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Coronavirus: Children’s hospital patients feel warmth of a hug through plastic tent 

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A hospital in Rome decided to gift children with the most precious of presents in this social-distanced Christmas: a plastic tent allowing them to feel the human heat again, safe from coronavirus infection.

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“We got this idea by following the children who had expressed the desire to be able to hug their relatives they had not seen for a long time, such as grandparents, fathers and also friends”, Chief Medical Officer of San Raffaele Pisana hospital in Rome told Reuters on Tuesday (December 22).

Allocca realized it was becoming increasingly important that her little patients received some human contact from loved ones so she asked the hospital to buy some plastic tents, normally used in care homes for elderly people.

The tents were then adjusted for the arms and legs of the children, even those using wheelchairs, and they are sanitized after every ‘plastic meeting’.

“COVID-19 forces us to keep at least one distance from each other, to always wear a protective mask and so I believe that in this very moment the tent helps them to find that human warmth of which the Christmas is a symbol,” Allocca added.

The first Western country hit by the virus, Italy has seen 69,842 COVID-19 fatalities since its outbreak emerged in February, the highest toll in Europe and the fifth-highest in the world. It has also registered some 1.977 million cases to date.

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