An Italian medic prepares for another shift fighting the coronavirus pandemic [Alberto Lingria/Reuters]

One hundred Italian doctors have died after contracting coronavirus since the pandemic reached the Mediterranean country in February, Italy‘s FNOMCeO health association said on Thursday.

“The number of doctors who have died because of COVID-19 is 100 – perhaps even 101 at the moment, unfortunately,” a spokesman for the association told AFP.

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The toll includes retired doctors who the government began calling in a month ago to help fight a virus that has officially claimed a world-topping 17,669 lives in Italy.

Italian media reports estimate that 30 nurses and nursing assistants have also died of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

“We can longer allow our doctors, our

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