Italy, several European countries, this week reached the highest daily number of infected with covid 19 since the pandemic was declared in March 2020, many due to the omicron variant. Indeed, on Tuesday, December 28, 78,313 new cases were registered in Italy and 98,020 on Wednesday. The increase in infections, the long queues to be able to do a covid test, among other things, are also causing problems in transport but also in the supply of tests and vaccines, and showing a shortage of personnel.
Of the twenty regions that the country has, at least seven surpassed the four thousand infected in one day on Wednesday. In first place was Lombardy (Milan region, north of the country) where 32,696 new infections were verified, followed by Piemonte (9,671), Veneto (8,666), Campania (9,802), Tuscany (7,304), Lazio (the region of Rome, 5,248) and Emilia Romania (4,134).
Although the omicron variant of Covid 19 is the most widespread in Europe and Italy, it appears to be much more contagious than the previous one, the delta, but less dangerous. There are several scientific studies that support this thesis. But anyway, experts say too little is still known about the omicron variant to make completely certain claims.
In this context, the 2021 Nobel Prize winner in Physics, the Italian Giorgio Parisi, declared on Tuesday to the Italian agency ANSA that “one hundred thousand infections could be reached in a day before the New Year”, which almost happened on Wednesday. But it is clear “that vaccines give solid protection with three doses.” According to the Nobel Prize “it is very difficult to make forecasts now. In a week the picture will be clearer ”.
So far Italy has vaccinated 77 percent of the total population with two doses and thirty with three doses, although there are still a few million irresponsible people who reject the vaccine, known in Italy as “No vacs”. Another novelty these days is that of those admitted to hospitals, many are under 18 years of age. In effect, internees under 18 have increased by 46 percent in the last week.
The government has imposed restrictive regulations such as the use of masks even outdoors, and the FFP2 masks, which are much more adherent to the face, when traveling by means of transport. But it has eliminated the quarantine for those who have the three doses of the vaccine or two doses of less than four months, if they have had contact with an infected person. The Green Pass or green pass, which certifies the vaccination itself, is mandatory to enter gyms, bars and restaurants where non-vaccinated people can only enter to take food or coffee. Until January 31, all kinds of events are also prohibited, such as concerts, theaters and discos.
Europe and its battle against the virus
Europe is no better than Italy. And in the face of the impressive increase in cases, some countries have already imposed restrictions. For example, they limit the movement of their citizens within the country, they close the borders, they seriously think about imposing compulsory vaccinations. There are those who are already thinking about the administration of the fourth dose – as Chile and Israel have announced – when most of Europe has received two doses and a minimal part three doses.
Some countries are even much worse than Italy, such as France, which had 208,000 infections in the last 24 hours, according to French Health Minister Olivier Véran. On Tuesday there were 179,808 new cases. This is the highest number since the beginning of the pandemic, according to the official coronavirus bulletin. Apart from new restrictive measures that the government is studying and that would be applied from January 15, the sale in supermarkets of the covid tests that one can perform at home has been authorized until January 31, without having to go to a pharmacy or assistance center. And this would allow at least to have a greater control of the evolution of the infections because, as happens in other countries, once the test is done, it must be sent to an official analysis center that forwards the result. They would also return to home working at least three days a week.
Britain also hit a record number of new infections on Tuesday, reaching 128,883 new cases in one day. Despite the fact that in other regions of Great Britain the infected have increased, there are no certain data yet due to the holiday period of the Christmas holidays where fewer controls were made. But some areas such as Scotland, in a preventive way, have already closed the nightclubs until January 10 at least.
In Spain there were 99,671 new cases on Tuesday, despite being among the top three countries in Europe with the highest percentage of vaccinated, 81 percent of the population, after Portugal and Malta. In Catalonia, for example, always as a preventive measure, the night closure has already been imposed from 1 to 6 in the morning, for fifteen days from December 24.
Denmark, one of the countries with the least population in the European Union, just under 6 million, has instead become the country with the highest infection rate, with 1,612 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. This week there were 13,131 infections in one day and the Omicron variant is predominant.
Portugal also registered a considerable increase in its infections, reaching 17,172 new cases this week, according to the report of the General Directorate of Health. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Portugal, which has only 10.3 million inhabitants, had 1.3 million infected and almost 19,000 deaths. But currently 89.31 percent of its population is vaccinated.
Greece had 21,732 new cases on Tuesday. The government has announced that from December 30 until January 16, bars and restaurants will be able to accept a maximum of 6 people and must close at 12 at night, except on New Year’s Day when the opening will be allowed until 2 in the morning.
In Germany things are much better. There were only 30,998 new cases despite the fact that just over 70 percent of the population is vaccinated, according to official data. However, limits were imposed on the festivities. A maximum of 10 vaccinated people may participate in each family reunion. If they are not vaccinated, the limit is two people. In some regions, night closures have already been imposed, from 10:30 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.
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European New Year, closed by the omicron | Restrictions throughout the continent due to the soaring of infections