Italian officials demand health minister Nadine Dorries delete 'fake news' about coronavirus patients
Nadine Dorries was the first MP to confirm she had contracted the illness
Italian embassy officials have demanded health minister Nadine Dorries delete "fake news" tweets about the country's treatment of coronavirus patients.
The junior health minister, who was the first MP in the UK to be diagnosed with the virus, claimed Italian doctors had stopped intubating patients over the age of 60 who were suffering from the illness.
But the Italian Embassy in the UK fired back at the claim, urging the Tory MP to "deny it immediately" as they insisted medics were working to save "all" human lives.
It comes as Italian hopsitals battle to control the outbreak of the virus, with the country now reporting 3,405 deaths - the highest number of fatalities in the world.
Responding to a news report on the situation within the country, Ms Dorries said: "Sobering @itvnews. Italy has stopped intubating patients over 60. All ICU patients on ventilators are below 60 and not one has been weaned back off to breathe independently.
"We must follow the advice on social distancing if we are to crack this coronavirus."
But in a response, the embassy tweeted: "Nadine Dorries this is Fake News. We urge you to deny it immediately. Italian Health System staff have been working round the clock to save 'all' human lives."
The Tory MP has now deleted the tweet, but has yet to respond to the request to publicly deny the claim.
On 11 March, Ms Dorries revealed she was in self-isolation following a positive test for Covid-19, with her mother also later contracting the illness.
Since her diagnosis, a further two MPs, Labour's Kate Osborne and Lloyd Russell-Moyle have tested positive for the disease.
Speaking to the Sunday Times, Ms Dorries claimed receiving the news was like "iced water trickling down my spine".
The Tory minister said both she and her mother were now recovering well from the virus, but said she had "completely lost" her sense of taste and smell after contracting the illness.