A man in Italy is being charged with fraud after attempting to get a COVID vaccine while wearing a fake arm.
Before administering the shot, a nurse noticed something strange — that the man’s veins weren’t appearing. “At first I thought I made a mistake, that it was a patient with an artificial arm,” Filippa Bua said, according to The Guardian. “The colour of the arm made me suspicious and so I asked the man to uncover the rest of his left arm. It was well made but it wasn’t the same colour,” she explained.
The man, aged 50, then asked Bua, “Would you have imagined that I’d have such a physique?”
After becoming curious, Bua asked him to take off his shirt, which led her to discover the man’s fraudulent arm. The man then “tried to persuade the health worker to turn a blind eye.”
“‘The promptness and skill of the health worker ruined the plans of this person, who will now have to respond to the judiciary,’ Alberto Cirio, the president of Piedmont, said in a joint statement with Luigi Icardi, the regional health councillor.”
While it still hasn’t been reported what exactly the fake arm was made of, it’s clear that the man put a lot of thought into fooling medical professionals and attempting to get a vaccine passport without getting the vaccine.
“It is unacceptable in the face of the sacrifice that the pandemic is making the whole community pay for,” Cirio and Icardi said in their statement.
The attempted trick happened in the town of Biella, only “a week after Italy announced measures barring unvaccinated people from a host of social, cultural and sporting activities.”
The country’s vaccine mandate that went into effect in October is “one of the strictest in the world,” according to NPR. Italy also enforces vaccine passports. “Italy’s vaccine passport is called the green pass,” NPR’s Sylvia Poggioli reported. “It’s a digital or paper certificate of at least one COVID-19 vaccine, a negative test or recovery from the virus. Italy first required it for indoor dining, museums and gyms. It was then extended to high-speed trains, planes and ferries, triggering protests by anti-vaxxers.”
The government has gone a step further by issuing “super-green passes” that citizens will be required to obtain to enter “cinemas, theatres, gyms, nightclubs, ski-lifts and stadiums, as well as to be served indoors at bars and restaurants.” The passes will be required starting December 6.
NPR notes that Italy “has the second highest COVID-19 death toll in the continent after Britain, with more than 130,000 since early 2020. The impact on the economy, particularly on the crucial tourism sector, has been devastating.”
As of December 4, 73% of Italy’s population had been fully-vaccinated, reports The New York Times. On December 3, the country reported 16,810 new COVID cases, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
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