Distressing footage shows the desperate scenes at an emergency ward in Italy as trolley-bound coronavirus patients wear ‘plastic bubble’ helmets and gasp for air as the country’s spiralling death rate soared above China’s
With the Bergamo hospital’s ICU completely full, medics – who are reportedly calling it ‘the Apocalypse’ – are seen dashing between patients amid the screech of air escaping tubes and alarms beeping trying to keep the infected alive.
The bubbles, which cover the entire head and cause staff great communication difficulties, attempt to equalise the air pressure in the lungs.
It comes as army vehicles have been shipped in to move dozens of coffins from the virus-hit city, which has recorded 93 deaths pushing Italy’s national toll beyond China at 3,405 on Wednesday.
The chronic pneumonia-like virus is killing hundreds each day in the European country with doctors warning they have seen nothing like this before and are pleading with the UK to take further steps.
Hospitals across northern Italy are overwhelmed as the virus spreads out of control.
Asked if Covid-19 is like the flu, Dr Roberto Cosentini, speaking to Sky News in the ward, said: “No, it’s utterly another thing.
“More pneumonia than flu…it’s a very severe pneumonia and so it’s a massive strain for every health system.”
The doctor went on to say: “Every day we see 50 to 60 patients who come into our emergency department with pneumonia and most of them are so severe they need very high levels of FIO2 or oxygen.”
The hospital, in the Lombardy province, is one of the most advanced in Europe but one of the most hard hit in Italy, with Bergamo now the centre of the epidemic.
Other footage shows patients on trolleys in wards, with reportedly every available space, including meeting rooms, being used for patients – with staff desperate for other nations to see what is happening and go into complete lock down or face the same.
Anaesthetist Dr Lorenzo Grazioli said: “What I would suggest is just shut down to stop all [of] the outbreak and not come [into] this kind of situation that is very difficult to manage.
“I have never felt so stressed in my life. I’m an intensivist, I’m quite used to intense moments and choices and people are critical and will die without any treatment, then you make the difference.
“But when you arrive at this point you realise you are not enough. We [have] 100 anaesthetists here, we are doing our best, maybe it’s not enough.”
As the cases skyrocket, all the supplies and staff power are being used up, and it’s a similar story across the world.
Unlike some countries, Italy is doing thousands of tests each day but the recovery and death rate appears to be ‘neck and neck’.
Coffins are being transported to crematoriums in neighbouring cities, with the ashes to be later brought back to Bergamo – with funerals said to be taking place at a rate of two an hour at some facilities, reports Sky.
Many of the dead can’t have funerals due to the high demand and are being taken to chapels, while coffins have already filled two hospital mortuaries and a cemetery morgue.