Pays neighbors of Italy, France, Switzerland and Austria follow with attention, without panicking, the evolution of the health situation in the peninsula, where more than 130 cases of coronavirus were recorded and where eleven cities were placed in quarantine.
France is preparing for a possible “epidemic” of the new coronavirus, said French Minister of Health Olivier Véran in an interview with Parisien Dimanche, estimating “very likely” the possibility of new cases in France.
“An epidemic? We are preparing for it, ”he said, referring in particular to the increase in“ the number of laboratories equipped with diagnostic tests to reach a capacity of several thousand analyzes per day and throughout the territory, against 400 today ”. hui “.
He is due to hold a press briefing on the coronavirus on Sunday evening, the ministry’s press service told AFP.
Transport in France
On the transport side, “Air France normally operates all of its flights to and from Italy,” an airline spokesperson told AFP on Sunday.
For its part, the SNCF (rail transport) broadcasts messages in major French stations calling travelers to contact an emergency number in case of illness, but has not yet deployed any specific device on the subject of Italy, according to a spokesperson.
Coming to attend the Nice Carnival (south) coming from Milan, Béatrice, 30, explained to the AFP at the station on Sunday morning that she suffered “no checks” during her journey.
The prefecture of the airports indicates for its part that “there are no particular measures, we remain on the existing device” for Parisian airports: at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle, distribution of posters for travelers from ‘Italy and presence of medical teams to inform, reassure and even take the temperature of passengers who so wish. However, no specific device is planned at Orly, where there is no direct flight to Italy.
Concern in Switzerland
Switzerland has so far “not taken any additional measures” such as border restrictions but “obviously we are watching very carefully what is happening in Italy” where the Civil Protection counted 132 cases of Covid-19, a said a spokesman for the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) on Sunday.
But concern is growing among the neighboring population, according to the Swiss press agency Keystone-ATS, since around 68,000 Italian cross-border workers come to work daily in the canton of Ticino.
Local politicians are already calling for measures to protect the population, the agency also noted, citing a demand from a populist right (UCD) politician for temperature controls for cross-border residents.
“No reason to panic” in Austria
No specific measures have been taken for the moment either in Austria with regard to passengers coming from Italy, a spokeswoman for Vienna airport told AFP.
The Austrian health ministry said on Saturday that there was “no reason to panic” so far.
“We have conducted 181 tests of suspected cases in Austria so far, all of which have been negative. We are in constant contact with all the countries of the European Union and have the capacity to take immediate action in the event of suspicion of a link with Austria, “said the Austrian minister.
Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said Sunday that the ministry’s coronavirus team will meet on Monday with experts.