“We are not in a situation of panic or alarm”

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“That there has been an acceleration, in the last 10-15 days, in the number of infections throughout Italy is a fact. But I’d be careful before talking about exponential growth. We are not in this situation ”. This was stated by the president of the Higher Health Council, Franco Locatelli, a guest half an hour longer on RaiTre.

“It is right to look at the numbers with maximum attention and alert, but we are neither in a situation of panic nor of alarm. Of the 11,000 cases recorded yesterday, only a third are symptomatic. In the critical phase, in March, we all identified symptomatic subjects “. And again: “We are almost 700 people hospitalized in intensive care, a number that is not comparable to the moment of the peak” last spring, observed the professor, who noted that Italy is “a country with a positive rate in ratio to tampons among the lowest in Europe. The health situation is not comparable with March ”, he reiterated.

“I do not think we must arrive” at an evening curfew to counter the spread of coronavirus infections, “certainly an eye on the gatherings should perhaps be given, perhaps by implementing the surveillance mechanisms”.

For Locatelli, “in Italy we have learned to protect ourselves” and “we have a formidable ability to swab”. “I believe that the Regions have a whole series of plans to activate resuscitation. They were not activated because there was no need. We have 700 ICUs out of 6,600 now ”.

Locatelli then explained that, although it is “indubitable that there has been strong growth” in the number of infections in recent days, we cannot speak of exponential growth, because there is no product of a variable for a fixed number and therefore it is different from the linear one, where there is a number that is added to the previous one. He also said that there is circulation of the virus affecting the European continent and that today the average age is just over 40 years, while in February and March it was over 65.

“Schools must remain open”

The head physician of the Bambino Gesù hospital also expressed himself against the hypothesis of a new closure of the schools. “Schools must remain open”.

“School first. School, together with work and productive activities, is the priority. An extraordinary effort has been made and must be kept open. The contribution of the school in the spread of the virus has absolutely no impact “.

The vaccine? “We will probably have it available in the spring of 2021”. “Until then we must live together in order to minimize the impact of the coronavirus on the lives of Italians”. As for the risk of a new general closure of the country, Locatelli commented: “I want to hope that we do not reach a lockdown on a national scale, we are working on this, also to reconcile the protection of health with the maintenance of production activities in the country”.

Out of control if Italy 600 thousand infections

If the number of coronavirus infected will arrive or arrive in Italy at 600 thousand, then yes we could talk about an “out of control” pandemic, clarified Locatelli. There are several factors to consider before being able to talk about an out-of-control pandemic: “bed occupation, contact tracing”. Today there is a line of thought that is developing in Europe according to which “the system risks going out of control when there is about 1% of the infected population, in Italy therefore 600,000 people”. This ”is a variable too influenced by a series of strategies that prevent this scenario, the mathematical models are useful but – Locatelli stressed – it is necessary to take into consideration the data that can interfere. There are also contexts that are influenced by the months of February and March ”.

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