Doctor in Italy: Patients Over 60 Are Out of Luck

And other news from world's worst coronavirus hotspot
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 22, 2020 12:00 PM CDT
Doctor in Italy Gives Scary Interview
People ride bicycles and scooters, and walk along a path Saturday, March 21, 2020, in Turin, Italy.   (Fabio Ferrai /LaPresse via AP)

An Israeli doctor in Italy revealed a bit of scary news Sunday—that at his hospital doctors are no longer offering artificial respiratory machines to coronavirus patients over 60, the Jerusalem Post reports. The doctor, Gai Peleg, said the machines are in too short supply at the Parma facility. His interview posted only hours after Italy announced new day-to-day coronavirus highs of 6,557 cases and 793 dead, but Fox News notes one bright spot: 943 full recoveries logged Saturday, another record for the beleaguered nation. For more:

  • Stressed out: Italian doctors and staff are saying how under-resourced and overstressed they are. "I would say that we are at the end of our strength," Romano Paolucci, a doctor in Cremona, told Reuters this week. "This is a small hospital and we are taking in a lot of people, I would say the capacity is finished."
  • GoFundMe: Stefano Fagiuoli, a medical official in badly affected Bergamo, Lombardy, has posted a GoFundMe page that’s raised over $1 million. "We are in desperate need of both nurses and physicians, together with ventilators," he tells ABC News.
  • To the rescue: Meanwhile China has sent 12 doctors to Lombardy, and Reuters reports that 52 more are scheduled to arrive from Cuba. "We are all afraid but we have a revolutionary duty to fulfill, so we take out fear and put it to one side," says an intensive care specialist on the Cuban team. Russia is sending medical specialists and equipment via military transport planes, per the Financial Times.
  • Piecemeal steps: The New York Times takes an in-depth look at Italy's mistakes and what America can learn. The upshot: Lockdowns need to be in place early and strongly enforced. Italy took gradual steps, shutting down towns, then regions, and finally the nation. "Now we are running after it," says a health official.
  • No jogging: And the lockdown is only getting stricter: Sky News reports that people in Lombardy aren't allowed to engage in sports or other physical activities—even alone—and must keep away from vending machines.
(More coronavirus stories.)

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