Total lockdown: Italy is approaching “Scenario 4”
Italy is increasingly marred by social uprisings in some Italian cities, in which groups of terrorists, extremists and COVID-19 deniers protest. Skyrocketing infections rate and rising tensions are bringing Italy closer to new lockdown of large metropolitan areas.
Experts from the Higher Institute of Health consider 5 regions – Lombardy, Campania, Liguria, Lazio, Valle d’Aosta, and the autonomous province of Bolzano to be particularly at risk.
Milan, Naples, Bologna, Turin and Rome remain at the centre of attention.
As early as Monday, November 2, the ban on travel and the blocking of all activities, except essential ones, could take place in the Lombard capital, Milano: contacts in this sense between the government, the Region and the Municipality are intense. These measures would then extend to other large cities and their hinterlands if the infections remained out of control, informs the authoritative Corriere.it
And the infection to date is no longer under control. For the fourth consecutive day Italy exceeded the record of new infections compared to the previous 24 hours: 31,084, with 199 deaths. The most affected regions are Lombardy (+8.960), Campania (+3.186) and Veneto (+3.012). Most have a Rt (the contagiousness index) greater than 1.25; in many it is over 1.5; in Piedmont and Lombardy it is above 2 (2.16 and 2.09).
Based on data from the week between 19 and 25 October, the Higher Institute of Health states that “there is a high probability that 15 regions will exceed critical thresholds for intensive care and / or medical areas in the next month”. The number of people hospitalized in crisis units went from 750 on October 18 to 1,208 a week later. These numbers reinforce the urgency for drastic decisions, even if the government denies that in two days the entire country can be sealed “like France”. The government denies it, but Minister Amendola (Health) does not rule it out for the following days: “If necessary, we will assume the burden of choice.”
“As always, at the center of discussions there is the school: the idea of closing schools completely is gaining strength, and Minister Azzolina (Education) is increasingly isolated in defense of face-to-face teaching. The situation in Milan is defined as “explosive” by the health authorities, with 230 cases in one day among students and 4 thousand “close contacts” sent to quarantine, therefore hundreds of families locked up at home overnight and pediatricians in disarray.
The one who remains reluctant in respect to the lockdown is PM Conte, but the PM himself must note that caution, gradualism and a tendency to procrastination – the traits that made him popular in the first phase of the pandemic – would no longer pay: “Take time it is no longer seen as a dowry but as a limit; and the polls demonstrate the decline in confidence “.
The premier now seems more inclined to share decisions and discuss them in Parliament. And “a shared direction” is exactly the request of Carlo Verdelli in the editorial: there is the clear reconstruction of what we have been through – the effective reaction to the virus, the salvation almost achieved in early August, then the ruin when we are there put “to dance and sing” – and a dramatic appeal to “all the tribes of which Italy is made up” to unite “at least the time necessary to avert the worst that advances”.
The air of revolt is growing in the country: last night it was the turn of Florence. Luckily there is a positive, sign even in this disaster: for example, in intensive care, oxygen helmets are used more and invasive mechanical ventilation is less. Then there is the economy, a reactive patient that in the third quarter made GDP rebound by 16% compared to the previous one: a new lockdown would freeze it, but it is a sign of vitality to cling to, explains Di Vico. Meanwhile, the freeze on layoffs has been extended until March.