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New York's Top Doctor Commits Suicide After Battling COVID-19 On The Frontline

Dr Lorna Breen, the medical director of the emergency department at New York-Presbyterian Allen Hospital, succumbed to self-inflicted injuries on April 26.

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A top Emergency Room doctor from the United States allegedly committed suicide after battling the coronavirus pandemic from the frontline. Dr Lorna Breen, the medical director of the emergency department at NewYork-Presbyterian Allen Hospital, succumbed to self-inflicted injuries in Charlottesville on April 26, said the police.

Charlottesville Police Department responded to a medical assistance call on April 26 and Dr Breen was taken to UVA Hospital for treatment where breathed her last. Chief of Police, RaShall Brackney, said in a statement that frontline healthcare professionals and first responders are not immune to the mental or physical effects of the current pandemic.

 "On a daily basis, these professionals operate under the most stressful of circumstances, and the Coronavirus has introduced additional stressors,” said Brackney.

Read: US Health Agency Adds Six New Coronavirus Symptoms To Its List

Dr Breen’s father reportedly said that his daughter had contracted COVID-19 but she went to work after recovering from it. However, the 49-year-old was sent back home, and her family finally brought her Charlottesville. According to media reports, Dr Breen had no history of medical illness but she seemed detached after witnessing devastating scenes in the hospital owing to the pandemic.

"Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) can reduce the likelihood of being infected, but what they cannot protect heroes like Dr Lorna Breen, or our first responders against is the emotional and mental devastation caused by this disease," added Brackney.

Read: World Day For Safety And Health At Work: UN Salutes 'heroic Efforts' Of Frontline Workers

US hardest-hit

According to the latest report, over three million coronavirus cases have been confirmed worldwide with over 212,000 deaths, overwhelming the health care facilities across the globe. The United States, Italy, Spain and France are the worst-hit countries due to the pandemic with around 62 per cent of death toll reported from these four countries alone. 

The numbers get more sombre for the US as it has reported over a million cases, one-third of the worldwide cases, and nearly 57,000 deaths due to the infectious disease. Within the United States, New York has reported almost one-third of the nationwide coronavirus cases and almost one-tenth of the worldwide cases.

Read: COVID-19: WHO Chief Says UN Agency Has 'no Power Or Force To Reinforce Its Advice'

Read: Trump Says 'can't Imagine Why' US Witnessed Surge In Calls Regarding Disinfectant

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