Covid, scientists are pressing to save Christmas

In forty days it is Christmas and in view of the upcoming holidays, calls for caution arrive from many parts given the increase in infections from Covid.

The Covid bulletin of today 15 November 2021

Health Minister Roberto Speranza himself asks to “insist on recalls, first doses and correct behaviors” to “limit any restrictive measures” but to date hospitalizations and intensive care remain under control and for almost all Italian regions changes in color and new restrictions they are not on the agenda.

The resumption of infections among the vaccinated

The administrations of third doses of the vaccine have almost reached 3 million: a race that is the most urgent given the evidence of the resumption of infections among the vaccinated for over six months. As the associations of nurses and health workers explain in the last two months, infections among health workers have increased by 192.3%, from 936 cases registered on 14 September to 2,736 on 14 November, 82% of which are nurses.

The surge in Covid infections among healthcare professionals: + 192% in two months

According to the data, there are about 90 doctors and nurses who get sick every day, observes in a note the president of Nursing Up, Antonio De Palma. The attention of the trade unions is also directed to the general increase in hospital admissions: “In Campania, Lombardy and Piedmont they have recovered in a worrying way. In Campania, in particular, the peak of 20 more Covid hospitalizations per day has been reached”.

In 14 days five regions overwhelmed by the fourth wave: “250 cases per 100,000 inhabitants”

If thanks to the protective effect of vaccinations the number of deaths and serious cases remains at a minimum, it is evident that it is urgent to proceed with the third doses to ensure the protective force against the virus over time. Here, then, is that the main concern is that of the upcoming holidays: virologists and health professionals are clamoring for new restrictions to save the upcoming holidays.

“To make forecasts for Christmas we have to see how the next 3-4 weeks will go” reiterates Matteo Bassetti, head of the infectious disease department of the San Martino hospital in Genoa who is keen to exclude harsh measures for the holiday period. “Hands off Christmas: no one dares to put restrictions on the holidays in the slightest. It will be a Christmas like those pre-Covid”. “If there is a further increase in cases among the unvaccinated, any limitations, such as the lockdown, will have to be only for the unvaccinated” says Bassetti while the re-competition to third doses of anti-covid vaccine has begun. In fact, in two weeks the administration of the “booster” dose will start, involving all over 40s. “We must protect all those who are immunized to save even Christmas and have shown that they are good citizens – adds Bassetti – Those who have not done so, it is right that they be limited in some activities even during the holidays: I am therefore thinking of restaurants. , to clubs, dinners, theaters, cinemas “.

The virologist Francesco Menichetti warns “to invite a maximum of 8 people to the table at Christmas”, fearing 25-30 thousand infections a day and the intensive care units with a saturation beyond the 10% threshold.

For epidemiologist Pier Luigi Lopalco, former health councilor of Puglia, the solution will be to restrict the guests to vaccinated only: “If we all began to say that if you are not vaccinated at the Christmas dinner you will not come, I believe that some other vaccination it will recover “.

Massimo Ciccozzi, Professor of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology at the Campus Biomedico University of Rome, asks to remove the swabs from the Green pass before Christmas and make it available only for the vaccinated. “We must avoid that there are other types of restrictions also because – says the expert – we would have enormous commercial damage and people can’t take it anymore. We have to do something”. from Eastern countries – emphasizes the epidemiologist – that we are not doing. We have many people who come from Romania and Bulgaria and who are not vaccinated because in those countries – the doctor remembers – the vaccinated do not exceed 30% of the population, and this – he concludes – could bring us another virus inside “.

Virologist Fabrizio Pregliasco, medical director of the IRCCS Istituto Galeazzi Milano and associate professor at the University of Milan, expresses particular concern for Christmas shopping, fearing the need to limit accesses and localized red areas. “I would say that we need to prepare for the worst in the hope that nothing will happen” Pregliasco highlights on Rai Radio1.

According to the virologist Massimo Clementi, director of the Laboratory of microbiology and virology of the Vita-Salute San Raffaele University in Milan, he explains that even if the infections will concern the vaccinated “they will be between 10 and 20% of the whole share of the new infected, do not clog up health facilities that much. We have an enviable situation at the moment compared to other countries also close to us such as Austria “, he explains to Adnkronos Salute. “If there are no elements such as demonstrations without masks, and if we manage to get at least half of those 8 million Italians not vaccinated against Covid among the over 12s to be vaccinated, and subsequently, we will see, if necessary, children under 12 years old, we will really be able to reach a very high population coverage target. It is possible to bring the curve back down before Christmas, because the virus in this period also benefited from the fact that the season brought a cooling “of temperatures. “The humid climate facilitates it, stabilizes its infectivity, but I am confident that, being faced with a highly immunized population”, Sars-CoV-2 “cannot spread too much” Clementi concludes.

Covid, the situation in Europe

All this while in Europe many countries are experiencing a resurgence of infections: Belgium is preparing for a squeeze to counter the increase in infections with the restoration of the obligation of the mask indoors, the return to teleworking where possible and closure for at least 3 weeks of discos and indoor sports activities. Compulsory vaccination is also being studied.

Elsewhere it is no better: in the Netherlands, hospitals are as full as they were a year ago with a curve destined to rise despite 84.4% of the adult population having completed the vaccination. The excessive relaxation of the precautionary measures against Covid and the late introduction of the green pass are accused.

A green pass that will instead be adopted in Germany where the Berlin government plans to say goodbye to free tests for employees, to encourage vaccinations.

“Complete vaccination only with the third dose”

In the United Kingdom, the British health service is “under pressure” as the country’s chief medical officer, Chris Whitty, explained in a press conference on the epidemiological situation in Downing Street with Prime Minister Boris Johnson who explained how the government will have to “review what constitutes a complete vaccination “.

China will vaccinate all children over 3 by the end of the year

NEXT Gam, opens the exhibition “Divisionism. 2 collections “