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Region colors: do the anti Covid zones work today? That’s why the system got jammed

Bologna, 23 February 2021 – Strega commands color… red! Good times, those, when you had to run towards the chromatic goal without letting yourself be caught. Today i colors that count are those of regions, it is not the witch that dictates the law, but the Government; and more than going out on the street to play, they recommend that we stay indoors. To defend ourselves from Covid. It is not a game, far from it. The rules are even more stringent, the goal is to bring down the contagion. And the division of Italy into zones up to a certain point it worked, then the mechanism it has jammed. So much so that the governors are clamoring for review the system. The president of Emilia Romagna as well as of the Conference of Regions, Stefano Bonaccini, has proposed to establish a national orange zone, “maybe a dark orange”, with more restrictive rules where outbreaks occur; thus stopping the carousel of change of colors (here how the system works).

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Over time, the weekly verdict of the control room, in fact, has become an anxious appointment, especially for the categories that from the consequent ordinance of the Minister of Health find out if they have to lower the shutters in a few hours. And jumping a region from the red to the orange or from the latter to the yellow zone ended up creating confusion. For a while, however, the results came. At least until a few weeks ago.

From this point of view, the case ofEmilia Romagna it is emblematic. In yellow from 6 November, the region becomes Orange the 15 of the same month. The effect of the squeeze, according to experts and Minister Speranza, should begin to be seen after two weeks. Let’s keep this in mind, it’s the litmus test. Well, the monitoring of the Higher Institute of Health that examines the week November 30-December 6 actually records a drop in infections, which dropped from 11,887 to 11.425. The incidence also improved (from 266.1 to 255.76 weekly cases per 100 thousand inhabitants) and the Rt index (from 0.99 to 0.88). The orange restrictions remain in effect until December 6, thus producing their effects until December 20. Beneficial effects on the pandemic curve. Monitoring of the 7-13 December sees the cases of Covid swooping: 9.527 (incidence 213.27 and Rt at 0.84). Even fewer are those reported between 14 and 20: 8,702 (incidence at 194.8 and Rt at 0.88).

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The time is ripe to get back in yellow, then at the bar and restaurant, at least for lunch. And the borders between municipalities and regions are reopening. What happens after two weeks of milder measures? From 21 to 27 December contagions fall (8.254), but the Rt index rises to 0.96, and then exceeds 1 in the two subsequent monitoring. The weekly cases of Covid jump first to altitude 10.830 (incidence 242.44 and Rt 1.07) and then, between 4 and 10 January, a 12.715 (incidence 284.64 and Rt 1.12). They are the results of the shopping which preceded Christmas, they say. During the holidays, however, take the national red zone (from 24 to 27 December e from 1st to 6th January, with the parenthesis of 4), interrupted only by a few days of orange. Coronavirus fever is lowered: from 11 to 24 January, in fact, the weekly infections fall before 9.051, then to 7.650 (the incidence at 171.37 and the Rt at 0.84). The next ISS report confirms the trend.

After the Epiphany, Emilia Romagna remains in Orange until 1 February, a darker orange than that of 2020 because in the meantime the Government has banned travel between regions even with this regime of restrictions. Yet, that’s not enough. The ash, daily newsletters in hand, seems colder: on January 17th the face-to-face lessons in high school, albeit at 50%; below, however, the embers are burning, and the hot flashes, as we know, are felt 14 days later. The report of theFebruary 1-7 account 8.152 new positives (incidence 182.61 and Rt 0.95); that of the week February 8-14 8.592 with an incidence of 192.47 cases per 100 thousand inhabitants and an Rt index that returns above 1: 1.05 to be precise.

The orange grip is spinning, the screw is lacerated. The Rt index returns to rise also at the national level. Blame the entry into the scene variants of the Sars-Cov-2experts argue. The 2.0 virus runs fast, it is more contagious. “It is as if the brake system of the colors of the regions has encountered an oil stain which are the variants and now we slide faster”, explains the president of the Gimbe Foundation, Nino Cartabellotta. Perhaps the time has come, at least, to change the brake pads.

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