Three hundred Italian physicians have sent a petition to the country’s minister of health calling African migrants to Italy the “Trojan Horses of Ebola.”
The doctors are demanding the quarantine of everyone arriving from an Ebola-stricken nation and have warned “each arrival poses the risk of being a Trojan horse that could spark a tragedy.”
An Ebola threat to Italy is particularly relevant to the U.S., because soldiers returning from Africa are being quarantined at a U.S. military base in Vicenza, Italy.
Dr. Giulio Scigliano, the Italian neurologist who arranged the petition, told WND he was motivated because he believes Italy’s health ministry is addressing the Ebola threat “not in terms of health but in political terms.”
“No reasonable person can deny the necessity of quarantine for people coming from … African countries. But our politicians do not even consider this measure to avoid giving a negative connotation to immigration,” Scigliano said.
“In fact, they claim that immigrants are a resource, while general public perceives them as a problem,” Scigliano added in an email to WND.
His petition, signed by 300 practicing Italian physicians, addresses a “massive and continuous surge of migrants arriving from Africa.” It was posted on numerous Italian news and health websites.
As in other European countries, Italian airports are open to flights arriving from West African nations hit with Ebola. Italy relies on airport personnel to report and isolate any suspected cases.
“But the isolation of infected people can only be effective from the very beginning, that is, before these people come into contact with other individuals,” reads the petition.
“The only effective measure is to quarantine anyone arriving from an area at risk, as is the case with the states of New York, New Jersey and Illinois, and with the soldiers of the American base in Vicenza,” the petition says.
Scigliano’s petition accuses Italian authorities of a “deadly mix of political demagoguery and irresponsibility,” which “practically impedes” conventional wisdom “dictat[ing] that everyone be under observation for an adequate period of time.”
The petition claims African migrants to Italy “either disappear or are dispersed throughout various cities within the country, in areas with dense populations where a possible spread of the virus can be much easier and faster than in isolated areas.”
Last month, under a presidential directive, the military deployed roughly 1,400 U.S. military personnel to West Africa to bolster the international community’s efforts to contain the deadly virus. The U.S. expects to deploy at least 3,000 troops throughout the fall, with new estimates of more than 4,000.
Last week, it was reported 11 soldiers, including a two-star general, were under quarantine in Vicenza for 21 days after returning from an Ebola aid mission in Liberia.
With additional research by Brenda J. Elliott.