Symbolic thanks and appreciation for the Corona helpers in the past few months: The leaders of the G20 group brought doctors, nurses and paramedics to the podium for their traditional family photo at the summit in Rome. After the heads of state and government of the most important industrialized countries had lined up for a photo on Saturday before the start of the deliberations, host Mario Draghi waved two dozen medical workers onto the stage.
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To the applause of the politicians, they then stood between the heads of state. The outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) was taken in the middle by two doctors and had a short chat with them. “That was a great idea,” said Merkel, according to G20 circles, about the Italian incursion. “We are aware of the service they are doing to society.” She also made herself available for selfies with the doctors at the Spallanzani hospital in Rome. US President Joe Biden also took pictures with the medical workers.
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen tweeted that the action would pay tribute to the helpers “for their hard work, dedication and sacrifice in the pandemic.” The world thanks them.
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Francesco Vaia, one of the doctors in the group picture, said: “We represent the Italian way of rational optimism and straightforwardness”. With this species “we will defeat the pandemic once and for all,” said the doctor, according to the Ansa news agency.
Italy was one of the hardest hit countries in Europe by Corona last year. Images of military vehicles transporting the dead from Bergamo went around the world. For weeks the country tried to get the situation under control with a tough lockdown. Thanks to its vaccination policy, the country is now a role model for many: More than 86 percent of Italians over the age of twelve have been vaccinated at least once. Draghi received praise from many of his colleagues at this G20 summit for this progress. (dpa)