Omicron variant, yellow zone and hypothetical measures: situation in Italy

From today a new color band for Marche, Liguria, Veneto and the Autonomous Province of Trento

From today, Monday 20 December, the yellow zone, with the obligation of outdoor masks, will also be triggered for Marche, Liguria, Veneto and the Autonomous Province of Trento. But this week, other decisions could arrive on new anti Covid measures and to deal with the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. Difficult since Christmas, given the proximity of the control room, chaired by Prime Minister Mario Draghi, called for December 23rd, more likely for the rest of the holidays. Yesterday the daily bulletin recorded over 24 thousand new infections and 97 deaths.

“There is a difficult situation at the European level, even at the Italian level the numbers are growing; our numbers are still far better than other European countries: we do a third of the daily cases of Great Britain, less than half of France and Germany, it is clear that it is a situation a little better than theirs but it is completely evident that there is a rather steady significant growth in the last few weeks that we need to remedy – said the Minister of Health, Roberto Speranza, what’s the weather like on Rai3 – If this growth continues like this it can risk putting our healthcare facilities in difficulty“.

The Omicron variant is holding half of Europe in its grip. Yesterday morning Speranza spoke “with some European ministers, such as the Netherlands and Denmark, and they signal us a huge concern about the Omicron variant, some of these countries are choosing very tough measures, Holland is in lockdown, Denmark has made a measure quite close to lockdown. We have a small advantage, the Omicron variant is not yet significantly widespread“. And today,” on the recommendation of the Ministry of Health and the Istituto Superiore di Sanità, we will make a further check, a flash survey, on the situation of the variants in our country, then we will see again in the first days of the week how the curve evolves and then we have an appointment with the scientists on Thursday to assess the adequacy of the situation. It is absolutely necessary to keep the level of attention very high, the institutions must do it and we also ask for an extra effort from all our fellow citizens in compliance with the behavioral measures that are decisive, in particular the correct use of the mask, the spacing and avoiding the gatherings. These measures are more important today than in the past “underlined Speranza.

And then we need to speed up on the third doses: “In Italy we have exceeded 14 and a half million people who have taken the third dose, my invitation to all those who are entitled to it is to book and take this dose as soon as possible. best shield that can prepare us, today that we have an advantage, until a few weeks from now, in all probability the variant will be much more present in our country “.

On the introduction of new measures “at this moment no decision has already been taken, only on Thursday we will make our assessments” the minister said. “There is an element of concern on the part of the government, we are comparing numbers in hand and we will evaluate the possible solutions “he explained.” We will meet with our scientists and we will evaluate if it is useful and necessary to do more. In the meantime, maximum precaution and maximum prudence and during these holidays avoid gatherings as much as possible “.

Several hypotheses on the table, such as the obligation of outdoor masks, already in force in the yellow zone. Then there is the hypothesis of the swab to enter the premises indoors, such as discos, even for the vaccinated. At the moment these are only “hypotheses”, underline government sources, to be verified on the basis of the data gradually arriving and on which the point will be made in the control room of 23. Beyond the holiday discourse, among the topics under discussion is also that of reducing the duration of the green pass.

Is Italy close to the orange zone? “I’m afraid so. The occupancy of hospital posts is continuing to rise” he said, at ‘Half an hour more’, Guido Rasi, former director of the European medicines agency and today consultant to the commissioner for the Covid-19 emergency. “Before arriving at the lockdown in the strict sense – said Rasi – surely outdoor masks, avoid gatherings, distancing, finally there is a beginning of a culture of managing flows” of people in the streets.