Coronavirus, Italian borders open but visas for China are suspended and air traffic from Italy to Beijing is blocked


“There is no such condition today in Europe and in Italy that could lead one to speculate border closure. It would be one truly absurd measure“, Said the new Extraordinary Commissioner for the Coronavirus emergency, Angelo Borrelli talking about strengthening the controls on trains and cars arriving in the country. Also because moving from words to deeds, however, in the afternoon of Saturday was decided the closure of air traffic to and from China and the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Tourism has the granting of visas from China to Italy has been suspended. Only those granted by consular structures for family reasons or cases of full-blown and clear urgency remain.

There are two cases ascertained in Italy where the Council of Ministers declared the emergency for health risk for the first time on Friday, entrusting the management of the case to the head of civil protection with a ceiling from 5 million euros. After all, January 31st was the “black Friday” of the epidemic: with his family 46 new deaths and 2,102 new cases confirmed in China in 24 hours, was the day with the most severe coronavirus bulletin. The data provided by the World Health Organization speak of a total of 259 dead is 11,953 infected. However, the National Commission also provides good news: 243 people were discharged after being recover from the infection.

China asks for help from Europe – After Wednesday in a phone call with Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang, the president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen offered Union support in Beijing, on Saturday morning the Chinese ambassador in Brussels met representatives of the European Commission on Saturday morning to ask, in a formal way, support in the face of the emergency. In addition, China has announced that will exempt from duties impose in the trade war with the United States the import products that can be used in the battle against the new virus.

The cases under observation – Meanwhile in Rome the Chinese couple hospitalized at Spallanzani is “constantly monitored“: The latest medical bulletin says that his wife, a 65-year-old woman” while maintaining fair clinical conditions has experienced an episode of nausea and vomiting “while her husband, a 66-year-old man” is currently in stationary condition, with a pneumonia bilateral alveolar interstitium. Presents associated fever cough and asthenia “, reiterates the Institute.

Instead it tested negative the 41-year-old worker hospitalized in the same Institute, which is in “good condition”. Then remain under observation 20 people of the party that had contact with the positive couple: “They are all in good general condition and their health is not a concern”, concludes the bulletin. Meanwhile the Chinese community in Rome has launched a appeal to the Minister of Health Roberto Speranza: “We need masks, but around are not found and even buying them becomes complicated. ”

All cases in Europe – The eighth case in Germany and a first case in Spain: is a German tourist who is now in solitary confinement in the hospital in La Gomera, in the Canary Islands. With the Spanish case the number of infections in Europe rises to 21: eight in Germany, six in France, two in Great Britain, two in Italy, one in Spain, one in Finland and one in Sweden. “There is no need for alarmism over this photograph,” said the Minister of Health, Roberto Speranza, “All must be dispelled fake news which concern, for example, Chinese food, devoid of any scientific basis “. And indirectly responding to criticism from the opposition, he reiterates: “We are the country that has done the most in Europe”. In the meantime I am repatriations of Europeans started from China. The military plane with over one hundred German citizens evacuated from Wuhan landed in Frankfurt. Passengers will spend the next two weeks in quarantine.

Towards the repatriation of the Italians. About 500 Italians have requested to return to Italy from all parts of China, not only Wuhan: for them and for all the Chinese who are in Italy and want to return home, a special operating unit will be set up under the coordination of the Unit. of the Farnesina crisis, with the ministries of health, infrastructure and with ENAC. In the meantime, the return has been arranged for Italians who are in Wuhan and will land Monday morning around 8.15 am, before being subjected to a strict health protocol. The 67 Italians will be transferred to the Olympic Center of the Military City della Cecchignola, in Rome. Meanwhile, the Civil Protection has set up a dormitory for the Chinese stranded at Leonardo da Vinci Fiumicino airport. A decision taken yesterday, immediately after the meeting of the national department that is organizing air bridges from China to Italy. Four hundred camp beds and four hundred blankets I am available to the Chinese pending the emergency: for now only 5 people have stopped there.

Reopen the skies to freighters – And if flights for civilians are banned, the National Civil Aviation Authority has restored the possibility of carrying out cargo flights between Italy and China. The table of the Operating Committee chaired by Borrelli thus decided on the proposal presented by the Ministry of Transport: “Since it is ascertained that the goods, that is, the inert material, is not contaminable, nor contaminated, cargo traffic from China could be restarted. Without prejudice to the health checks for the crews, it does not seem necessary to keep the goods blocked “.

Beijing stops weddings and cuts funerals – Meanwhile, China is giving a further crackdown on public demonstrations: after canceling the New Year celebrations, postponing demonstrations and prolonging the closure of offices, it now asks citizens to postpone marriages and celebrate funerals without long ceremonies. The goal is to avoid gatherings of people as much as possible, to limit infections. And so the country is increasingly isolated: the big chains their stores close or stop production in the factories. After Starbucks, McDonald and Ikea too Apple announced the closure of offices and stores until February 9 for, they explain from the parent company, “an excess of caution and based on the latest advice from the main health experts”.

The neighboring countries then close the borders, the more distant ones cut off the air connections. Last in order of time were the Vietnam – which suspended all flights until May – and theAustralia, which has launched measures not to allow access to non-resident foreigners arriving from the outbreak country. Starting today, the premier has announced Scott Morrison, entry will only be allowed to “Australian citizens, residents of the country, dependents, legal guardians or spouses”. Most airlines have closed their flights with China, which has therefore organized its own charters to bring citizens stranded abroad home. A flight, 73 people on board, arrived in Wuhan from Bangkok, another from Kota Kinabalu, a popular tourist resort in the Malaysia.

The possibility of asymptomatic contagion is studied – Doctors and virologists are working to understand more about method of contagion: in Germany the first case of 2019-nCoV coronavirus transmission without symptoms in Europe, as reported in an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The research, conducted by a team from the University of Munich coordinated by Camilla Rothe, recounts the story of a 33-year-old German businessman who contracted coronavirus from a colleague from Shanghai met between 20 and 21 January at a conference in Munich. The man was the first to show symptoms, which appeared on January 24 with sore throat, chills and muscle pain and followed on 25 by high fever and cough. The duration of the malaise was short and on January 27th he had already returned to work. In the meantime, her colleague from Shanghai has returned to China, where she experienced the first symptoms on January 26 and, having checked, she tested positive for the 2019-nCov coronavirus. Checks immediately started at the Munich company, where three employees tested positive for the virus. But theWHO, in his Saturday bulletin, stated that transmission from asymptomatic cases is rare.


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