Friday, 10 April 2020 06:58

Italy reaches grim coronavirus milestone as 100th doctor dies of the disease

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The coronavirus death toll among Italian doctors reached 100 today as four more physicians died in the past 24 hours.

The Italian doctors' federation, FNOMCEO, said that the figure could even be as high as 101.

Italian media reports estimate that 30 nurses and nursing assistants have also died of COVID-19.

The toll includes retired doctors who had voluntarily returned to work during the outbreak.

A FNOMCEO spokesman said: 'The number of doctors who have died because of COVID-19 is 100 - perhaps even 101 at the moment, unfortunately.'

They were among some 8,000 medical staff to volunteer last month for an emergency coronavirus task force.

Some hospitals in Lombardy and other badly-hit areas are struggling with half as many staff as needed to treat the number of patients being admitted, Il Messeggero reported.

According to official figures most of these victims worked in and around Lombardy, the region at the centre of the Italian outbreak - although doctors have also died further south in Le Marche, Campania, Sicily and Puglia.

In total 13,121 healthcare workers have contracted the new coronavirus in Italy, according to the latest count by the Italian Higher Health Institute (ISS).

'We can longer allow our doctors, our health workers, to be sent to fight without any protection against the virus,' FNOMCeO president Filippo Anelli said on the association's website.

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