TRENTO. “It is a very complex question that poses considerable legal problems, including innovative ones”, so the professor of the University of Trento, Umberto Izzo, presents the meeting entitled “The civil liability of the state and regions for non-implementation of the obligation to be ready to counter a pandemic threat”. An event that is part of a cycle of seminars organized as part of the civil law course of the faculty of law.
Attention, the topic is very topical and anything but trivial. In December 2020 in fact, it was deposited at civil court of Rome an act of summons that calls into question the State and the Lombardy Region on the one hand for not having updated the pandemic plan (which dates back to 2006) on the other hand that plan, although dated, it would have remained only on paper without the necessary measures being taken to prevent Sars-Cov-2 from spreading to Italy. To ask for justice, defended by the lawyer of the Bergamo bar Consuelo Locati, the families of the victims, mainly from Lombardy but with claims for compensation coming from all over Italy, including Trentino.
But when does a pandemic plan take place, or at least when it should? The former general takes care of the answer Pier Paolo Lunelli who during his career has gained a great deal of experience in setting up pandemic plans: “For the Sars-Cov-2 pandemic it corresponds to January 5, 2020, that is when the WHO informs all countries that there is a disease of unknown etiology which does not respond to treatment and which at that time was located in China “. And what did the Italian state do at that point? “Virtually nothing, we waited and postponed ”.
The shortcomings were numerous. Just think that a study by the Bruno Kessler Foundation and Bocconi University highlights how in Lombardy there had been at least 500 cases before the so-called Codogno patient 1. Also, already on January 24, 2020 andbeen published a Chinese study which anticipated much of the information regarding the new coronavirus but was ignored. “I don’t know why the Western scientific world did not take seriously the work published in the Lancet – he told The Dolomites Giuseppe Remuzzi, director of the “Mario Negri” Institute of Pharmacological Research in Milan – there was a month in which a lot could have been done, we are all guilty of this ”.
“We had a very old pandemic plan, which dates back to 2006 “, confirmation Francesco Zambon, former Covid response coordinator on behalf of the World Health Organization until his resignation in March 2021. Resignations that came after the same organization he worked for had de facto censored the report published by Zambon which highlighted the shortcomings on the part of the Italian government in the management of the first wave.
“The relationship was withdrew on political pressure because it put Italy in a bad light, but this highlights a big problem of the WHO which is not independent “. Zambon also calls into question the former director of the Prevention office of the Ministry of Health Ranieri Guerra, the minister himself Roberto Speranza and as well Silvio Brusaferro president of the Istituto Superiore di Sanità. “Everyone played a part in making this WHO report disappear, because it went against the proposed narrative that saw Italy as a model even if in reality it was not at all ”. As the former general recalls in the report then withdrawn by the WHO it was stated that the Italian response to the first wave had been “impromptu chaotic and creative”.
But then, returning to the pandemic plan, why despite it being so dated no one had bothered to update? “For sloppiness – firmly replies the lawyer Locati – however, thousands of deaths resulted from this carelessness, around 35 thousand in the first pandemic phase alone “. As Professor Izzo notes, in the first pandemic phase, the number of deaths in Italy was extremely higher than in many other countries. At that time, both personal protective equipment and tampons were missing: the results were disastrous. “At the Alzano Lombardo hospital – continues Locati – the doctors had to break the fire columns to find masks “.
It is also in the light of these situations that now hundreds of families demand justice and they call upon the institutions. There is talk of a figure that is aroundaround 120 million euros. “The responsibility to protect citizens lies with the institutions – concludes Locati – this is what is put in the summons. It was the Lombardy Region that was unable to contain the virus and exported it not only to Italy but presumably throughout Europe ”.