Is the fourth wave of coronavirus in Italy already “dying out”?

“The new weekly cases continue to rise, albeit at a slower pace than the previous week” explains Nino Cartabellotta, President of the GIMBE Foundation who today published the new independent monitoring data that records a slowdown in the so-called “fourth wave”.

In detail, compared to the previous week, the following changes were recorded:

  • Deaths: 120 (+ 8.1%)
  • Intensive care: +69 (+ 36.5%)
  • Hospitalized with symptoms: +585 (+ 36.3%)
  • Home isolation: +23,252 (+ 33.9%)
  • New cases: 38,328 (+ 19.9%)
  • Currently positive cases: +23,906 (+ 34%)

However, according to the Gimbe foundation, the new cases would undoubtedly be underestimated due to insufficient testing activity and the failure to resume contact tracing. In fact, the positive / people tested ratio, after soaring from 1.8% to 9.1% in 4 weeks, in the last 7 days has shown a more contained growth, rising to 10.7% and the moving average of new cases is gradually flattening out.

Confirming the risk of an underestimation of new cases is the situation in hospitals where – albeit with limited numbers – a net percentage increase in hospitalizations is confirmed: + 36.3% in the medical area and + 36.5% in intensive care . In absolute terms, the number of beds occupied by COVID patients in the medical area went from a minimum of 1,088 on July 16 to 2,196 on August 3 and that of intensive care from a minimum of 151 on July 14 to 258 on August 3, but at the moment the percentages of employment at the national level remain very low: 4% in the medical area and 3% in intensive care. However, there is considerable regional heterogeneity: for the medical area, Sicily (11%), Calabria (9%), Campania (6%), Basilicata (6%), Lazio (6%) and Sardinia (5%); for the critical area above the national average Sardinia (10%), Liguria (6%), Lazio (5%), Sicily (4%) and Tuscany (4%).

The data of deaths confirm the usefulness of vaccines, stable despite the increased viral circulation that has been recorded in the country for weeks: 120 in the last 7 days (12 of which related to previous periods), with an average of 17 per day compared to 16 the previous week.

How protected are we from the Delta variant with full vaccination

As for the risks of new restrictions, we have already explained how the new parameters for the color changes of the Regions take into consideration the incidence of new cases in addition to the situation of hospitals. Well, in 62 Provinces the incidence is equal to or greater than 50 cases per 100,000 inhabitants and in Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany, Umbria and Veneto all the Provinces reach or exceed this threshold. In four provinces there are over 150 cases per 100,000 inhabitants: Cagliari (303), Ragusa (236), Caltanissetta (197) and Lucca (172).

The vaccine plan

What about the vaccine rush? In the face of a now prevalent delta variant, over 2.7 million over 60s have not yet completed the vaccination cycle. In detail: 1.98 million (11%) have not yet received even a dose with significant regional differences (from 19% in Sicily to 6.2% in Puglia) and 0.77 million (4.3%) have to complete the cycle with the second dose. The data confirm the vaccination hesitation in this age group, and not only: the trend of administration of the first doses also sees a decline in all the other age groups over 30 years (figure 18), with significant differences in coverage between the various age groups.

The number of daily administrations fails to take off both due to the limited availability of mRNA vaccines and because the adenoviral vector vaccines are no longer used for the first doses. In detail, AstraZeneca is used almost exclusively for boosters (98.4% of administrations in the last week); Johnson & Johnson’s administrations are now small (just under 35,000 in the last week) and the Regions have begun to return unused doses; the limited availability of doses of mRNA vaccines hinders, in the short term, the possibility of accelerating vaccination in the under 60s, as well as convincing those over 60 who are still discovered to refuse adenoviral vector vaccines. “After more than a month of decrease – explains Mosti – in the last two weeks the percentage of first doses on the total doses administered rises: in the week 26 July-1 August just over 1 million, equal to 29.5% of the total”.

Today 0.1% of the infected are intubated, before it was 1%

Italy vaccines-4-5

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