Italian newspapers today expressed the fear of a “nervous breakdown” amid panic about the corona virus when they noticed that “we are now the Chinese.”
Newspaper La Stampa today declared “the most serious emergency in the history of the Republic” when the newspaper’s editor warned of “uncertainty harming the nation.”
Many media have asked why Italy, instead of other European countries, has become the center of the first major outbreak of the West.
Others have warned of excessive panic about the virus and have called on people to “tame” their fear of the disease.
Italy has so far confirmed 370 cases, in which 12 people have died and neighboring countries are making efforts to stop the virus in Europe.
Italian newspapers have today expressed the fear of a ‘nervous breakdown’ amid panic over the outbreak of corona virus in northern Italy (translated screen grip of La Repubblica shown)
People with masks walk in front of the closed Duomo cathedral as they cross a largely deserted square in Milan
The second largest newspaper in Italy, La Repubblica, has a story today with the headline: “Italy at the time of the virus, from the hunt for patient zero to fake news: our country is nervous breakdown”.
Authorities have yet to identify the cause of the outbreak, which surfaced last week when an Italian man fell seriously ill in Codogno in his late 30s.
The Corriere della Sera newspaper was one of many who wondered why Italy of all countries had become the center of viruses in Europe.
“Is prevention from other EU countries better than ours?”, A newspaper in Corriere wondered today.
Comparison of Italy’s predicament with China, which was also avoided by cautious neighbors, began an article in business newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore: “We are the Chinese now.”
An article in Il Giornale suggested that Italy had tested more thoroughly than other countries in a process that would lead to more confirmed cases.
“We searched, not the others,” an expert said.
The crisis in Italy was also attributed to bad luck, where the outbreak began in a hospital full of vulnerable patients.
The Il Messagero newspaper expressed concern about the impact on tourism to Italy, with several countries warning about travel there.
Fearing a ‘tourist KO’, the newspaper said that up to 500,000 foreign visitors might stay away from Italy because of virus fear.
Many media have asked why Italy, instead of other European countries, has become the center of the first major outbreak of the West, while others have warned of excessive panic (screen handles from English editions and translated editions shown)
Other articles urged Italians not to panic about the crisis.
An opinion piece by Mario Ajello in Il Messagero stated that “catastrophism is the first enemy of a large country.”
Another commentary in La Stampa said that “fear hurts more than coronavirus.”
In a separate opinion piece in La Stampa, a writer warned of “collective psychosis” when he colorfully compared the panic with a dystopian opera by Bertolt Brecht that ends with the burning of a city.
The writer, Andrea Malaguti, also asked some measures from the Italian government and asked why football games were canceled but basketball games go on.
He also doubted why the University of Bologna had chosen to close its doors – first of all when the city has not fallen, and secondly for six days, when the estimated incubation period is two weeks.
An Italian plumbing worker today cleans a public water bus in Venice, with authorities struggling to control the outbreak in northern Italy
Italian authorities said today that the number of confirmed cases has risen to 374, an increase of 52.
Twelve people have now died in the world’s largest outbreak outside of China, Japan and South Korea.
All people who have died in Italy so far were either elderly or had pre-existing medical conditions.
Italy’s European neighbors have agreed to keep the borders open, despite the new corona virus spreading across the country to Tuscany and Sicily.
The Health Ministers of Italy’s neighboring countries – met in Rome together with the EU Health Commissioner – said that closing borders would be a “disproportionate and ineffective” measure.
“We’re talking about a virus that doesn’t respect borders,” said Italian health minister Roberto Speranza.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte blamed the poor management in a hospital in the north of the country for the outbreak.
About 50,000 people live in quarantine in northern Italy with police and military checkpoints outside 11 cities to enforce the lockdown.