Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Why Italy First? Health, Geographical and Planning aspects of the Covid-19 outbreak

Version 1 : Received: 3 May 2020 / Approved: 5 May 2020 / Online: 5 May 2020 (12:33:07 CEST)

How to cite: Murgante, B.; Borruso, G.; Balletto, G.; Castiglia, P.; Dettori, M. Why Italy First? Health, Geographical and Planning aspects of the Covid-19 outbreak. Preprints 2020, 2020050075 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202005.0075.v1). Murgante, B.; Borruso, G.; Balletto, G.; Castiglia, P.; Dettori, M. Why Italy First? Health, Geographical and Planning aspects of the Covid-19 outbreak. Preprints 2020, 2020050075 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202005.0075.v1).

Abstract

The Covid-19 has hit Italy in February 2020 after its outbreak in China at the beginning of January. But why Italy first among Western countries? What are the conditions that made Italy more vulnerable and the first target of such disease? What characteristics and what diffusion patterns could be highlighted and hypothesized, from the outbreak to the end of March 2020, after containment measures - including a national lock down – were introduced? In this paper we try to provide some answers to these questions, analyzing the issue from the medical, geographical and planning points of view. In particular, we started from a hypothesis of very similar economic, geographical, climatic and environmental conditions of the areas of Wuhan – in Hubei Province in China, the outbreak of the epidemics – and the Po Valley area – in Italy – where most cases and deaths were registered. Adopting an ecological approach, we compared the spatial distribution and pattern of Covid-19-related mortality in Italy with several geographical, environmental and socio-economic variables at Provincial level, analyzing them by means of spatial analytical techniques as LISA – Local Indicators of Spatial Association. Possible evidence relating Covid-19 cases and Nitrogen-related pollutants and land take arise, particularly in the Po Valley area.

Subject Areas

Covid-19; Italy; Po-Valley; NOx; Pollution; Particles; Land Take; Spatial Diffusion Processes; LISA.

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