Coronavirus: Italian priest died after having given respirator for a younger patient

Clay Curtis
March 26, 2020

Don Giuseppe Berardelli, priest for 47 years, was archpriest of Casnigo in the diocese of Bergamo, in northern Italy, one of the regions hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

The exact age and condition of that patient is not known, but younger patients who are able to access respirators have a much greater chance of survival.

Fr Giuseppe Berardelli, aged 72, was given the respirator which was purchased particularly for him by the parish group of Casnigo, the place he labored.

Amid Italy's dire struggle against the raging novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the country was recently moved by the story of an elderly Roman Catholic priest who died of the virus.

Pope Francis called on people in a mass on March 10 to pray for priests so that they will have the courage to go out to the sick people and accompany the medical workers in the work that they are doing.

'We pray to God also for our priests, so they have courage to go out to the sick, bringing the strength of the Word of God and the Eucharist, ' he said. "He was a priest who listened to everyone, he knew how to listen, whoever turned to him knew that he could count on his help".

Coronavirus cases surpass 60000 in USA; Spain death toll overtakes China
Italy has the highest death toll in the world at 6,820, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University. The global death toll has now passed 20,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

An Italian priest who contracted Coronavirus died in a hospital after he renounced to a respirator for it to be given to a youthful affected person, Italian media report. He died this week, one of a growing number of Italians who've succumbed to COVID-19.

The publication also noted that a further nine deaths had been reported in religious communities across Italy.

Berardelli already had health problems before he tested positive for COVID-19, according to Araberara, an Italian newspaper.

"But we do not have certainty", the priest said.

The priest was an archpriest at the parish of San Giovanni Battista in the village of Casnigo, Italy. 'Sometimes it happens [to them] out of pastoral zeal.

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