Less than 0.1 percent of the Italian population has been touched by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), and there are no new centers of outbreak, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said on Thursday, reiterating that disinformation and "infodemia" bring more damage to the country than the virus itself
GENOA (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 27th February, 2020) Less than 0.1 percent of the Italian population has been touched by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), and there are no new centers of outbreak, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said on Thursday, reiterating that disinformation and "infodemia" bring more damage to the country than the virus itself.
"There are only two outbreaks ... In Veneto, it is 0.2 percent of regional territory that is seeing the virus ... In Lombardy, we are talking about 0.5 percent of the regional territory. So, at the moment in Italy, without trying to minimize the numbers, there are only between 40,000 and 50,000 citizens touched by coronavirus out of 60 million ... Nobody wants to play down the numbers, but it is important to make it clear, less than 10 communes are involved, and they all are small communes," Di Maio said at a press conference in Rome.
He explained that the number of people living in the quarantined provinces and therefore anyhow affected by the coronavirus amounted to 0.089 percent of the total Italian population.
"New outbreaks do not exist, that is important ... Only 0.1 percent of Italian communes, actually 0.089 percent of the Italian population, are touched by the virus. And all the cases ... are anyway related only to the two initial outbreaks," Di Maio added.
According to the minister, "infodemia", which is spreading now faster than the virus in the country, is actually creating more damage.
"In Italy we have moved from the risk of an epidemic to the risk of an 'infodemy', lack of correct information, which affects our businesses and the reputation of our scientific community," Di Maio said.
Italy has already conducted 10,000 tests to find the cases of the virus, and one cannot say this is excessive, since this is just the due care for the Italian citizens, Di Maio added.
Italy has performed more tests than any other European country, including of asymptomatic patients, which can be the reason why the number of cases revealed is higher than in other European Union member states. Journalists at the press conference repeatedly asked whether Italy could be accused of conducting a disproportionate amount of checks that create panic.
According to the Health Ministry's latest statistics, there are 400 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 12 deaths so far in Italy. The two centers of the outbreak are Lombardy and Veneto regions in the north of the country.