Death toll hits catholic clergy as virus spirals out of control
Italy’s death toll of catholic clergy from the Chinese coronavirus has now reached 13, as three more priests died in less than 72 hours, with dozens of nuns also infected.
The most recent three deaths reported were priests located in Milan, local media reported.
Those deaths included:
82-year-old Father Marco Barbetta
70 yera old Luigi Giussani, the vicar of the parish of San Protaso in via Osoppo
63-year-old Monsignor Ezio Fioravante Bisello, vice-rector of the Milan cathedral.
Father Barbetta’s death was reportedly caused by a heart condition, which was worsened by the coronavirus.
Father Luigi Giussani died on Wednesday while Monsignor Bisello died Thursday.
The coronavirus outbreak also struck two convents in the Rome area.
The Lazio region´s health commissioner said 59 nuns at the Institute of Daughters of St. Camillo, in the hill town of Grottaferrata, tested positive for COVID-19, while one of the nuns has been hospitalized.
The newspaper added that 19 of 21 nuns at the Congregation of Angelic Sisters convent have the coronavirus infection.
The Catholic News Agency (CNA) reported on Monday that at least ten priests had already died in Italy from COVID-19.
Bishop Francesco Beschi of Bergamo confirmed the deaths of six priests in his diocese while 20 have been hospitalized.
“The number of priests who have died this week and that of those who are still in a particularly serious situation is very high,” the bishop said in a radio interview.
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“We are living this pain by sharing it with that of our communities together with the number of infected people, the sick, and a high number of deaths. We are not separated from our community even in the passage of death,” Breschi said.
Meanwhile, a massive fleet of military trucks was spotted transporting the bodies of Italians who have died from the coronavirus pandemic on Thursday.
Army vehicles have been deployed to transport scores of victims’ coffins to be cremated.
The images have come as Italy’s hospitals and crematoriums struggle to cope with the numbers of coronavirus cases and deaths across the country.
Coronavirus patients have been seen laid out on hospital beds along the corridors of overcrowded Italian hospitals as health workers work around the clock to treat the sick.