Despite the surge in infections between the end of February and the first days of March and the “catastrophic” scenario ascertained, no red zone was established in Alzano Lombardo and Nembro, moreover already ready to ‘isolate themselves’ to avoid having to count beyond 4 thousand deaths from Covid. And the pandemic flu plan was not implemented, even though it dates back to 2006: a lack that led to a chain of delays and omissions that would later lead to the “uncontrolled spread” of the virus. A diffusion that brought the Pesenti Fenaroli hospital in Alzano to prominence, the epicenter of the pandemic in the Bergamo area where, almost simultaneously with the discovery of Patient 1, several cases and even victims had already been recorded.
These are essentially the three major issues put on paper by the Bergamo Public Prosecutor’s Office in the notice of closure of the investigation into the management of the first wave of Covid in the most affected area of Italy, as evidenced by the data and images of the long columns of Army trucks carrying the coffins of those who lost their lives in this tragedy which, investigators say, could have been less heavy. Investigation in which there are 19 suspects, and among them the former prime minister Giuseppe Conte, the former minister Roberto Speranza – the Court of Ministers based in Brescia is competent for the two of them – the president of Lombardy Attilio Fontana, the former councilor of the Lombard Welfare Giulio Gallera, and various important exponents of the world of Italian health, such as Claudio D’Amario ex dg of prevention of the ministry, Agostino Miozzo coordinator of the Scientific Technical Committee, Silvio Brusaferro, director of the Istituto Superiore di Sanità, and Angelo Borrelli, former head of the Civil Protection. The charges contested for various reasons are aggravated culpable epidemic, manslaughter, refusal of official documents and forgery. There was “an insufficient risk assessment”, explained the Prosecutor Antonio Chiappani, adding that “in the face of thousands of deaths and the advice that tells us that they could possibly have been avoided, we could not close with a filing”.
So today, after the names of the suspects were already known yesterday evening, the notices of conclusion of the investigation were served, not without some controversy due to the way in which the case ‘covered’ by an undeniable public interest was handled: ” It is shameful that a person who was heard at the beginning of the investigation as having been informed of the facts discovers in the newspapers that he has been transformed into a suspect – Fontana blurted out – It is a shame that I don’t know if any magistrate in this country thinks he is investigating. Surely nothing will happen.” According to the reconstruction of investigators and investigators, reported in the deed, the failure to establish the red zone would have caused “the spread of the epidemic” in Val Seriana with an “estimated increase not less than the contagion of 4,148 people, equal to the number of deaths in unless they would have occurred” if it had been ordered from 27 February 2020 either by Conte or by Fontana. The then prime minister, on the other hand, together with the members of the CTS, in the meetings of 29 February and 1 March 2020, allegedly “limited himself to proposing (…) purely supplementary measures, without once again proposing to extend” the decision already adopted in the Lodi area, “despite the further increase in contagion” and “the ascertainment of the conditions that (…) corresponded to the most catastrophic scenario”.
With regard to the non-application of the existing pandemic plan, Brusaferro is accused of having proposed not so much its “implementation” but “alternative actions, thus preventing the timely adoption of the measures envisaged therein”. Accusation, this one for which Speranza responds with her technicians at the time and, for not having applied the regional plan, Gallera and the former general manager of Welfare Luigi Cajazzo. Finally, the chapter concerning the Alzano hospital for which the top management and executives of the Asst of Bergamo Est are being investigated: according to the hypothesis, no measures were taken to contain the virus and its emergency room was closed and then reopened without adequate disinfection. This has led to an acceleration of the infections and even the death of some doctors. “I believe I acted with the utmost humility in dealing with the experts” and “with the utmost sense of responsibility and the utmost commitment”, Conte returned to comment in the evening. “There are ongoing judicial checks, they are welcome. I will respond in the appropriate forums but don’t expect media shows from me”.
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