Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte admitted on Monday that a hospital in northern Italy “did not follow protocol” and has thus contributed to the spread of the coronavirus in the nation.
“It is clear that there has been an outbreak and it has spread from there,” said Prime Minister Conte of the Italian hospital in question, according to a report by Corriere della Sera.
“It is known that there has been management at the hospital that was not entirely proper according to prudent protocols that are recommended in these cases, and this has certainly contributed to the spread,” added the Italian prime minister. “But beyond that, we continue with the utmost caution and rigor.”
The report did not confirm which hospital it was but said that it is likely in Codogno, Lombardy. Lombardy is one of the most heavily affected Italian regions with regards to the coronavirus outbreak, as there are 212 confirmed cases in the region.
Conte has asked the presidents of all Italian regions – even those not affected by the coronavirus – not to act without first consulting with Rome, the nation’s capital.
“It was actually the regions that made the decisions to be proactive, and to adapt to the difficulties of the moment by giving a response of superior efficiency,” said the president of Italy’s Lombardy region, Attilio Fontana, who reportedly clashed with Prime Minister Conte over the issue.
Fontana also said that Rome did not listen to presidents of the Italian regions after some had suggested “about a month ago” that it might be necessary to take extra precautions due to the possibility of a coronavirus outbreak in Italy.
The president of the Liguria region, Giovanni Toti, agreed, suggesting that if anyone has been inattentive with regards to the coronavirus, it has not been the leaders of the Italian regions.
“If anything, some response and initiative has been lacking on the part of the government,” said Toti of Rome.
Italian officials have put parts of the Lombardy and Veneto regions on lock-down and estimate that about 100,000 people are affected by travel restrictions across the regions.
Italy has the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths in Europe. As of Tuesday, the Italian civil protection agency reported that the number of confirmed cases is now at 283. The number was at 229 on Monday. 11 people have died from the coronavirus in Italy.