Italian newspapers have today voiced fears of a ‘nervous breakdown’ amid panic over coronavirus as they remarked that ‘we are now the Chinese’.
Newspaper La Stampa proclaimed ‘the gravest health emergency in the history of the Republic’ today as the paper’s editor warned of ‘uncertainty harming the nation’.
Many media outlets have asked why Italy, rather than other European nations, has become the centre of the West’s first major outbreak.
Others have warned against excessive panic over the virus, calling on people to ‘tame’ their fear of the illness.
Italy has confirmed 370 cases so far with 12 people dead and neighbouring countries scrambling to stop the virus spiralling across Europe.
Italian newspapers have today voiced fears of a ‘nervous breakdown’ amid panic over the coronavirus outbreak in northern Italy
People wearing masks walk in front of the closed Duomo cathedral as they cross a mostly deserted square in Milan
Italy’s second-largest newspaper La Repubblica ran a story today with the headline: ‘Italy at the time of the virus, from the hunt for patient zero to fake news: Ours is a country in nervous breakdown’.
Authorities have yet to identify the source of the outbreak, which surfaced last week when an Italian man in his late 30s became critically ill in Codogno.
The newspaper Corriere della Sera was one of many to ask why Italy of all countries had become the centre of the virus scare in Europe.
‘Is prevention from other EU countries better than ours?’, a Corriere headline wondered today.
Comparing Italy’s predicament to China, which has also been shunned by wary neighbours, an article in business newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore began: ‘We are now the Chinese’.
One article in Il Giornale suggested that Italy had tested more thoroughly than other nations in a process which was bound to lead to more cases being confirmed.
‘We searched, the others didn’t,’ an expert was quoted as saying.
Italy’s crisis was also attributed to bad luck, with the outbreak beginning in a hospital full of vulnerable patients.
The newspaper Il Messagero voiced concern over the impact on tourism to Italy, with several countries issuing warnings about travelling there.
Fearing a ‘tourism KO’, the newspaper said that up to 500,000 foreign visitors might stay away from Italy because of virus fears.