The tragic death of Italian doctor, Marcello Natali, who died after being exposed to the deadly coronavirus (COVID 19) after working tirelessly treating patients without gloves due to shortage of medical supplies is being hailed a hero.

His death also exposed the risk that Italian health workers were being forced to take due to the lack of medical facilities. The 57-year-old doctor mere few days before his death in an interview revealed that he had to continue treating patients even though the hospital had run out of gloves.

"They have run out of gloves," Marcell Natali told Euronews in the last interview he gave before testing positive for COVID 19.

Marcello

Doctor Natali died on March 18 after developing double pneumonia. His death was announced by Italy's National Federation of Doctors and General Practitioners announced in a statement.

"We weren't prepared for coronavirus: as doctors of the post-antibiotic era, we grew up thinking that a pill against everything was enough," he said.

Doctor Natali, a father of two, worked at the Codogno hospital, the epicenter of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic in Italy.

"I have no more tears," Silvestro Scotti, head of Italy's National Federation of Doctors and General Practitioners wrote on Facebook, mourning his friend. "You didn't deserve this. We don't deserve this."

Health workers most at risk in Italy

The total number of deaths in Italy has now reached 4,825 as of March 21. Amidst the rising coronavirus cases, figures show an "enormous" level of contagion among the country's medical personnel.

At least 3,500 health workers have been infected by COVID 19 since the onset of the outbreak in February.

What is even more shocking is that compared to Wuhan, which has a higher number of infections and fatalities, the number of health workers getting infected was still lower than in Italy.

According to a report published by Gruppo Italiano per la Medicina Basata sulle Evidenze or GIMBE - Italy's Group for Evidence-based Medicine, over 8.3 percent of total cases were health workers, reported Al Jazeera.

On the other hand, according to the report published in JAMA Network Open, an online medical site from the Journal of the American Medical Association, infected medical workers in China made up 3.8 percent of the total cases, with only five deaths.