By on February 24, 2020

Since you’re probably sick of reading about how the new coronavirus is gradually making its way to your doorstep, we’ll keep this one brief. An outbreak in Italy has thrown the government into action, closing public spaces for one week as 220 more people came down with the illness since Friday.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is similarly hoping to mitigate the spread of the virus by restricting access to its European facilities. A letter issued to suppliers and prospective visitors explains that FCA will refuse anyone who has been in any of the 13 Italian municipalities affected by the virus outbreak — and the same goes if they’ve visited any Asian countries within the last 15 days. 

According to Reuters, 10 towns near the Italian financial capital of Milan have been placed under quarantine, with similar measures in place for a small town in neighboring Veneto. It’s estimated that about 50,000 people are affected by the lockdown. Local authorities announced three new deaths on Monday — two elderly gentlemen and a woman suffering from cancer. The outbreak has already suppressed Italian shares by around 5 percent, with further losses expected if the virus continues to spread.

Back in the world of cars, Automotive News reports Italian engineering and design company Italdesign-Giugiaro closed two facilities in Turin after an employee tested positive for the virus. FCA’s Turin headquarters has said it will do everything it can to remain operational while taking precautions to avoid spreading infection. We’ll keep tabs on the situation to see how they manage.

[Image: cpt.kama/Shutterstock]

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11 Comments on “Fiat Chrysler Seals Off European Sites Amid Italian Coronavirus Outbreak...”

  • avatar

    Looking forward to stories about Americans not going to Pizza Hut out of an abundance of caution.

  • avatar

    I’ve noticed in many photo’s of healthcare staff and support staff involving COVID – 19 where the face masks are improperly worn. The dude in orange without a mask is just as much at risk as the dude at the foot of the stretcher.

    • 0 avatar

      Italians are very creative and don’t follow instructions. BTW, I like French pizza more than Italian Pizza so Pizza Hut is the last place I would find myself attending.

    • 0 avatar

      My relatives in Portugal and Germany are extremely fearful of COVID-19 now that it has erupted so close to them in Europe.

      They know how to protect themselves against the annual flu but they don’t yet know how this new virus is transmitted, how long the incubation is, and whether a person is infectious when asymptomatic (without symptoms).

      Already devastating the stock markets and Asian economies it may affect the American Holiday season and toy sales because so many factories are closed. We just can’t rely on a single-source supply chain. We’ve got to have more.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s called sprezzatura. But seriously, this gets more and more concerning every day.

    • 0 avatar

      From what I have read, face masks are ineffective anyway. And once they become moist from breathing through them, become a most excellent breeding ground for all sorts of nastiness.

      Plain old flu has killed 12K-61K people per year in the US in the past decade. I’m not particularly worried about this. If you are old and/or sick it is very serious, if you are a reasonably healthy adult it would suck but probably not kill you. The latest reports seem to indicate that it doesn’t seem to affect children very much either. The Black Death this is not.

      Mind you, I have no intention of flying to China either. But I do pretty much live on airplanes domestically. 135K miles last year.

      • 0 avatar

        “I have no intention of flying to China”

        Had a conversation out at the mailbox the other day with two individuals who had just been sent home from – you guessed it – China.

        In 2020, the world comes to you.

      • 0 avatar

        All the same, I’d rather not contract something that “probably” won’t kill me.

      • 0 avatar

        @krhodes1 – “From what I have read, face masks are ineffective anyway.”
        Yes and no.
        This virus is transmitted via droplet and contact. There are different kinds of face masks. A standard face mask will not protect you. One requires a N95 respirator that is “fit” tested i.e. tested to see if it actually seals to your face.
        Since droplets can land on your body and eyes you’d need to wear a full body barrier suit and face shield. If you have an infected person in a room who is coughing that will contaminate everything in the room. Even normal talking can spread droplets for a few metres (remember the joke, “Say it, don’t spray it”)
        Mortality rates so far are in the 3-4% range depending upon how infections are categorized. Some WHO epidemiologists are going on the premise that for every confirmed case there are probably 8 – 10 undiagnosed cases so that would make the mortality rate closer to that of a bad flu.
        Everyone is freaking out about this but car crashes and guns kill more people in the USA than this most likely ever will.

  • avatar

    While not FCA, CNH Industrial is a sister company. I found this message sent via email on Monday morning. I read this to include all CNH Industrial sites even in North America:

    “Following our previous communication, given the recent evolution of the spread of Coronavirus, we would like to inform you that CNH Industrial introduced additional precautionary measures for visitors regarding the entry to CNH Industrial sites.
    The admission to CNH industrial premises will not be granted to anyone who:
    •Has been in China or in other Asian countries in the 15 days prior to the scheduled visit to the CNH Industrial premises;
    •Has been in the Italian municipalities of Codogno, Castiglione d’Adda, Casalpusterlengo, Fombio, Somaglia, Bertonico, Terranova dei Passerini, Castelgerundo, San Fiorano, Maleo, Seto Cremonese, Vo’Euganeo and Dolo;
    •Has been in direct or indirect contact with persons potentially subject to risk, i.e. coming from China and other Asian areas, or those who have been in contact with residents or persons coming from the areas of Codogno, Castiglione d’Adda, Casalpusterlengo, Fombio, Somaglia, Bertonico, Terranova dei Passerini, Castelgerundo, San Fiorano, Maleo, Seto Cremonese, Vo’Euganeo and Dolo in the 15 days preceding the scheduled access to the CNH Industrial sites;
    •Has any flu-like symptoms, such as fever, cough or breathing difficulties.
    Visitors who fall into any of the categories listed above and planned a meeting in one of the CNH Industrial sites are kindly asked to urgently contact their CNH Industrial reference person and postpone their visit.
    As a general rule, independently from the conditions listed above and until the situation is clearer, we recommend managing all meetings in a remote manner, using conference call or Skype as appropriate.
    Effective Monday, February 24th, any visitor to CNH Industrial sites will be asked to fill and sign a self-certification form confirming that he/she does not fall into any of the above mentioned categories.
    We thank you for your utmost attention co-operation.
    CNH Industrial”

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