Now that Italy has become the second country in the world after only China for number of Coronavirus cases, its number of confirmed infections has almost doubled in a couple of days from 5,061 on Saturday 7 March to 9,172 on Monday 9 March, and the whole country has been placed under lockdown, more than ever it is necessary to understand what happened to provoke this exceptional crisis.

In a previous article we saw that, for fear of labels of racism, by not having quarantined all people coming from China, a measure recommended by the World Health Organisation and followed by many nations, the Centre-Left Italian government has opened the door to the epidemic.

Then we saw that the uncontrolled immigration that for a long time has particularly hit and shaken Italy among the countries of Europe, in addition to bringing security and crime risks posed by undocumented migrants’ free circulation, has now turned into another possible dynamite waiting to explode: due to China-Africa close trade ties and the vast presence of Chinese in the continent, Africa can become an incubation venue and transmission channel  for Coronavirus, which means that lots of African immigrants to Italy may be carrying Coronavirus.

The migrants who from now on will arrive in our ports may have the Coronavirus without their knowledge – and without ours. And still without their knowledge they could contribute to spread it throughout Europe.

The consequences, in that case, would be potentially lethal given the absence of sanitary bulwarks in almost all African states.

The infection might spread to Europe through Africa perhaps via Italy.

African Countries at Risk

The director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, was very clear when he said that the “biggest concern”, in addition to the epidemic itself, is that the virus may reach “countries with weaker health systems” least able to contain it, and the whole of Africa undoubtedly falls into that category.

Although, when news of the epidemic from China first started spreading, there were no confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Africa, there are now, and escalating fairly quickly.

Ten African countries have at this moment confirmed cases of Sars-CoV-2, for a total of ‭99‬: Egypt (55, with 1 death), Algeria (19), Nigeria (2) Tunisia (5), Togo (1), Cameroon (2), Morocco (2), South Africa (7), Burkina Faso (2) and Senegal (4).

Doctor Giovanni Rezza, specialised in hygiene and in infectious diseases, senior scientist at the Istituto Superiore di Sanita’ (ISS) in Rome, and Director of the Department of Infectious, Parasitic and Immune-mediated Diseases, has confirmed that Africa could represent a problem: it is a very populous continent, he said, and has fragile and weak points in the health chain:

African states do not have the same network as European laboratories. And the various types of fever that people can get could be confused with other infections and not be recognised as Coronavirus. This is why international organisations should be on the alert.

Africa, except for a few specialised centres, does not even have the means to recognize this new virus.

Health authorities and researchers fear that the Coronavirus could circulate undetected in Africa, where less advanced health systems could quickly be overwhelmed by a local outbreak.

It’s therefore necessary to close the Italian ports to migration.

La Gazzetta di Reggio