Italy Coronavirus: Information epidemic “Infodemic” contributes to public health crisis

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A disinformation campaign on Coronavirus COVID -19 implemented on social sites intervened with official news, creating confusion and damage in the sector of tourist flows, businesses, and the economic field, is giving the world the perception that the whole Italian territory is closed in a ghetto because of the Italy Coronavirus.

Enough of the misinformation that damages Italy and its economy, said Luigi Di Maio, Minister of Foreign Affairs, to delegates of the foreign press in Rome during a press conference together with the Minister of Health, Roberto Speranza, who asked journalists to disseminate the correct data according to the official bulletins and to pass on the message that people can still come to Italy.

The reality is different, said Di Maio, whose data regarding Corona virus COVID-19 infections indicate that the 10 municipalities in isolation in Lombardy affect 0.5% of the Lombard territory (0.04% of the Italian territory) and the Venetian municipality in isolation: Vo ‘Euganeo, 02% of the Veneto territory (0.01% of the Italian territory) – a total 0.05% of the national territory. Quarantined people are 0.089% of the population.

The government wants to be transparent, Di Maio said; embassies in the world and consulates will be informed daily with updated data without minimizing, but should be communicated above all to countries that have suspended flights to Italy or not advised to travel to some regions of Italy.

And on the controversy over a large number of swabs performed, especially at the beginning before it was decided to make them only to symptomatic people, Di Maio made it clear that only 10,000 were made.

Spallanzani’s (hospital) Scientific Director Giuseppe Ippolito said: “The tests were carried out in the maximum precautionary principle; it was a scruple of the regions, but it is an important asset for Italy, a model for doing research and building transmission chains that no other country [is] do[ing].

“The patrimony of these exams will allow having a knowledge of the major phenomenon, a patrimony acquired available to all countries. It is an important milestone as it means being able to extract the virus from the biological sample from which it was taken is the first step to be able to multiply it and study it in detail, for example, to obtain its genetic sequence.

“Starting from this, they can be laboratory fragments useful for preparing drugs and vaccines.

“Furthermore, it turned out that the 2 dying Chinese tourists recovered from Spallanzani; their lives were saved because a therapy was tested on them that was difficult to replicate if the virus spread: they were given the ‘life-saving’ drug the same used to combat AIDS and Ebola, or rather 2, the combination of drugs used to treat precisely the most serious diseases of HIV and not present on the market.

“A drug that can be used only in cases of extreme severity and with specific authorization.”

Italy is not experiencing an outbreak 

“The virus is circulating all over the world,” said Walter Ricciardi, consultant to the Ministry of Health and an Italian member of the Executive Committee of the World Health Organization. “We have taken very rigorous measures. The next 2 weeks will be very important to understand the evolution of the situation.”

Di Maio made an appeal to foreign media, tourists, and entrepreneurs stating, “We have gone from an epidemic risk to an established ‘infodemic’ and at this moment the relationship with the foreign press is very precious.”

The race to apply for economic aid has started

The Italian economy is facing the crisis of tourism, consumption, and the unproductiveness of companies. A document delivered to Minister Franceschini in support of workers and tourism businesses was signed by Fiavet, Federalberghi, Faita, and Fipe, with the participation of Confcommercio and Filcams ‐ Cgil, Fisascat- Cisl and Uiltucs representing 200,000 companies that offer work to 1.5 million people for an added value of tourism activities of around 90 billion euros.

Alitalia also proposed the layoff of over 3,000 employees due to the state of crisis.

Euro-bond viruses are proposed for companies as a sort of purpose euro-bond to finance the response to an existential threat for the entire community of European citizens.

So, in addition to direct healthcare costs, they would serve for the cost of the layoff, for the sickness allowance, for unemployment that will be caused by the inevitable recession in which the European economy will fall during 2020, and also to compensate and help all the companies that relied on sporting and commercial events, travel, and tourism.

A thread of optimism

Milan will see the re-opening of city activities: churches, museums, public places, and schools to revive city life.

The Patriarch of Venice organized a chorus of church bells for the beginning of Lent, March 1, that being a chorus of optimism and joy until the Easter resurrection.