Cases have started to grow again, but encouraging signs are coming from Pope John. Dr. Fagiuoli: “Maybe we are heading towards endemic”
by Andrea Rossetti
Has the fifth wave begun? Numbers in hand, the growth of the epidemiological curve in Italy, as well as in Lombardy and Bergamo, is now undoubted. The Ats report of 23 March, in fact, underlines how, in the last week, the new cases in our province were 3,233, that is 898 more than the previous week. And so, while the Government has announced a plan to constantly reduce the restrictions in force against Covid since the beginning of April, at the same time several voices have returned to talk, for example, of a fourth dose of vaccine for all. What to think, then?
Contagions from Omicron 2
“We expected the situation we are observing,” comments the doctor Stefano Fagiuoli, director of the Department of Medicine of the Papa Giovanni hospital. Fagiuoli, in fact, underlines how, after the very rapid collapse of cases and hospitalizations last month (“We passed in five days from about 150 Covid hospitalized to less than fifty”), an increase in infections was foreseeable, given that the coronavirus does not has disappeared and people’s attention has, on the whole, waned. Not only that: «The sub-variant Omicron 2 has spread rapidly, which currently represents more than sixty percent of new cases in the Bergamo area – explains Fagiuoli -. In short, as always in the last two years, we are observing something new and unknown. The virus, as is normal, evolves ».
The question, therefore, is to understand something more about this Omicron 2 … «With the Omicron 1 we have seen that the vaccine offers important protection. In fact, the risk of death in vaccinated people has been practically eliminated and that of serious complications reduced to a minimum. With this sub-variant, the first impression is similar: the virus seems to have increased its infectious capacity, its “virulence”, but it also does not seem to have significant clinical consequences. Vaccinated individuals continue to be well protected. If this were the case, it would be excellent news: we would be moving more and more from the pandemic towards the endemic ».
Admissions under control
This first impression would also be confirmed by the situation in the hospitals. «The rise in infections has started for a couple of weeks now – comments Fagiuoli -, yet the situation of Covid hospitalizations in the medical area here at Pope John is stable: we are fixed on 40 patients. It is too early to make scientifically based assessments, but this situation goes in the direction I have indicated. If he asks me for a personal opinion, I believe that the cases will not drop in a short time. Indeed, probably, with a fluctuating trend, the curve will continue to slowly increase, but hospitalizations will remain stable. I admit that if, between now and the next two weeks, Covid patients in the medical area or even in intensive care, should increase significantly, I would be surprised. Of course, in these two years the virus has shown several times to follow paths unknown to us, but we have learned something … However, I prefer not to make predictions. From 2020 to today we have done too many and few times we have taken it ».