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Anxiety and Uncertainty: From WHO to Spallanzani, Omicron surprises everyone

The South African variant Omicron hangs over Christmas. A great deal of uncertainty is spooking stock exchanges, prompting the European Commission to propose banning flights to high-risk areas and overshadowing the cautious optimism of nearly normal holidays. The numerical surge of the virus, which the World Health Organization has renamed with another Greek letter and considered “alarming” – or the highest level of alarm – arrives in Europe via a positive woman in Belgium after a trip to Egypt. It is highly contagious, and it remains to be understood how dangerous it is and within what limits it is included in the current vaccine umbrella. “It would be irresponsible not to worry – Health Minister Speranza comments calling one to vaccinate with the third dose – the line is very careful, a big wave is underway and even if Italy has more rules than others let’s keep our feet on the ground.” Omicron has not yet been detected in our country, as confirmed by the ISS, there are about a hundred serial cases in the world. But Italy, as well as Switzerland, Germany, Israel and the United Kingdom, immediately bans air traffic from vulnerable areas: already decreed in the middle of the roadComment rn Flights from seven countries in South Africa (South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Malawi). Meanwhile, Northern League agent Molteni Dal Viminale poses the problem of ports as a gateway.

The level of interest in the Ministry of Health is rising significantly, in coordination with the World Health Organization and ECDC (European Center for Disease Prevention and Control). Esperanza listens to her peers in other countries, Brussels. It is immediately clear to the government that without a joint assessment of concern and a unified reaction, it is not going anywhere. The Minister praised the proposal of European Commission President von der Leyen to stop all aircraft coming from the southern African region, after consulting with member states. A measure that Brussels is preparing to launch and provokes protests from the South African government. “It is a global pandemic, national responses are not enough, and we are struggling with the global community of scientists,” the minister said. Meanwhile, WHO experts meeting in Geneva called for a “scientific, risk-based approach” that would lead to caution in limiting travel because it would take weeks to determine the extent of the true infection and the efficacy of vaccines and treatments.

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The truth is, everyone was surprised. Perhaps at the time the Sentinel was a little lower with the third dose campaign and the green light for vaccine agencies for those under 12 years old. From the World Health Organization to Spallanzani in Rome – where a task force was purposely formed – World Studies. Health consultant Walter Ricciardi summarizes: “It is too early to confirm with certainty, this variant is worrisome due to the severe infection it appears to have. As for a greater risk, we will have to wait, as is the possible escape capacity of vaccines that can still be updated” . The same wait-and-see attitude to Giovanni Reda, director general of prevention at the ministry: “We are carefully evaluating the characteristics of this new alternative with other international organizations.” In the context of an Italian epidemiological framework it “tends to get worse, even if RT is stable”. Although “sequences related to the South African isolated variant have not yet been reported in the national database” ISS chief Brusaferro is reassured in commenting on the weekly observation data. While virologist Fabrizio Brigliasco focuses on the booster to increase protection: “Variants are a natural phenomenon. The companies tell us that within 100 days we can have a new vaccine, and in the meantime these vaccines will have great effectiveness.”

The Omicron boom caused a situation where the launch of the Super Green Pass by the Cabinet just two days ago was a very strong pressure. It remains to be defined in the implementation methods: app partitioning to exclude buffers, privacy implications, on-board controls on public transport and more. Minister Lamorgese is scheduled to meet with the governors on Monday to outline the control plan. While from the end of December it will be possible to vaccinate children.

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Harold Manning

"Infuriatingly humble social media ninja. Devoted travel junkie. Student. Avid internet lover."

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