“Lombardy was overwhelmed by Covid”, Lancet criticizes Italy’s errors

by time news

“The decision of the National and regional government of Lombardy not to create a so-called red zone around Alzano Lombardo and Nembro (blocking entry and exit from the two municipalities), when Covid-19 was discovered in the population at the end of February 2020, it is considered directly responsible for the spread of the infection to other municipalities in the province of Bergamo, in particular in the Val Seriana, then throughout Europe “. This is one of the passages of a very hard analysis published in the scientific journal ‘The Lancet’ entitled ‘Recognizing Italy’s mistakes in responding to Covid-19‘.

The question that is asked is: “In what way a different public health response he could have stop the Covid-19 epidemic in the province of Bergamo, which became famous in the spring of 2020 for the corpses stacked in hospitals, churches and cemeteries and transported by military trucks to the crematoria? “. In the article, published in the ‘Correspondence’ section, we go back to that February 2020, when it all started : “The Lombard population was shocked by the events and by the inconsistency of public health and government authorities, alongside an obsolete and not implemented pandemic plan”, reads the text signed by Chiara Alfieri, Laboratoire Population, Environnement, Démographie of the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, University of Aix-Marseille, Marseille, France, together with colleagues Marc Egrot, Alice Desclaux and Kelley Sams, also from other French universities, on behalf of the Comescov program (Confinement et mesures sanitaires visant à limiter la transmission du COVID-19).

From the red zone to the pandemic plan, they are all listed the critical issues of the first dramatic pandemic wave. “The National Institute of Statistics” Istat “has defined the events as a third world war”, retrace the authors who also recall the action of the ‘Sereni e semper Unite’ Association which on 2 November 2021 demonstrated in Rome against what in the text it is defined “institutional silence (ie the law of silence)” and for the “restoration of a parliamentary commission” with the task of “examining the management of the epidemic. This event followed 520 complaints that had been presented by ‘association 4 months earlier against the national government, the ministry of health and the administrators of the Lombardy region “.

To understand, continues the analysis published in the Lancet, “it is necessary to examine the beginning of the pandemic in Lombardy. The Lombard citizens “were confronted with the horror: their loved ones who died at home without treatment and alone in the hospital, the scarcity of oxygen and respirators, the confusion in the identification of cremated bodies”, the authors list.

“In reaction – they continue – Bergamo civil society has organized itself into a movement that asks for justice. The objectives of the Sereni Association are to obtain truth, justice, reparation and dignity and offer emotional support in response to pain, confusion and resentment for families of the deceased and for the wider community. Many politicians and city activists have gravitated to the movement. “

The authors of the article note that “the contribution of anthropologists to the documentation and analysis of the social and political effects of epidemiological events has been fundamental for other infectious diseases (such as Ebola virus disease and AIDS), for example in Africa, where networks such as the Réseau Anthropologie des Épidémies Émergentes (of which we are members), “write the researchers who sign the analysis,” have become central to addressing issues such as vaccine hesitation, disinformation, and trust. Transdisciplinary research produces evidence on the actions of civil society associations, such as the Sereni Association. This evidence is fundamental for institutions to identify and address errors in the public health response – the experts conclude – which is necessary to support communities to prepare for future threats infectious, as recommended by the WHO Community Preparedness Unit.

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