Italy tightens COVID-19 rules, ups vaccination campaign to contain fourth wave

Italy is in the middle of a fourth wave and has seen a sharp increase in cases. On Monday morning, 5,822 positive cases were reported, a rise of 28.6% compared to 4,526 cases last week. [EPA-EFE / MASSIMO PERCOSSI]

The Italian government has accelerated its vaccination campaign and introduced new rules to control infection rates in schools, including forcing classes to quarantine once they hit three positive COVID-19 cases in an attempt to contain the fourth COVID-19 wave.

“If we continue to adopt precautionary measures, deliver third doses, and manage testing and tracking in schools properly, it will remain a small wave and not overwhelm us as it happened in other countries,” said Walter Ricciardi, Professor of Hygiene and Preventive Medicine and COVID advisor to Health Minister Roberto Speranza.

Italy is in the middle of a fourth wave and has seen a sharp increase in cases. On Monday morning, 5,822 positive cases were reported, a rise of 28.6% compared to 4,526 cases last week.

In October, the third dose vaccination campaign started for clinically vulnerable people, healthcare personnel, guests and staff of nursing homes, those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and those over 60. For now, 2.1 million people – 35.4% of eligible citizens – have already received their third vaccine dose.

“I will soon meet with Minister Speranza and the Scientific Committee to discuss the possibility of lowering the age threshold for third doses, obviously on the basis of scientific evidence,” said Francesco Paolo Figliuolo, emergency Commissioner for the implementation of COVID health measures.

Figliuolo added that accelerating the third dose campaign is the only way to ensure a safe Christmas for families.

(Eleonora Vasques | EURACTIV.com)

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