Italy: Omicron variant “explosion” – Pending new measures

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Response from Italy for ERT: Christian Mavris

Although Italy is in a better epidemiological situation than much of Europe, the arrival of the new Omicron variant worries the Italian authorities. The trend of cases remains exponential and the cases are constantly increasing (yesterday 36,293).

This morning, the Italian media report that within a period of just two weeks, the Omicron variant went from 0.2% (on December 6) to 25-30% of the total cases of coronavirus in the territory, ie 100 times more. According to an official of the Ministry of Health, there is literally an “explosion of Omicron”, while at the same time the announcement of the special conclusion for this variant in Italy is expected.

Although more than 85% of the population over the age of 12 have completed the vaccination cycle, the fact that this variant has the potential to “pierce” the vaccine coverage (albeit with a lower mortality rate than the Delta variant) vigilance to the Government, which in a short time is expected to announce new restrictive measures following a meeting of the so-called Pension Room of the Ministry of Health.

Citizens’ health remains a priority, as well as the prevention of further pressure on the health system and therefore new, more extensive lockdowns. For this reason, the Italian media talk about the possibility of new measures after Christmas, such as: the imposition of the use of the mask outdoors, reducing the duration of the Green Pass to 6 months (despite the European Union directive for 9 months), the booster dose of the vaccine at 4 months (compared to the current 5) from the second vaccine dose, and the imposition of a test on the vaccinated. It should be noted that after yesterday’s statements by Mario Draghi, among other things, the mandatory vaccination is being discussed.

“It remains in the minds and has never been ruled out,” the Italian prime minister said yesterday, not ruling out the possibility of extending the measure to other categories or even applying it to all workers in the independent sector.

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