Coronavirus: Italian priest dies after giving respirator to younger patient

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Italian priest Father Giuseppe Berardelli, who gave his own respirator to a younger coronavirus patient, has died of the disease, according to local media reports.

Father Giuseppe, 72, was reportedly the main priest of the town of Casnigo in the northern region of Lombardy.

A tweet by Father James Martin, the editor at large of America Magazine, about the late Father Giuseppe has gone viral on Twitter.

“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,” the priest wrote on Tuesday in a tweet that has been liked by more than 27,000 users.

Local media reports said that given the lockdown of the country, no funeral was held for the priest. Instead, people from his town applauded from their balconies.

The death toll from the outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus in Italy has grown by 743 to 6,820, Reuters reported on Tuesday citing the head of the Civil Protection Agency, reversing a decline in fatalities seen over the last two days.

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