Italy on March 7 announced that it was recruiting retired doctors in an effort to bolster the healthcare system with 20,000 additional staff. This move was made in order to better fight the fast-spreading viral coronavirus epidemic. This is just one of the few measures adopted by the country that has become the epicentre of the virus outbreak in Europe.
According to reports, the coronavirus is spreading fast in Italy, and this has emptied Italian train stations and airports while turning usually crowded parts of Rome into a ghost town. The city's outdoor cafes and restaurants were on March 6 closed or had dozens of empty tables with nothing to do.
As per reports, the government's current concern is that the coronavirus outbreak that has till now been contained in Italy's richer north will start to spread into the poorer and medically less equipped south.
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. Entire 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.