An Italian actor who appeared in the TV drama “Gomorrah” has posted a heartbreaking video pleading for help as the body of his sister, who died of the coronavirus, is seen in the background.
Luca Franzese, a mixed martial arts trainer, was trapped in his Naples home with the decaying body of Teresa Franzese, who died of the illness on Saturday.
“I am waiting for the institutions to give me answers since last night. Nobody came forward,” the grief-stricken man said Sunday in the emotional video posted on Facebook.
“This is a very strong video, please don’t show it to children and elderly people. I am forced in all my pain to fight this situation — I have my sister here in bed, dead. I don’t know what to do, I can’t honor her as she deserves because institutions abandoned me,” he said.
“I contacted everyone, but nobody was able to give me an answer,” said Franzese, who was unable to find a funeral home that would bury his sister.
Italy, where all 60 million inhabitants remain under lockdown, has confirmed 827 deaths from the coronavirus and identified more than 12,000 cases.
The 47-year-old woman, who suffered from a form of epilepsy but was otherwise in good health, had developed symptoms of coronavirus just a few days before she died, according to Al Jazeera.
At her brother’s insistence, Teresa was tested for the virus after she died and confirmed to have been infected, the news outlet reported.
Franzese said health officials refused to test him because they said they first had to know whether she was infected.
“I self-isolated myself. Today I could go anywhere to spread the virus if I have it because I gave my sister a mouth-to-mouth to keep her alive and no one cared,” he said.
“Guys, we are ruined, Italy abandoned us, let’s support each other. I beg you to spread this video everywhere — make it go viral,” he added. “This is my sister, can you see her? She’s in bed, since yesterday.”
The video — which has been viewed almost 10 million times — prompted a local politician to intervene and succeed in finding a funeral home for the family.
“It was surreal,” said Pasquale Pernice, who works at the Aprea Funeral Home, according to Al Jazeera.