Italy is the most affected country in Europe by Coronavirus, after 11 localities have been put under quarantine and two people died. Italy is the EU country where the largest community of Romanians is living.
The number of coronavirus cases is on the rise, with local authorities closing schools, restaurants, stores, but also public institutions like hospitals and courts.
Italy has reported four deaths so far.
The first victims were a man who died at a hospital in Veneto and a woman died in Lombardy.
According to news agency Ansa, man, former construction company owner Adriano Trevisan, in his late 70s, father-of-three died at a hospital in Padua, in the Veneto region in northern Italy, where he had been admitted along with another person who has tested positive for COVID-19.
A second patient – a woman – then died hours after in Lombardy, a region also in the north.
The fourth victim was a 84-year-old man with other medical issues.
The first case officials were able to trace the outbreak to in Italy was reported to be a 38-year-old man from Codogno, who is believed to have caught the virus from a friend who had returned from China in January.
Authorities consider suspending the Carnival of Venice events currently taking place, while fears are also questioning the performance of Milan Fashion week events.
Romanians returning from Italy, under quarantine for 2 weeks
The largest community of Romanians from Diaspora is living in Italy. For now, there are no cases of illness among the Romanians in the regions where coronavirus cases have been reported, but some of them would like to return to Romania.
The Romanian Health Ministry announced all the Romanians returning in Romania from Italy’s affected regions will be placed under quarantine for 14 days.
“Romania might be more exposed to coronavirus cases on the national territory due to the dynamics of trips Romanians might take by plane or by car. The public health authorities will include people arriving to Romania from the affected regions of Veneto and Lombardy or who traveled in these areas in the past 14 days in the category of those who must stay under quarantine for 14 days. These measures are similar to the ones taken by the Italian authorities,” reads a press release by the Health Ministry in Bucharest.
These measures will be sent by the ministry to all hospitals and family doctors in Romania.
At the same time, control and prevention checks at the borders will be strengthened, with the ministry providing the necessary medical staff in all border check points.
However, some tourists returning from Italy on the Otopeni airport last night reported that no precautionary measures had been in place to prevent potential cases. A journalist returning last night from Lombardy, Bergamo recounted that no strict measures were being enforced on the airport last night. “Besides the border policemen, no one welcomed us. They hustled us like cattle in a hall where we filled out some forms and then we handled them to the policemen. No one told us anything about any quarantine or prevention measures”, said Dan Bucura on his Facebook page.
The Romanian Foreign Ministry also announced it has set up a working group that is in permanent contact with the Italian authorities. The ministry said that so far no Romanian living in Italy had asked for help and no Romanian had been con firmed with the viral pneumonia caused by COVID-19.
Romania’s Embassy in Rome announced Romanians can ask for consular assistance at the following phone numbers: +390683523358; +390683523356; +390683523369, +390683523371, +390683523374, +390683523352; +39068352334.
General Consulate in Milan: +39 0240098207, +39 0240074018.
Consulate in Trieste: +39 040 411 652, +39 040 452 8136, +39 040 416 350.
At the same time, the Romanians who are facing difficult urgent situations can call the permanent phone number at the embassy in Rome: +393451473935, and at the consulate in Milan; +39 366108 1444 and Trieste: +39 340 8821688.