Salvini Slams Coronavirus Control Methods as Cases Confirmed in Lombardy and Veneto

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Populist Italian Senator Matteo Salvini slammed the leftist government’s handling of the coronavirus as 14 new cases were confirmed in Lombardy and two more in Veneto.

Salvini made his statements on Friday, slamming the leftist Italian coalition after the first case of the coronavirus was revealed in Codogno, Lombardy.

“I think of the controls on who enters and leaves Italy: obviously something is not working,” Salvini said in comments reported by Il Giornale.

The League (Lega) leader went on to add that “it is essential that, from today (if they haven’t already done it yesterday), anyone who enters Italy, by any means of transport, from the raft to the aeroplane, be checked. And if it comes from some areas, it will be isolated for fifteen days. As other countries do.”

Salvini added that he would be returning to Milan stating that he found the situation “worrying.”

A total of 14 cases were confirmed in Lombardy and some 30,000 people placed in isolation in various villages in towns in the commune of Lodi.

According to Il Giornale, “patient zero” in Italy is a 38-year-old from Castiglione d’Adda who works for the company Unilever and is believed to have been infected in late January but did not show up to a local hospital until Thursday evening with severe respiratory symptoms.

Following the confirmation of the virus, authorities tested people close to the 38-year-old, including his pregnant wife who also tested positive for the virus.

Along with the cases in Lombardy, two more cases of the virus were diagnosed in Padua and were identified as two elderly people who live on the Euganean Hills near Padua. Both have been placed in isolation.

While most of the infections in Europe have been linked to those travelling from the Wuhan area of China where the coronavirus first originated or elsewhere in the East Asian region, others, like researcher Vittoria Colizza, are concerned with the possibility of the virus spreading in Africa.

Speaking to Italian media, Colizza said Egypt, South Africa, and Algeria were particularly vulnerable to the spread of the virus.

While he noted that all three countries were in the best position in Africa to contain the virus due to their relative quality of healthcare, he said that countries like Nigeria, Sudan, Angola, and others could see the virus spread rapidly with less guarantee of containment.

“The relationship between air flights with China and the possibility of contagion in Africa it is very strong,” Colizza said.

“Half of it is insured by Ethiopian Airlines, which has not stopped flights. But it must be said that if they stop 100 per cent, the possibility of importing the virus really stops. If, on the other hand, they are reduced, even by 90 per cent, the possibility of an infection is only delayed.”

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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