Couple die hours apart in virus shocker
An Italian couple who were married for more than 60 years have died hours apart after contracting coronavirus.
Severa Belotti, 82, and Luigi Carrara, 86, lived in the town of Albino, in the northern Italian province of Bergamo, Lombardy but died before their family members were able to say goodbye, their son said.
Italy is in lockdown after more than 800 people have died and 12,000 have become infected from the coronavirus, the largest number outside China.
The couple reportedly spent eight days locked at home with a fever of 102F (39C) before being taken to hospital in Bergamo last weekend.
Luigi, who worked as a bricklayer before retirement, was taken to the facility on Saturday and his wife Severa, a housewife, was admitted to the same medical unit on Sunday.
Their son Luca Carrara told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera that his parents "died alone" at the hospital as he and his sister Monica were unable to say goodbye.
He said: "Your loved ones stay alone and you cannot say bye, hug them, trying to give some comfort."
Mr Carrara, who is currently in quarantine with his family, wrote on social media: "Hi mum and dad, this bad virus has taken you both on the same day.
"Will you keep arguing up there too? I think so, but then everything will end with a hug."
He said his father had no pre-existing medical conditions.
"People have to understand that they have to stay home because it is OK for them to keep saying that the victims are just old, but when it happens to their parents, it's really difficult," he said.
The heartbroken son added he was not able to see his parents' bodies after their death because they were taken to the cemetery and will be cremated in a few days because "there are too many dead".
Mr Carrara added that his current situation, under quarantine, has worsened the grief.
He said: "Myself, my children and my wife are in quarantine, so the sadness is twofold.
"I can't even see my sister, who has taken care of all the paperwork.
"No one can come visit me. Nothing. In one day I lost both my parents. But as my father always said, let's move on."
Italy, the centre of Europe's coronavirus pandemic, has hit the milestone of more than 1000 deaths since it saw its first cases in mid-February.
Italy's positive cases continued their upward trend on Thursday, registering 15,113 confirmed cases and the death toll hit 1016.
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 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.
A Chinese medical team and surplus ventilators, protective masks and other equipment are heading to Italy in a remarkable exchange of medical know-how and material from the source of the coronavirus outbreak to its current epicentre. The Italian Red Cross says a plane bringing a nine-person Chinese team of experts and nine cargo pallets of medical equipment would land late on Thursday in Rome.
The team includes Chinese ICU specialists, paediatricians and nurses who helped manage the crisis in China.
Italian officials say they are eager to learn from the Chinese experience, particularly clinical data and experimental drug regimens.
With 15,113 positive cases Thursday and 1016 dead, Italy's fatality rate is running at 6.7 per cent, far higher than other countries. Italy has the second oldest population in the world after Japan.
- with AP
Parts of this story appeared on The Sun and have been reproduced with permission