Medical personnel test for COVID-19 at a high school in Rome, Italy. (The Associated Press)
Rome – The counselor of the Italian Ministry of Health and member of the council of the World Health Organization, Walter Ricciardi, affirmed this Tuesday that the world is not witnessing a possible second wave of coronavirus infections but rather an increase that is part of the first, that it has not finished.
“In recent months we have flattened the transmission curve, but without stopping it completely”, thanks among other things to the increase in summer temperatures, but now with autumn and the cold “the curve is rising again”, said Ricciardi in statements to private television Sky.
“It is still the first wave, which we call the second only because it corresponds to a new season, but it is the same,” he added.
Italy accumulates 311,364 total cases of contagion and 35,851 deaths since the emergency began in the country on February 21. Of the current 50,323 patients, 264 are in intensive care units.
Ricciardi pointed out that the country has more than 10,000 Intensive Care Units to attend to patients in the coming months and that this is not a problem, but it is the fact that some regions have deficiencies in their security systems against contagions in their hospitals.
“Some hospitals don't have separate routes (in and out). This will mean that, when the pressure of the flu and the fear of the coronavirus arrives, all the people will arrive at the hospital and crowd together in a single space, causing chaos, “he argued.
Ricciardi also spoke of rapid COVID-19 tests that, although they are not “100% reliable”, “allow to identify” those infected to prevent the virus from spreading.
For now, Italy applies them at airports to citizens arriving from Spain, Croatia, Greece, Malta and France, and plans to use them soon in schools.