” The entire planet has had to face the most epochal emergency of the modern era with millions of deaths. We have worked with sacrifice and a spirit of service trying to accompany the country towards that goal that is finally seen in a tangible way and which coincides with next March 31 ” but ” let’s try not to have a short memory ”. Two years after the start of the pandemic the medical director of the Police, expert in emergency management, Fabio Ciciliano outlines, in an interview with Adnkronos, an assessment of the work carried out as a member of the Scientific Technical Committee which will complete its task and functions on 31 March next.
Since 5 February 2020, the CTS has been asked for many opinions from the government on the management of the pandemic: ” It is completely normal that the decisions of the two governments that have followed one another in these years of pandemic technical-scientific has gradually matured with the wealth of knowledge that it had available and which with the passage of time has increased thanks to the international scientific community – he underlines – The opinions of the CTS have not always been collected and it was absolutely normal that this could to happen. The evaluations of the political component have in fact had to consider all the aspects of our life in those moments, something that the technical and scientific part was not required ”.
Fabio Ciciliano has been a member of the Scientific Technical Committee since the beginning of the emergency, in the first phase as secretary, then, in the second CTS, the one appointed after the fall of the Conte government by the new prime minister Mario Draghi, as a member. And about the differences between these two experiences he says: ”Rather than the different approaches of the two governments, I would speak of the distinct phases of the pandemic”. ” The first CTS was a real emergency body – he underlines – Decisions had to be taken immediately, promptly and with partial information. Very complex conditions that have caused indescribable pressure on each of us for several months. He felt the weight of every single decision, the responsibility for the answers that were provided and that the country awaited with painful expectation. It was the time of the very rigid lockdown, of the coffins carried away by the Army trucks, of the death numbers that inexorably rose, of the lack of masks, of oxygen cylinders, of fittings invented with 3D printers to connect fans to diving masks. This was the time, let’s try not to have a short memory ”.
“Preventing funerals and visits to places of care that are more difficult and painful choices”
” The second CTS, from March 2021 – he adds – was that of the transition from the phase of absolute emergency, in which it was impossible to see the end, to the phase of a vision made more optimistic by national anti-Covid-19 vaccination campaign, the real keystone of the entire pandemic story”.
Despite the attacks on those who were called to make difficult choices in these two years of pandemic, the Italians have placed great trust in the CTS. ” At the end of each state of emergency there is a return to ordinary management through a period of progressive restitution of the prerogatives exercised by the structures created for emergency management in favor of the institutions and administrations of the State that ordinarily govern the subverted areas of competence from the event – emphasizes Ciciliano – This means that the pandemic, in itself, is not over. However, it means that the general conditions of the country can allow the return to normal management of the phenomenon in the territories ”. And among the most difficult decisions taken by the members of the technical-scientific committee, Ciciliano has no doubts: “ Certainly to prevent funerals and visits to places of care – he says – Very painful choices but it was necessary to break the chains of contagion – he underlines – It was necessary to reduce infections and further deaths and to preserve as much as possible in hospitals and in RSA ”.
The government has drawn the road map for the exit from the emergency and a progressive relaxation of the measures and at the same time we are witnessing a gradual rise in infections. ” As we have learned for several months now, even if the number of infections is of fundamental importance from an epidemiological point of view, what must be evaluated is basically the impact on the regional health systems of the new hospitalizations in the ordinary covid and hospital wards in intensive care – emphasizes Ciciliano – The numbers are decreasing since reaching the peak in the second week of last January and this is the most important indicator that can guide us towards the last steps of the easing of containment measures and the progressive openings decided by the government , even if we must not let our guard down ”.
“Green pass emergency technical tool, its function will come to an end”
And on the gradual abolition of the green pass he adds: “ The green pass mechanism in its various forms which over time have been added to that initially conceived for the movement between the different States and between the Italian regions, has been and is a technical tool emergency that allowed us to return early to an almost normal life, even compared to other European countries. And like all emergency tools, it will be destined to conclude its function upon the outcome of the return to normality ”.
” It is likely that the numbers of infections in the next autumn-winter period will increase – he continues – There is no need to be scandalized by this. Coronaviruses, also the one that causes Covid-19, are transmitted by the respiratory route and increase its circulation and, therefore, the transmission capacity, in the cold months. But now the country is ready for a possible new phase of fighting the virus also thanks to the very high percentage of immunized subjects. In Italy, over 91% of citizens over 12 have received at least one dose of the vaccine ”.
Ciciliano, as an expert in emergency management, took to the field for the resolution of numerous critical situations both abroad, from the nuclear disaster in Fukushima to the cholera epidemic in Haiti up to the earthquakes in India and Pakistan, both in our country, from the earthquake in L’Aquila and the one that hit central Italy in 2016. Responding to the new phase of emergency that has opened with the war in Ukraine, concludes: ” As an expert in handling crisis situations around the world, I shudder at the thought that this war is so close to us. But this geographical proximity must push us towards one a structured and methodologically correct reception policy. It is not possible to leave Poland alone in the sensational and very heavy support action of millions of refugees. The initial stages of an obvious and emotional improvised welcome must be followed by a lucid and structured hospitality action, which could last months, perhaps years. With a desirable work of consultation and coordination at European level ”.
(by Giorgia Sodaro)