Sunday March 22 2020
Mancini: 'Like a punch to the face'

Italy coach Roberto Mancini has lost friends to the Coronavirus pandemic and admits “the sight of a convoy of military vehicles carrying coffins out of Bergamo was like a punch in the face.”

The situation has not yet even reached its peak, with over 4,000 dead in Italy, at least 3,000 of those in the Lombardy region alone.

“I am worried about my parents, who still live in Jesi, even if they are doing fine,” Mancini told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“My sister called me up to say a childhood friend has died of Coronavirus. He used to play football with me when we were kids. He worked for the Croce Verde charity in Jesi.”

Bergamo was hardest hit by the pandemic, as shown by the fact that since March 18, military trucks have filed out of the town carrying 150 coffins.

They are to be cremated in other cities and regions, because the crematorium in Bergamo is overloaded, despite running 24 hours a day.

“The sight of that convoy of military vehicles filing its way out of Bergamo carrying coffins was like a punch in the face. Nobody was prepared for his Hell on earth. Thinking that people are dying because there aren’t enough intensive care beds is absurd, completely unacceptable.

“Our medics are doing a heroic job and I have absolute faith in them. This is why I am not even considering leaving Italy.”

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