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Matteo Salvini urges support for health workers. Twitter
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Salvini condemns Italian PM’s slow response to Coronavirus crisis

The leader of the League held a press conference to take stock of the Coronavirus crisis: "The problem is not with the red zones but with the whole territory." Italy now has three times the number of infected cases compared to Hong Kong.

Published: February 26, 2020, 6:37 am

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    Matteo Salvini held a press conference at the Senate to address the coronavirus emergency. He rattled off some figures that reveal the gravity of the situation. “The tourism sector alone saw a 80 percent decline.” And he announced that the estimates calculated by the League would require “ten billion” euros in support of families and businesses.

    Referring to Prime Minister Conte, who spoke of some “errors in hospital protocols” that caused the spread of the virus, Salvini pointed out: “Some blamed operators, doctors, nurses, and managers in an unpleasant way. Since the beginning of the crisis we have been working on the health front, with mayors, local doctors, operators and nurses who are doing a great job.”

    Salvini went on to say that the League has prepared “a decalogue that we will make available to the government, because despite the unpleasant attitude of someone looking for enemies in other people’s homes, it is a time when the population is asking us for proposals. They will be handed over to the government and I personally I will deliver them by phone. We hope that the government will not quarantine the proposals of the League”.

    The former Interior Minister also responded to the accusations of Prime Minister Conte, who had said that he had contacted Salvini without ever receiving any reply: “Just call, or send a Whatsapp, to the right number…”

    Shortly before, Salvini on Facebook had expressed his solidarity with those who are committed to the fight against Coronavirus: “A big hug of solidarity and all our support for doctors, nurses, health workers, volunteers, law enforcement and all governors, regional administrators and mayors who are working tirelessly to contain and combat the virus emergency.”

    And he has singled out those who “without any gratitude and to wash their conscience, want to deflect blame and responsibility” while some 100 000 suspected cases remain under an effective quarantine.

    Prime Miniser Giuseppe Conte’s reputation has come under fire and his popularity is slipping despite the new measures his government has put in place to contain the contagion in the coming days.

    This comes after Conte admitted that a hospital in Lombardy inadvertently helped spread the virus by not adhering to certain health-care protocols. Conte has blamed the hospital for the outbreak, raising questions about whether “the European nation is capable of containing the outbreak,” according to CNN.

    “That certainly contributed to the spread,” Conte said, but he did not name hospital concerned. The infection has been centered around the town of Codogno, south of Milan. “Obviously we cannot predict the progress of the virus. It is clear that there has been an outbreak and it has spread from there,” Conte told reporters.

    On Monday, a team of health experts from the World Health Organization and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control arrived in Italy to assist local authorities.

    China has registered around 80 000 cases, South Korea is approaching a thousand, and the figures will probably increase. In third place is Italy, which has already overtaken Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong.

    The European country with the most infected, excluding Italy, is Germany with 16 cases. The virus has ignored Brexit, as the United Kingdom counts 13, followed by France with 12 cases and one death (a Chinese tourist).

    At this point it is legitimate to ask how the other European countries have managed to avoid the health emergency. Many, by the way, have not even imposed air blocks, contrary to Italy.

    As La Verità newspaper pointed out, without stopping flights, Paris has managed to stem contagion and limit damage to a minimum. Beyond the Alps, the password is prevention. Sensing that the Italian situation would get worse and worse, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe held a summit with the Interior Minister Christophe Castaner, that of Defense, Florence Parly, and that of Health, Olivier Véran. On that occasion, the strategy to be implemented to combat, or at least contain, the Coronavirus, was discussed.

    Paris has imposed quarantine for all people who have returned from the former Middle Empire, but flights to and from China were not blocked. Rome instead blocked flights from China but acted with complete carelessness about the passengers who, although arriving from the area of origin of the Coronavirus, returned to Italy through other routes.

    The French government has been able to limit the infections by cordoning off buildings or holiday villages with 200 people isolated in a holiday village of Carry-Le-Rouet, near Marseille; another 60, returned from Wuhan, were isolated in Branville, Normandy, in a holiday facility.

    Also, in Contamine-Montjoie, in a ski resort where a British tourist from Singapore had contracted Covid-19, the resort was closed off.

    There were other precautions taken too by the French: the government invited parents who have been on vacation in Northern Italy, China or other areas affected by the virus to keep their children at home for 14 days.

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    • LuciusAnnaeusSeneca

      Excellent comments by Salvini. Despite the government’s effort to deflect responsibility, it still bears the brunt of blame for what is now happening in Italy. The government, after all, is responsible for immigration and border control policy. But it has slavishly adhered to the EU’s diktats on mass migration and open borders. Thus the Italian government is responsible for letting the Corona virus into the country, regardless of what was done about it in any particular hospital. How else did it get there?

      The Italian government, by its actions in this crisis, has clearly put the EU agenda of mass migration and open borders over the safety and security of the Italian public. It clearly bears the responsibility for the arrival of the Corona virus in Italy. And let us hope the Italian voters remember that in upcoming elections later this year, and later.

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