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Chinese leaving Italian textile town due to COVID

May 19, 2021
Chinese leaving Italian textile town due to COVID

Florence (Italy)

Prato, a Chinese community, located 11 miles north of Florence, has been the victim of coronavirus. Since the virus hit the community last year, it is believed that around 2,500 people, or 10% of the community has left. Chinese began to settle in Prato, Italy around the late 1980s. They mostly belong to the eastern region of Zhejiang. They created a parallel industry wherein they produced low-cost fabrics. As per the reports, the Chinese in Prato suffered from discrimination as they were alleged spreaders of the disease.

As per Simona Zhou, she has left her 30 years old knitwear factory in the hands of her family and has returned to Zhejiang when she felt vulnerable to coronavirus. Her daughter, Teresa Lin said that if her mother comes back to Prato she will have to stay mostly at home, while in her home town there are no restrictions as China has been successful in combating the pandemic.

As per the records, Italy has seen more than 124,000 deaths due to Covid-19 while China has reported fewer than 5,000 deaths.  As Italy’s low-budget textile industry has been affected adversely by repeated lockdowns, many Chinese have returned to their native land because they were facing economic hardships. As per Marco Wong, Town Councilor, many people in Prato want to go back as they see that China’s economy is growing back and it has been able to handle the pandemic in a much better way than Italy.

The Italian economy went down by 8.9% last year and around half a million people have lost their jobs.  Also, Prato’s Chinese community was hit hard because the workers were working in the shadow economy.

Source: Reuters

Image Source: Wikipedia

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