TWO OR THREE THOUSAND Covid infections a day? Too few, according to Andrea Crisanti, director of the Molecular Microbiology department of the University of Padua. “Underestimated”, he explains, because in reality “they should be 15-20 thousand”. Accounts that do not come back for the expert who has been dealing with Covid for 20 months, often challenging official beliefs. “Today in Italy we have 30-40 deaths a day and at the same time a ridiculous number of infections – explains Crisanti – Evidently there is an unjustifiable discrepancy, because in all the other countries of Europe, and of the world, there is a relationship of one to a thousand compared to the numbers relating to Covid cases and deaths. So also in Italy the total of infections should be much higher: 15-20 thousand a day. But why isn’t it so? “.
For months, Crisanti has been repeating that the Covid pandemic is not dying out. And now, like a whiplash, he says: “People think: we have 1,000 cases, it’s all over. But no. What matters is who swabs.” Then he explains the mechanism in place, according to him defective. “If in the calculation we put all the people who undergo swabs because they have to go to work, to pass social security, it is clear that the incidences are very low. Instead if the swabs were used, for example, for surveillance in the classrooms of Italian schools, the result would be completely different “.
The formula to apply
So what formula to apply to obtain the most truthful number of Covid infections possible? The microbiologist illustrates it in this way: “You have to take the number of deaths, divide it by two and multiply it by 1,000. So, having between 30 and 40 deaths, we would get between 15 thousand and 20 thousand infected in Italy”. But soon after he extends his analysis to Green Pass and Swab. “The Green pass is an anomaly, because the vaccine’s protection against infection passes from 95 to 40% after six months (as evidenced by the study realizzato dal Kaiser Permanente Southern California Department of Research & Evaluation, Published on Lancet, conducted on a Pfizer vaccine inoculated on 3,500,000 people who had completed the vaccination cycle in the period between 4 December 2020 and 8 August 2021.) – underlines Crisanti -. Therefore, having extended the validity of the vaccine from 6 months to a year has nothing scientific “.
Crisanti continues: The “Green pass is a measure to induce the population to vaccinate, and we have reached important levels of immunization. But the fact that the tampon is expected to be dated within the previous two / three days to access work is questionable: not there is nothing to justify measures of this kind, because a person can get infected the next day, or when he swabs he can still be infected at low levels and after three days reach a crazy charge “. The expert comes to a conclusion: “The Green pass, in order to have an impact on the transmission of the virus, should be limited to those who received the second dose within six months and to those who swabbed after 24 hours. It is clear that this is not a viable thing, is it? “.
He understands the position of Crisanti, but does not fully agree with it Massimo Ciccozzi, molecular epidemiologist at the Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome. “Doing more swabs to understand more about the trend of infections? We have been saying this for some time – says Ciccozzi – but the fact of distinguishing between swabs made for surveillance (in schools), from those required in the workplace is misleading. Because also those provided for in companies are aimed at surveillance. Therefore the formula that Crisanti arrives at to calculate the actual number of infections in Italy is incorrect. The calculation on Covid data should be broadened by distributing it by age group: I would make a weekly average of the swabs carried out, of deaths and positives. This is precisely because the number of tampons varies from day to day “.
The official data in question
But what are the data relating to Covid infections and deaths contested by Crisanti? In addition to the Ministry of Health, which publishes the daily bulletin on its website, an overall assessment of the current state of the pandemic comes from the Gimbe Foundation. Which, in its latest monitoring (relating to the period from 29 September to 5 October) made a comparison with the previous week, noting “a decrease in new cases (21.060 against 23.159) and deaths (311 instead of 386); a decrease also positive cases (90,299 versus 98,872), people in home isolation (86,898 instead of 94,995), hospitalizations with symptoms (2,968 instead of 3,418) and those in intensive care (433 versus 459).
Cases in decline for five weeks
“For five consecutive weeks now – he declares Nino Cartabellotta, president of the Gimbe Foundation – the national data shows a drop in new weekly cases, although in the last, compared to the previous one, 5 Regions recorded a percentage increase in infections “. The increases, which concern Basilicata (+ 73.6%) , autonomous province of Bolzano (+ 8.7%) and Trento (+ 20.9%), Sardinia (+ 5%) and Valle D’Aosta (+ 64.5%), however, remain contained in absolute terms. 17 Provinces with incidence equal to or greater than 50 cases per 100,000 inhabitants and none has more than 150 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. Deaths also decreased: 311 in the last 7 days (of which 22 referred to previous periods), with an average 44 per day compared to 55 the previous week.
Fewer and fewer Covid patients in hospitals
“On the hospital front – underlines Renata Gili, Head of Research on Health Services of the Gimbe Foundation – there was a further decline in the number of beds occupied by Covid-19 patients: compared to the previous week, they fell by 13.2% in the medical area and 5.7% in Intensive Care “. A national level, the employment rate remains low (5% in the medical area and 5% in the critical area) and no Region exceeds the thresholds of 15% for the medical area and 10% for the critical area. ” even the daily admissions to intensive care – he says Marco Mosti, chief operating officer of the foundation – with a 7-day moving average of 22 admissions per day compared to 29 in the previous week “.