The nightmare for a regional governor is that of being in the height of summer with a full of tourists forced to close bars and restaurants and maybe even the shops because they were condemned by the infamous RT suddenly splashed above 1 (orange scenario) or 1 , 25 (from red). And this is due to a sudden multiplication of infections with little effect on hospitals, however, given that with vaccinations already in progress in the summer among the over 60s – this is the new variable – severe forms and hospitalizations will be far fewer. Hence the outcry to change the parameters in time before it is too late and thus ruin the summer season that last year, it must be remembered, did not yet know the color system.
The risk of ending up in the red zone with a surge in infections
In recent days, the governor of Friuli and president of the Regions explained this eventuality well Massimiliano Fedriga who has targeted the RT index which measures the speed with which the virus can spread: “When there is a low incidence, the risk is that a few more infections will cause the Rt index to skyrocket. My region l he highest Rt index was in August 2020 where I think we reached 3 of Rt because we went from 4 to 18 infections. But it is one thing to go from 2000 to 4000, which means an important diffusion; while instead from 4 to 18 the danger does not exist – continued Fedriga – Think if during the tourist season a region that passes from 4 to 8 infections risks reaching Rt 2, and with tourists at home it becomes a red zone ». With regard to the objective of changing the parameters, Fedriga indicated that «an ad hoc technical table is working together with the Higher Institute of Health and the representatives of the regions; I trust in that job ».
The Sardinia case still remained in the orange zone
Another rule contested by the governors is also weighing on the fate of closures and reopening, namely the one that “condemns” a region to remain in a restricted zone for at least two weeks. With sometimes obvious paradoxes. This is the case of Sardinia, which remained in the red zone until the end of April and then went to orange and still is, even if – denounces the councilor for Health Mario Nieddu – “We have had data from the yellow zone for three weeks”. «It is unthinkable to open the tourist season chained to the current rigid automatisms, which risk decreeing closures on the basis of parameters that often come to describe an epidemiological picture that has already been overcome. For what is the experience of our Island, the classification system has always chased the virus, coming to enact restrictions when the situation was already improving. A mechanism of this type – concludes Nieddu – does not respond to the need for epidemiological containment and is unsustainable for a country with a tourist vocation like ours ». The Sardinian commissioner therefore asks to review the parameters and think in the case of local red areas in the case of outbreaks.
The idea of the technicians to use a “hospital Rt”
«Overcoming the RT? As a technical-scientific committee, we have already expressed our opinion on this last month. We suggested calculating the RT on admissions to covid wards and intensive care for two reasons: first because in this way the data would be more recent and collected more quickly and second because in this way the impact of the pandemic could be assessed. on regional health systems, being less affected by the fluctuations caused by the number of positive swabs ”, he explains Fabio Ciciliano, secretary in the first CTS and now a member of the Scientific Technical Committee launched by the Draghi government representing the Department of Civil Protection. “The Rt index calculated in this way would acquire greater significance with the increase in the number of vaccinated citizens and we would therefore have the simultaneous registration of serious cases – explains Ciciliano – At this moment what interests us, are not so much the numbers of infections, which are obviously important, but in a summer screening the goal is that the intensive care units and the covid departments are emptied to remain stably below the critical threshold ».