Covid, boom of infections in Italy: 10 thousand in Lombardy alone. The situation in Europe

from Alessandra Muglia

New cases over 36 thousand: as in November 2020. In Great Britain they are triple. Berlin: now fourth dose. South African scholars: Omicron here is already falling rapidly

Infections are still spurting in Italy, another worrying record of the year after yesterday’s. New cases per day jumped to 36,293, nearly 6,000 more within 24 hours. A 56.5% surge from a week ago. Such numbers have not been seen since November 2020, when the vaccination campaign had not yet started. Thanks to the doses for the number of those who end up in hospital remains far less. The admissions are growing but slowly. Mostly non-immunized people end up in hospital. The growth rate of Covid hospitalizations remains more or less stable at 7%, but the increase of unvaccinated in ordinary wards by 16.7% while the number of vaccinated decreases by 2%, notes the Fiaso report. We are facing two epidemics: one that runs and concerns the no vax who end up in resuscitation and develop severe forms; a slower one involving the vaccinated, mostly people of advanced age and with serious previous pathologies, and who have not yet taken the third dose, observes the president Giovanni Migliore. Intensive care is slightly down (with 1,010 patients and 92 new entries): the national figure is around 11% of occupancy of available places, one point higher than the alert threshold set at 10%.

Especially Lombardy was driving the infections, which in a week that went from 4,765 to over 10 thousand (10,569) yesterday: + 122%. The positivity rate here increased in 7 days from 3.5% to 5.8%.

After all, not all states sequence swabs in the same way: Great Britain analyzed over 177,000 of them in the last month, Italy only 4,556 and Spain 1,918. The United Kingdom, where the new variant for days recognized as dominant (as well as in Portugal and Denmark), has exceeded the threshold of 100,000 cases a day for the first time since the start of the pandemic. However, the rate of growth on a weekly basis is slowing.

And good news comes from South Africa, the first epicenter of the new variant: the drop in cases here could mean that the dramatic peak driven by the Omicron variant has passed. In Europe, however, it has yet to arrive. In Germany, say, Omicron could become dominant within three weeks at the latest, the Robert Koch Institute estimates. Meanwhile, Berlin has ordered 80 million updated Omicron vials from BioNTech for the fourth dose. France is also preparing to be overwhelmed: by the end of the month we will probably exceed 100,000 infections a day, the Minister of Health Veran predicted yesterday, who ruled out a new squeeze: Let’s focus on vaccines.