Was Coronavirus imported to Italy directly from China? Reports blame Chinese intrusion in iconic Italian leather industry

Bangladesh Live News | @banglalivenews | 21 Mar 2020

Rome: With Italy witnessing one of the worst episodes of coronavirus outbreak, which has claimed lives of 4,032 people, doubts are high that whether the presence of greater number of Chinese workers in the country's elite leather-good factories might have triggered the enormous amount of carnage carried out by the virus.

The 'Made in Italy' tag is associated with luxury and class but in recent times Chinese intrusion into the industry is very much evident.

Incidentally, China's Wuhan is suspected to be the origin of the Coronavirus pandemic which has now touched nearly all corners of the globe, killing people and even hitting hard the economic markets across the world.

The American Spectator reported: "In the world of fashion, the “Made in Italy” tag has a distinct value associated with luxury and status. Merchants can charge higher prices for clothing, shoes, handbags, and other fashion goods manufactured in Italy, and that value was coveted by certain Chinese entrepreneurs."

"During the past three decades, more and more Chinese investors bought into textile and leather-good factories in northern Italy, and they brought over Chinese laborers to work in those factories. By 2010, there were reportedly 60,000 Chinese in Prato, an industrial suburb of Florence. To accommodate Italy’s new foreign labor force, nonstop flights were established between China and Rome," it said in its report titled 'Coronavirus: The Price of Luxury'.

"Considering how the role of Chinese workers in the 'Made in Italy' fashion boom had been so widely reported in the past decade, could it be that journalists suddenly forgot this fact? Or should we suspect that these reporters are deliberately overlooking the connection between Italy’s Chinese labor force and this deadly pandemic?" the reports asked.

The magazine also said that it is possible to suspect from the size, location, and timing of Italy’s coronavirus outbreak  that the disease was imported to the country directly from China.

"But, by early March, the Italian outbreak was so widespread that the direction of transmission was already going in the other direction, as Chinese people returning from Italy brought the disease back to China with them," it said.

Questioning the role played by Chinese workers in importing the disease to Italy, the magazine said, "Importing workers to manufacture 'Made in Italy' fashion made luxury items cheaper. Now the full price is being paid, and it’s turning out to be painfully expensive."

According to the web magazine The Federalist, Lombardy and Tuscany are the two regions that saw the most Chinese investment.

"Nearly a year later, the first Wuhan coronavirus infection case in Italy was reported in the Lombardy region on Feb. 21. Today, Italy is experiencing the worst coronavirus outbreak outside China, and Lombardy is the hardest-hit region in the country," the report said.

Italy's ANSA news agency quoted Emergency Commissioner and Civil Protection Chief Angelo Borrelli as saying on Friday that 4,032 people have died with the coronavirus in Italy, up 627 on Thursday.

It is the highest daily rise in the number of victims anywhere in the world, reported the news agency.

Borrelli said 37,860 people are currently infected by the virus in the country.

Images: Photo by Kristina Petrick on Unsplash; Photo by Dimitri Karastelev on Unsplash; Image by Marko Lovric from Pixabay

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