NAPLES: The brother of a woman who died at home after contracting the coronavirus had to launch a desperate appeal on social media to convince the Italian authorities to come and withdraw her body.
Teresa Franzese, 47, lived with her family in the southern city of Naples and last week started showing coronavirus symptoms. Her health deteriorated rapidly and she died on Saturday before the results of a test for the disease were known.
Given the uncertainty, the gravediggers and even the local hospital refused to collect the body.
“My sister died in bed. I do not know what to do. I can’t give her the funeral she deserves because the institutions have abandoned me, “said her brother Luca Franzese in a video posted on Facebook.
Franzese, a personal trainer, showed his body stretched out behind him. “We are ruined. Italy has abandoned us. Let’s stay strong together. Please share this video everywhere, “he said, struggling to hold back his emotions.
Eventually, after waiting 36 hours, the gravediggers arrived wearing protective clothing and brought the body directly to a local cemetery where she was buried without ceremony.
His family had to remain in quarantine at home because of fears that they might even have the disease.
Italy has closed almost all its stores except the grocery stores and pharmacies in the toughest block in Europe, as virus deaths in the country have risen to 827 with over 12,000 confirmed cases of illness.
Franzese said that his sister suffered from epilepsy. As her condition worsened, she said she insisted that she be tested for coronavirus. “To keep her alive I tried to give her mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Nobody cares, “he said.
The results finally showed that Teresa Franzese suffered from coronavirus. Subsequent tests showed that two other members of the family had the disease, although not Luca Franzese, said that Le Iene had broadcast a television program that interviewed him.
It has been reported that only one person has died so far in the Campania region, which is centered on Naples, and Franzese said the authorities had decided that she had died of epilepsy.
“How can they know if a post mortem has not been carried out?” he said in a post on his Facebook page.