Medical personnel of the Cervello hospital in Palermo, Sicily, shared their experience of being on the frontline in the fight against the coronavirus on the Italian island, Tuesday.

Doctor Antonio Taormina, who contracted the virus himself, was optimistic saying it was a "very educational" experience for him as a professional, adding: "the drama was to have a full perception of a risk to be connected to tubes [of ventilator] because I was perfectly understanding the events happening and approaching me as well."

Tiziana Maniscalchi, who manages the newly created COVID-19 department, said: "We immediately tackled the problem taking into account that there are particular patients that in due time were to be separated from non-COVID patients."

"Our goal was to lock ourselves in, to receive the selected patients as much as possible and here I have to say we have done a marvelous job," she stressed.

Italy is one of the worst coronavirus-hit countries in Europe with over 135,000 confirmed cases and the highest death toll in the world with more than 17,000 people dead due to the coronavirus-related causes, according to the latest data published by Johns Hopkins University.

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Associated Press 11 May 2020 11:44 CEST

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