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  • Italy 'misled WHO on pandemic readiness' weeks before Covid outbreak

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Italy 'misled WHO on pandemic readiness' weeks before Covid outbreak

Source(s):  Guardian, the (UK)

By Angela Giuffrida


Italy undertook its last self-assessment report on 4 February 2020. In section C8 of the report, seen by the Guardian, where countries have to evaluate their overall readiness to respond to a public health emergency, the author marks Italy in ‘level 5’, which is the highest status of preparedness.


However, it emerged last year that Italy had not updated its national pandemic plan since 2006, a factor that may have contributed to at least 10,000 Covid-19 deaths during the first wave and which is a key element in an investigation into alleged errors by authorities being carried out by prosecutors in Bergamo, the Lombardy province that was severely affected in the pandemic’s early stage.


In an analysis of the self-assessment document compiled by Pier Paolo Lunelli, a retired army general, 60 out of 70 answers provided by Italy were judged to be “groundless”. Lunelli wrote in his analysis, which has been given to prosecutors, that the document “constitutes a castle of evidence which certifies the [level of] unpreparedness we approached the coronavirus emergency with”.


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  • Publication date 22 Feb 2021

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