A case brought by the families of more than 500 Covid victims Seek compensation for a total of 100 million euros With the first hearing of the deadliest epidemic in continental Europe held in Rome, the Italian government’s lawsuit has been brought to court.
On Thursday, lawyers representing relatives of coronavirus victims submitted a file of more than 2,000 pages containing hundreds of testimonies and evidence of “systematic negligence” by the Italian authorities, which allegedly caused thousands of deaths.
The legal representative of these families, Consuelo Locati, told the Guardian: “It’s too late for Italy to take measures to contain the Covid outbreak.” “When they finally did, these measures were not enough. of.”
As The Guardian first disclosed last yearWhen the health emergency overwhelmed Italy, the country formulated an old and inadequate pandemic plan without mentioning scenarios and planning assumptions.
Allegedly, when the World Health Organization and the European Centers for Disease Control and Prevention developed new guidelines, the Italian authorities failed to update them.
According to a 65-page report prepared by retired army general Pier Paolo Lunelli, tens of thousands of deaths can be attributed to the lack of adequate anti-epidemic agreements.
“The pandemic plan and strategy to stop infections did not take into account the structural shortcomings of hospitals and Italy’s health system,” Locati said. “This civil case questioned the responsibilities of politicians and institutions, and required them to assume their responsibilities before the citizens they were asked to protect. They violated their rights-the right to health and the right to life.
The file also includes Latest discoveryItalian prosecutors are reviewing these documents, which show that due to non-compliance with epidemiological surveillance guidelines, the coronavirus has spread across the country a few weeks before the first locally transmitted case was officially discovered.
According to medical records, a man in his 50s was admitted to the hospital with bilateral pneumonia in Bergamo, Lombardy at the end of January 2020.That province Was severely hit During the first wave of epidemics. According to experts, this information “may change the timeline of the Italian pandemic.”
Since the beginning of the Italian pandemic, doctors have stated that they believe the virus has spread in the country a few weeks before it was officially discovered. To date, some medical staff in the most affected region of Lombardy reported that in late December 2019, the patient had a “strange pneumonia” case. Nevertheless, these agencies ignored these calls.
According to the lawyer, the impact of this possible negligence is that many deaths can be avoided.
At the first hearing that began in Rome on Thursday, dozens of representatives of the victims’ families were forced to wait outside the court due to Covid restrictions.
In Bergamo, the prosecutor Still under investigation The Italian authorities were suspected of criminal negligence in handling the pandemic.
A former director of the Lombardy Ministry of Health and five health managers under investigation denied any wrongdoing.
Italy was the first Western country to be hit by a pandemic, and the second highest number of Covid-related deaths in Europe (127,718 as of Wednesday), second only to the United Kingdom.