Omicron is already in Italy. A sequence attributable to the new Coronavirus variant has been identified on a citizen of Campania – vaccinated with two doses – landed a few days ago at Malpensa from Mozambique. The Italian ‘patient zero’, a professional employee of an international company, was subjected to a swab when he was barred in the Lombard airport. The test was later positive for Covid and the recent alarm on travelers returning from southern Africa has turned the spotlight on his case, starting more in-depth feedback also on his cohabiting family members, residing in Campania. The laboratory of clinical microbiology, virology and bio-emergency diagnostics of the Sacco hospital in Milan has thus sequenced the new variant. Mild symptoms encountered.
In the meantime, the Ministry of Health has tightened it up, which the day after blocking flights from 7 countries in southern Africa – urged the regions to strengthen the tracking of passengers arriving from areas at risk. More is needed for the governor of Lazio, Nicola Zingaretti, who asked for “immediate border control measures and to evaluate further choices to contain the flows of entry to Italy”. The names of the boarding lists of residents in the region who landed in Fiumicino in the last 15 days from the no-go zones were also requested, in order to submit them to screening. Italy ministry of Health recommends that the Regions strengthen and monitor tracing and sequencing in the case of travelers from countries, or in the event of outbreaks, characterized by a rapid and anomalous increase in cases.
The patient from Campania positive, his family unit made up of five people and all their contacts were immediately placed in prudential isolation. I am in good health; the Campania laboratories that are already working to obtain the genomic results have been alerted. At the moment, no positive human contacts have been identified in Lombardy.
After Belgium, Germany and England, the feared South African variant has therefore also infiltrated Italy. England, Premier Boris Johnson announced, will introduce mandatory molecular testing and quarantine for those arriving.
We will see if the example is followed by European countries. It must be considered that travelers can arrive on European territory from areas at risk through ‘triangulations’ with other countries that are not subject to the flight block. Therefore, the alarm also rises for Italy and the Maritime, Air and Border Health Offices dependent on the Ministry of Health (Usmaf) have sent a note of recommendation to the carriers, airport and flight bodies so that they can monitor the complete and correct compilation of the Digital passenger locator form, i.e. the forms to provide information on the origin of travelers in the last 14 days. With the aim of identifying any arrivals from southern Africa that have passed through other airports after the blockade of flights started yesterday. The Ministry of Health has also sent a circular to the Regions to invite them to strengthen and monitor the tracking and sequencing activities in the case of travelers from countries or in the event of outbreaks characterized by a rapid and anomalous increase in cases and to promptly and scrupulously apply the measures. for the quarantine and isolation already foreseen for the Delta variant. And the Regions are already moving. “The phase to go and look for the new variant has started. Controls in airports, ports and railway stations have been strengthened”, said the councilor for health of Lazio Alessio D’Amato. “The swabs – he added – are sent as a sample to Spallanzani to be analyzed”. Lombardy is also at work.
The goal, explained Letizia Moratti, Vice President of the Lombardy Region Welfare Councilor, “is to have a sequencing of the new variants and, in the eventuality, to have very punctual contact tracing, all actions that we are doing and that we will also do with this. variant, which seems to be much more contagious than the previous ones and therefore we must keep the attention threshold very high and wait for more information from the scientific world “. The Campania Region, the governor Vincenzo De Luca assured, “promptly adopted all precautionary measures and the virus is being sequenced to verify its nature with certainty”. In the meantime, the Farnesina has taken steps to assist compatriots who have been stranded in ‘isolated’ African nations.