Less than three weeks before the first locally transmitted coronavirus case was confirmed in Italy, the country’s authorities led the World Health Organization to believe that the country would be ready to respond to a pandemic, according to the British newspaper The Guardian. Only they weren’t.
At issue is the International Health Regulations, treated to combat the spread of diseases, in which countries have to present a self-assessment on the country’s level of preparedness for a health emergency.
The Italian report was delivered on February 4, according to the newspaper, ensuring that the country could not be better prepared. A maximum score was awarded (5 out of 5) to the category that states that the “emergency sector coordination mechanism in the health sector and the incident management system linked to a national emergency operation center have been tested and updated regularly”.
The problem? It won’t be true, because last year it was learned that Italy hasn’t updated the plan to deal with pandemics since 2006, which may have led to many more deaths than would be normal if these protocols were in place – between 10,000 and 35,000 more deaths in the first wave, according to Pier Paolo Lunelli, a reform general who investigated the matter.
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Giuseppe Ruocco, an official at the Italian Ministry of Health, has already confirmed, according to the Guardian, that the plan for the pandemic had not been updated for 14 years, which goes against WHO guidelines.
The report of February of last year is, according to the newspaper, essential for the ongoing investigation of Italian prosecutors, who try to realize that mistakes were made by the authorities of the country during the first wave.
To date, Italy has accumulated nearly 96,000 deaths from complications associated with Covid-19. According to the Our World in Data platform, which is based on official data, 1,587 deaths per million people are concerned, which puts the country in the fifth place in this ranking, after San Marino, Belgium, Slovenia, Czech Republic and United Kingdom. Portugal appears in the sixth place, the USA in the ninth and Spain in the twelfth.
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