Video shows dead 'Covid patient' slumped in hospital ward toilet in Italy

Video footage shows a corpse sprawled on the floor of a lavatory inside a makeshift hospital ward, as Italy struggles to fight the pandemic.

Health officials in Naples are investigating the death of the man, who was thought to be suffering from coronavirus.

The person filming can be heard saying: ‘This man is dead, this is Cardarelli Hospital. Here we are, the emergency department.

‘This woman in her own piss and excrement, we don’t know if she’s dead or alive. The woman over there, we know nothing.’

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Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said the video was the latest shocking incident he heard about in recent days from his native Campania region.

He said: ‘The situation in Naples and in many areas of Campania is out of control. The central government needs to intervene because there is no time left.’

Having remained relatively unscathed from the first wave of coronavirus compared to the north, Italy’s south is now being hammered by the pandemic.


The number of cases nationwide roared past the one million mark on Wednesday – with half of those infections emerging in just the last 19 days.

Italy’s official death toll now stands at 43,589 and is the sixth highest in the world.

Hospitals across the country have struggled to manage skyrocketing cases, but the poorer south has appeared particularly ill-equipped to cope despite having all summer to bolster their defences.

The sick in Naples have been administered oxygen and placed on drips through their car windows as they wait for hours for coronavirus tests or to be admitted to hospital.

Further south, on the island of Sicily, the mayor of Palermo warned on Monday his region faced an ‘inevitable massacre’ as infections continued to rise.


Head of the Anaao-Assomed doctors’ union Carlo Palermo said: ‘The north has always had a well-equipped health system spread out across the territory.

‘The situation there might not be optimal, but the south by comparison is a wasteland.’

Latest government figures from 2018 show this divide, with annual per-capita health spending coming in at €2,054 (£1,843) in the northern region of Liguria and €1,973 (£1,770) in neighbouring Emilia-Romagna.

In Campania it was €1,697 (£1,522) the lowest in Italy, and €1,706 (£1,531) in nearby Calabria.

But it is not just a question of money, as poor management has also taken a heavy toll in the south.

The issue came into focus this month when the health commissioner for Calabria was interviewed on state television and initially denied any responsibility for having to draw up a long-delayed emergency plan to deal with the coronavirus crisis.

To prove his point, Saverio Cotticelli, a retired general, produced the health ministry letter that established the guidelines.

Still on camera, the truth slowly dawned on him that he was indeed responsible for drawing up the plan. He resigned the following day.

Calabria had 146 intensive-care beds available at the start of the year. This number had risen to just 154 by the end of October despite the Rome government telling regions to double their emergency room capacity over the summer.

When the national government split the country into three tiers this month to reflect the differing health risks, it immediately put Calabria into the ‘red zone’ and imposed a partial lockdown.

Using an algorithm based on 21 indicators, Campania, to widespread surprise, was placed in the lowest-risk ‘yellow zone’.

The decision raised questions about whether the region was supplying reliable data, and the Rome health ministry has dispatched inspectors to review the situation.

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