AN ex-NHS doctor trapped in Italy’s coronavirus lockdown has begged the UK to “shut down EVERYTHING” in the “war” against the killer bug.
Italy is the worst affected country outside of China, accounting for more than half of the roughly 22,000 cases in Europe with more than 12,000 confirmed infections.
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The whole country was placed on lockdown on Monday, with all public events banned, cinemas, gyms and pubs closed, funerals and weddings cancelled and sporting matches suspended.
And Professor Mohamed Abu Hilal, who now works in the northern city of Brescia, urged other countries to follow suit.
He tweeted: “From Brescia north of Italy: to my friends across the globe!
“COVID19 is serious, feels to be in a war!
“People are dying, not only elderly. Beds are full.
“Governments must shut down everything, prepare beds, ventilators, antivirals, doctors and nurses. People should stay at HOME!”
It comes after fellow medics working at coronavirus hotspots in Italy this week told how they are being “overwhelmed” by a “tsunami” of patients.
Dr Daniele Macchini, who works at Humanitas Gavazzeni hospital in Bergamo, northern Italy, wrote on Facebook: "The war has literally exploded and the battles are uninterrupted day and night.
"The results of the swabs now come one after the other: positive, positive, positive. Suddenly the emergency room is collapsing."
A dramatic photo of one Italian nurse collapsed on her desk from exhaustion has gone viral this week, summing up the plight of medics.
Doctors now face having to make life-or-death decisions about who to treat, with medics told to consider a patient's age and their chances of survival.
Dr Christian Salaroli told the Brussels Times: "If a person between 80 and 95 years old has severe respiratory failure, it’s likely we will not go ahead.
"If they have multi-organ failure, with more than two or three vital organs, it means that their mortality rate is 100 per cent."
Italy this week slammed the EU for being too slow to come to its aid, after the country begged for emergency medical supplies.
Germany and France are among the EU countries to have imposed limits on the export of essential medical kit.
Italian ambassador Maurizio Massari said: “Italy has already asked to activate the European Union mechanism of civil protection for the supply of medical equipment for individual protection.
“But unfortunately not a single EU country responded to the commission’s call.
“Only China responded bilaterally. Certainly this is not a good sign of European solidarity.”
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