Covid, Italy remains on the penalty line

Ministry of Health

Ministry of Health

The English variant, with its strong contagiousness, is spreading in Italy and it is impossible to think of a relaxation of restrictions. From the Italian Higher Institute of Health and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, the message that arrives is the same: it is necessary to “rapidly strengthen measures” to contain the spread. Experts sound the alarm, but in the political world the divisions of the Conte II government return, those of not even a week ago, with the difference that now the League is part of the majority in support of Mario Draghi. However, Matteo Salvini’s party remains in the minority and crushed by the need to pursue the line of rigor instead and the speech that the prime minister in charge will deliver on Wednesday and Thursday to the Chambers and on which he will ask for confidence should go in this direction.

The study carried out by the Higher Institute of Health on 3 and 4 February shows that the English variant is widespread in 88% of the sixteen Regions participating in the survey with percentages of total cases ranging up to 59% in some areas. A clear message that could lead to a further squeeze that the executive assesses, as confirmed by the Minister for Regional Affairs Mariastella Gelmini at the end of the meeting with the Technical Scientific Committee: “The pandemic is still strong, we cannot joke. If it is necessary to make choices of rigor they are made ”. The line will be given by Prime Minister Draghi in the Senate, focusing on the mass vaccination campaign among the priorities.

In the meantime, however, in the majority, already quarrelsome, the Arcuri case opens with the pressing of the center-right to corner the Commissioner for the emergency. “We do not ask for anything”, Salvini replies to those who ask him if the League will aim at his resignation. But then he adds: “I don’t think he’s solving many of the open questions, I think he’ll need a hand.” Help that, for the League and above all for Forza Italia, has the name of Guido Bertolaso, as Antonio Tajani admits in the light of the sun: “Confirming Arcuri would be a mistake. The solution? Bertolaso ​​”.

With the arrival of the new government, the clash with the Regions also re-emerges. The request is that of a “change of pace”, especially in the relationship with the territories. From Zaia to Cirio to Fedriga and Fontana, the governors heavily criticized the decision to close the plants at the last minute. And now Salvini’s party shifts the battle to the need for refreshments. The goal is to weigh more in the choices that are made. The president of the Conference of Regions Stefano Bonaccini himself confirms that it is a problem of method: “I hope it is the last time, it is unacceptable. We learned from the news agencies what happened, we ask the experts less interviews and a little more work where we have to discuss ”. Words to which Gelmini responds, promising a change of direction: “the method of communication must be changed”.

As if that were not enough, the scientific community is also divided. The appeal of the consultant of Minister Speranza, Walter Ricciardi – total lockdown for a limited period of time – was collected by the virologist Andrea Crisanti and by the infectious disease specialist of the Sacco of Milan Massimo Galli, according to whom, however, a total closure would make sense if accompanied from a mass vaccination. Gimbe is also in favor: “Without a total lockdown for two weeks, we will have to continue with the stop and go for the whole of 2021”. The director of Spallanzani Francesco Vaia and the councilor for health of Puglia Pierluigi Lopalco of another opinion, according to whom “surgical and selective” closures are needed. There is no doubt that the situation is serious. The Higher Institute of Health does not speak of total lockdown but the road will be that of the continuation of an Italy divided by colors. Perhaps increasingly red.

Source: Huffington Post Italy Athena2 by

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