Patients struggling to breathe have packed Italy’s hospitals after the first patient for COVID-19 was confirmed last month.
In the following days, thousands have died as emergency care workers fight around the clock to save as many patients as possible.
Northern Italy has been particularly devastated by the coronavirus, with the country yesterday surpassing in number of cases and dead.
The latest figures from Italy confirm 41,035 cases and a staggering 3,405 deaths.
Most of those who died are in Lombardy, where hospitals have been overwhelmed by the number of patients and a severe lack of ventilators to go around.
It has meant doctors have had to make the harrowing choice of who would get the lifesaving treatment and who would not.
Italy’s dire situation has sparked a call to arms from the nation’s doctors to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson – who has so far refused to put the country, or major cities on lockdown.
Dr Lorenzo Grazioli, an anesthetist at a Lombardy hospital, pleaded with other nations to “shut down to stop the outbreak”.
He added: “What I would suggest is to just shut down to stop all the outbreak and not come into this situation that is very difficult to manage.
“I have never felt so stressed in my life. I am an intensivist, I am quite used to intense moments and choices.
“Where people will die without treatment and you make the difference. When you arrive at this point you realise that you are not enough.
“Maybe all 100 anesthetists here are not enough.”
The head of Lombardy’s intensive care teams also told the network that 50% of patients are under 65.
In a harrowing interview, where he put to bed the myth that younger people could just get over the virus-like those seen on Spring Break in the US, the doctor appeared to be brushing away tears from his face.
Dr Passenti said: “We have patients who are 20 years old, 30 years old. Quite a few. And those are severe as the old ones.”
The UK asked people to stay away from pubs and social gatherings, particularly in London where the virus has hit hardest.
But, many appear to have paid no notice to the advice and continued partying with mates into the early hours – including former England ace Paul Gascoigne.
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