Italy’s Coronavirus Struggle

Italy is having hard times to fight against the new type of coronavirus

When the new type of coronavirus first appeared in Italy, the people couldn’t distinguish it from the seasonal flu at first. A state of emergency was first declared in the country on January 31, 2020. On March 8, 2020, the Cabinet Decision was about to be announced. Strict quarantine measures were going to be applied in Lombardy, which was the starting point of the crisis in Italy. But this news leaked to the press on March 7, 2020. Then, everyone living in this region with a place to stay in the south of Italy rushed there. And it was just like jumping out of the frying pan into the fire. Hence, if we look at the latest statistics, we can see how rapidly the virus spread in the south of the country. But we should also consider the demographic structure here. To sum up, the elderly population at the starting point of the crisis and Italy’s late response to the crisis compared to China, unfortunately, resulted in many casualties.

I also want to talk about our observations on the measures taken around the country. Italy announced a 30-item program. The program ensured companies in specific regions to suspend their mortgage payments for 12 months, and request a delay for taxes and social security contributions in some situations. Moreover, the Government signed a “security protocol in workplaces” with unions and businesses on March 14, 2020. With this protocol, it was anticipated that the health and security of the employees would be under maximum protection. Additionally, the Government plans to gradually use 1.4% of Italy’s gross domestic product for the pandemic. And this corresponds to a total of 25 billion euros.

Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to Italy Murat Salim Esenli

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