Nicola Zingaretti, the leader of Italy’s co-ruling Democratic Party (PD), broke the news on social media on Saturday that he tested positive for the the virus. Zingaretti is the first senior Italian politician to have contracted the virus.
“I have coronavirus too”, Zingaretti said in a video posted on Facebook, adding he was fine and in self-isolation in his house.”
Italy has recorded thousands of cases on coronavirus in Europe with a total of 4,656 cases and 207 deaths as of Friday, and is reporting more deaths per day from the virus than any other nation in the world which has forced all sporting events and other activities involving crowds or spectators in the country to be done behind close doors.
Earlier this week, the Italian government ordered the closure of schools, universities, cinemas and theaters to curtail infections.
The case of Nicola Zingaretti, the leader of the Democratic party and also governor of the central region of Lazio, which includes the capital Rome, could cause unrest among government officials given the frequent contacts he has with ministers, regional administrators, members of the Democratic Party and family members.
In his Facebook post, Zingaretti added that his family is following the required protocols and all the people he had been in contact with in recent days were being contacted for checks.
He said “I said it before, no panic. Let’s fight. I will set a good example and follow to the letter the rules set by doctors and scientists,”.
The cases of coronavirus been contracted by government officials in the country is spreading gradually. Just recently, Italy’s Industry Minister Stefano Patuanelli put himself in isolation after one of his aides tested positive to the virus. Attilio Fontana, regional governor of the northern region of Lombardy, the most affected area of the country, did the same thing.
Politicians sent Zingaretti messages of support after breaking the news.
Vito Crimi, the caretaker leader of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement which governs with the PD told the Italian people that “With the recent outbreaks of the virus, and in this time of emergency, our common enemy is the coronavirus, we’ll only be able to defeat it if we stay united and fight it together.”
As the Italian government is fighting for a country free of coronavirus, other countries have also recorded fresh cases of the virus brought into their country by Italian’s.