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Doctor’s heartbreaking goodbye to wife as she is moved to coronavirus isolation

A doctor posted a heartbreaking selfie with his wife as he said goodbye to her before she was moved to a coronavirus isolation ward.

The photo shows mum-of-four and Delta flight attendant Michelle Atallah wearing a face mask as she lay in the foetal position on a stretcher at a hospital in Orlando, Florida.

Fighting back tears, her devastated husband, Dr Sam Atallah, is dressed in his medical scrubs and covering his face with a mask as he stands a few feet away from her.

Mrs Atallah was diagnosed just days before the couple's 21st wedding anniversary.

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Dr Atallah, described as one of the most well-known colorectal surgeons in the world, posted the selfie on Twitter, where it has been retweeted more than 40,000 times.

He wrote: "My wife: on a stretcher just before being transferred to the #COVID19 isolation ward.

"Me: holding back tears.

"Get well soon so we can celebrate our 21st wedding anniversary Friday.

"Prayers."

The US is rapidly becoming the new epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic with almost 165,000 confirmed infections - the most in the world - as of Tuesday morning.

At least 3,170 people have died in America, the fourth highest death toll in the world behind Italy, Spain and China.

Nearly 5,500 people have tested positive in Florida for Covid-19, the highly infectious respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus, including more than 60 who have died.

Monday was the deadliest day in the US as almost 550 new deaths were reported.

The worst-affected area has been New York City, where hospitals have been overrun by patients suffering from Covid-19.

To ease the pressure in New York, construction of a 68-bed field hospital began on Sunday in Manhattan's Central Park.

The white tents being set up evoked a wartime feel in an island of green typically used by New Yorkers to exercise, picnic and enjoy the first signs of spring.

The facility is expected to begin accepting patients on Tuesday.

In California, another hard-hit state, Governor Gavin Newsom said the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations had nearly doubled over the past four days and the number of ICU patients had tripled.

Amid mounting criticism of Donald Trump's handling of the crisis, officials in states hard hit by the pandemic have pleaded with the administration and manufacturers to speed up production of ventilators to cope with a surge in patients struggling to breathe.



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