A list that is getting longer every day, reflecting a battle that health professionals are fighting with almost no protection and in overflowing hospitals. Doctors killed in Italy, largest focus of pandemic in the world, amounted to 29 this Wednesday, according to the balance updated in real time by the National Federation of Surgeons and Odontologists (FNOMCeO).
Infected health workers —Among doctors, nurses, and caregivers— they are at least 4,824, according to the latest figures from the Higher Institute of Health, on a total of almost 70 thousand infected in the country. The data is almost double that registered in China, according to a study published in the journal of the American Medical Association. Jama.
“The dead make no noise, no longer make noise as the grass grows,” he said, quoting the Italian poet Giuseppe Ungaretti, Filippo Anelli, president of FNOMCeO. “And yet, the names of our friends, of our colleagues, put here, put black on white, they make a deafening noise. “
Trade unions and professional associations warned of a dramatic situation in the regions of Lombardy, Piedmont, Liguria, Emilia Romagna, while COVID-19 extends to the center and south of the country.
Anelli denounces the slowness of the institutions in reacting to the outbreak and providing the necessary equipment. “We feel forgotten “, He says. “We can no longer allow our doctors, our health workers, to be sent to fight the virus with bare hands. It is an unequal fight, which hurts us, hurts citizens and hurts the country. ”
The list of deceased doctors continues to update: from Roberto Stella, one of the first two infected doctors, to Ivano Garzena, a 49-year-old dentist from Turin who died this Wednesday. Behind each name is a story of commitment to your work.
Many, like the last three deceased, they were GPs: the first professionals that patients usually go to when presenting any symptoms.
Others were Retired doctors who put their overalls back on to help colleagues overwhelmed by the emergency. That was the case of Gino Fasoli, a former friar, retired physician and volunteer in Africa for the NGOs Emergency and Doctors Without Borders. He died last Saturday near Brescia, one of the provinces hardest hit by the pandemic.
“At the end of February he told me that they had finally given him a chinstrap”, his brother Giuseppe told the Corriere della Sera. “Not one for each day. One in total ”.
Some as Leonardo Marchi, an infectious diseases specialist and medical director of the San Camillo clinic in Cremona (Lombardy), were professionals recognized for their careers. Marchi died on Saturday at age 64, in “Another day of a war that is already normal”, as his friend and colleague Ferruccio Giovetti wrote on Facebook.
Others more, like Marcello Natali, they died after publicly denouncing their concern for the safety of their colleagues. “We are not prepared to face the situation ”, He said in an interview, a week before he died of the coronavirus at age 57.
The reasons for the infections
The Gimbe Foundation, which promotes research, training and scientific information activities, He explained the high number of infections between doctors and nurses with the decision not to test them for COVID-19 for fear of reducing the workforce. For these experts, in addition, the number of infected workers would be underestimated, so it is vital that they all be tested.
“A month after Case 1 of Codogno, the figures show that we pay dearly for the lack of organizational and administrative preparedness for the emergency.“said the president of the Nino Cartabellotta foundation.” The lack of unambiguous policies on the execution of tests for health workers for fear of reducing the workforce, has become a fatal boomerang since the infected staff was, unfortunately, the main protagonist of the spread of the infection in hospitals, nursing homes and patients’ homes.
GPs are another category that was forced to respond to the emergency without clear protocols and without adequate protections., according to several testimonies published these days in the newspapers and on social networks.
“We are defenseless and without weapons”he told the newspaper Il Post Paola Pedrini, secretary of the Italian Federation of Lombardy Family Physicians.
Nicola Mumoli, chief of medicine at the Magenta hospital near Milan, went further and He spoke of “discrimination”.
“A doctor who worked among COVID-19 patients became ill, but after several attempts she was denied the test. Nevertheless, the pages of the chronicles report on the good conditions of the soccer players, actors and politicians, who did take a sample, “he wrote in a letter to the Corriere della Sera. And he denounced: “There is a great solidarity with the health personnel, banners and good-luck slogans everywhere, but in reality there is only discrimination and hypocrisy. If you have to choose between a soccer player and a doctor, there are no doubts and we feel condemned to disappear under that mask that we use every day with great pride, doing a job that now more than ever we consider an honor ”.