Italian mixed martial arts trainer Luca Franzese has posted a distressing video in which he pleads for help as the body of his dead sister lies in the background after she was infected with the coronavirus.
Franzese, who has also appeared as an actor on the popular TV series ‘Gomorrah’, posted a series of videos on social media last weekend in which he appeals for help as the body of his sister Teresa lies in bed behind him.
Teresa Franzese, 47, reportedly died on Saturday after showing symptoms of Covid-19 for several days.
“I am making this video for the good of Italy, for the good of Naples,” a distraught Luca says in the video.
“My sister died last night, probably because of the virus, and I’ve been waiting for answers since last night.
“I had to force them to come and do the test. I’ve had to put myself in self-isolation. I might have the virus.
“To keep my sister alive, I tried to give her mouth to mouth resuscitation and no one cared, no one is calling me.
“We are ruined, Italy has abandoned us. But we must give each other strength.”
The trainer-turned-actor later confirmed that his sister, who had a form of epilepsy, had tested positive for Covid-19.
He said he had been forced to wait for 36 hours with her body at home – where elderly relatives were also staying – as he desperately sought funeral services who would come and take her body away for burial.
Teresa Franzese was reportedly the fourth person to die of the coronavirus in the southern Italian region of Campania, where there have been more than 120 cases of the disease.
Local councillor Francesco Emilio Borrelli said that the confusion over Teresa Franzese’s death came from the fact that she had been the first person to die at home from the virus.
“It was the first case in Italy in which a person with the virus dies at home, so there was some confusion on what to do,” he said, Al Jazeera reported.
“The family [exemplifies] altruism, they are doing everything they can to protect their community, and the community is staying close to them by bringing food.
“Now the big problem is that they have been closed in there for four days, and no one is taking away their trash. It’s getting unhygienic and we don’t know what to do about it. Someone needs to help them.”
A funeral home eventually agreed to come and take the body after Luca Franzese’s was widely shared online.
“It was surreal. We used masks, sterile shoes, hazmat suits, glasses, and gloves. Luca and another relative were there, but other family members were all in another room,” said Pasquale Pernice, an employee at the Aprea Funeral Home service.
Italy has recorded almost 12,500 cases of the coronavirus pandemic, with more than 820 people dying of the disease, making it the worst-hit country outside of China.
The country and its 60 million population have been placed on lockdown, with all bars, restaurants and schools shut, as well as most shops.