The pandemic breaks out in Italy, which is already preparing for a quarantined Christmas

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On Wednesday there was a record of daily cases. They fear again the saturation of the hospitals. The government denies a general lockdown for now.

“We went backwards,” said Stefania Ragno, ward manager in intensive care at the San Pablo hospital, one of the most important in Milan. She confessed that when they saw that the beds were filling up again, she was overcome by psychological fatigue “from having to start over.” Those infected with coronavirus in Italy They reached 7,332 nationwide on Wednesday, absolute record. Higher than the figures for March, when the pandemic began with a brutality that in two and a half months reached 30,000 deaths (today there are 36,300) in official figures.

The reality added several thousand deaths not counted in the statistics that raised Italy to the condition of the most punished country in Europe.

Nurse Ragno said that now many doctors and nurses at the San Pablo hospital are dominated by depression, “but ready to continue fighting.” Milan is in the second wave that started earlier this month worse than the first. On Wednesday the great metropolis of northern Italy registered 1,032 infected out of the 1,844 in all of Lombardy, the richest and most industrialized region, that once again the coronavirus undergoes a tremendous test.

With Campania, whose capital is Naples, they are the two regions that have been hit the hardest by the exponential growth that in two weeks increased the number of daily infections in Italy from 978, at the end of September, to more than 7 thousand today.

The summer securities were abruptly extinguished, which spread the data of the “agony” of the epidemic and gave numbers on how the health system was preparing for the second wave, if it came. He arrived and pulverized all the forecasts.

Prospects indicate that November-December can trigger the epidemic curve to 10-15 thousand infections a day if the current uncontrolled expansion cannot be contained. The most listened to is always the virologist from the University of Padua (Veneto) Andrea Crisanti, who maintains that a quarantine at Christmas to reduce the rate of increase in infections and reset the blocked system, “is in the order of things.”

The government of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, which until a week ago denied that it was going to confine the whole of Italy again, as it decided on May 10 in the first stage with notable success, said it was better not to make Christmas forecasts, casting hand to a quarantine of two or three weeks.

The cost of immobilizing the country is enormous in economic terms: in Italy the national wealth was reduced by 10%. A new national parate would collapse the partial reactivation that would have to raise the Gross Domestic Product by 6% next year.

Conte insisted that he believes more in a consultation with the presidents of the twenty regions and to quarantine the part of the country that is suffering the most from the second wave. This is what France and Great Britain have done in recent days, although no one dares to argue that the latest restrictions will prevent further immobilization of more regions.

The scientist Crisanti said that the government’s decisions, which announced new restrictions that look rather skinny, “will have an impact that will only be known in two weeks.”

Crisanti was the hero of the first wave of the pandemic when he managed to impose his project in the Veneto region with massive sanitary controls using swab maps and other population analyzes. He said that “the central problem is to contain the virus urgently”, increasing the routes of infections, many times produced by a huge mass of infected who are asymptomatic and not even they know that they are infected and infecting so many people. “

“The system is saturated as the number of infected increases and the ability to track cases is contracting,” he warns. According to Professor Crisanti, 90% of those infected continue to circulate, spreading the virus.

The trace of contagions reaches less than 5%. The investment in personnel to carry out the traces of the infections is insufficient. “In our group there are seven of us and we must control 83 thousand cases,” explained a fingerprint search engine for infections.

The most acute problem among the major foci of the pandemic is posed by the public transport sector. Buses and trains are packed at rush hour. In cities, buses are required to travel with up to 80% of the space occupied by passengers. The figure is widely exceeded and crowding is a sure source of infection.

In government meetings there was no way to find a way around the dilemma. For example, hundreds of thousands of high school students overlap at bus and tram stops or train and subway stations. to go home, because everyone leaves at about the same time.

By changing some schedules it was hoped to reduce the avalanche of passengers, but without result. The claims to reduce the maximum occupied space to 50% were rejected because in Rome alone almost 300 thousand people could not be transported without unacceptable waits.

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