COVID: 2021 will be 'stop&go' without total lockdown - Gimbe

Boost test and trace programme to stop virus circulating

(ANSA) - ROME, FEB 15 - The whole of this year will be a continuous "stop and go" of imposing and easing COVID restrictions unless there is a total lockdown of at least two weeks now, the Gimbe health research foundation said Monday.
    "A two-week total lockdown would bring the (contagion) curve down enabling the resumption of track and trace, otherwise we will have to continue with stop& go for the whole of 2021," said Gimbe Foundation President Nino Cartabellotta.
    Cartabellotta welcomed health ministry advisor Walter Ricciardi's call for a general lockdown now.
    He said it was "in line with what we published before the Christmas period".
    The government had adopted the strategy of living with the virus to avoid hospitals being overwhelmed, but a different and more stringent approach was needed, said Cartabellotta.
    A two-week lockdown would enable the essential track, test and trace programme to get back up to speed, as long as certain Italian regions got ready for it, he said.
    Thinking that the vaccination programme alone will improve the situation "is very difficult," Cartabellotta said.
    Italy may be third in the world for vaccinating its population, he said, but regional differences are still too wide to boast of success.
    Cartabellotta said Italy was behind others in vaccinating the fragile elderly because it had chosen to prioritise health workers for the jab, "but the real problem is supplies".
    As for the COVID variants in circulation, Cartabellotta said, "we must posit the worst case scenario in order to avoid finding ourselves unprepared". (ANSA).


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