Italian Medical Chief Roberto Stella Dies of Coronavirus at 67

Roberto Stella was the president of the Medical Guild of Varese

Photo: Jane Barlow - WPA Pool/Gett

The president of the Medical Guild of Varese, Roberto Stella, has died of coronavirus. He was 67.

Stella died on Tuesday in Como, Italy, after being hospitalized following his coronavirus diagnosis, CNN and ABC News reported, citing a local Italian outlet.

The Italian medical chief was hospitalized for respiratory failure, stemming from the disease, CNN reported.

Italy’s National Federation of Doctors and General Practitioners issued a statement following the news mourning Stella’s death.

“He was the example of the capability and hard work of family doctors. His death represents the outcry of all colleagues who still today are not equipped with the proper individual protection needed,” the federation’s secretary Silvestro Scotti told CNN.

Italy has a reported 12,462 cases of coronavirus and at least 827 deaths, ABC News reported.

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As the virus continues to spread, Italy has enforced a nationwide lockdown and Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced that bars, restaurants, salons and other business will close, BBC reported.

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump announced a ban on travel for many people from much of Europe in response to the outbreak.

“To keep new cases from entering our shores, we will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days,” Trump said addressing the U.S. from the Oval Office on Wednesday.

The new rule will go into effect Friday at midnight, Trump said.

“These restrictions will be adjusted subject to conditions on the ground. There will be exemptions for Americans who have undergone appropriate screenings,” Trump said.

Trump added that the restrictions will not apply to the United Kingdom. The travel restrictions will also not apply to legal permanent residents and immediate family members of U.S. citizens.

In a statement on Thursday, the European Union reportedly slammed Trump’s decision, saying in part: “The European Union disapproves of the fact that the U.S. decision to impose a travel ban was taken unilaterally and without consultation. … the [Trump] administration did not consult with European allies before POTUS’ announcement. And on the U.K.’s being excluded — European officials express responses ranging from curiosity to horror.”

As of Thursday, there are now at least 1,289 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States, PEOPLE previously reported.

Thirty-seven people in the U.S. have died from coronavirus-related illness, mostly in Washington state.

Jane Barlow - WPA Pool/Gett

The majority of U.S. cases are in Washington state, California and New York, and all three have declared a state of emergency to redirect funding.

Worldwide, there are now 129,918 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 4,711 deaths.

The first cases of a mysterious respiratory illness — what is now known as COVID-2019, a form of coronavirus — began in Wuhan, China in late December. Since then, the virus has spread worldwide, leading the World Health Organization to declare a public health emergency, the first since the zika epidemic in 2016.

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