Tens of thousands of people in the provinces of Brescia and Bergamo in the northern Italian region of Lombardy are providing false information on self-declaration forms, enabling them to leave their homes amid a nationwide lockdown due to CCP virus.
The Epoch Times refers to the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, as the CCP virus because the Chinese Communist Party’s coverup and mismanagement allowed the virus to spread throughout China and create a global pandemic.
Giovanni Bosetti, a 22-year-old University student living in Brescia, Lombardy, which has seen coronavirus cases soar in recent weeks, told The Epoch Times that despite citizens being made to self-isolate, thousands are continuing to leave their homes for non-essential reasons.
The student said that many still continue to provide false reasons on self-declaration forms in a bid to maintain normal life, despite an increase in police patrols. As a consequence, officials have raised the price of fines to up to 3,000 euros ($3,254) from the previous amount of up to 300 euros ($325).
Authorities said in recent weeks they have caught over 100,000 people leaving their homes without a valid reason or lying on their forms, according to the Italian Ministry of the Interior.
Self-declaration forms were introduced into Italy on March 9 in an effort to stem the spread of the disease and clearly stated that a false declaration was a crime. Despite the strict isolation measures, among others, Italy has seen more fatalities than any other country, with the latest figures showing that 6,820 people have died from the infection in barely a month, while the number of confirmed cases has hit 69,176 as of March 25.
However, Bosetti said that as a young person living in Lombardy, he is not concerned that he may be at risk of catching the virus, noting that he felt reassured by the government and health experts’ advice that while the virus is contagious, about 70 to 75 percent of the infected were asymptomatic and only a small percentage of the rest were severe enough to be placed in intensive care.
Being fit and healthy with an active lifestyle, the student said his only concern is that if he himself were to catch the virus, he might pass it on to those who are not in good health.
Speaking of the impact the virus has had on his daily life as well as that of his fellow students, the young student noted that he now spends “all day at home attending online lessons, studying for exams,” and trying to do physical exercise when possible and said that he is struggling not being able to socialize with his friends in person.
“All my working friends are at home because the companies are closed and therefore something must be invented to pass the time,” he said, adding that the virus has “distorted our daily routine also due to the fact that we now have to pay more attention to personal hygiene.”
“When we leave the house, we put on gloves and a mask, as soon as we return home, we wash our hands. We have to practice social distancing whenever we see someone and almost everyone carries a portable hand sanitizer,” Bosetti said, adding that the hygiene precautions are repeatedly being emphasized to Italians a “thousand times a day,” through TV advertisements, internet notifications, and flyers on the streets.
Bosetti said that Brescia has become a drastically different city in recent weeks as the pandemic continues to spread, and explained that when the virus initially broke out, Italians were simply being told to be careful and take precautions such as practicing social distancing and safe hygiene as he thinks doctors did not believe the situation would worsen that much.
“Back then the politicians hadn’t taken the matter seriously and therefore everyone did everything they had always done, paying some attention but not too much. Then around the middle of February they started making decrees that limited the gatherings, but they did it in a non-homogeneous way and therefore without results.”
“Unfortunately, the health situation has continued to worsen,” he added. “Every day I hear the sound of the ambulance sirens several times and at night I hear even more. Our real problem is that we do not have enough intensive care places to accommodate so many people and as a result, some are not accepted.”
Bosetti added that younger individuals taken to a hospital are being treated as a priority while the elderly with underlying health conditions are simply being “left to die.”
“This is our real problem. By staying at home, we avoid transmitting the virus and therefore do not overload the hospitals,” he added.
Lombardy is now working to convert unused structures into hospitals and some factories are focusing solely on the production of personal protective equipment such as face masks in order to meet growing demands, Bosetti explained, adding that “every individual is responsible (for helping to slow the spread of the disease) and if everyone does his or her part by avoiding social contact, I’m sure this will see fewer victims and Italy will recover sooner.”