“The increase in Covid cases in Italy is not a” simple ‘rebound’, even if at the moment we cannot label the rise as the start of the fifth wave. “Too many different regions: lower viral circulation for 18.8 million people of Lombardy, Piedmont and ER, and high incidence in the center-south in particular in Umbria, Puglia, Calabria, Marche, Basilicata, Lazio, Abruzzo and Tuscany. Thus the president of the Gimbe Foundation, Nino Cartabellotta. From 13 to 19 March +30 , 2% of cases and an increase in the currently positive ones, from just over 971 thousand on 10 March to 1,147,519 yesterday and initial signs of impact on hospitalizations.
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According to the Gimbe analysis, the new updated data recorded over 477 thousand cases in the last 7 days (13-19 March), compared to just under 332 thousand in the previous week (6-12 March), with an increase of 30.2%. The swab positivity rate exceeded 15% and the number of currently positives rose from just over 971,000 on March 10 to 1,147,519 on March 19. “The increase – underlines Cartabellotta – concerns all age groups with a greater rise in the younger groups: in particular 10-19 years and then 0-9 years. The increase in cases, at the moment, is not homogeneous in the various Regions. The 7-day incidence per 100 thousand inhabitants is higher in the central-southern ones: Umbria (1,674), Puglia (1,206), Calabria (1,142), Marche (1,135), Basilicata (1,061), Lazio (995) , Abruzzo (971), Tuscany (920). While viral circulation is lower in Piedmont (409), Lombardy (502), Emilia Romagna (506). Differences which, inevitably – underlines Cartabellotta – make the national data hard to generalize “. There are several causes of this increased viral circulation: relaxation of the population and relaxation of measures, progressive spread of the more contagious Omicron BA.2 variant, decrease in vaccine protection against infection, persistence of low temperatures that force indoor activities.
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Hence the risk of new pressure on hospitals. “At the moment there are no signs of overload even if the number of beds occupied in the medical area has begun to rise slightly: from 8,234 on March 12 to 8,319 on March 19. Those in intensive care have remained stable for a few days at around 470, while admissions have stabilized at 40-42 per day and are showing signs of recovery. All initial signs of impact, albeit limited – says Cartabellotta – on hospitals by the increase in new cases “.
And finally, speaking of the new variant, the president of the Gimbe Foundation notes that the flash survey by the Higher Institute of Health reveals, as of March 7, a prevalence of Omicron 2 at 44%. “However – says Cartabellotta – the data are difficult to interpret because in the North-West Regions, where the virus circulates less, the prevalence of Omicron 2 is higher (68%), while it is lower (32%) in the South where there is a greater viral circulation “.