Coronavirus patients die alone and terrified in ‘tsunami’ of suffering ward

Dozens of people are dying alone and terrified without family by their sides in a hospital so stretched to breaking that a nearby church is being used to store rows and rows of coffins.

In a harrowing foreshadowing of things to come in Britain, cameras went behind the scenes at the Cremona Hospital in Lombardy in Northern Italy.

There, multiple rooms in the mortuary are packed with coffins and at the end of a corridor is the church where the hospital stores corpses now the dead keep piling up.

Every inch of space inside the hospital is taken up with the gasping sufferers of killer coronavirus.

The bodies are taken away to be cremated but the harrowing truth is they all died alone, Sky News reports.

And it's taking its toll on hospital staff, as they watch patients die without anyone, other than the medics who are strangers to them, to comfort them.

Northern Italy is nearer to its peak coronavirus stage and there are warnings this will become the situation in the UK, too.

Families and friends are not allowed to visit their dying loved-ones as they are in quarantine as the country remains on lockdown.

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And Lombardy is being overwhelmed by the virus with Cremona Hospital close to collapsing.

Reporters being led through the hospital are forced to don face masks, gloves and other protective clothing.

Corridors are empty, but rooms are packed with frantic action.

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Pictures show bed after bed filled with motionless patients wired up to rasping tubes.

Pumps release air and heart monitors beep.

In the intensive care unit, many of the patients will die from Covid-19. Their is no vaccine yet available.

Medics are doing what they can. Nurses and doctors turn the patients every 13-16 hours, Sky News reports, to ease the pressure being placed on their dying lungs.

The patients would die sooner without this constant attention. They still might.

And for the medics, their own health means they try to remain at a distance when they can – but this is rarely possible.

Exhausted staff constantly wash themselves and their protective gear.

Dr Leonor Tamayo, close to tears, told Sky: "I can't say how I feel now, because it's a war, it's a disaster.

"It's very dangerous, it's a disaster, it's a tsunami, and we are here 12 hours a day. Only we are going home for a few hours and come back here for the work because we are here for the patients."

Medics say the health system is close to breaking. Victims are getting younger – one man on the ward was 36.

Dr Emanuela Catenacci, a neurosurgeon who has been drafted into intensive care, told Sky News she wanted to send a message to the rest of the world.

She said: "Try to stop, try to stop – isolate people, stop contact in everything because otherwise the situation is, like, a tsunami, is a tsunami, when it starts to grow it's really… it explodes.

"Don't think that it is happening here and [think] it can't happen everywhere else – because it will if you don't do anything to stop it."

In Lombardy they haven't run out of hope but they are struggling with pretty much everything else.

  • Family
  • Coronavirus
  • NHS

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