Italian doctors say they are ‘overwhelmed by a tsunami of coronavirus’

Italian doctors say they are being ‘overwhelmed’ by a coronavirus ‘tsunami’ as the death toll jumped by 168 in just one day.

The whole of Italy has been placed under an unprecedentedquarantine as police enforce a no-touching policy on the streets to try tocontain the virus. A total of 631 people in Italy have died so far, which is thehighest number of fatalities outside China.

Daniele Macchini, a surgeon in Bergamo, northern Italy, revealedthe dire situation facing doctors on the frontline.

In a Facebook post, he said: ‘The war has literally exploded and battles are uninterrupted day and night.

‘Cases are multiplying, we arrive at a rate of 15-20 hospitalisations per day all for the same reason.

‘The results of the swabs now come one after the other:positive, positive, positive. Suddenly the emergency room is collapsing.’ 

Dr Macchini said he ‘understands the need not to panic’ buthe fears Italians are not appreciating the ‘danger of what is happening’.

He also warned people to abide by Italy’s unprecedentedquarantine measures, which are the most rigorous implemented by a nation in thelast 50 years.

He said: ‘So be patient too, you can’t go to the theater, museums or gym. Try to have mercy on that myriad of older people you could exterminate.

‘It is not your fault, I know, but of those who put it in your head that you are exaggerating – and even this testimony may seem just an exaggeration for those who are far from the epidemic, but please, listen to us –  try to leave the house only to indispensable things. 

‘Do not go en masse to stock up in supermarkets: it is theworst thing because you concentrate and the risk of contacts with infectedpeople who do not know they are higher. You can go there as you usually do.’

Another medic in northern Italy said hospitals were runningat ‘200 per cent capacity’ with doctors forced into life-or-death decisionsover who should receive intensive care.

Patients who don’t have coronavirus are being sidelined,while some patients over 65 are not even being assessed, the doctor said. 

In a Twitter thread published by the medic’s friend, Jasonvan Schoor, they warned Britain could face similar chaos if they do not take itseriously.

Mr van Schoor, an anaesthetist and clinical fellow at University College London, said his Italian friend works as an A&E consultant and intensive care medic.

The unnamed medic told Mr van Schoor: ‘The current situation is difficult to imagine and numbers do not explain things at all.

Our hospitals are overwhelmed by Covid-19, they are running 200% capacity.

‘We’ve stopped all routine, all operating rooms have beenconverted to intensive care units and they are now diverting or not treatingall other emergencies like trauma or strokes. 

‘There are hundreds of patients with severe respiratory failure and many of them do not have access to anything above a reservoir mask. 

‘Patients above 65, or younger with comorbidities, are noteven assessed by intensive care units, I am not saying not tubed, I’m sayingnot assessed.’  

The medic added: ‘Staff are working as much as they can butthey are starting to get sick and are emotionally overwhelmed.’

‘My friends call me in tears because they see people dying in front of them and they con only offer some oxygen.’ 

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