Italy's COVID-19 Rt number, incidence up slightly

Pressure on hospitals has fallen further - monitoring report

(ANSA) - ROME, OCT 22 - Italy's COVID-19 Rt transmission number was up slightly at 0.86 in the period between September 29 and October 12, according to a draft of the latest coronavirus monitoring report of the health ministry and the Higher Health Institute (ISS).
    That compares to a RT of 0.85 in last week's report, a figure which, in turn, was up from 0.83 the previous week.
    A Rt of over 1 indicates that the epidemic is in a phase of expansion.
    The incidence of cases was up slightly too, at 34 for every 100,000 inhabitants in the period from October 15 to 21, compared to 29 in last week's report.
    Experts say it becomes difficult to track and trace cases once the incidence goes over 50.
    The report said that the pressure the coronavirus is exerting on Italy's hospitals had continued to fall.
    It said the proportion of intensive-care places taken up by COVID patients was 3.9%, down from 4.1% last week.
    It said the proportion of ordinary hospital places occupied by coronavirus sufferers was down from 4.6% to 4.2%.
    The report said the number of regions/autonomous provinces where the COVID risk was considered moderate, rather than low, had gone up from three to four.
    They are Abruzzo, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Piedmont and new entry Campania.
    The weekly monitoring report was presented later on Friday after was examined by the government's COVID-19 'control room' taskforce.
    It said that some 345,000 first jabs had been given in the last week, and 7.6 million Italians over the age of 12 were without a first vaccination.
    After approving the draft, ISS chief Silvio Brusaferro said "in Italy there is a situation of control of the pandemic".
    He said there had been a "slight increase in mortality" over the week.
    "But we are still in the midst of a pandemic and prudence is needed," he added.
    Brusaferro added that vaccines had been shown to be "highly effective" against the new virus variants that are springing up, especially a new one that originated in the UK.
    He said that there had been 86 sequencings of the delta variant up to October 19.
    Health ministry prevention chief Gianni Rezza said that the general trend of he epidemic was "favourable".
    Rezza added "we do not know when we'll have to revaccinate the youngest members of society". (ANSA).


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