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'Useless' – former Juve man Legrottaglie hammers Boris Johnson's coronavirus instructions

00:52 GMT+4 18/03/2020
Nicola Legrottaglie, Boris Johnson
The Pescara coach accused the prime minister of leaving the coronavirus up to "natural selection" instead of taking action to stop the spread

UK prime minister Boris Johnson has faced much criticism for his government's response to the coronavirus pandemic, and former Juventus defender Nicola Legrottaglie is the latest to call him out publicly.  

While many countries in Europe have moved to ban gatherings and force businesses to close in an effort to contain the spread, the UK has taken a more relaxed approach to the pandemic.

Johnson said last week that schools would not close and decided against banning gatherings of 500 people or more - a measure that has been taken in Scotland - across the rest of the UK. 

The prime minister has only gone so far as to discourage citizens from attending public venues instead of issuing a ban, though the government adopted a more aggressive strategy this week and are reviewing more extreme actions.

But Johnson's response has irked Pescara boss Legrottaglie, who took to Instagram to accuse the Conservative Party leader of favouring natural selection instead of tackling the crisis.

"​So much English stuff," his caption read.

"Enviable in the Premier League or in rugby, enchanting with its double-decker buses and black taxis, lovable in the writings of Shakespeare or Dickens, superb in the music of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, admirable minds like Newton or Darwin.

"The old Darwin, that is, the new one a little less – the prime minister [Boris Johnson] proposes natural selection as a solution to the coronavirus. Herd immunity ordered.

"Sixty per cent of the population will fall ill. Those who have the age and strength to survive will go on; the elderly, those affected by other illnesses, the weak... A country that abandons the weak is like a doctor who only treats the healthy. It's practically useless.

"Italy has many flaws. We struggle to stand in line, maybe we litter our streets sometimes, but we do not entrust the natural selection of our population to a virus.

"We do not delegate the task of treating it to the illness itself. We do it with our doctors, our nurses, our rules, but, above all, with our humanity. United.

"Our interpretation is: 'If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them is lost, will he not leave the 99 in the mountains and go looking for the lost one?'"

Covid-19 has killed more than 70 people in the UK, while in Italy, the country worst hit by the pandemic, has had 31,506 confirmed cases and at least 2,500 dead.