A BRITISH nurse working in Italy has spoken of his horror as victims are buried every 30 minutes amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Connor McAnish is based at the Gavazzeni Hospital in the region of Lombardy, where soldiers have now been put on the streets to enforce a lockdown.
⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates
McAnish, who works on an intensive care unit, said his hospital has now been converted to treat only patients of the epidemic.
Speaking to ITV, he described an “endless stream” of patients that has overwhelmed local cemeteries.
“They’ve had to build a tent outside the hospital and yeah, there are burials about every 30 minutes in the cemetery of Bergamo,” he said.
“With so many patients coming in, when someone dies it’s almost as if we say, ‘Okay we couldn’t do anything for this person, now we can take another person and see if their condition will improve’.”
Reports had previously emerged from Lombardy of patients who would normally be in intensive care having to be left on wards without the resources to properly treat them.
Response systems are also receiving in excess of 2,500 emergency calls per day.
CORONAVIRUS CRISIS – BE IN THE KNOW
Get the latest coronavirus news, facts and figures from around the world – plus essential advice for you and your family.
To receive our Covid-19 newsletter in your inbox every tea time, sign up here.
To follow us on Facebook, simply ‘Like’ our Coronavirus page.
Speaking yesterday, Lombardy president Attilio Fontana announced that the national government had agreed to send troops to the region, but that the situation continues to deteriorate.
“[A request] has been accepted… and 114 soldiers will be on the ground throughout Lombardy,” he told a news conference.
“It is still too little, but it is positive.
“Unfortunately we are not seeing a change of trend in the numbers, which are rising.”
The UK is roughly two weeks behind Italy in terms of the number of coronavirus cases confirmed, and the government is now ramping up measures ahead of an expected surge in demand on the NHS.
McManish continued: “I don’t think we were ready. We had never dealt with this kind of patient.
“And the change happened so quickly from having one patient with coronavirus, to having a whole intensive care ward dedicated to coronavirus patients, to have operating theatres shut down and beds put in the operating theatres for more incubated patients.
Underworld star Sophia Myles’s dad dies of coronavirus as she shares final pic
‘COVID-19 IS THE DEVIL’
Coronavirus felt like the devil was in my body, fit mum, 28, warns
DON’T FUEL IT
Coronavirus being spread ‘via petrol pumps’ as nurses warn: Use gloves
VIRUS AT THE PALACE
Buckingham Palace aide contracted coronavirus when Queen, 93, was there
THREE junior doctors aged 30 ‘struck down by coronavirus in the SAME hospital’
UK coronavirus deaths hit 233 with youngest Brit victim, 41, in biggest 24hr leap
“It happened so quickly and I don’t think anybody expected that.”
The coronavirus has infected more than 275,000 people globally and at least 11,400 since an outbreak first began in late December.