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MMA trainer posts video of sister who died from coronavirus

Luca Franzese, a mixed martial arts trainer, in Naples, Italy posted a heartbreaking video pleading for help as the body of his sister, who died of the coronavirus.

Teresa Franzese, 47, died of the illness on Saturday, but because of the country’s quarantine, her body was not recovered and Luca remained in harm’s way of the contagious virus that is sweeping the globe.  The story is one of many that are overtaking the area as tens of thousands of people are impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

“I am waiting for the institutions to give me answers since last night. Nobody came forward,” he said on Sunday.

“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.

The 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.

Francesco Emilio Borrelli, a member of the Regional Health Commission for Campania, told Al Jazeera that the woman’s death was the first case in the country in which a person with coronavirus died at home, “so there was some confusion on what to do.”

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, but not until days later.

“I self-isolated myself,” Franzese said. “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.

Franzese is an Italian actor who appeared in the TV drama “Gomorrah.”

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