The COVID-19 Coronavirus is spreading around the world and affecting more countries. One of those which is emerging as another center of trouble is Italy, where five people have died and over 200 cases have been reported as authorities scramble to manage the situation and prevent further spread as a story from CNN reports.
Five people have died and at least 219 others have been infected with the virus in Italy, Angelo Borrelli, head of the country’s Civil Protection agency, said at a Monday news conference.
The bulk of the cases (167) are in the northern region of Lombardy, whose capital is the city of Milan.
Borrelli added that one person had recovered and that 91 people with the virus were currently in isolation at home.
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Officials have yet to track down the first carrier of the virus in the country. “We still cannot identify patient zero, so it’s difficult to forecast possible new cases,” Borrelli said at an earlier press conference. (source)
There is a lot of concern that if the virus gets out of control in Italy, it could quickly spread throughout Western Europe.
The virus is also testing the “open borders” agreement of Europe, as some nations, including Russia, have been placing strict border controls as a part of efforts to try and stop or slow the virus spread. Likewise, if Italy cannot “control” the virus in her borders, it could create stress with other European nations, especially Germany, and cause political problems.
The virus has shut down China economically speaking, and a similar threat also is at the door of the fourth largest economy in the world, which is Germany, for if the virus interrupts production in the nation, it could result in a recession. Germany is already weak and close to a recession, and if this were to happen at a time when she is also on the edge of another refugee crisis similar to that which happened in 2016, it would provide a tremendous boost for nationalism as (for how it may be portrayed even though it is not the reality) “disease-infected invading migrants” are “taking over” Germany.
It would be a perfect storm for a major rise in nationalism and justifying ideas about eugenics or the remilitarization of Germany in the name of the presumed ‘good’ of Europe.
A virus may be a small thing, but as it is too often, sometimes it is the smallest things have the greatest impacts on the future.