Covid, infections and hospitalizations date back (today almost 59 thousand cases and almost 300 more hospitalized) and the ghost of the masks: according to what the agency Adnkronos Salute writes, a new circular of the Ministry of Health – still in draft and under examination by the Regions – in which some indications are provided in view of the cold season. And among the indications there is also the hypothesis of a return of masksat least in closed public spaces.
Covid, infections spurt: 60 deaths and 58,185 cases, almost 300 more hospitalized
Are the masks back? The draft of the circular
In the case of “an evident epidemiological worsening” of Covid-19, we read in the draft of the circular, “with serious clinical impact and / or on health care and / or on the functioning of essential services”, the use of masks “in closed public spaces may be a first option to limit transmission in the community. Similarly, in the event of a significant worsening of the epidemic, the temporary adoption of other measures, such as work from home or the limitation of the size of events that involve gatherings, can be evaluated ”.
“The pandemic is not over yet”
The summer wave of Covid-19, caused by Omicron BA.4 and BA.5, highlighted, as stated in the introduction in the draft of the circular, “that the pandemic is not yet over“. “Several factors contribute to making the epidemiological evolution and the repercussions on the health system in terms of the demand for assistance uncertain“: from the appearance of new viral variants able to increase the transmissibility or clinical severity of cases, the degree of adherence to the vaccination campaign (fourth dose) and the observance of sanitation and behavioral measures, up to the co-circulation of other respiratory viruses (influenza, parainfluenza, respiratory syncytial virus, etc.).
“Although the evolution of the pandemic is currently unpredictable, our country must prepare – for the third consecutive year – to face an autumn and a winter in which an increased health impact could be observed, attributable to various acute respiratory diseases.“we read in the draft of the document. “The future of the Sars-Cov-2 pandemic depends not only on new variants that can emerge and replace those previously circulating, but also on the behavior and immune status of the population. It is particularly important to avoid congestion in health care facilities by limiting the incidence of serious illness, protecting especially the most vulnerable people and influencing modifiable factors for which health systems and society must continue to adapt their response to the SARS epidemic. Cov-2“.
“In the autumn-winter period 2022-2023, the Ministry and the other national institutions will continue to ensure clear, complete and evidence-based communication in order to encourage conscious adherence to institutional recommendations.“, we still read in the provision signed by the Director of Health Prevention of the Ministry of Health Giovanni Rezza and of Health Planning Stefano Lorusso. The document also underlines how, in the next winter seasonan increase in the pressure on laboratories for both diagnostics but also more generally, on virological surveillance networks due to a greater seasonal circulation of respiratory viruses “, and therefore recommends the need to provide” mechanisms for strengthening the systems in place. In fact, it will be essential – we read – to ensure a sufficient sequencing volume to monitor the viruses in circulation and the emergence of new viral variants and an adequate diagnostic capacity of the laboratories. Therefore, it is strongly recommended at least in elective contexts such as hospitals and emergency rooms, to collect samples to be subjected to molecular tests, to ensure in each Region / PA a minimum number of samples to be genotyped ».
And again, on the vaccinations: “In the autumn-winter 2022-2023 season, the goal of the vaccination campaign will be to continue to make the elderly and frail safe as a priority, protecting them from serious illness and hospitalization”. Therefore it will be a priority – according to the ministry – “to consider in the preparation and implementation of the new vaccination strategies” a series of factors including continuation of the vaccination campaign in progress, filling the gaps in primary cycle vaccination coverage and recommended boosters; the possibility of combining vaccination campaigns against Covid-19 and influenza and vaccination programs with adapted vaccines, identifying priority population groups and ensuring that there is sufficient availability of doses.
Finally – according to the Ministry of Health – “the identification of cases through tests, the isolation of cases and the targeted search for contacts continue to be useful tools for managing the SarS-CoV-2 epidemic”. ‘Contact tracing and quarantine should primarily be conducted and applied in individuals at risk of serious illness, high-risk settings (healthcare, nursing homes and long-term care facilities), and in situations of greater concern (e.g. example, an emerging variant of interest or concern) ‘.
Last updated: Tuesday 4 October 2022, 21:16
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