Interview with Enrico Rossi

We’ll banish the virus with solidarity

by Marco Casale

The Costa Diadema? “The emergency has been handled very well so far, both by the people directly in charge and by the community in Piombino, who have been careful and vigilant, but at the same time open and proactive”, the President of Tuscany Regional Administration, Enrico Rossi, told Port News. He also praised the very important role played by the Civil Protection Dept. which “has managed to coordinate the activities carried out by the various parties involved, at national and local level and in relation to Costa Cruises.”

The governor is satisfied: “By talking with USMAF, the maritime health dept of the Ministry of Health and the owner of the ship, we have agreed on the various steps: health surveillance on board, carrying out testing and recovery of patients at the hospitals in Grosseto and Piombino. This was arranged through CROSS, the advanced medical point to handle serious cases, both inside the ship and after disembarkation.”

Mr. Rossi does not fail to emphasize what the Regional Environment Department has done: “The necessary authorization acts have been issued to allow the various parties involved to initiate waste management and disposal procedures” – he explained – “as soon as there was a need we signed an order to address the issue.”

In short, the governor agrees with the President of the North Tyrrhenian Port Network Authority, Stefano Corsini, who recently, in a declaration to the press, defined the Piombino model as a source of inspiration also for the management of similar cases in other ports. “I agree with him: the experience that we have acquired will be useful in the future in managing similar emergencies in Tuscan ports. These are complex situations, which require effective coordination of many parties and different levels of government.”

For the President of Tuscany Regional Administration, coordination, collaboration and fair distribution and accommodating passengers and crews “are the principles that must be used to manage this and other cases that may inevitably arise. All this, as far as we are concerned, requires a particular, continuous dialogue with the two neighbouring regions of Lazio and Liguria”.

What if there are other Costa Diademas in the future? According to Mr. Rossi, Tuscany can only respond “here”: “I think that when an emergency situation arises, a sense of solidarity and availability must prevail. This is also why, in the current emergency scenario, we have prepared 280 new intensive care units, which we are ready to make partially available to our country in a spirit of solidarity”.

Of course, however, any such initiative must be carried out “within a framework of coordination, institutional collaboration, and respect for competences and not through impositions. The real conditions, the respective situations, the actual capacities and availability of each place must always be considered by those who have responsibilities at national level”.

According to the governor “the emergency situation we are experiencing is very particular and unprecedented. We are gradually learning about the threat we face. This can sometimes lead to anxiety, fear and uncertainties”. It is, however, “the duty of the institutional representatives, when a situation of necessity arises, to make themselves available, in a spirit of institutional cooperation. This is all the more so if the issue concerns public health and a distress call from the sea. And this is what our Region has done in the case of the Costa Diadema.”

Translation by Giles Foster

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