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Feedback from Mr. PORTELLI, Presidente Anfaci, regarding the COVID19 crisis management

April 4, 2020


Dear colleagues,

I’m receiving requests for clarifications on the Coronavirus issue. I’ll try to answer as far as I know and have dealt with.



It should be borne in mind that we are in the presence of an unprecedented crisis, the dedication of the medical personnel is extraordinary and any reflection on Covid-19 is provisional.

In my opinion, one should be careful with one's preconceptions, partial solutions should be avoided and we must learn from what is happening. Risks of other epidemics will also persist in the future.

The crisis broke out incredibly quickly and continued with anything but linear trends and despite the data now available, it is difficult to make predictions. It is not always clear what is the best thing to do as there are many interests involved, often in contrast.


In Italy:

a) initially, the coronavirus arrived from Bavaria (industry executives visiting Lombardy) and from Austria ski resorts  (Italians on vacation); for example, in February the football match Atalanta vs Valencia with 45 thousand spectators was a bomb for Lombardy and for a part of Spain;

b) we started earlier than many other countries to conduct a census of the infected people; this led to media overexposure and I’ve read several sillinesses in the foreign press;

c) it took more than a month before awareness of the severity of the disease developed; getting infected is very easy, for this reason the population is recommended to wash hands often, to keep a distance (at least 1 meter), to often get fresh air, not to touch one’s face, and to stay at home;

d) we did’t have an adequate health organization to combat this disease; in particular, we didn’t have thousands of beds in the intensive care and intensive care units to be used exclusively for the isolation of coronavirus patients;

e) in the public apparatuses, there was no clear rule regarding the chain of command during a pandemic crisis; the Italian State is organized on the mosaic of local governments autonomy and decentralized state competences.


The main measures adopted to date:

1. limitation of the movement of people, the absolute ban on leaving home for those in quarantine because they are infected and the "precautionary quarantine" for those who have had close contacts with infected subjects;

2. suspension of activity, limitation of entry or closure of structures and spaces open to the public such as places for worship, museums, cinemas, theaters, gyms, sports centers, swimming pools, swimming centers, sports facilities, ballrooms, discos, amusement arcades, betting rooms and bingo halls, cultural centers, social centers, leisure centers, parks, playgrounds, urban roads;

3. limitation, suspension or prohibition of carrying out recreational, sports and physical activities outdoors or in places open to the public, meetings, gatherings, conferences, demonstrations, initiatives or events of any kind;

4. suspension of civil and religious ceremonies and limitation or suspension of sporting events and competitions, even if private, as well as regulating the methods for carrying out sports training within the same places;

5. possibility of ordering or entrusting to the competent state and regional authorities the reduction, suspension or elimination of services for the transport of people and goods or local public transport;

6. suspension or closure of educational services for children, schools of all types and levels and higher education institutions;

7. limitation or suspension of public administration activities, without prejudice to the provision of essential and public utility services;

8. limitation, suspension or closure of the on-the-spot administration or consumption of drinks and food, fairs, markets and retail activities, in any case ensuring adequate availability of food and basic necessities to be carried out in a manner suitable to avoid gatherings of people;

9. limitation or suspension of any other business or professional and self-employment activities;

10. possibility of applying the modality of agile working to any subordinate employment relationship, even in derogation from the regulations in force;

11. obligation that the permitted activities take place after taking suitable measures to avoid gatherings of people, to ensure compliance with the interpersonal safety distance (at least 1 meter) and, for public necessity services, where it is not possible to comply this interpersonal distance, provision of anti-contagion safety protocols, with the adoption of individual protection tools.




This pandemic is very serious and we have learned that no details should be overlooked, initially it was very difficult to convince citizens, to change habits and social beliefs.


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