Italian doctor who warned about a lack of protective gloves for medical workers treating coronavirus patients dies of the disease just weeks later

  • Marcello Natali warned about a lack of medical supplies for healthcare workers
  • Doctor said they did not have enough latex gloves and ‘were not prepared’
  • Just weeks later he contracted coronavirus and died in hospital with pneumonia
  • It comes as it was revealed 2,600 medics have been infected and 13 have died
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

An Italian doctor who told of his fears about treating coronavirus patients without proper protection such as latex gloves has died of the disease.

Marcello Natali died in Milan just weeks after giving a TV interview in which he raised concerns about the safety of front-line medical workers in the country.

The 57-year-old told Euronews before testing positive that medics had ‘run out’ of latex gloves and ‘were not prepared’ for the health crisis currently engulfing Europe.

Natali said in the interview: ‘We certainly were not prepared to face such a situation. Also because of our generation that of the most antibiotic era – who grew up thinking a pill against disease was enough.

‘We thought a pill was the solution to everything.’ 

Dr Marcello Natali died just week after he gave a TV interview warning Italian doctors did not have enough latex gloves and other protective gear

Dr Marcello Natali died just week after he gave a TV interview warning Italian doctors did not have enough latex gloves and other protective gear 

A coronavirus patient lies on his front in an intensive care unit at the Oglio Po hospital in Cremona today. Researchers believe lying face down can raise survival rates in intensive care by improving oxygen levels in the blood

A coronavirus patient lying in an intensive care unit at the Oglio Po hospital in Cremona yesterday

A hospital in Cremona where workers are cleaning personnel in protective gear disinfecting patients' beds in one of the tents from a newly operative field hospital

A hospital in Cremona where workers are cleaning personnel in protective gear disinfecting patients’ beds in one of the tents from a newly operative field hospital 

He had been working in Cremona, in the heart of the most infected ‘red zone’ when he contracted the virus and was transferred to Milan where he died after developing double pneumonia. 

Natali’s death was confirmed by a representative of the Italian Federation of General Practitioners, who described the situation as ‘a war’.

Paola Pedrini, regional secretary at the federation, revealed that 110 doctors out of 600 in the sole province of Bergamo are sick. 

Yesterday it emerged that five Italian doctors died from coronavirus, taking the total number of deaths among doctors in the country to 13.

Two  of the doctors who passed away this week were in their 70s and had come out of retirement to help battle the virus.

Dr Natali warned about over-reliance on antibiotics. He later died from pneumonia caused by coronavirus

Dr Natali warned about over-reliance on antibiotics. He later died from pneumonia caused by coronavirus

Coronavirus first aid in front of Sant'Orsola Hospital in Bologna yesterday during quarantine

Coronavirus first aid in front of Sant’Orsola Hospital in Bologna yesterday during quarantine

Outside the hospital of Cremona, southeast of Milan, today where Italian soldiers installing equipment at a newly operative field hospital for coronavirus patients

Outside the hospital of Cremona, southeast of Milan, today where Italian soldiers installing equipment at a newly operative field hospital for coronavirus patients

Figures also revealed that more than 2,600 medics in Italy have been infected with the virus, which has crippled Italy and sent the whole country into lockdown.

The figure of 2,629 infected medical professionals means that nearly 0.3 per cent of Italy’s health workers have caught the disease – taking them out of service when they are desperately needed. 

It came as fatalities in Italy eclipsed China, where the virus began last year, when the deaths soared by 475 yesterday to over 3,400. 

On Wednesday the Italian government extended its stringent lockdown measures until the end of April as the pandemic continues spiral out of control.

Deaths worldwide surpassed 10,000 today as Europe and the US imposed travel restrictions, closed cafes, bars and restaurants as well as banning public gatherings. 

Many European countries have struggled to find enough gloves, medical masks and items such as hand sanitiser in stories as demand is intensified by panic buying.

Yesterday it emerged that a pneumologist at Sant’Anna hospital in Como, Giuseppe Lanati, and Luigi Frusciante, who was a GP in Sagnino, had died of coronavirus.

Both Lanati, 73, and Frusciante, 71, had come out of retirement to help their community during the virus crisis.

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