Almost 8,000 doctors volunteer for Italy's Coronavirus task force

Coronavirus: Italian government overwhelmed by response to its appeal for doctors.

The Italian government has been left astounded by the response to its "extraordinary appeal" to create a task force of 300 doctors to help its embattled hospitals cope with the Coronavirus in the north of the country, reports Italian newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano.

A staggering 7,923 doctors answered the call, a response hailed as "an act of love and pride for our country" by Italy's minister for regional affairs Francesco Boccia, with Italian premier Giuseppe Conte describing the doctors as "heroes in white coats."

The government's appeal was a response to the "cry of alarm" launched by the hospitals in Italy's regions and provinces most affected by the Coronavirus pandemic, "where doctors, nurses and volunteers are working tirelessly in difficult conditions to assist the sick", said Conte.

The prime minister described the surge of interest by doctors as "a strong sign of solidarity and a spirit of service which once again testifies to the extraordinary courage of the national community."

"In such a difficult moment, this is yet another generous response that all of us Italians can be proud of."

A total of 19 doctors have died in the Coronavirus emergency, reports Italian news agency ANSA.