The run of the pandemic virus in Italy is not cooling down and this week shows a “drastic worsening” with a new leap in the transmissibility index Rt, which rises to 1.43 from 1.18, while the incidence reaches a value more than double compared to 7 days ago, passing from 783 to 1669 cases per 100 thousand inhabitants. The picture photographed by the weekly monitoring of the Ministry of Health-Higher Institute of Health (Iss) is complicated and the load on hospitals increases, while the Regions in the yellow band rise to 15 with 4 new ‘entries’: they are Tuscany, Emilia Romagna, Abruzzo and Valle d’Aosta which, with the order signed today by the Minister of Health, switch to yellow from Monday. An emergency also confirmed by today’s numbers, which report 108,304 new positives and 223 victims.
“The increase in cases is worrying, but the greatest attention must be placed on our hospitals, on the occupation of beds in the medical area and in intensive care,” said the Minister of Health, Roberto Speranza. The infections, according to the data of the daily bulletin of the ministry, fell compared to the 219,441 yesterday due to the decreased number of tampons processed on the holiday of January 6, while the victims increased from 198 to 223 in 24 hours. There are 492,172 swabs performed in the last 24 hours, compared to 1,138,310 yesterday, and the positivity rate is 22% (yesterday it was 19.3%). As for hospitalizations, 1,499 patients are in intensive care, 32 more in 24 hours, and 14,591 patients are admitted to ordinary wards (+764). The picture that emerges from the monitoring is no better and indicates that the intensive employment rate has risen to 15.4%, while that of the medical area has reached 21.6%.
Meanwhile, the President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella, has signed the decree law on anti Covid measures launched by the government which provides, among other things, the vaccination obligation for the over 50s.
“I am concerned about the combination of Delta, Delta plus and Omicron that it will produce a catastrophic January. The simultaneous presence of such contagious variants prepares us for a period in which the contagion curve will be exponential and the pressure on health systems will be very strong. Unfortunately, the number of dead will increase significantly ». Walter Ricciardi, full professor of Hygiene at the Catholic University and consultant to the Minister of Health Roberto Speranza, says this to beraking latest news Health who, on the other hand, does not say he is worried about the new variant recently sequenced in France which “is still under observation, it is not therefore a matter of immediate concern “.
In this context, the president of Iss Silvio Brusaferro warned, “the probability of more than 50% that in 4 weeks a saturation equal to 30-40% of the medical areas will be reached, if the trend is maintained as the current one, is present in many regions “. The increase in cases, he highlighted, is “especially in the 20-29 age group, but the more advanced age groups are also starting to be involved and this is an element on which particular care is needed. On the other hand, there has been a slowdown in the growth of the curve between the ages of 5 and 11, but there is still a need for hospitalization even among the under-19s “.
Furthermore, the trend of reinfections is “increasing and this confirms the data – he notes – that there is a high risk of infection in people who do not perform the booster”. All this, he warns, therefore indicates that we are facing a “drastic worsening of the epidemic” with a “rapid surge in the number of new cases and a very strong circulation of the virus in all Regions except in the Public Administration of Bolzano where there are signs of degrowth “.
Crucial is therefore a “higher vaccination coverage in all age groups, as well as slowing down and reversing the trend of cases with mitigation measures, the use of masks and the reduction of gatherings”. These data, also highlighted the Director of Prevention of the Ministry of Health Gianni Rezza, “show that Omicron, although in part less virulent, is an extremely contagious variant and it is good to slow down its stroke, maintaining prudent behavior and above all by carrying out the vaccination booster for prevent the most serious forms of disease “. However, underlines the president of the Federation of Healthcare Companies (Fiaso) Giovanni Migliore, “The epidemiological forecasts tell us that the contagion curve as it grows rapidly will decrease just as quickly and we expect a peak phase that will last less than last winter and then the situation should stabilize”. As for the peak, “looking at Germany, with respect to which we have a delay of about a month as an increase in infections, I would expect it in the second half of January and then – concludes Clelia Di Serio, Professor of Medical Statistics at the Vita-Salute University San Raffaele di Milano and director of the University Center for Statistics for Biomedical Sciences (CUSSB) – there would be a decrease ».