One hundred Italian doctors have died of the novel coronavirus since the pandemic reached the country in February, Italy’s main doctors’ association said on Thursday, with analysts estimating that 10 percent of those infected in Italy work in healthcare.
“The number of doctors who have died because of Covid-19 is 100 — perhaps even 101 at the moment, unfortunately,” a spokesperson for the association, known as the FNOMCeO, 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.
“We can longer allow our doctors, our health workers, to be sent to fight without any protection against the virus,” the association’s president Filippo Anelli said on its website.
“It is an unfair fight,” he added.
According to Rome’s ISS public health institute, around 10 percent of those infected with the novel coronavirus in Italy work in health care.
Hard-hit Italy was the first European country to shut down almost all business activity on March 12 because of the virus.
The closures and accompanying containment measures have helped stem the spread of a disease that has officially claimed 17,669 lives across the country since February, the world’s highest toll.
The Italian government is now weighing how and when to ease social distancing measures that have so far been extended until April 13.