New Circular Requires Swabs for Entry Into High-Risk Facilities as Covid Cases Rise
The Ministry of Health has issued a circular requiring the reimplementation of swabs for entry into facilities housing vulnerable individuals. This comes as the latest weekly data on the virus shows a clear increase in infections, with a 43% rise. The circular also mandates swabs for individuals entering hospital emergency rooms with symptoms compatible with Covid-19, those who have had close contact with a confirmed case, and asymptomatic individuals who need to be hospitalized or transferred to departments with at-risk patients.
Francesco Vaia, the new director of Prevention at the Ministry of Health and former director of the Lazzaro Spallanzani Institute in Rome, has emphasized the importance of both prudence and protection for the vulnerable population. Vaia cites the “new phase” we are entering, as autumn approaches and flu viruses also become a concern alongside Covid-19. He highlights that while the ministry has taken necessary steps to protect the population, it ultimately falls on the citizens to exercise common sense and responsibility in navigating this new phase.
The latest bulletin from the Ministry of Health confirms a slight or significant increase in Covid-19 indicators. However, it also notes that the incidence and impact on hospitals remain limited. In light of these developments, the ministry aims to balance the need for precautionary measures with the avoidance of unnecessary alarm. The increase in cases is attributed to the anticipated effects of the holiday season and the presence of new variants, such as the Omicron variant, which is more contagious but less pathogenic. The seriousness of the illness primarily affects the elderly and the frail, prompting the ministry’s focus on protection and prevention measures.
Looking ahead, the ministry acknowledges the importance of monitoring and studying virus variants, such as Pirola and Eris. Rather than inciting fear, understanding and adapting to these variants is key. By studying them, health officials can adapt the available tools, including vaccines and drugs, to combat their spread effectively.
Additionally, the ministry has announced plans for an annual and non-mandatory vaccination campaign targeting the most affected categories. This campaign aims to provide an extra layer of protection for vulnerable individuals. However, specific details, such as the start date and the vaccines to be used, have yet to be disclosed.
As we enter this new phase of the pandemic, it is crucial for individuals to remain vigilant, follow precautionary measures, and stay informed about the latest developments from health authorities.