Napoli will rename its stadium after the beloved city football hero.
Diego Armando Maradona’s death, on November 25, left the Italian city of Napoli mourning the football legend who played seven golden years with Napoli, leading the club to two Serie A victories.
The Argentine footballer helped Napoli win its first Serie A league title in 1987, a remarkable feat which saw the team beat heavyweights Juventus, Inter and AC Milan, then win a second Italian league title in 1990 – a feat the club has never had. matched since.
When word got out that he had died yesterday – after suffering a heart attack at the age of 60 – the Neapolitans took to the streets to mourn their hero who remained respected three decades after he left Naples.
The city’s Stadio S. Paolo lights all its spotlights in honor of Maradona. Late at night it was confirmed that the stadium would be renamed in honor of the footballer who scored 115 goals for Napoli, despite playing primarily in a creative role as an attacking midfielder.
Explain Maradona as “the greatest footballer of all time,” Napoli mayor Luigi De Magistris tweeted: “Diego made our people dream, he redeemed Napoli with his genius. In 2017 he became a citizen of our honor. Diego, Neapolitan and Argentina, you gave. our joy and happiness! Napoli love you! “
The whole world mourned her death #Maradonna, who with his unmatched talent wrote unforgettable pages in the history of football. Goodbye, eternal champion. pic.twitter.com/nhNo1ySjdp
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte paid tribute to the footballer, who was discharged from hospital a few weeks ago after undergoing brain surgery: “The whole world mourns the passing of Maradona, who with unmatched talent wrote an unforgettable page in football history. Goodbye. the everlasting champion. “
Pope Francis, who famously shared a warm hug with his compatriot in 2014, prayed for Maradona, according to the Vatican press office. “The pope was informed of Diego Maradona’s death, he remembers the times he met her in recent years with great affection, and he remembers it in his prayers, as he did in previous days when he was told of his condition,” said Holy See spokesman Matteo Bruni.
The Argentine Pope, a big fan of football, met Maradona in 2014 at a special audience related to a charity football game. The football legend presented Francis with a jersey, emblazoned with “Francisco” and the signature Maradona No. 10.
Italian Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadaforo tweeted: “Maradona’s death is bad news. He is more than a champion, he is a football genius, an absolute champion. He represents the dreams and hopes of the people in my city in a season that will not be repeated. Napoli is a cry tonight. “
Napoli tweeted “Ciao Diego, Always in our hearts,” with the club sharing a flood of posts from rival teams, particularly Juventus who shared Maradona’s historic “impossible goal” that beat the northern giants in Napoli in 1985. This generous gesture was highly appreciated by Napoli fans.
This weekend all Italian league matches will kick off with a minute’s silence to mark Maradona’s death.
Considered by many to be the greatest soccer player who ever lived, Maradona captained Argentina to victory at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico. During that tournament, in the quarter-final against England, he scored a goal with his hand in a famous incident he described as the “hand of God.”
Maradona’s home country is being shaken by his sudden death, although his ill health and his fight against addiction have long received intense media attention.
Former England striker Gary Lineker wrote on Twitter that Maradona was “the best player of my generation and arguably the greatest of all time. After a blessed but troubled life, may she finally find comfort in God’s hands. “
Southern Italy emerged from the first wave of the pandemic in the spring in relatively good shape. An initial lockdown in northern Italy in late February, followed by a nationwide lockdown in March, slowed the virus’s journey south, saving the region’s generally incomplete hospital from disaster.
The gruesome amateur video that emerged in mid-November and went viral leaves no doubt that southern Italy’s fortunes are running out. The video, taken at the Antonio Cardarelli Hospital in central Naples, shows an unidentified man dying or dying in an ICU restroom. He slumped against the wall, motionless.
What’s also sad is the pan shot from the ICU itself. The room was full of bedridden patients. The scene is chaotic, and the video approaches an old woman wrapped in a blue blanket, her legs dangling over the side of the bed. A voice said: “We don’t know if he is alive or dead.”
At the nearby Cotugno infectious disease hospital, photos and videos show medics connecting patients in their cars to oxygen and IV machines while they wait to be treated. Media reports said that at least four people died in an ambulance parked outside an overloaded Naples hospital.
Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio, who is from Naples, said the city’s health services were in crisis. “The situation in Napoli and in many areas of Campania [the region that includes Naples] out of control, “he said.
“You have so many hospitals overcrowded – 50 patients in rooms designed for 20 patients,” said Fernando Schiraldi, a retired critical care specialist who runs the ICU at San Paolo hospital in Naples. “Yes, we have more ICU beds now, but we don’t always have enough doctors and nurses to manage them.”
The mayor of Leoluca Orlando of Palermo, the capital of Sicily, warned that the island was facing “inevitable carnage” as COVID-19 infections flooded his hospitals.
The scene is very different in Rimini, an Adriatic city in the north-central region of Emilia-Romagna, east of Tuscany. There, hospitals are full but not at their breaking point, partly because the region has a strong public health care system – resists the privatization that is undermining public hospitals elsewhere – and has the foresight and resources to plan a second wave.
The ICU at Rimini Hospital doubled its number of beds to 29 over the summer and is employing more doctors and nurses. Currently, COVID-19 patients occupy 23 beds, and four others have gone to patients who do not have the virus, which means the unit still has spare capacity, even though the infection rate in Emilia-Romagna is high. “I firmly believe the second batch is coming, and we are preparing,” Giuseppe Nardi, the hospital’s ICU director, said in an interview. “We are preparing ourselves. Campania is not preparing for the second wave. “
He said the situation is not as grim as it was in the spring, when residents of Rimini bring food to exhausted medics, who work two shifts for two months, and raise € 400,000 to buy ventilators for the ICU. Smaller hospitals in the area were raided for equipment. “We are in a big mess,” said Dr. Nardi. “It’s much better now.”
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Italy is the epicenter of the original European pandemic and has suffered greatly, especially in the north, in March and April. Hospitals are experiencing shortages of medical personnel, ventilators and personal protective equipment. Charities, including the American-Canadian medical charity Samaritan’s Purse, opened a field emergency hospital to relieve pressure from some northern hospitals. Cuba, Russia and China supply medical equipment and personnel.
The number of cases and deaths plunged in the summer, and Italy ended its lockdown. In late August, infections spiked again, then spiked, sparking a new round of restrictions. As of Tuesday, Italy has recorded 52,306 deaths, the second highest number in Europe after Britain, and more than 1.45 million infections. The Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 database says Italy has recorded four deaths per 100 infections, the third-highest death rate in the world.
Currently, about two-thirds of the country is in some form of lockdown. The use of masks outdoors and physical distancing is mandatory everywhere, bars and restaurants must close at 6pm, and curfews come into effect at 10pm. Italian cities are again ghost towns.
Now, like in spring, the worry is that overloaded hospitals can’t handle it, even though several thousand ICU beds have been added. The Ministry of Health has stated that more than 30 percent of the ICUs occupied by COVID-19 patients have reached “critical” status, as that level starts to exclude patients suffering from other diseases, such as heart failure.
Statistics published by the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore show only two of Italy’s 21 regions are below the 30 percent threshold, although some are only slightly above. The ICU in a hospital in Lombardy, the area around Milan, which has the highest number of deaths in Italy, is again on the verge of exploding; at last count, nearly 92 percent of ICU patients were victims of the pandemic. ICUs in several smaller regions in the far north, in the central part of the country and in Puglia, in the far south, have also been badly affected.
The hospital crisis in the north and in parts of the south is due in part to a shift of funds from the public to private health care system, a process that began some 25 years ago and accelerated under Silvio Berlusconi, who was first elected prime minister. minister in 1994 and last took office in 2011.
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In that era, Italy developed a public-private system, in which public hospitals and private clinics competed for government funding. Over time, the private system began to suck up as much government funding as the public. With the profit motive at play, private clinics devote their resources to the most lucrative services and specialties, such as oncology.
Funding for general public health care is deteriorating. Crucially, the number of beds in public hospitals has plummeted, and equipment such as ventilators has become scarce. Private hospitals are increasing their capacity, but only slightly.
The destruction of public hospitals is clearly visible in Lombardy. When the pandemic came, Lombardy and several other areas lacked the beds, equipment and medical talent to deal with the raging disease. “They stopped investing in public hospitals,” said Dr. Schiraldi. “Politicians are cutting the number of public beds, equipment and staff because so much financial resources are being diverted to the private system.”
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“My father died because the administration of the national health service was so bad – the hospital was only 1 kilometer (about half a mile) from his house but the emergency room has been closed,” said Ipazia Ruotolo, adding that his 74 were Francesco, a year old politically active father. , has struggled unsuccessfully for reopening. “If it opens, he will survive,” he said.
When she started feeling unwell in mid-October, she did not initially undergo a COVID-19 test because the national health service staff did not find her condition alarming despite her old age.
Francesco turned to a private hospital for testing, and by the end of the month, it was clear he had the coronavirus, and was in an increasingly critical condition. She and her family called various hospitals every day to have her treated while relatives watched her condition deteriorate. Early November, he was finally admitted to the clinic and isolated. Francesco died on November 15 at the Antonio Cardarelli Hospital, one of the largest medical centers in Naples.
‘You will live forever in our struggle:’ Ipazia Ruotolo in front of a banner in memory of her late father
The hospital has become a symbol of the dramatic situation in the region’s hospitals after videos posted on social media showed the lifeless body of a COVID-19 patient who collapsed and died in a toilet in a hospital bathroom.
Lose the battle for proper health care
On her way to the neighborhood chapel to commemorate her father’s life, Ipazia Ruotolo passed a large banner hanging in honor of her commitment to the community, for example, reading, “You will live forever in our struggle.” Francesco has helped rebuild the streets of his neighborhood, he has campaigned for new hospitals as well as improved patient-centered care at existing clinics. He strongly protested the closure of another clinic. This struggle became a symbol of his death, said his daughter Ipazia.
Francesco’s death is just one example of the precarious state of the southern Italian health system.
In Italy, files The second severe wave of the coronavirus has seen around 30,000 new infections every day. Naples and the Campania region, which is one of the poorest countries, were largely spared the first wave of the pandemic. There are now more than 600 cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 population, according to the National Health Institute (ISS), a figure well above the national average. Classified as a red zone, Campania is now imposing a curfew on residents.
Doctors and medical staff are helpless and frustrated
Hospitals can no longer accept every patient. “Right now all of our beds are filled, both in the intensive care unit and in other wards,” said Elio Manzillo, head of Ospedale Cotugno, a hospital that specializes in infectious diseases. “We only treat COVID patients,” he said, adding that more patients were in the waiting room, hoping to be accepted.
Many emergency departments no longer accept patients
The region paid a heavy price for government budget cuts, many doctors said. Some hospitals have been privatized while public clinics are reducing their medical staff and doctors. They were overworked even before the pandemic hit – meanwhile, the situation has worsened significantly.
A bad situation for patients and bad for health workers who feel helpless because “austerity measures in our region prevent us from meeting people’s needs,” said Simona, a Napoli doctor who only wanted to give his first name. To make up for the shortfall, the hospital employs trainees and doctors from other fields – none of whom are trained for such crisis situations. COVID patients are cared for by ophthalmologists, gynecologists, and medical students from geriatrics, for example, said Lello, an anesthetist.
“We cannot give justice to patients,” said doctor Simona as she regretted cutting costs
In addition to the medical challenges these doctors and nurses face, they fear catching the virus and infecting their family members at home.
Poor area, poor hospital
The difficulties facing the southern Italian health care system are not new. The pandemic has only increased the inequality between private hospitals and the public health sector.
Politicians bear some responsibility, they could do a better job of dealing with the crisis, said Mario Coppeto, left-wing politician, doctor and member of the Napoli City Council. The health system structure is the problem, he said. “Regions bear responsibility, which creates a lot of imbalances – resources, funding and organization vary from region to region.”
Antonio Cardarelli Hospital, where a COVID-19 patient died in the toilet
Napoli’s public health system has not seen the worst, predicts Ospedale Cotugno’s Elio Manzillo. “We expect the infection curve to pick up, the coming weeks will be tough.”
Preparing for the funeral of her father Francesco, Ipazia Ruotolo said medical workers were not to blame for her father’s death. The system is to blame, he said, not the people working for it.
This article was translated from German by Dagmar Breitenbach.
GIUGLIANO IN CAMPANIA, Italy (AP) – Patients, some wrapped in blankets who look like they just came home, complain in bed. What looks like medical tubes and a wad of gauze or paper towels are strewn on the floor of San Giuliano’s public hospital, which treats coronavirus patients in a gloomy city in Italy’s interior Neapolitan.
In another scene shot secretly, 15 kilometers (9 miles) away in Naples, an elderly man suspected of having COVID-19 takes his final breath with difficulty in a bathroom in the emergency room of Cardarelli Hospital, the tip of which is not dignified. immortalized on the phone camera. by fellow patients and posted online.
Meanwhile, outside the entrance of the Cardarelli Emergency Room, the main health care facility for densely populated Naples, those who desperately need oxygen for their loved ones line up in their cars, waiting for nurses to carry tanks of life-saving elements to sick passengers who want to enter. . Overcrowded ER.
The pandemic, which has killed more than 46,000 people in Italy, has increased the urgency of the plight of those seeking medical care in public hospitals in the south of an economically underdeveloped country. But these fleeting moments of drama, while shocking, are nothing new to the people here who depend on such care.
In late September, as coronavirus infections spiked in Italy after a summer’s decline, prosecutors placed 17 hospital managers and workers on an investigation into an insect attack on a Naples hospital. Cardarelli, meanwhile, was once accused by consumer group Codacons of letting patients jostle down corridors as if they were “old boxes.”
Naples prosecutors are investigating the bathroom death in Cardarelli, and the hospital director has ordered an internal investigation. In San Giuliano, hospital officials refused to speak to an AP reporter who visited Saturday, and there was no immediate response at the hospital’s administrative office on Tuesday evening.
Many in the Naples area are resigned to what the La Repubblica newspaper condemned as hell, “Dantesque” waiting to receive treatment for COVID-19. Others round up their loved ones and head north, where Italian health care enjoys a better reputation – but many hospitals there are also overwhelmed.
Lombardy in the north is again the epicenter of the latest coronavirus outbreak in Italy, just like when the virus first hit Europe. In the regional capital Milan, coronavirus infections were rampant through the city’s most prestigious home for the elderly at the start of the pandemic.
In the spring, a severe national lockdown meant that while the north was suffering the brunt of it, much of the south was spared. But now, the virus is attacking several areas at once – phenomenon seen in other European countries.
With the Campania region surrounding Naples now under pressure, at least 116 patients sought treatment this month in neighboring Lazio, at the Dono Svizzero hospital in Formia. Some have tested positive for the virus, while others have other illnesses and fear infection in the area’s chaotic emergency room.
“If the patient knocks on the door, it opens,” Paolo Nucero, head of the Formia hospital emergency room, told Italian state television. “Currently, we are waiting. But if we experience a big flood, we will start to suffer. “
Leaving one’s territory to seek better medical care elsewhere in Italy is so prevalent that a foundation studying the quality of state health care published what it calls a “flight index”. The GIMBE Foundation found that nearly all local health care “fleeing” went north.
In the Italian health care system, each region manages its own expenses. In a cruel illustration of the adage “ the rich get richer while the poor get poorer, ” the footing of the medical bills of Italians traveling outside the region still falls to the area where they live. That means a source of funds for the northern region that provides care but is draining the coffers of the poorer south.
Along the waterfront in Naples, Luigi Orefice placed his 4-year-old son, Giovanni, on the thick walls lining the promenade. With the fog surrounding the Vesuvius volcano in the background, the postcard-like panorama is sure to be familiar to tourists. But her job delivering drinks to the hospital has allowed Orefice to see the ugly reality beyond the image of “O Sole Mio” in the south.
His delivery took him inside the hospital in the middle of the night, when Orefice said he had witnessed lax protocol, such as staff walking barefoot.
“We may have the best hospital department chiefs of staff, but at the bottom, hospital workers are not well managed,” he said.
Outside the San Giuliano Hospital in Giugliano in Campania on the final day, Feliciano Manna, representative of the UIL labor syndicate for ambulance crews, noted that Campania lost about 15,000 health care workers in recent years due to budget cuts. The Italian Civil Protection Force is currently recruiting 450 doctors to help treat COVID-19 patients in the region.
Just weeks before the pandemic began, Campania’s public health care system emerged from central government control for years, as part of efforts to reduce waste and lower costs.
The person behind the video inside San Giuliano Hospital “took advantage of the moment when he saw a lump of gauze on the floor,” said Manna. “The staff does superhuman work,” he said. The video “doesn’t discredit it”.
In the parking lot behind the hospital, Giuseppe Sguiglia, 30, and his 26-year-old wife waited in their car, inching forward in the long line of people registering for COVID-19 tests.
Last year, Sguiglia said, he had to use a local hospital. Judging from that experience, “we understand that Naples will be a disaster” if the pandemic spreads south, he said.
Some cite the dangerous influence of organized crime in several Campania institutions.
Responding to an AP’s question, the Interior Ministry said Monday that the minister would decide this month whether Naples’ vast health care district should come under the temporary control of the ministry’s local prefect – depending on whether it is decided that Camorra infiltrates his government.
According to a separate criminal investigation before the pandemic, the mafia allegedly demanded payment of hundreds of euros to speed up the release of the bodies of patients at one of Naples hospitals to their families.
The first time I met 82-year-old Fernanda Miano was on a scorching hot afternoon in early August. He was sitting on a plastic chair and smoking in an alley outside a bass (street level house) which he operates as a simple eatery in Naples’ historic Quartieri Spagnoli neighborhood. This is called Fried Pizza by Fernanda and the menu consists only of fried pizza (fried pizza) in two sizes: Very nice (large) for € 3 and small (small) for € 2.
Miano, affectionately referred to by locals and tourists alike as “Nonna Fernanda”, learned from her mother how to make pizza frittas in this street, where her family’s business has been running for decades.
I ordered a grande pizza fritta from him, not realizing that it would be as big as my head. Miano stubbed out his cigarette, motioned for me to sit in the chair he had left and get to work. He moved quickly, using his fingers to knead a dough made of very fine Tipo 00 flour, yeast, water, and a pinch of salt. He then added a spoon of crushed tomato, pork shreds, mozzarella and ricotta. A slice of dough is added as a top layer. Finally, the ingredients are fried in oil until the filling is melted and the outside is crispy and fluffy.
Miano wrapped the final product in paper and handed it to me. He watched me bite him and he asked, “Good? ” (“Good?”). I nod. He showed a proud and knowing expression, something between a smile and a grin.
When most people think Neapolitan pizzaAlso known as Naples-style pizza, they envision a thin pizza baked in a wood-fired brick oven. This dish was greatly appreciated Unesco gave him World Heritage status in 2017. Neapolitan pizza is also the inspiration behind New York-style pizza, which was introduced by Italian immigrants to the United States in the early 20th century.
The pizza fritta is a lesser-known Neapolitan pizza cousin. It came about as a result of poverty during the Second World War, when Naples suffered about 200 air raids by the Allies, according to Simone Cinotto, professor of modern history at Università di Scienze Gastronomiche di Pollenzo, Italy, and author. The Italian American Table: Food, Family, and Community in New York City.
“Pizza frittas really look like wartime food,” says Cinotto. “There were no ingredients to make pizzas and many ovens were completely destroyed by the bombing … People had to be creative and clever to find replacements for the missing ingredients.”
Unable to access – let alone buy – traditional pizza, the locals began to fry the dough and use inferior quality ingredients – such as anchovies and broccoli – bought spoiled or out of season to make what became known as pizza frittas. Less desirable parts of the vegetable, such as artichoke sticks, are also used. “Whatever you fry tastes good,” said Cinotto. He added that the fried technology and market had existed and been documented in Italy long before the Second World War, but the pizza fritta was likely a specific outcome emerging from the crisis.
Dubbed “people’s pizza”, street vendors – including the Miano family – sell the item to struggling customers as “an ogge an otto“This means they can eat it that day and pay for it eight days later. This phenomenon even entered the 1954 film Vittorio de Sica L’Oro di Napoli (The Gold of Naples), which contained six chapters set in the city. In the chapter “Pizze a Credito” (Pizza on Credit), young Sophia Loren plays a pizza fritta maker who cheats on her husband. He became an international star shortly thereafter.
But not everyone is convinced that the origins of the pizza fritta are as straightforward as they are portrayed in popular culture. “If you see [Italian] cookbooks, even from the 1500s, you find fried foods, deep fried dough, ”said Fabio Parasecoli, professor of food studies in the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies at New York University. “I’m not completely sure about the theory that it suddenly appeared after World War II because there was no food around and it was easier to fry than roast. [Yes], it’s all true. But I thought [pizza fritta] built on [cooking] existing tradition. “
However, this tradition of frying food has grown in popularity over time. Cinotto notes that people in Italy started to become more health conscious in the 1980s and 90s. He also cites the pizza fritta’s lower-class affiliation as the reason it lost its allure during this period.
The pizza fritta is a lesser-known Neapolitan pizza cousin
According to Cinotto, the urban middle class in the south of the country, where pizza frittas are common, didn’t like fried food anymore until the last decade. He said that was when the trendy Napoli restaurant reintroduced him on their menu and the pizza fritta photo caught the eye on social media.
One of the popular pizza restaurants is owned by the 27-year-old woman Isabella from Cham. She opened her eponymous restaurant run by all women two years ago in the Rione Sanità Napoli neighborhood after working at Pizzeria Gino Sorbillo in and La Masardona, both of whom were praised for their pizza fritta.
“I’ve always loved pizza frittas. When I was a kid, I always ate pizza fritta on Sunday mornings, ”he recalls.
But De Cham said he noticed that when he first entered the food industry, many people saw his favorite foods as “fast food” and avoided them. He decided he wanted to elevate the pizza fritta image from “old” ingredients – like Nonna Fernanda’s pork cutlet – and created a menu dedicated to elegant variations like crunchy octopus, grilled escarole and Stilton cheese.
“Our slogan is ‘Pizza fritta like you’ve never eaten before’,” he said.
Although it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact origin of the pizza fritta, 22-year-old Francesca Stanziola, a Napoli resident who runs the bed and breakfast Museo19, believes that food is a symbol of Neapolitan pride. He, like many of his friends, had parents and grandparents who wanted to tell stories about the city’s traditions and history – including the pizza fritta. He said this was very important because his generation could be the last to experience people and businesses who survived the Second World War.
Stanziola, in fact, was the one who suggested that I visit Miano’s no-frills eatery during my stay in Naples.
“Fernanda is a true Neapolitan woman. There aren’t many people like him left, ”he tells me. “If you visit Napoli and want to understand and appreciate its history, you should try the pizza fritta like hers.”
The pizza fritta really looks like wartime food
When I returned a few weeks later to see Miano again, he was sitting again on the plastic chair outside his shop, this time without a cigarette. He agreed to tell him more about himself, but only after I ordered three pizza frittas from him. “I’m very busy and can only talk to you when I’m working,” he said.
Miano is not surprised I am curious about him. In 2018, British chef Jamie Oliver visit it to learn how to make your own pizza fritta. She was featured on her TV show Jamie Cooks Italian, which prompted a surge in tourists visiting her shop. But Miano seems more pleased with his status as a local legend. She beams whenever a neighbor stops to chat or someone waves from a motorbike as they pass. I have noticed that this happens very often.
“I was famous here before him [Oliver] come, ”said Miano, as if reading my mind. In addition, he showed me a proud and understanding expression, something between a smile and a grin.