ROME – The Minister of Health, Roberto Speranza, at ‘Countercurrent’ outlines the picture of the Covid epidemic, today driven in Italy by the infections caused by the Omicron variant. “The life of the vast majority of Italians in recent months has been without great limitations. In the coming weeks we will have to open a discussion in particular with the Regions, we will convene a technical table to discuss the proposals and face this phase that seems different from the previous ones. However, we are in a difficult moment, the numbers of those infected are very very high. Thanks to vaccines, hospitalizations are lower than in the past but the pressure is still very strong. The WHO tells us that we are approaching the peak, we must carefully evaluate what happens in the next few days and, as we have always done, adapt the rules to the epidemiological phase we are experiencing ”, says Speranza.
“We saw some very first signs of cooling of the curve, we will have to study tomorrow but we must have the idea of lowering the curve immediately: this is the priority”, he says, reiterating the goal of “folding the curve without major restrictions” . Among the topical topics, the debate on the possibility of distinguishing Covid patients from positive ones stands out.
“Today we pass in color only for hospitalizations, not for positives. Basically we are already in a model in which hospitalizations matter more. We will discuss with the Regions, we will verify step by step the margins that we can take. The fundamental weapon that allows us to face such a complicated wave, without the restrictions of the past, is the vaccine. We are one millimeter from 90% of first doses, these are very important numbers that allow us to manage this phase in a different way. 10% of unvaccinated produce two thirds of ICU admissions and about half of medical beds. For this reason, the best news today is the 92,000 first doses. If fewer people go to hospital, the covid problem becomes objectively a different problem, ”the minister said.
Is the Omicron variant less of a concern? “A country with 300 deaths a day must also be attentive to words. I have heard too often trivializations, ‘a cold, a flu’. I think that with 3 doses of the vaccine the Omicron variant is much weaker and there is less chance of the virus taking a person to the hospital. The virus is not a cold or flu, the vaccine allows us to do many things that were not possible a year ago. With these numbers of infections, without vaccines we would have been forced to adopt very tough measures “.