Medical workers suffering face mask lesions get global praise

Dr Nicola Sgarbi's face was notably wounded after 12 hours working in the ICU, treating COVID-19 patients under protective suits, at a civil hospital in Modena, Italy.

Sgarbi took a selfie with his face mask off after a long work day that ended at 8 p.m. The photo shown below soon received over 240,000 likes and 70,000 comments on Facebook and Reddit.

Not a big fan of photo taking, Sgarbi said he wanted to save the moment for his one-year-old daughter.

"When she will have grown up, I will be telling her about this moment."

Photo of Dr Nicola Sgarbi. /Internet

Photo of Dr Nicola Sgarbi. /Internet

Italy has confirmed over 168,000 coronavirus cases and some 22,000 deaths as of Wednesday. The total number of COVID-19 patients worldwide is over 2 million. Since many have stayed home to keep away from the virus, medical workers have bravely taken their responsibilities at the front line.

Photos of wounded medical workers behind protective gear have circulated around the internet. The world praised them as "real supermen" amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

Alessia Bonari also shared a selfie with her mask off after using the protective equipment during a long work shift at an Italian hospital.

The post of Alessia Bonari. /Internet

The post of Alessia Bonari. /Internet

Those committed to fighting on the front lines are also worried about getting infected.

"We are so exhausted. We couldn't go to the toilet for six hours after wearing the protective suits. But I'm proud of my job," Bonari wrote on Instagram. "Please stay at home and protect people around you. We are trying our best and please follow the rules and stay safe."

Netizens in China said these scenarios bear a striking resemblance as similar photos were seen when COVID-19 swept the country in February.

The photo of Liu Li. /Internet

The photo of Liu Li. /Internet

Liu Li, a medical staff member from a military hospital, was dispatched to Wuhan on the eve of Chinese New Year. The surgeon mask has left a deep imprint on her face.

On Friday, the hashtag "Italian doctor has wounded face" has garnered 19 million views on Weibo, one of China's most popular social media platforms.

"When I saw Dr Nicola Sgarbi's photo, I actually felt so relieved. It shows medical workers are well protected with enough medical supplies," user @333_Shan_0126 commented.

"Medical workers are not supermen but they are protecting us!" @Liutingsuda, another user said.

Netizen @Xianzhi said about the fight against the virus: "We see the same spirit in different countries!"