Coronavirus: The costly mistakes we made in Italy – Italian Analyst

Exactly one month ago Italy found its first case of coronavirus. I’ll tell you what happened in only one month. I hope you can learn from our mistakes.

Coronavirus in Italy
A hospital where patients with coronavirus are being treated

1. In the first two weeks, only 11 towns were locked down. At this stage there were only a few dead a day. Politicians and epidemiologists were fighting on TV. It’s just a flu. No, it’s not just a flu.

2. At the end of the second week, it became clear that the virus had spread across several regions in northern Italy. The dead toll touched 50 a day. The Italian government tried to lock down the whole Lombardy plus several provinces.

But the right-wing populists had the brilliant idea to pass to the media a draft of the law, before it became active. People panicked and tried to leave Lombardy before it became red zone.

3. Just three days after, the death toll jumped from 50 to 200 a day. A few cases started appearing outside the red zone. The prime minister Conte suddenly announced the total lockdown of Italy.

4. The fourth week, the health system collapsed in some towns in Northern Italy. In Bergamo, you have to wait 7 hours for an ambulance. 87 per cent of people die in their homes, because they don’t make it to the hospital.

Hospitals are extra-full, there is no space even for the dead. I’m not exaggerating. The military had to come and take the dead away with the trucks.

Coronavirus: The costly mistakes we made in Italy
Coronavirus: The costly mistakes we made in Italy – Valero Capraro

5. In the meantime, a lot of people started getting sick in the south of Italy. Today came out a statistics showing that many of these people are the parents and the relatives of those who fled Lombardy the night before the Lombardy lockdown, exactly two weeks ago.

6. Today is one month. And we had a new record of 627 dead in one day(20th March). Yesterday it was 487 (19th March). Also: one supermarket had to close because an employee got sick and in this case one has to close the whole supermarket. This is really bad if starts happening at a large scale. No food.

The message is clear. It’s not just a flu. Stay at home. Don’t let the virus spread exponentially. A small sacrifice today for a huge benefit tomorrow.

In the past 24 hours, Italy recorded 793 deaths, meaning 4,825 people there have now died from coronavirus, according to the Italian authorities. That’s an almost 20 percent increase on the day before, and is the biggest one-day spike since the outbreak began. A least 53,578 have contracted the virus in Italy.

Valero Capraro

(Senior Lecturer)

Featured Image: Reuters


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