Italian Medical Chief, 67, Dies of Coronavirus as Country’s Death Toll Leaps 23% in One Day to 1,016 and Total Number of Cases in Passes 15,000

Top Italian doctor Roberto Stella passed away on Tuesday after being hospitalised with respiratory failure from the coronavirus

An Italian medical chief died of coronavirus at the age of 67, it emerged today, as the countries death toll jumped to over 1,000.

Roberto Stella passed away on Tuesday after being hospitalised with respiratory failure following his diagnosis with the disease in Como, Italy.

Italy’s National Federation of Doctors and General Practitioners issued a statement following the news mourning Stella’s death, according to CNN.

The federation’s secretary Silvestro Scotti said in a statement: ‘He was the example of the capability and hard work of family doctors. His death represents the outcry of all colleagues who still today are not equipped with the proper individual protection needed.’

The death toll from the coronavirus outbreak in Italy jumped by 189 to 1,016 in 24 hours, a rise of 23 per cent, it emerged on Thursday.

The total number of cases in Italy, the European country hardest hit by the virus, rose to 15,113 from a previous 12,462, an increase of 21.7 per cent. That marked the biggest daily rise in absolute terms since the contagion first came to light on February 21.

The Civil Protection Agency said that, of those originally infected, 1,258 had fully recovered compared to 1,045 the day before. Some 1,153 people were in intensive care against a previous 1,028.

More than half of those who are in intensive care in Italy are located in hard-hit Lombardy province, which on Thursday reported 605 ICU patients in a region with only 610 ICU beds.

Hospitals in Lombardy are are overflowing with the dead. Lombardy’s top health care official, Giulio Gallera, said at the request of the hospitals, the region had simplified the bureaucracy needed to process death certificates and bury the dead.

Rome’s Catholic churches were ordered to close today due to the pandemic, in a move believed to be unprecedented in modern times.

The decree by Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, Pope Francis’ vicar for the Rome archdiocese, will remain in effect until at least April 3. There are more than 900 parochial and historic churches in the Italian capital.

It comes as Italians with coronavirus symptoms could face murder charges if they venture outside despite the quarantine and cause a patient’s death.

Suspected virus patients have been ordered to stay indoors with a penalty of 206 euros (£182) over their heads – but they could face far graver charges if they infect someone on their travels.

The most severe charge of ‘malicious murder’ could lead to a prison sentence as long as 21 years, according to Italian media, while virus spreaders could still be charged with misconduct even if no-one is killed.

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Source: Daily Mail