Why is Lombardy a coronavirus hotspot?
Lombardy is the beating heart of Italy's economy but it is currently one of the regions hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic at a global level. On Saturday alone, 94 percent of new SARS-CoV-2 infections in Italy were registered there. The Italian press examines the reasons.
Region suffering because of wrong policies
In La Repubblica, author and investigative journalist Roberto Saviano sees a direct connection between Lombardy's economic strength and its current plight. He writes:
“How much has the voice of the workers in Lombardy counted in these last months? Did anyone ask them whether they felt it was safe to continue working without protection? Did anyone heed the warnings of the doctors and nurses who witnessed the dismantling of the less 'productive' part of this healthcare system and who have now themselves died, victims of the lack of safety measures and of decisions - yes, decisions - which, in the midst of the crisis, exacerbated the burden of infection? These facts must be established. ... If the fact that Lombardy generates 25 percent of the national GDP means that it cannot be criticised, then you should know that a moral collapse is imminent.”
Basic medical care was neglected
Lombardy must learn from its mistakes, writes sociologist Dario Di Vico in Corriere della Sera:
“The myth of the efficiency and European standards of its healthcare system was cruelly dispelled by the pandemic, which in turn revealed a systemic error: vertical excellence at the expense of horizontal protection, hospitals specialised to the point that basic medical care was forgotten about. The mistakes of local authorities also contributed to the damage in Lombardy. … We must learn from these mistakes, and - true to the spirit of Lombardy - apply solutions that have proven effective elsewhere.”