China begin to celebrate the victory over coronavirus. The epidemic in China started to decline. 97% of all infected people are now in Wuhan, and most temporary hospitals have been closed there as well. Doctors can finally take off their masks.
In Europe, meanwhile, panic. Italy became the largest focus of coronavirus infection. The incidence is growing at an avalanche-like pace. At the end of February, dozens of new infections were recorded on the Apennines per day, and now it is going into the thousands.
Within a week, the situation in Italy developed from panic to total quarantine. Initially, authorities imposed travel restrictions in 15 northern regions. But a few days later it became obvious: the whole country should be isolated.
“The effect of the measures we are taking will not appear earlier than in a few weeks. Unfortunately, until we can evaluate it. We need to wait, and this is very important. Even if the incidence figures continue to grow, which is quite likely, this does not mean that new restrictions need to be introduced”Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.
Apparently, the coronavirus began to spread in the midst of the carnival season, when millions of tourists from around the world come to the Apennines. Further demographic factors worked. First, Italy is the third EU country in terms of the number of Chinese nationals.
Secondly, Italians are the “oldest” nation in Europe, almost every fourth inhabitant is over 65 years old. This explains the abnormally high mortality rate of 5%, one and a half times higher than the world average.
“Since the start of the epidemic, 98 percent of all deaths in the country are people over 68 years old. I note that two-thirds of the victims of the virus also had serious concomitant diseases”Angelo Borelli, head of the Italian National Civil Defense Service.
Introduction of quarantine
Doctors say that with the introduction of quarantine, authorities were at least several weeks late. And when they realized it, their national character played a role – at first, many people did not take the recommendations seriously. Hospitals were not ready for the epidemic – now they are crowded, there is a catastrophic lack of personnel and equipment.
As much as possible, the Chinese help out. Physicians and equipment are being transferred from China to Italy, including apparatus for the artificial enrichment of blood with oxygen. This method has been shown to be effective in controlling COVID-19. And expert virologists from China provide advice to Italian colleagues on video communications.
China’s experience now is arguably the best weapon against coronavirus. By the end of the working week in China, the number of new infections was reduced to 8 per day, and two-thirds of the cases recovered. This result was achieved thanks to unprecedented measures: during the epidemic, almost all production was stopped in the country. For the first time in history, the multi-million agglomeration – the city of Wuhan, was quarantined.
The whole power of the state machine was thrown into the fight against the virus, the logistics network was completely rebuilt. Almost 43 thousand doctors were brought to Wuhan, dozens of hospitals were converted, two were built from scratch in record time. They had to quarantine people against their will, those who walked along the street without a mask could be arrested. And now, WHO is advising other countries to take an example from China. But experts say: Europeans are unlikely to find the strength to act decisively.
The way Italy fights the virus is watched closely by neighbors. In the countries of the European Union there are no illusions: the wide spread of COVID-19 is most likely cannot be avoided. A sharp increase in the incidence is already observed in France, Spain and Germany. According to experts, the course of the epidemic process in these countries is practically no different from Italian. Only a few weeks behind.