Italy’s coronavirus outbreak sparks ‘a lot of panic

Italy’s coronavirus outbreak sparks ‘a lot of panic


>>Sreenivasan: FOR MORE NOW ON
THE SITUATION IN ITALY, NEWSHOUR
WEEKEND SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
CHRISTOPHER LIVESAY JOINS US NOW
VIA SKYPE FROM ROME.
CHRISTOPHER, YOU WERE JUST
TRAVELING HERE BEFORE THESE
QUARANTINES WENT INTO PLACE.
WHAT IS IT LIKE OUT THERE?
>>WELL, ITALIANS ARE EXTREMELY
NERVOUS.
YOU HAD THIS ANNOUNCEMENT THAT
CAME THROUGH ON OFFICIAL
CHANNELS, THERE WAS A GOVERNMENT
DECREE THAT WENT IN TO LIMIT
TRAVEL.
HOWEVER THAT WAS LEAKED TO THE
ITALIAN PRESS BEFORE IT WAS
SUPPOSED TO BE MADE PUBLIC AND
IT SPARKED A LOT OF PANIC.
YOU HAD A LOT OF ITALIANS IN
MILAN, THAT IS THE INDUSTRIAL
HUB OF THE ECONOMY HERE.
A LOT OF PEOPLE WORK THERE BUT
ARE ACTUALLY ORIGINALLY FROM THE
SOUTH.
SO SOME OF THEM WERE STORMING
TRAIN STATIONS LAST NIGHT
THINKING THAT THIS WAS THE LAST
TRAIN OUT OF TOWN.
MEANWHILE THIS TRAVEL BAN, THIS
QUARANTINE STRETCHES ALL THE WAY
TO PLACES LIKE VENICE.
AND THAT IS A CITY THAT HAS BEEN
REELING FROM HIGH FLOODING THAT
REALLY TANKED ITS TOURISM
ECONOMY.
AND NOW WITH THIS LATEST
QUARANTINE ON TRAVEL, IT IS JUST
TANKING THE TOURIST ECONOMY.
THEY FEAR THEY WILL LOSE MORE
THAN A BILLION DOLLARS.
SO PEOPLE ARE EXTREMELY NERVOUS,
HARI.
>>Sreenivasan: WHAT ABOUT FOR
THEIR HEALTH, ARE PEOPLE HEEDING
THE WARNINGS?
ARE THEY KEEPING A SOCIAL
DISTANCE, WASHING THEIR HANDS?
DO YOU SEE PEOPLE AWARE OF THIS?
>>I SAW ITALIANS TAKING THIS IN
STRIDE WHEN THE OUTBREAK FIRST
BEGAN, OR AT LEAST WHEN IT WAS
FIRST SPOTTED ON FEBRUARY 21.
THERE WAS A LOT OF SKEPTICISM.
ITALIANS TEND TO BE RATHER
CYNICAL.
SO THEY DIDN’T NECESSARILY TRUST
THE GOVERNMENT WHEN IT WAS
MAKING THESE WARNINGS.
THAT IS CHANGING NOW, ESPECIALLY
BECAUSE IN LOMBARDI, THE REGION
AROUND MILAN, YOU HAD 113 PEOPLE
DIE IN THE LAST 24 HOURS ALONE.
AND SO WITH THIS SPIKE, PEOPLE
SEEM TO BE CATCHING ON AND
REALIZING THAT THIS IS NOT
SOMETHING TO JUST JOKE AROUND
WITH.
THAT IS A REALLY HARD
ADJUSTMENT FOR ITALIANS WHEN YOU
CONSIDER HOW AFFECTIONATE
ITALIANS ARE.
WHEN THEY SEE FRIENDS, AND
SOMETIMES EVEN STRANGERS,
THEY’RE QUICK TO KISS EACH
OTHER ON THE CHEEK AND SHAKING
HANDS IS DEFINITELY NORMAL.
SO TO NOT BE AFFECTIONATE WHEN
GREETING PEOPLE, IT JUST GOES
AGAINST EVERYTHING THAT MAKES
SOMEBODY ITALIAN.
BUT THERE IS GOING TO HAVE TO BE
SOME MAJOR LIFESTYLE CHANGE.
YOU HAVE THE PRESIDENT, YOU HAVE
THE HEALTH MINISTER, LOCAL
AUTHORITIES ARE CONSTANTLY
TELLING ITALIANS, WE HAVE TO BE
VERY CAREFUL, MAINTAIN ONE METER
DISTANCE APART BETWEEN EACH
OTHER AT ALL TIMES.
>>Sreenivasan: THIS IS A
WEEKEND WHEN THIS QUARANTINE
WENT INTO EFFECT.
HOW ARE THEY PLANNING TO
IMPLEMENT IT, LET’S SAY, MONDAY
MORNING?
PEOPLE WAKE UP, DO THEY GET TO
THEIR JOBS?
DOES TRADE SLOW DOWN?
HOW DO THEY GET GROCERIES?
>>TRADE IS GOING TO SLOW
DOWN,THAT’S FOR SURE.
IT IS TO BE DETERMINED HOW MUCH
THAT IS GOING TO BE.
THE GOVERNMENT HAS ALREADY
ANTICIPATED THAT ITALY ALONE WAS
GOING TO LOSE MORE THAN 8
BILLION DOLLARS.
BUT THAT WAS BEFORE THIS MASSIVE
QUARANTINE WENT INTO PLACE.
AND SO IT’S REALLY TOO SOON TO
PREDICT WHAT KIND OF AN IMPACT
THIS IS GOING TO HAVE ON THE
ECONOMY.
NOW, THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO BE
ALLOWING LOCAL COMMUTING, SO
LOCAL COMMUTER TRAINS AND CARS
WITHIN THIS QUARANTINE AREA ARE
SUPPOSED TO BE ABLE TO
CIRCULATE.
HOWEVER, IF YOU WANT TO GO IN OR
OUT OF THIS QUARANTINE ZONE,
YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE STOPPED BY
POLICE.
THERE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE CHECK
POINTS SET UP.
BUT THIS IS A REALLY BIG AREA.
I MEAN, IT COVERS ABOUT A
QUARTER OF THE ITALIAN
POPULATION IS LOCATED UP HERE.
IT’S RATHER SPRAWLING, AND WE’RE
TALKING ABOUT A LIBERAL
DEMOCRACY HERE THAT HASN’T
IMPOSED THESE TYPES OF TRAVEL
RESTRICTIONS AT THIS SCALE SINCE
WORLD WAR II.
IT’S A LIBERAL DEMOCRACY THAT’S
KNOWN FOR HAVING, YOU KNOW,
RELATIVELY, FREE SPIRITED SOME
WOULD SAY, UNRULY PEOPLE LIVING
HERE.
IT’S A LOT DIFFERENT THAN CHINA
WHICH IS MUCH MORE
AUTHORITARIAN.
AND WHERE WE SAW THEM ABLE TO
SHUT DOWN ENTIRE CITIES WITH
MILLIONS OF PEOPLE, I DON’T WANT
TO SAY EASILY, BUT THEY WERE
ABLE TO DO IT WITH A LEVEL OF
EFFECIENCY THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE
ARE– ARE DUBIOUS ABOUT ITALY
BEING ABLE TO REPLICATE.
>>Sreenivasan: CHRIS, HERE IN
THE U.S. THERE’S A BIG
CONVERSATION RIGHT NOW ABOUT
TESTING KITS AND THE PROGRESS
THE U.S. GOVERNMENT IS MAKING ON
GETTING THOSE OUT THERE.
WHAT HAS THE RESPONSE BEEN LIKE
FROM THE ITALIAN GOVERNMENT IN
FIGURING OUT WHO HAS THIS AND
WHO DOESN’T?
>>ITALY HAS BEEN VERY
AGRESSIVE, HARI, IN TRYING TO
DIAGNOSE THIS OUTBREAK, DIAGNOSE
PEOPLE WHO MIGHT HAVE
CORONAVIRUS.
IN THE FIRST WEEK OF DETECTION
BACK IN LATE FEBRUARY THE
GOVERNMENT MADE SURE THAT MORE
THAN 3,000 PEOPLE WERE TESTED.
NOW TODAY THEY’VE GOT CLOSE TO
50,000 PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN
TESTED.
THEY’VE LED EUROPE IN THE FIGHT
TO DETECT HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE
IT.
SO THE QUESTION SURROUNDING THIS
OUTBREAK, YOU KNOW, THERE’S A
HIGH NUBMER OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE
IT, BUT THERE’S ANOTHER QUESTION
OF IS IT JUST A MATTER OF
DETECTION, BECAUSE ITALY HAS
BEEN SO, SO AGRESSIVE.
IN FACT, THE WORLD HEALTH
ORGANIZATION SAID JUST YESTERDAY
THAT ITALY IS A MODEL THAT THE
REST OF THE WORLD SHOULD BE
FOLLOWING WHEN IT COMES TO
DETECTING AND ATTACKING THE
CORONAVIRUS.
>>Sreenivasan: ALL RIGHT.
CHRIS LIVESAY JOINING US TONIGHT
VIA SKYPE FROM ITALY.
THANKS SO MUCH.
>>THANKS, HARI.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,