Italian Dr. Appeals to Lebanese People: ’Eat Bread and Olives, But Do Not Go Out’
By Maysaa Mkaddem
Beirut – Italy currently has the highest death toll from COVID-19, registering more than 15,000 fatalities. As the world struggles to escape the corona disaster and its repercussions on all levels, doctors stand as brave officers in this battle armed with human values for which they are fighting.
Doctor Roberto Pitertiki is one of these doctors. Since the start of the crisis, he has been examining patients infected with the virus in northern Italy.
"The situation here is so tragic. It is indescribable," Dr. Roberto tells Al-Ahed. One of the reasons that contributed to the severity of the crisis is that "the country was not prepared, and the people here did not take precautions."
When it comes to prevention and the availability of protective equipment, he says "preventive measures were in place since the beginning of the crisis.”
“But today things are completely out of control due to the number of the cases. Therefore, prevention is not possible. There is also shortage in medical devices and equipment. In light of the very bad situation, I expect that Italy will continue to be gripped by this crisis for another 4 to 5 months."
The doctor, born to a Lebanese mother, loves Lebanon. However, he refuses to return to Lebanon in the event that he is allowed to do so under these circumstances. He is after all on a "humanitarian mission.”
“I have patients to follow up on. I cannot abandon them during this ordeal. But after this crisis passes, I will be eager to visit Lebanon," he adds.
A few days ago, Dr. Roberto was infected with the coronavirus. However, he continues to fully pursue his humanitarian and professional tasks while in his hospital clinic. He treats himself and follows up on his patients. The Italian doctor talks about six of his colleagues who died as a result of the virus with a lump in his throat.
From corona-hit Italy, Dr. Roberto uses al-Ahed website to appeal to the Lebanese people. “Stay home. Do not go out. It is not time for walks, socializing, or entertainment. The situation is dangerous, and it is not a game. Eat bread and olives but do not go out.”
Pitertiki praises the measures taken by the Lebanese government in terms of early preparations and the strict measures, which were not adopted by many developed countries in the world.
As for his loved ones and many of his Twitter followers, he sends his love, greetings, and thanks for their prayers, reassuring them that he is recovering from the malicious virus.