Medical staff members show their hands with the words "Ce la faremo" ('We'll make it') written on them as they treat patients suffering from the coronavirus in Varese, Italy, on Thursday. Reuters
ne hundred Italian doctors have died of the novel coronavirus since the pandemic reached the Mediterranean country in February, Italy's FNOMCeO health association said on Thursday.
"The number of doctors who have died because of COVID-19 is 100 — perhaps even 101 at the moment, unfortunately," a FNOMCeO spokesman told AFP.
The toll includes retired doctors the government began calling in a month ago to help fight a coronavirus that has officially claimed a world-topping 17,669 lives in Italy.
Italian media reports estimate that 30 nurses and nursing assistance have also died of COVID-19.
"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.
"It is an unfair fight."
Rome's ISS public health institute estimates that 10 per cent of those infected with the novel coronavirus in Italy work in health care.
Shortages of critical equipment led to fierce competition among buyers from Europe, the US and elsewhere. A regional leader in Paris described the scramble to find masks a “worldwide treasure hunt.” Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned that New York could run out of ventilators in six days.
Italy reported its lowest daily death toll in two weeks, in a possible sign the tide may be turning in the deadliest disaster the country has faced since World War II. In Spain, officials said the number of fatalities had fallen for the third straight day.
More than 8.53 million people have been reported infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 453,834 have died, a Reuters tally showed as of 1326 GMT on Friday.
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