Italian nurse, 34, kills herself after testing positive for coronavirus and worrying she had infected others
- Daniela Trezzi was working at a hospital in worst-affected region of Lombardy
- A nursing federation voiced its ‘pain and dismay’ as it confirmed her death
- The body said medical workers were suffering ‘heavy stress’ from the crisis
- Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
An Italian nurse killed herself after testing positive for coronavirus and fearing she had infected others, a nursing federation has revealed.
Daniela Trezzi, 34, was working on the front line of the coronavirus crisis at a hospital in Lombardy, the worst-affected region of Italy.
The National Federation of Nurses of Italy confirmed her death and expressed its ‘pain and dismay’ in a statement last night.
The federation said the nurse had been suffering ‘heavy stress’ because she feared she was spreading the virus while trying to bring the crisis under control.
It came as Italy’s death toll surged again yesterday with 743 new fatalities recorded in one day, dampening hopes that the tide was starting to turn.
However, the number of total infections rose by just eight per cent – the lowest level since Italy registered its first death on February 21.
Daniela Trezzi (pictured), a 34-year-old nurse in northern Italy, killed herself after being infected with coronavirus and fearing she had spread the disease to others
The 34-year-old nurse was working on the front line of the coronavirus crisis at a hospital in Lombardy, the worst-affected region of Italy
A volunteer nurse wearing a mask tends to a homeless person in Milan last night. Thousands of health workers have themselves been infected with coronavirus
This graph shows the number of daily deaths in Italy, which rose again yesterday after dropping for the previous two days
This graph shows the number of daily cases, which has come down from its peak so far
Carabinieri military police officers operate a drone to enforce the nationwide lockdown, seen here in the Scampia neighbourhood of Naples today
Daniela Trezzi had been working on the intensive care ward at the San Gerardo hospital in Monza, around nine miles from Milan, but was in quarantine after showing coronavirus symptoms and testing positive for the disease.
The nursing group also revealed that ‘a similar episode had happened a week ago in Venice, with the same underlying reasons’.
‘Each of us has chosen this profession for good and, unfortunately, also for bad: we are nurses,’ the federation said.
‘The condition and stress to which our professionals are subjected is under the eyes of all.’
The general manager of San Gerardo hospital, Mario Alparone , said Daniela had been at home sick since March 10, and that ‘she was not under surveillance’.
Judicial authorities are now investigating her death, according to local media.
Figures released by an Italian research institute yesterday showed that some 5,760 health workers had been infected with coronavirus.
Nino Cartabellotta, the head of the Gimbe foundation which collected the data, urged that this ‘phenomemon’ must be ‘curbed to safeguard those who take care of us’.
The 5,760 medical workers make up around eight per cent of Italy’s total cases, which rose to 69,176 in the latest figures on Tuesday.
A volunteer nurse wearing a mask tends to a homeless person in Milan in the early hours of this morning
Doctors and nurses at work in the intensive care department of Casal Palocco Hospital ‘Covid 3’, Rome, Italy today
A man wears the free protective mask for citizens just received in a pharmacy yesterday in Venice. Volunteers of the Civil Protection have delivered 75 masks to every pharmacy and newsstand in the municipality of Venice
Customers have their temperature checked at the entrance of a supermarket in Milan yesterday
People wait in line in front of a supermarket in Grotta Perfetta street during the Coronavirus emergency in Rome, Italy today
The day-to-day increase of 5,249 marked the second consecutive rise of around eight per cent, lower than at any point since the virus began to spread in Italy.
Health officials across Italy are poring over every new piece of data to see whether two weeks of bans and closures have made a dent in the crisis.
However, some officials have cautioned that it is still too soon to say if Italy is about to see a peak in the outbreak.
Italy’s 743 new deaths broke two days of successive declines that had taken the number down to 601 on Monday.
It set an unwanted world record of 793 fatalities in a day on Saturday.
‘The measures we took two weeks ago are starting to have an effect,’ civil protection service chief Angelo Borrelli told the daily La Repubblica before Tuesday’s toll came out.
He said more data over the next few days will help show ‘if the growth curve is really flattening.’
Few scientists expect Italy’s numbers – if they really are dropping – to follow a steady downward line.
Health workers of Villa Scassi Hospital where patients potentially infected with the coronavirus will be hospitalised, in Genoa, Italy today
Coffins wait to be cremated at the entrance of the chapel of a cemetery in the small village of Vertova, near Bergamo, Lombardy, today where 36 people died of coronavirus in 23 days
Health workers at work in the temporary structures built next to the Brescia hospital due to the coronavirus outbreak, Brescia, Italy, today. Tighter lockdown measures come into force as movement remains restricted in Italy
Scientists believe that countries such as Spain and France are following in Italy’s footsteps with a lag of a few weeks.
The numbers from the US are also similar to those of Italy’s from about 20 days ago.
Most other European nations and some US states have followed Italy’s example and imposed their own containment and social distancing measures designed to stop the spread.
The data that Borrelli has gathered from Italy’s 22 regions are of crucial interest to global policy makers and medical experts.
Italy’s daily deaths are still higher than those officially recorded in China at the peak of its crisis in Wuhan’s central Hubei province.
They are also higher than those seen anywhere else in the world.
Italian officials are using the downward trend in infections to double down on their insistence that people stay home at all times, no matter the personal discomfort or economic pain.
Most big global banks think Italy has already entered a deep economic recession that could be more severe than anything seen in decades.
The Lombardy region around Milan at the epicentre of the pandemic has begun imposing 5,000 euro (£4,500) fines on those venturing outdoors without a good excuse.
People queue in a supermarket as Milan continues the lockdown of its citizens in an attempt to limit the spread of the coronavirus today across Italy. The Italian government continues to enforce the nationwide lockdown measures to control the spread of COVID-19. As a result of new measures, Italy has seen the number of daily fatalities come down from a world record 793 on Saturday to 651 on Sunday and 601 on Monday
Health workers at work in the temporary structures built next to the Brescia hospital due to the coronavirus outbreak, Brescia, Italy today
Health workers at work in the temporary structures built next to the Brescia hospital due to the coronavirus outbreak, Brescia, Italy, today
Borrelli said he supported the measures because it was ‘credible’ to assume that the infection rate is 10 times the reported number – suggesting there could be as many as 690,000 cases in the country.
Italy is perplexed over how it managed to become the global epicentre of a pandemic that began on the other side of the world.
Without blaming anyone or any single factor, Borrelli said: ‘From the very start, people were behaving in a way that fuelled the national problem.’
But he did point to a Champions League match between Italy’s Atalanta and Spain’s Valencia’s football clubs in Milan’s San Siro stadium on 19 February as a particularly egregious mistake.
It was attended by 40,000 fans who celebrated the local team’s win deep into the night.
‘We can now say, with hindsight, that it was potentially a detonator,’ Borrelli said of the match.
Health workers at work in the temporary structures built next to the Brescia hospital due to the coronavirus outbreak, Brescia, Italy today
A boy with an Italian tricolor flag stands on a balcony during a flash mob launched across Italy to bring people together to try to cope with the emergency of the coronavirus, in Rome, Italy, today
The total number of confirmed cases in Italy rose to 69,176 from a previous 63,927, an increase of 8.2 per cent, in line with Monday’s growth rate, the Civil Protection Agency said.
Of those originally infected nationwide, 8,326 had fully recovered on Tuesday compared to 7,432 the day before.
There were 3,396 people in intensive care against a previous 3,204.
For confidential support in the UK call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch, see www.samaritans.org for details.
Vatican employees furious at lack of full shutdown amid virus outbreak
The Vatican is under pressure to let more employees work from home as its offices remain open two weeks after the Italian government ordered Italians home and shut down all non-essential businesses in an urgent attempt to contain the coronavirus.
On the same day the Vatican confirmed four positive cases, Vatican employees in three different offices expressed alarm Tuesday that superiors had adopted different work-at-home policies that forced some to continue showing up.
Concern about exposure risk has been heightened because many Vatican employees live in priests’ residences or religious communities and eat together in communal dining rooms.
A handout picture provided by the Vatican Press Office, shows Pope Francis celebrating holy mass in Santa Marta church at the Vatican yesterday
A handout picture provided by Vatican Media yesterday shows Pope Francis during his Sunday Angelus prayer, broadcasted in streaming due to the coronavirus emergency, Vatican City, on Sunday
A view shows a deserted entrance of the closed Vatican Museums today in the Vatican during the lockdown aimed at stopping the spread of the COVID-19 (new coronavirus) pandemic
Two religious orders in Rome have already been quarantined after several sisters tested positive for the virus. On Tuesday, Rome’s health service sent its crisis unit to a nursing home run by an order of nuns after several elderly residents got infected. Nationwide, more than 50 priests with the virus have died, most of them elderly and from the hard-hit northern Lombardy region, the Italian bishops’ conference said.
Vatican offices that handle particularly sensitive issues – such as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – told employees to show up five days a week to prevent documents, files and archives from leaving the office, according to one employee, speaking on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to officially speak to the media.
Officials at the Vatican office that oversees the church’s work in the developing world, known as Propaganda Fide, still require employees to come in at least twice a week. The requirement means staff members who live outside of central Rome must commute using public transportation, said Karlijn Demasure, whose husband works in the mission office.
‘The whole of Italy closes down but not so the Vatican, at least not Propaganda Fide,’ Demasure wrote on Facebook. ‘It is dangerous, moving between cities, trains, metro and buses. I cannot believe that this is actually happening!’
A general view shows a deserted queuing area at the entrance of the closed Vatican Museums today in the Vatican during the lockdown aimed at stopping the spread of the COVID-19 (new coronavirus) pandemic
On Tuesday, the Vatican repeated that its offices would remain open. It said individual department heads should arrange for ‘essential services’ to be provided to the church with the minimal personnel on hand and ‘incentivizing as much as possible remote working.’
It also announced another three positive cases, including two employees of the Vatican Museums, bringing its total to four.
The government ordered Italians to stay home except for reasons of absolute necessity starting March 10. On Saturday, it approved another ordinance suspending non-essential production and other industry, shutting down factories that aren’t explicitly necessary to keep Italy’s food, energy and other necessary sectors going.
The Vatican secretariat of state – the main governmental body of the Holy See – on Monday issued new guidance for employees about whether they needed to come into work. According to the advisory, a copy of which was seen by The Associated Press, the secretariat of state urged people to work from home where possible but said employees should come to the office if they lived in Vatican City or nearby.
This photo taken and handed out yesterday by Vatican Media shows Pope Francis celebrating a private morning mass broadcast from the Santa Marta chapel in the Vatican, during the COVID-19 new coronavirus pandemic
The guidance also suggested employees could use annual vacation allotments now instead of work, though few would voluntarily give up their traditional holidays in August, when the Vatican and the rest of Italy essentially shut down.
The Vatican, a 108-acre walled city state in the heart of Rome, approved virus-containment measures two weeks ago. But its workplace policies during the public health emergency lag behind the rest of Italy, which has the most virus-related deaths of any country in the world.
Pope Francis himself has complained that he feels like he is in a cage. He slipped out of the Vatican on March 15 to pray at two Rome churches and to take a mini-pilgrimage walking along a deserted Via del Corso, a main street in the Italian capital’s historic center.
Accompanied by his usual security detail, the 83-year-old pope took the outing five days after a nationwide lockdown confining Italians to their homes with limited exceptions went into effect. The pope also has continued meeting with his top advisers in person at the Vatican, according to his daily schedule.
Religious leaders around the world and from all faith groups have been confounded about how to provide spiritual and other assistance to their flocks while following health guidelines urging everyone to stay home and avoid congregating. Some have balked at lockdown measures, and continued to keep churches open.
Even the U.S. bishops conference issued advice at odds with the prevailing health recommendations elsewhere. In an infographic tweet Tuesday, the U.S. conference suggested the Catholic faithful in the U.S. use their COVID-19 time at home essentially as a staycation, urging them to exercise, go for a walk with friends, get to know a neighbor better or learn to play a new instrument with a family member. Italian police are barring people from taking walks and socializing, and public health authorities suggest that even family members practice ‘social distancing’ given the high degree of contagion within the home.
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