Wednesday, August 4

“It does not close but it has fewer victims than Milan”

Correspondent in Rome



Madrid is on the lips of Italians because they see it as a model in the way in which it has faced the health emergency of the Covid and the economic crisis. The references of the Spanish capital are almost daily in all the media. RAI public television has dedicated several reports. Last night Channel 7 did it with a long space, in a program at rush hour, with images and interviews, highlighting that “the fundamental difference with Italy is that in Madrid practically everything is open.” Today is the first Italian newspaper, the ‘Corriere della Sera’, which publishes an article entitled “The ‘miracle’ of Madrid: it does not close, but it has fewer victims than Milan.” Signed by Andrea Nicastro, a journalist who has been a correspondent in Madrid, the article highlights, providing data, the differences between Madrid and Milan, the capitals of the economic engines of Spain and Italy.

The Corriere writes that “the difference in everyday life between the two economic engines, in fact, is impressive. The sacrifice that was asked of the Lombard merchants, restaurateurs and students was enormous compared to that of their Madrid colleagues. However, looking at the data, It turns out that Madrid (open) suffered less from the Covid than Lombardy (closed) […] The Spanish capital, even with masks, distancing and a ‘curfew’, has almost always kept cinemas, restaurants, theaters and schools in operation, even at night. Lombardy, no. However, the epidemic has affected the prudent metropolis (Milan) more ».

In the data provided by the article, Madrid is favored over the Lombard capital: «Between October and March, Milan had an average of 6,200 positives per 100,000 inhabitants, Madrid some less, 5,800. Greater advantage of the Spanish capital on deaths. In Lombardy there were 136 per 100,000 inhabitants, in Madrid 98. Fewer closures corresponded to better economic performance. Lombardy, more closed than the rest of Italy, lost 9.8% of its GDP compared to a national average of 8.9. Madrid, on the other hand, also more open than the rest of Spain, held out a little better, losing 10.3% of GDP compared to 11% at the national level ».

Another very important aspect that is compared is the health one, as it is structural and quantifiable. Milan has sanitary structures that are considered by far the best in Italy, and on equal terms to the best in Europe. The comparative data between Madrid and Milan are also favorable to the Spanish capital. “At the beginning of the pandemic – writes Corriere – Lombardy had 9 intensive care beds for every 100,000 inhabitants and Madrid 14”. Lastly, the Milan-based newspaper highlighted the differences in the epidemiological figures for April 7: «Madrid continued to do better than Lombardy. I had more infected, but fewer victims: 2,394 new positives against 2,569 in Lombardy and 19 deaths against 109 (0.2 against 1 per 100,000 inhabitants) ».

Possible explanations

Among the possible explanations of why the coronavirus has done more damage in Milan than in Madrid, despite the closure suffered by the Lombard capital, it stands out that the average age is lower in Madrid, where there is also less pollution, better climate and rapid tests on the virus have been done, with entire neighborhoods isolated in case of contagion.

Last night, after broadcasting the long report on the opening situation of Madrid, the host of the La7 program ‘Piazzapulita’ commented in amazement that, in contrast to Madrid, “Lombardy has the ICUs occupied at 60% this Thursday, when the critical level begins to be from 30% “. The participants of the program were impressed to see that the images of the report, recorded at Easter, offered an open Madrid while Milan and the entire country was confined.

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