The Samaritan’s Purse DC-8 aircraft arrived March 17 in Milan, Italy, and our 32-member disaster response team is already preparing the Emergency Field Hospital to provide medical care during the coronavirus pandemic.DONATE
Our 68-bed respiratory unit is being set up in the Cremona Hospital parking lot to help care for an overflow of coronavirus patients. Samaritan’s Purse staff are working with the Italian Air Force and Lombardy Region Civil Protection Volunteers to unload the 20 tonnes of medical equipment transported by the DC-8 and to prepare the respiratory unit to receive patients.
Cremona Hospital has been forced to suspend all medical care except for maternity and paediatrics due to the overwhelming numbers of people suffering from this terrible disease. To date, no patients in the hospital’s intensive care unit have survived COVID-19.
The city of Cremona sits outside of Milan in the Lombardy region, an area reporting over 17,000 cases and nearly 2,000 deaths due to coronavirus–the highest death toll in Italy. There are more people needing intensive care in Lombardy than there are ICU beds available. Hundreds have died each day for the past several days.
Italy as a nation is now the epicentre of this coronavirus pandemic and is dealing with a staggering 35,000 reported cases, with over 4,000 noted just in the past 24 hours. Sadly, close to 3,000 Italians have died from the disease.
The country is now facing the largest number of cases reported in the world, second only to China. It also has the largest elderly population in Europe, and senior adults are among the most susceptible to COVID-19.
Samaritan’s Purse disaster relief personnel, including doctors and nurses, will stay in Italy for at least a month. They are ready to provide excellent, compassionate care in Jesus’ Name to those in desperate need.
In addition, our staff is working alongside local evangelical churches and chaplains to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Please continue to pray for our medical team and for those patients who are suffering from COVID-19.
Our infectious disease experts have been working in coordination with the World Health Organisation and Centres for Disease Control and Prevention to ensure our teams are taking necessary precautions.
Worldwide, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 has surpassed 200,000. The death toll is over 8,000, including more than 100 people who have died in the United States.
Read an earlier article about the airlift to Italy.