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‘We are collapsing’: Virus pummels medics in Spain and Italy

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FILE, in this Wednesday, March 18, 2020 file photo, medical workers wearing face masks gesture from hospital La Paz in Madrid, Spain. The coronavirus is winning a war of attrition waged against health care workers throughout the world but more so in Spain, where necessary equipment to shield them from contagion and enough testing kits for the new virus have been lacking for weeks. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez, File) MADRID – By the time Patricia Núñez’s cough started, she was already familiar with the dreaded dry hacking sound tormenting patients who had for weeks been filling the Madrid emergency ward where she works.

“We were fed up of hearing it at the hospital, so it was just a matter of time before I would contract it,” said Núñez, a 32-year-old nurse who tested positive for the new coronavirus about a week ago.

Speaking via video call from her home, Núñez said she is eager to recover, so she can relieve overworked colleagues dealing with a rising wave of patients and dwindling numbers of healthy nurses and doctors.

“The worst thing is that you need to stay at home, worried about infecting relatives, while knowing that you are dearly needed at work,” she told The Associated Press.

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The coronavirus is waging a war of attrition against health care workers throughout the world, but nowhere is it winning more battles at the moment than in Italy and in Spain, where protective equipment and tests have […]

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