The Gimbe Foundation, a health watchdog, said the number of patients in intensive care units rose nearly 22 percent during the week ending Nov. 17. , which increased by almost 10 percent during the same period.
Total coronavirus infections are also up, with around 208,000 reported in the same time period, up from 181,000 the week before. This represents an increase of 15 percent. However, weekly deaths were down 2.9 percent.
“With the circulation of the virus increasing, we hope that the government will soon publish an action plan for the winter,” said Nino Cartabellotta, president of the Gimbe Foundation.
Cartabellotta and other top health officials have called for caution as the weather cools and more activities take place indoors, creating more favorable conditions for the spread of the virus.
However, Health Minister Orazio Schillaci said last week that the coronavirus has entered an “endemic phase” in Italy, meaning that while it will not disappear, it will remain under control. Schillaci said the coronavirus needs to be dealt with in the same way as influenza, noting that many people test positive while remaining asymptomatic. Nonetheless, Schillaci urged those most vulnerable to infection to wear masks.
Italy has been distributing fourth doses of vaccines, although data shows that the distribution rate has decreased compared to previous rounds of the vaccination program.
As of Monday, the country had distributed 142.5 million doses. Some 88.6 percent of the country’s residents ages 12 and older, or 42.3 million people, had received the full course of vaccination plus at least one booster shot, or had recovered from a coronavirus infection in the previous four months.
Meanwhile, 4.9 million residents had received a second booster shot.
According to the Gimbe Foundation, the number of intensive care unit patients in the week ending November 17 rose to 247, compared with 203 the week before, an increase of 21.7 percent. The total number of hospitalizations increased 9.8 percent compared to the previous week, to 6,981.
The Gimbe Foundation bases its calculations on official data provided by the Italian Ministry of Health, which last week stopped publishing daily data on the pandemic. This is due to the policies introduced by the new Italian government of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, who took office a month ago.
As of November 17, the date of the last daily report, the country had recorded 24.0 million individual cases since February 2020 and more than 180,000 deaths. ■
- Eritrea: Activity Assessment Meeting of Nationals in Italy
- International Monetary Fund (IMF) Executive Board Completes Third Review Under the Extended Fund Facility for Seychelles
- Saving women’s lives: the time is now to defeat Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and cervical cancer together (By Sergio Carmona & Princess Nono Simelela)