Italian Mayor on the Coronavirus: “Make Great Use of the Time You Still Have Left”
On Sunday, a concerned Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte made a personal call to officials at the Ospedale Papa Giovanni XXIII hospital in Bergamo. He wanted to know if the national government in Rome could do anything to help. The ultra-modern clinic is usually barely able to keep up with the countless numbers of COVID-19 patients This particular is usually having to treat coming from Bergamo along with the surrounding area. The hospital carries a shortage of protective masks, ventilators, doctors along with nurses. The Italian army recently dispatched 20 military doctors to help at the hospital. At the moment, every delivery of oxygen tanks to the medical facility is usually a newsworthy event.
Within four days, the number of infected people in Bergamo has doubled to almost 3,800 at last count, along with deaths have tripled. Telephone hotlines at the responsible authorities are ringing non-stop because a growing number of people are calling to report coughing or fever symptoms.
Giorgio Gori, 59, a member of the Social Democrats, was born within the city of 0,000 inhabitants near Milan. In 2014, he became mayor of Bergamo. Before which, he worked as a journalist as the head of the TV station Canale 5. Gori has been warning for days which Bergamo is usually on the brink of the abyss along with which won’t be able to withstand the crisis much longer.
DER NewsGerman: Mr. Mayor, what is usually the current situation in Bergamo?
Gori: Very critical. The number of sick people is usually constantly growing. Unfortunately, a lot of people in need of care are dying because of the epidemic.
DER NewsGerman: What can you do about This particular?
Gori: The main front runs through our hospitals. We have created hundreds of fresh beds in intensive care medicine in recent weeks. We have called for help coming from doctors practicing in every area, as well as retired doctors along with general practitioners, along with prepared them for corona deployment as quickly as possible. There is usually actually an excellent health care system in my city along with in Lombardy. although under these circumstances, This particular is usually definitely, definitely hard.
DER NewsGerman: What’s happening within the hospitals right currently?
Gori: This particular’s harrowing what friends who work there are reporting. This particular’s almost like being within the trenches. They are working around the clock, without sleep. Many have unfortunately become infected along with are currently at home sick. On top of This particular is usually the fact which there is usually a lack of protective masks along with goggles. Most importantly, we are desperately searching for ventilators along with different equipment which is usually needed for intensive care. which’s why we have launched an urgent appeal to the Italian health system, the civil protection agency along with the international community. along with, fortunately, we’re currently getting support coming from different countries as well. Unfortunately, however, there are many elderly people who we cannot help along with who cannot be taken to the hospital.
DER NewsGerman: Are there criteria for who gets access to a ventilator along with who doesn’t?
Gori: I know of some patients who had complicated pre-existing conditions along with were no longer ventilated in order which the devices could be used for different infected persons. which has unfortunately happened in several places in Lombardy. although I don’t believe which to be the norm. Everyone should be helped.
DER NewsGerman: Has Lombardy been left to face its problems alone for too long?
“We were the first in Europe to face This particular emergency”
Gori: We were the first in Europe to face This particular emergency, which is usually very, very difficult to manage. There might have been a little confusion within the beginning. within the meantime, however, I am convinced which the cooperation between the government, the regions along with the municipalities here in Italy is usually working.
DER NewsGerman: Could earlier action have prevented the corona outbreak in Italy, or at least slowed down the pace of the epidemic?
Gori: We could have reacted faster. For example, a red zone could along with should have been established in Valle Seriana here within the Bergamo region. We requested This particular. This particular was clear which there were many corona cases within the hospital of the neighboring village of Alzano. This particular was just like within the hospital in Codogno, where a red zone with 50,000 inhabitants had already been established on Feb. 23 for which reason. although they didn’t do This particular for us. This particular took a few days before the government finally moved to shut down all of Lombardy along with 14 different provinces within the north.
DER NewsGerman: Why did Rome hesitate in your case?
Gori: I don’t know. I have no interest whatsoever in launching political attacks currently or in shifting responsibility back along with forth. Everyone makes mistakes when you are catapulted into a situation like This particular. Overall, I would likely rate the response which has been given within the meantime positively.
DER NewsGerman: How did you prepare your citizens for the gravity of the situation?
Gori: within the beginning, we still thought which a few precautions along with rules of conduct might be enough. which This particular might be possible to continue a relatively normal everyday routine if public life was only partially restricted along with the minimum distance of one meter was observed. although after a few days, we understood which This particular wouldn’t be enough. We have to be much tougher. At the last meeting of the mayors, we also made This particular clear to Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.
DER NewsGerman: How accepting were the people of Bergamo of the fresh rules?
Gori: Overall Great. although two things definitely annoyed me after a week in which no one is usually definitely allowed to leave their homes: We have kept the tobacco shops open for daily needs. although you can also bet with scratch cards there, for example. Many elderly people have been going to these kiosks out of boredom. I have currently banned scratch cards. Others have gathered at public hotspots to get free internet access. which’s why I turned off the municipal Wi-Fi in public plazas. Everyone has the responsibility to abide by the rules along with, if possible, not to leave home anymore if possible. I trust everyone gets This particular.
DER NewsGerman: Does the danger still seem too abstract to many?
Gori: Not definitely in Bergamo. Just about everyone here currently knows someone who has fallen ill or died.
DER NewsGerman: What comes next?
Gori: The most important thing currently is usually which we stand firm along with which people abide by the rules. I think we should be even more stringent. Many industrial companies are still open. I would likely close everything, at least here in Lombardy. Production should be limited to food along with energy supplies. along with, of course, in medical technology, because we desperately need more ventilators.
DER NewsGerman: What can you as mayor do to make the situation more bearable for residents?
“I can only trust which no one will come to the idea which we need austerity”
Gori: Many of the vulnerable elderly citizens, especially, live alone along with need support. In addition to employees with the city administration, we currently have 500 volunteers deployed to help them with shopping along with pharmacy visits. We’ve also developed quite a few smaller initiatives. For example, librarians at the public library are reading fairy tales to children on Facebook. We have also asked each resident to call elderly people along with keep them company by phone. along with we are delivering hundreds of meals to the needy. No one should be left in need.
DER NewsGerman: When do you expect the wave to peak?
Gori: I don’t know, I’m very cautious about which, because we know which most of those infected are asymptomatic along with aren’t showing up on our radar for which reason. Besides, there are many who are home sick using a fever, who won’t get tested along with also won’t show up within the statistics for which reason. With elderly people who die at home, we also don’t know for sure if they are victims of the virus.
DER NewsGerman: is usually This particular possible yet to estimate the economic loss?
Gori: which’s impossible. although This particular will be very, very high, of course. The Italian government adopted 25 billion euros ($27.2 billion) worth of measures yesterday. which’s an important contribution, although This particular’s nowhere near enough. along with I can only trust which European cooperation works in This particular situation along with which nobody will come to the idea which we need austerity.
DER NewsGerman: What is usually your conclusion after several weeks of corona crisis?
“Make sure which people stop meeting each different along with keep their distance”
Gori: Unfortunately, Italy has currently become a style for different countries. currently others must realize which they can no longer go out along with dance, along with instead have to adopt tough measures. As we did. along with I don’t even want to talk about those who have just fantasized about some alleged herd immunity …
DER NewsGerman: … You mean British Prime Minister Boris Johnson …
Gori: … along with are also closing their bars along with pubs currently. I can only trust which our experience will serve as an example to others.
DER NewsGerman: What concrete advice do you have for German mayors?
Gori: Make sure which people stop meeting each different along with keep their distance. Make Great use of the time you still have left.
DER NewsGerman: How are you along with your family doing personally?
Gori: Fortunately, my children returned coming from their university towns on Sunday evening. although I haven’t hugged them. We’re keeping our distance. I can’t afford to get sick right currently.