Italy

War Surgery

How Italy is working to contain the coronavirus “tsunami”

New hospitals and intensive care beds are needed fast. And Italy is mobilizing in order to tackle this shortfall. Public institutions, private companies, the army, the Alpini (Italian mountain infantry), numerous NGOs, all are lending a hand to create hospitals in record time in a number of cities across northern Italy. In Piacenza the army is creating a field hospital with 40 beds for patients suffering from low to medium severity Covid-19, while in Cremona the American NGO Samaritan’s Purse has also opened a field hospital.
In Bergamo’s exhibition centre Emergency and the Alpini are working together to complete a temporary hospital with more than 170 beds and capacity for 24 intensive care patients. San Raffaele hospital in Milan, thanks to the fundraising initiative launched by Italian rapper Fedez and his wife, blogger Chiara Ferragni, has been able to create a new IC unit.
In Lombardy, one of the projects being coordinated by a task force led by the regional governor Attilio Fontana is transforming the spaces of the Milano Fiera exhibition centre into a makeshift hospital. “We were expecting a high tide but were hit by a tsunami,” commented an anaesthetist from Milan’s San Donato hospital a few days ago. The polemics can wait for another day, now is the time for action.

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