Home » World » Empty shelves, economy at risk and the mystery of the unknown zero patient. The coronavirus “psychosis” has finally arrived in Europe – Observer …

Empty shelves, economy at risk and the mystery of the unknown zero patient. The coronavirus “psychosis” has finally arrived in Europe – Observer …

“Obviously we all expect a quick recovery, but given the uncertainty, it would be prudent to prepare for more adverse scenarios,” warned Georgieva, who even risked predicting a global growth lower than last year by 0.1 percentage points.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire assured that everyone present at the G20 meeting is aware that the coronavirus is a “real risk” for the world economy. Its North American counterpart, Steven Mnuchin, guarantees that in “three or four weeks” it will already be possible to have a more concrete notion of the impact of the virus on the economy. Until then, the concern remains.

The international impact of the epidemic extends to other dimensions, even geopolitics. This Sunday, US officials confirmed to the France-Press Agency that they detected an online offensive of accounts “related to Russia” on various social networks that were trying to link the epidemic to the United States. “Russia’s goal is to sow discord and weaken the institutions of the United States,” said Philip Reeker, deputy secretary of state.

At Conspiracy theories circulating on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook say the virus was created by the US itself to weaken China, as part of the strategy to win the trade war between the two countries. Some accounts even speak of a biological weapon created by the CIA. “We can see their entire disinformation ecosystem in action, including on state television [Russia Today, RT], on the websites that are close to him and on hundreds of fake social media accounts, ”explained Lea Gabrielle, from the State Department, to AFP.

Theories that spread at high speed in the face of a situation where uncertainty and fear tend to overlap with calm and rationality. Helping the climate of fear is the fact that the Italian authorities have recognized this Sunday that, contrary to what had been said initially, they do not yet know who the “zero patient” in the country is – which means that there is a total ignorance about how the coronavirus arrived in Italy.

It is known that the first patient to show symptoms and who was diagnosed with coronavirus was a 38-year-old man from the village of Codogno, who ended up infecting his wife, eight months pregnant, and several health professionals at the hospital. It was he who lit the fuse and that is why he is identified as “patient 1”. Initially, Italian authorities suspected that it was a friend of his, a 40-year-old businessman who had recently been in Shanghai, who brought the Covid-19 from China and infected his friend.

The businessman had no symptoms, but that would not be a reason to assume that he had not been infected. Only the alleged “patient-zero” was tested again and again and the tests for coronavirus continued to be negative. Italian Vice Minister of Health Pierpaolo Sileri confirmed this Sunday: the man was never even infected, which is why he is not the “zero patient”.

The mystery is particularly relevant because it demonstrates that we may not yet know everything there is to know about this virus and how it behaves. Furthermore, some members of the scientific community even explain that, if a clear epidemiological link between Italy and China is not found, it may be a sign that it is no longer possible to contain the virus completely. “I no longer believe that it is possible to prevent a pandemic,” warned German epidemiologist Christian Drosten to a German news agency, pointing to a recent study by Imperial College in London, which estimates that only a third of cases imported from China are detected at this time.

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