Italian healthcare is overwhelmed by the omicron variable

Italian healthcare is overwhelmed by the omicron variable

According to Tuesday evening’s data, the daily number of cases – with 1.3 million examinations – exceeded 220 thousand and 294 patients died. Experts at the Ministry of Health said the spread of the omicron variant has not yet reached the peak expected in the coming weeks. A month ago, the daily number of cases was just over 21,000.

Experts announced that they advised the government not to release data on a daily basis, only once a week, to reduce concerns among the public. Outbreak data has been released on a daily basis since February 2020.

Most of the new patients are still being screened in the 10 million Lombardy region, known as the focal point: 45,000 new patients were identified on Tuesday, compared to 13,000 in the five million Sicily. The number of active people in Veneto, also located in the northeast, rose from five million, by more than fifteen thousand in one day to more than two hundred thousand.

Nationwide, more than 17,000 Covid-19 patients are hospitalized, and more than 1,000 are being treated in the intensive care unit.

In Liguria, Piedmont and Calabria, saturation in Covid-19 categories exceeded the 30 percent threshold, and saturation in intensive categories exceeded 20 percent, allowing the three provinces to move to the so-called orange epidemic zone of the two. The latter means restricting traffic within the region by prohibiting movement between municipalities.

The increase in the number of patients in all provinces has made it difficult to reopen the Covid-19 hospital in Milan, which was previously a vaccination point. Military camp hospitals have already been set up in the parking lots of three hospitals in Palermo, Sicily. Unaccompanied patients wait in ambulances for a seat.

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In Calabria, the armed forces are also providing assistance, as they did as early as March 2020; However, in the province of Southern Italy, there is not a large number of patients but the few existing hospital places.

In Naples, hospital wards are moved one by one to receive Covid-19 patients. According to local health data, the biggest concern is the nursing shortage, with twenty percent of employees becoming infected.

Surgeons on Tuesday called for half of non-life-saving surgeries to be missed because back-to-back classes not dealing with the coronavirus will be closed.

The Italian Episcopal College (Cei) in a public message confirmed the epidemiological measures in place in churches since May 2020. Cei did not make this mandatory, but recommended that believers wear an FFP2 mask in their temples. The guidelines include providing new masks in churches instead of “overused” masks for believers who must remain a safe distance from the benches.

Cei has also prescribed an FFP2 mask for catechism teachers and will make booster vaccination mandatory for teachers in Catholic universities from February 1, as in Italian public universities.

Cover photo: Shutterstock

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