An Israeli doctor working in the coronavirus epicentre of northern Italy said medics are no longer allowed to give respirators to anyone aged over 60.
Dr Gal Peleg – who works in Parma, Italy – said artificial respiratory machines are so low in numbers access must be limited.
The coronavirus death toll in Italy’s worst-hit region has surpassed 3,450 in the last 24 hours after a rise of 360 fatalities in Lombardy.
Dr Peleg said his department makes sure terminally-ill coronavirus patients can say goodbye to their loved ones despite strict quarantine rules, N12 reports.
Ministers in Rome were forced to plunge all 60million citizens into lockdown, while ordering all non-essential businesses in the country to shut amid the outbreak.
The pandemic has taken a choke-hold on everyday life, with even Pope Francis retreating indoors to make his weekly address via videolink.
But despite Italy’s clampdown on person-to-person contact, the death toll spiralled yesterday from 739 to 4,825 nationwide, marking the deadliest day for a country in the global pandemic so far.
Italy’s piecemeal attempts to cut it off — isolating towns first, then regions, then shutting down the country in an intentionally porous lockdown — always lagged behind the virus’s lethal trajectory.
ROME — As Italy’s coronavirus infections ticked above 400 cases and deaths hit the double digits, the leader of the governing Democratic Party posted a picture of himself clinking glasses for “an aperitivo in Milan,” urging people “not to change our habits.”
That was on Feb. 27. Not 10 days later, as the toll hit 5,883 infections and 233 dead, the party boss, Nicola Zingaretti, posted a new video, this time informing Italy that he, too, had the virus.
Italy now has more than 53,000 recorded infections and more than 4,800 dead, and the rate of increase keeps growing, with more than half the cases and fatalities coming in the past week. On Saturday, officials reported 793 additional deaths, by far the largest single-day increase so far. Italy has surpassed China as the country with the highest death toll, becoming the epicenter of a shifting pandemic.
The government has sent in the army to enforce the lockdown in Lombardy, the northern region at the center of the outbreak, where bodies have piled up in churches. On Friday night, the authorities tightened the nationwide lockdown, closing parks, banning outdoor activities including walking or jogging far from home.