Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced on March 11 that they will be allocating 25 billion euros ($ 28.3 billion) to fight the deadly coronavirus outbreak that has already killed 631 people in Italy. According to reports, Italy has become the epicentre of the viral outbreak in Europe and recently announced nationwide lockdown to help control the spread to the virus.
According to reports, Conte has told reporters that his government was allocating 25 billion euros in an effort to tackle the rapidly escalating health crisis. The Italian Prime Minister also added that the entire allocated sum would not be used immediately. As per reports, economy Minister Roberto Gualtieri has claimed that half of the allocated fund will be used immediately while the other half is held back in reserve.
Back on March 5, Italian officials had announced that they would be allocating a 7.5-billion-euro emergency response package but had also claimed that the amount would most likely have to increase in an effort to match the rapid spread of the coronavirus.
Italy has emerged as the focal point for the coronavirus outbreak in Europe. As per reports, Italy is the region's weakest economy, and things have not been made better with the recent viral outbreak. Due to fears of the rapidly spreading coronavirus, tourists have stopped visiting its cultural treasures or buying its prized artisanal products, from fashion to food to design.
According to reports, Italy might be Europe's third-largest economy but it has long been amongst the slowest growing in the region. Italy has amassed the largest number of virus infection outside Asia. All towns in the country's north have been quarantined, the north of the country is the heart of Italy's manufacturing and financial industries.
Airlines have also cut back on flights going to Italy, meaning millions of fewer tourists and traveller that can result in a loss for hotels, restaurants, tourist sites and many others amounting in billions, as per reports. The turmoil threatens to send Italy back into a recession and weigh heavily on the entirety of Europe as even trade-focused countries like Germany, France and Britain battling a global disruption in the supply chain.
Reports indicate that tourism officials expect 32 million fewer foreign visitors and a loss of 7.4 billion euros ($8.1 billion). Many in the tourism industry are blaming the virus coverage by the media. People like Luca Patane, the president of tourism association Confturismo-Confcommercio believe that media coverage of the virus has been much more lethal than the virus itself.
The deadly coronavirus that began in China's Wuhan province has been officially named COVID-19 by the World Health Organisation. While the majority of reported cases are still present in mainland China, the virus has spread to multiple countries around the world and infected 1,21,000 people worldwide. The death toll from the virus stands at 4,300 worldwide.