A pharmacist shared his experience of working in one of the 'red zones' in the northern Italian town of Codogno quarantined due to the coronavirus outbreak, speaking near the commune of San Fiorano on Saturday.
Pharmacist Giuseppe Maestri has a special permit from the prefecture that allows him to freely enter and exit the 'red zone,' since he lives outside of it.
Maestri said normalcy was... Еще still distant from Codogno, and that the town almost looked ''like a still from a movie where nobody is outside, everything is still, the shops are all closed. Very few people are going around. So it's a surreal situation.''
''The health situation in the red zones is dealt with in a good way now. At the beginning they did not expect these towns — which are medium-big — to have to face such an emergency situation. So in the beginning they struggled,'' Maestri added.
He noted that pharmacies had become the most important healthcare ''garrison'' in small villages without a hospital or an emergency room, and that pharmacists were on ''the frontline'' in trying to contain the virus.
''I really don't feel like a hero. The heroes are those who are working in healthcare right now, to try and slow down this epidemic,'' Maestri said.
Even though Maestri is allowed to exit the red zone, he recounted how he also is living in a state of quasi-isolation: ''I live in isolation when I go back home from work. I leave the red zone, I arrive home and I don't leave home until the morning after, when I go to work.''
As advice to the general public, Meastri said: ''I would tell everyone to be careful and use masks when they enter crowded places like supermarkets.''
According to the latest reports by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), at least 102,132 people worldwide have been infected by the COVID-19 so far and over 3,488 people have died. 4,636 cases have been detected in Italy as of Friday evening, with 197 deaths and 523 recoveries.