Omicron variant, Hope: “Risk element mutations”

The minister: “No further measures are on the horizon. Let’s follow the trend and make assessments”

On the Omicron variant of the covid “the international scientific community is working to better understand its potential impact”. So the Minister of Health Roberto Speranza, today at the Il Foglio Festival, after the first case identified in Italy. “The sequencing is limited and some of the very first analyzes that are done still indicate an element of riskfor the 32 mutations of the variant that “can represent a significant element and this has led us to take the measures we have taken” with the closure of flights from southern African countries, he stressed.

At the moment, explains the minister, “no further measures are on the horizon. We will follow the trend and we will make assessments”, but these “these are rather delicate hours. This new variant is a further challenge facing all countries of the world“.

“While the scientists continue to work, we – continued the minister – continue with our work on the vaccination campaign which is the essential tool we have, as is compliance with safety standards” or masks and spacing. “Compliance with the rules is essential, we are still in a very, very delicate phase “, he added.

“The numbers in our country are lower” than others in Europe, explains Speranza, but “infections are growing, there is a stable Rt at 1.2 which is in any case a sign of significant growth in the infection. ‘lower is the figure for hospitalizations thanks to vaccines “.

“For the first time just yesterday – he said – there was a qualitative leap at European level to address the crisis. One of the lessons of the pandemic is that health policies are international policies and the response must be strong and coordinated. “.

“This morning – the minister drew up the balance – 87.25% of vaccinable people received the first dose, 84.5% completed the course“of the two doses.” While we do the third we must also recover the people who have not vaccinated, this is particularly important, “he said, adding:” Friday we reached 294 thousand third doses: it is the highest figure since we started and I am optimistic that next week there will be a further significant growth “since December 1st opens up to the possibility of taking the third dose to the age group that did the second 5 months ago”.

“The first doses are on the rise: on Friday they were 28 thousand” while in general they were around 18 thousand. “There has been a significant increase on this front in the last few days and I think it is thanks to the measures that we have put in place and that have produced a further stimulus to vaccination. This is important and positive”, explains the minister.