000 people", according to a Stanford University researcher. "This is likely also the case for COVID-19".
Marshall Burke, writing on the website G-Feed said: 'The reductions in air pollution in China caused by this economic disruption likely saved twenty times more lives in China than have now been lost due to infection with the virus in that country'.
Air pollution and the virus have a close relationship.
Air pollution is the most urgent environmental health risk in the world.
"Air pollution exceeds malaria as a global cause of premature death by a factor of 19; it exceeds violence by a factor of 16, HIV/AIDS by a factor of 9, alcohol by a factor of 45, and drug abuse by a factor of 60". The mortality information of COVID-19 is so far incomplete but the preliminary figures indicate that most of the patients that died were elderly or had pre-existing chronic conditions.
Data from its Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite, which used a 10-day moving average, clearly showed pollution levels dropping - especially in the Po Valley region of Northern Italy.
"We now see around a 40% reduction (in nitrogen dioxide levels) over Chinese cities, however these are just rough estimates, as weather also has an impact on emissions", Claus Zehner, who managers the space agency's Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite mission, said in a statement.
"Although there could be slight variations in the data due to cloud cover and changing weather, we are very confident that the reduction in emissions that we can see coincides with the lockdown in Italy causing less traffic and industrial activities", he said.
But the blue skies are unlikely to last.