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Italy coronavirus: Covid-19 ‘tsunami’ engulfed a whole generation. Now their family wants an answer



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Simple white plastic crosses mark each grave. Signed on each cross is a piece of paper bearing the family name, sometimes with the initials, sometimes with the first name. There is no date of birth. There is no date of death. Grave workers have placed a single plastic flower in each grave.

Herein lies those who surrender to the coronavirus in Milan, but whose bodies cannot yet be claimed.

An official at the funeral, who asked that his name not be used, told me that most of them were old and in nursing homes. Many, he continued, do not have a family. In some cases, the victim’s family cannot claim the body because it was locked.

With the gorges fully filled, and more and more dying every day at the peak of the plague, the authorities at the Italian coronavirus hotspot have little choice but to bury unclaimed dead like this. If their families come forward to claim the corpse after the epidemic is over, their bodies will be dug up and buried again.

Those who are laid here die alone. Then again, with coronavirus, almost everyone dies alone.

Carla Porfirio really wants to be with her mother at the last moment.

Before the coronavirus outbreak, he visited his mother Michela, 85, who has Alzheimer’s disease, every day at the extensive Palazzolo-Don Gnocchi Institute nursing home in Milan.

When a nursing home suddenly stopped relatives from visiting their loved ones when the virus spread, Porfirio said he called every day to ask about his mother. Every day the staff convinced him that Michela was fine.

Porfirio worried that he was not told when his mother became ill. When he called home on Sunday 5 April, he was told that Michela had been given oxygen and given morphine.

He died the next day.

Carla Porfirio's 85-year-old mother died in a nursing home in Italy.

“What is very tragic for those of us who lost their loved ones,” Porfirio told CNN, his voice breaking with emotion, is that “we cannot get close to them in their last days when they suffer. They need their hands. loved. “

At the height of the raging pandemic in northern Italy, the regional government of Lombardy asked nursing homes to provide space for uncritical Covid-19 patients, to ease the huge burden on hospitals.

Porfirio said the Palazzolo-Don Gnocchi nursing home put one patient in the same room as his mother and two other elderly women.

When Porfirio protested, he said a staff member told him that the house had no choice; it’s running out of space.

The Palazzolo-Don Gnocchi Institute told CNN in a statement that “starting with the detection of the first case … at the Palazzolo Institute, the Don Gnocchi Foundation began the procedure of isolation, mapping, and swab testing on contacts exposed to the risk of transmission. … All positive cases Covid-19 is handled in accordance with the protocol provided by the authorities, and in coordination with the authorities themselves. “

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The agency did not respond to Carla Porfirio’s claim about her mother’s care.

The Italian government is investigating a series of health violations in nursing homes across the country during the Covid-19 crisis.

The Palazzolo-Don Gnocchi Institute believes the investigation will show that their work is feasible.

“We are sure that the brief report submitted by the Foundation’s attorney at the Milan Public Prosecutors Office and documents which were later obtained by the judiciary will confirm the truth of the Foundation’s work in the context of this health emergency,” he said.

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The Lombardy regional government told CNN that they did not give interviews about “the problem of nursing homes,” because of ongoing investigations.

At least 15 facilities have been closed and their patients moved after inspection by the Italian Police health force – Nuclei Antisofisticazione e Sanita (NAS) – found that many failed to follow the coronavirus protocol, including providing adequate protective equipment for staff and special quarantine areas. for suspected coronavirus patients.

Sixty-one people have been referred to judicial authorities. Another 157 people have been fined a total of more than $ 78,500 (72,000 euros).

Like many people who have lost loved ones in nursing homes due to coronavirus, Carla Porfirio is angry.

“This is uncivilized,” he said. “We are in 2020 and this is still happening? The pictures are like the Spanish flu epidemic 100 years ago. And are we in the same condition?” he asked.

Asking for answers

Not long ago, Alessandro Azzoni said that his mother, 75-year-old Marisa was physically strong and responsive, despite suffering from Alzheimer’s. He regularly took her for walks, for ice cream, dancing in the park.

Now Marisa is in critical condition, at life support, in a Milan hospital after being transferred from the Pio Albergo Trivulzio nursing home.

The Pio Albergo Trivulzio nursing home also received Covid-19 patients, and the virus spread.

Azzoni presented the diagram on his telephone at his mother’s nursing home, based on information from doctors and nurses who were said to be working at home. Most of the maps are red in color, showing wards which now hold 19 patients.

The house is being investigated for various homicide complaints filed by staff and relatives of patients who say it failed to protect residents and medical workers against infections.

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Milan Public Prosecutor Mauro Clerici said last month he was looking for “more than 100 deaths,” at home during the Covid-19 epidemic.

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Clerici said the investigation would focus on “what crimes might have been committed in accordance with existing laws as applied to the pandemic.”

No arrests were made and no one was charged in this case.

A spokesman for the nursing home Pio Albergo Trivulzio declined to comment out of respect for investigators, saying that they needed to “work freely and without any pressure.”

Last month, a spokesman for the house told CNN that “rules on masks were followed,” adding that the number of deaths in the first quarter of 2020 was in line with those in the same period last year.

Azzoni, who founded the group demanding a criminal investigation into what happened at Pio Albergo Trivulzio, described it as “a massacre.”

With the investigation, he said, “We have the opportunity to completely change things, to bring people back to the center.”

The Lombardy region accounted for about half of Italy 32,169 people died from the virus.

The main nursing home of Nembro, where in just a few weeks many of its inhabitants died from the virus.

One of the hardest hit communities in Lombardy is the city of Nembro, at the foot of the Alps.

Of the 87 residents in the main nursing home of Nembro, the Nembro Nursing Home Foundation, 34 died of the virus.

While law enforcement will not comment on whether the house is being investigated, its director, Barbara Codalli, told CNN there were no allegations of making a mistake on the house which, he said, had never taken a Covid patient.

As soon as staff realized that the virus had spread to the house, Codalli said: “We decided to close the structure to the family and to close child care, even if we did not know at the time what was really happening, but with the feeling that something unusual was being happen. ”

“We started using PPE, masks, it wasn’t easy because finding them was difficult, we found them at unreasonable prices,” he added.

When northern Italy was damaged by a coronavirus, a problem arose in the south

But still, the house was overwhelmed by a virus, which, according to Codalli, severely beat its staff, killed its president and one of its doctors.

He blamed the provincial health authority for being late in testing nursing home residents.

The regional government of Lombardy, which oversees health authorities, will not comment citing ongoing investigations.

Barbara Codalli notes that when the first case becomes clear in the third week of February, it takes weeks for the swabs to be done.

“The first swabs were made on April 10,” he said, “regardless of what some people claim on television.”

The Mayor of Nembro, Claudio Cancelli, confirmed to CNN that the first swabs, from the most severe patients at home, were taken starting on April 10; he said that testing of all remaining staff and patients only began on April 23.

Fresh tombs at Nembro cemetery. The city is suffering from one of the highest per capita fatalities in Italy as a result of coronavirus. The caretaker and funeral worker are busy.

At Nembro, we looked for death notices – but only found the last two notices. We called the funeral home to ask where we could find more. The caretaker explained that the city of Nembro had deleted everything except the latest, to avoid moral damage in the city.

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Mayor Cancelli confirmed that the death notification had been removed, but denied that there was an official order to do so in order to increase the morale of the residents. He insisted the decision was based on common sense, adding that if it improved morale, he was satisfied with it.

A series of notices from early March were found next to Nembro’s funeral which showed that in only three days – 7 to 9 March – five elderly men and women had died.

The funeral was finally held again at Nembro when the lockdown in Italy died down.

‘The tsunami overwhelmed us’

Giacomo Boffelli, 84, died on March 11. Friends and family were finally able to say goodbye two months later, at a simple ceremony near the entrance to the city cemetery.

His daughter, Nicoletta, read a statement. “We have never left you. We will never do it, because you will always be in our hearts.”

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Giacomo’s widow, Margherita, sat and listened, the mask covering her nose and mouth wet from tears.

After the ceremony, when Giacomo’s ashes were placed in the family grave, Nicoletta told me: “The woman who worked here at the funeral said that all these parts were empty before, and now they are full.”

Indeed fresh images mark the graves of people who have just died. Undertaker and grave digger are the busiest people in Nembro now.

“It’s as if the tsunami hit us, especially the oldest people,” Nicoletta said.

Spring has arrived in Lombardy. In the cities and towns of the region, people roam outside to enjoy the weather and their first signs of freedom, as the lockdown subsides.

But unlike other parts of Italy where coronavirus victims are lighter, in Lombardy a little sadness hangs in the air.

Beppe Severgnini, a daily columnist for Corriere della Sera, who lives in the devastated city of Crema, explained: “Very sad. Every time I open the death news page from a local newspaper, I find so many people I know have died. An entire generation is being annihilated.”

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Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.



Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.

Method Media Bermuda will present the documentary FABRIC: Portuguese History in Bermuda on Thursday, December 29 at the Underwater Research Institute of Bermuda.

A spokesperson said: “Method Media is proud to bring Bermuda Fabric: Portugal History to Bermuda for its 5th and 6th showing at the Bermuda Underwater Observatory. In November and December 2019, Cloth: A Portuguese Story in Bermuda had four sold-out screenings. Now that Bermuda has reopened after the pandemic, it’s time to bring the film back for at least two screenings.

“There are tickets For $ 20 – sessions at 15:30 and 18:00. Both screenings will be followed by a short Q&A session.

Director and producer Milton Raboso says, “FABRIC is a definitive account of the Portuguese community in Bermuda and its 151 years of history, but it also places Bermuda, Acors and Portugal in the world history and the events that have fueled those 151 years.

“It took more than 10 years to implement FABRIC. The film was supported by the Minister of Culture, the Government of the Azores and private donors.

Bermuda Media Method [MMB] Created in 2011 by producer Milton Raposo. MMB has created content for a wide range of clients: Bermuda’s new hospital renovation, reinsurance, travel campaigns, international sports and more. MMB pays special attention to artistic, cultural and historical content.

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Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.



Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.

Maestro Filipe Cunha, Artistic Director of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Braga, has been invited to conduct the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra, as announced today.

According to a statement sent by O MINHO, “he will be the first Portuguese conductor to conduct this orchestra in its entire history.”

In addition to this orchestra, the maestro will also work with the Lyceo Mozarteum de la Habana Symphony Orchestra.

The concerts will take place on 4 and 12 March 2023 at the National Theater of Cuba in Havana.

In the words of the maestro, quoted in the statement, “these will be very beautiful concerts with difficult but very complex pieces” and therefore he feels “very motivated”.

From the very beginning, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 will be performed by an Italian pianist (Luigi Borzillo), whom the maestro wants to bring to Portugal later this year. In the same concert, Mendelshon’s First Symphony will be performed.

Then, at the second concert, in the company of the Mexican clarinetist Angel Zedillo, he will perform the Louis Sfora Concerto No. 2. In this concert, the maestro also conducts Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony.

“This is an international recognition of my work. An invitation that I accept with humility and great responsibility. I was surprised to learn that I would be the first Portuguese member of the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. This is a very great honor,” the maestro said in a statement.

“I take with me the name of the city of Braga and Portugal with all the responsibility that goes with it, and I hope to do a good job there, leaving a good image and putting on great concerts. These will be very special concerts because, in addition to performing pieces that I love, especially Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky, I will be directing two wonderful soloists who are also my friends. It will be very beautiful,” concludes Filipe Cunha.

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