Coronavirus, Italians “quarantined” in Wuhan. The Farnesina: the return plan is ready


Foreigners isolated in Wuhan, if it were for the director general of the World Health Organization, should remain calmly in the city of the quarantine and epicenter of the virus. Mr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus came to Beijing to talk to the Chinese authorities and according to state television said that alternative solutions to the evacuation must be studied. It could be the indication received by the Chinese government. The director leaves for Geneva today and can clarify. A first group of American diplomats and family members leaves Wuhan on a US charter. France, Japan and South Korea say they are ready for the airlift. But not a simple operation. In the quarantine city and in the industrial province of Hubei there are thousands of technicians, entrepreneurs, foreign students with families.

Among these, between 60 and 70 Italians. At first, it was thought to take them out of Wuhan by bus, to another Chinese city where they would be subjected to quarantine for 14 days. Uneasiness and uncertainty about the arrangement made the project abandon. Also because there was the risk of further extending the stay in China. And so it was decided to activate a plan for an airlift with a military aircraft that provides for repatriation, but without neglecting the possibility of requesting collaboration from other European States that have hundreds of people to repatriate and therefore have already prepared the return plan.

Stefano Verrecchia says, head of the Foreign Ministry’s Crisis Unit: We are now also evaluating an idea of ​​air transfer, which is complex, because it depends on the authorizations of the Chinese authorities, on the use of an airport, and on arrival, because we should take a series of measures. The most likely hypothesis is that we try to accommodate all our compatriots, or at least a part, on one of the two planes that France will leave this morning to bring back around 1,000 people. An option that was decided to keep open despite the awareness that it would still be difficult, given that the Italians should arrive in Paris, be subjected to checks and then obtain the green light on departure. The complete list of those found in Wuhan was sent to Paris yesterday evening and a solution should be reached today even if the green light of the Chinese authorities remains unknown. There are still procedures that have yet to be implemented and that do not depend entirely on us, but we do our best to do as soon as possible, confirms Verrecchia.

The closure of the airport dictates in fact – even if the planes are military and come from abroad – to follow a rather complex procedure. And to subject foreigners who go away to thorough health checks. A precaution that Beijing has decided to take to avoid controversy in fear of accusations about the spread of the virus. The unnerving wait, locked in the house or hotel. A young Italian manager tells Corriere that the sun is shining in Wuhan and this improves the mood, we went out for an hour of air. a struggling China, it will be the time that food customs will change !. He lives near the wild meat market where the virus started. And he looked out the window the other night shouting Wuhan Force, with many other Chinese isolated in the buildings of the metropolis. Our compatriots are waiting for a solution from the Farnesina, a plane to return to Italy, and are in constant contact with the embassy. The problem is uncertainty, which puts the nerves to the test. The frustration of British residents rebounded in the London press: They advised us to leave, but they did not tell us how and around us there are people who get sick.

January 29, 2020 (change January 29, 2020 | 00:25)


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