Coronavirus in Italy
As a Tour guide I am of course strongly concerned about the tourism situation in Italy and I would like to express in this blog my point of view, which is mainly based on the official communicate of the Italian virologist league.
At the moment in Italy
the number of cases seems to be higher than in other countries because we are carryinhg out a great number of swab tests on people who have a temperature and symptoms similar to flu as coronavirus .
To sum up:
Italy tested in the last weeks around 6.000 people and just a tiny part of them were discovered as coronavirus -. The rest were “simple” flu, which is quite normal at this time of the year.
Italy's health System
Now, let me just try to explain how Italy’s health system works in order to understand better why it seems to be a worse situation than it is:
1- We have a large net of GPs (family doctors) who take care of general diseases.
2- GPs cannot diagnose if you have flue or coronavirus. They just follow their experience, as every family doctor does.
3- Italy has a very high % of old population, lots of people over 80: of course, they are more at risk than the younger.
Additionally, they are more fragile and likely to be scared.
4- People are not able to recognize the difference between a cold/flu and the coronavirus, so they get into panic and go straight to the hospital.
5- In Italy health care system is free and accessible to everyone, so unfortunately many people don’t stop and think rationally, but just rush to the closest emergency room.
That probably fostered the outbreak of the virus.
Travelling to Italy with Coronavirus
Authority started to test as many people as possible (this is not happening in other countries) and investigate in order to limit the risk of infection. That's the reason why some small villages located not faraway from Milan have been put on quarantine for around 15 days.
People who died were already severely sick, and old. Unfortunately their survival chances were low anyway..
Of course I am not a doctor, just a tourist guide living in a region where at the moment we don't have sick people.
It is not dangerous to travel to Italy especially if we all observe the simple easy safety advices that we always use when we travel.
Why is Italy infected than others?
I share the text of one of my colleague.
Do you SERIOUSLY think that there are so many cases of people infected by Covid19 in some Italian towns that you've never heard of before, and not in cities like London, Paris, Berlin? Do you SERIOUSLY think there are no cases of coronavirus in Norway, despite the fact that there are no travel restrictions, and that people are coming back from the infected areas every day? THINK AGAIN. In my opinion, some countries do not want to face a health crisis, financial losses, do not want hospitals to fill up, do not want to buy test kits etc., so they simply keep their mouths shut.
You rarely find a 88 year old person in precarious health in hospital here anyway, simply because at a certain age they let you die = less costs for the national health system. In Italy that person is in hospital is getting treatment, possibly he/she has undergone surgery, because each life, even that of a very elderly person, is considered valuable.
I believe that covid19 is everywhere in Europe: in many places they simply don't test for it. If an elderly dies, they'll say the person died of pneumonia, not of coronavirus. As simple as that.
FYI: yesterday the italian victims of coronavirus were three: two men aged 91 and 84, and a woman aged 83.
A fourth one was already in intensive care in Treviso, got infected and died. She was 76.