Italian Actor Pleads for Help in Video Showing Deceased Sister

March 12, 2020 Updated: March 12, 2020
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Luca Franzese, an Italian actor, posted a video on social media claiming that he needs help after his sister died of the novel coronavirus, apparently showing footage of her body inside a home.

Franzese, a mixed martial arts trainer who appeared in “Gomorrah,” said in a video he is trapped in his Naples home with his sister, Teresa Franzese, who died of the virus, which causes the disease COVID-19, over the weekend.

“I have my sister in bed, dead, I don’t know what to do,” he said in the video, according to a translation provided by news outlets. “I cannot give her the honor she deserves because the institutions have abandoned me. I contacted everyone, but nobody was able to give me an answer.”

Franzese added in the video that his sister also suffered from epilepsy but was in good health before she contracted the virus. It wasn’t until his sister’s death that Italian officials confirmed that she had contracted the virus, and after the case was confirmed, he and his family were quarantined for 36 hours, he asserted.

milan station italy coronavirus
A woman, wearing a face mask, pulls a trolley at Milan’s Central Station in Milan, Italy, on March 8, 2020. (Emanuele Cremaschi/Getty Images)

“I am making this video for the good of Italy, for the good of Naples. My sister died last night, probably because of the virus, and I’ve been waiting for answers since last night,” Franzese said in the clip, reported Al Jazeera.

“I had to force them to come and do the test. I’ve had to put myself in self-isolation. I might have the virus. To keep my sister alive, I tried to give her mouth to mouth resuscitation and no one cared, no one is calling me. We are ruined, Italy has abandoned us,” he added. “But we must give each other strength.”

A local official confirmed the actor’s claims.

“It was the first case in Italy in which a person with the virus dies at home, so there was some confusion on what to do,” Francesco Emilio Borrelli, a councilor and member of the Regional Health Commission for Campania, told Al Jazeera.

He added, “The family [exemplifies] altruism, they are doing everything they can to protect their community, and the community is staying close to them by bringing food.”

The family has been closed off for four days, Borrelli noted, and said that no one has been taking away their garbage. He didn’t elaborate further.

“It’s getting unhygienic and we don’t know what to do about it. Someone needs to help them,” he said.

So far, Italy is the worst-affected country outside of mainland China. More than 12,000 cases and 800 deaths have been confirmed, health officials confirmed on Wednesday evening.

The virus emerged in mainland China in 2019, sickening tens of thousands of people in the country. Symptoms include shortness of breath, respiratory issues, a fever, and eventually, it can cause pneumonia.