Selfless priest dies of Covid-19 after giving up his respirator for younger patient
EUROPE | By Japheth Ogila | March 24th 2020
The rule of thumb is that everyone will fight to the last jot of sweat to survive when death lurks. But this was not the case with a 72-year-old Italian Catholic priest Giuseppe Berardelli (above) who gave up the fight against coronavirus to inspire another person to live.
According to an Italian news site, Catholic.org, Mr Barardelli who hails from Casnigo, in the Bergamo province in northern Italy, had tested positive for coronavirus just recently. He was admitted with acute difficulty in breathing after which parishioners bought him a respirator to aid his breathing.
After seeing the frustrations of a critically ill and younger patient who was lacking a ventilator, the cleric reportedly told the medics to transfer his breathing support machine to the patient.
Giuseppe Berardelli then succumbed after his condition worsened. The act of benevolence by the Catholic cleric has touched several people who shared his story as media platforms also ran his story. For example, James Martin, an editor with America Magazine and consultor to the Dicastery for Communication in the Vatican shared the cleric’s last moments that led to his death.
“Fr. Giuseppe Berardelli, a 72-year-old priest who gave a respirator (that his parishioners had purchased for him), to a younger patient (whom he did not know), has died from coronavirus,” he posted and attached Barardelli’s picture.
He further stated: “Don Giuseppe Berardelli, patron of those who suffer from coronavirus and all who care for them, pray for us!”
Italy registered 63,927 with 6,077 by Tuesday morning. Italy’s death numbers have surpassed China’s a country which was initially leading the infection and mortality chart.
On Sunday, Russia sent the military to Italy after Prime Minister Giuseppe Conti had a word with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
Another contingent of medics also flew from Cuba to assist in the efforts of containing the spread of the virus and reducing the skyrocketing death toll.
Cuban doctors and nurses locally referred to as “armies of whites” are expected to target Lombardy, an area in Northern Italy currently worst-hit by the virus.
Yesterday, Reuters reported that Italian authorities were relieved after the death toll of the Covid-19 bug fell.
“Today is perhaps the first positive day we have had in this hard, very tough month,” said Giulio Gallera, the top health official in the northern region of Lombardy.
“It is not the time to sing victory, but we are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel,” he told reporters.
The government also announced bans on local travels and froze business with exceptions of essential ones like those selling food and medical supplies.
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