Delta variant, is “international alert” after the increase in coronavirus infections in Italy and Europe. Spain and Portugal are particularly worrying, but also Russia, amid outbreaks and cases of returning tourists and fans. For this reason, the Italian Ministry of Health has issued a circular that dictates the measures and recommendations precisely in the light of an ‘Delta variant international alert: increase in Covid-19 cases in various European countries’.
“The relaxation of control measures in recent weeks – reads the document signed by the Director General of Prevention, Giovanni Rezza – has generated an increase in the mobility of people at national and international level, leading to an increase in social interactions of the population. Italian context, in which the vaccination campaign has not yet reached sufficient coverage in all age groups, the spread of variants with greater transmissibility can have a significant impact “.
For this reason, “in order to contain and mitigate its impact, it is important” first of all “to maintain the incidence at values that allow the systematic tracking of most positive cases and the massive sequencing of Sars-CoV-2, to identify early and check the evolution of genetic variants in our country “. (continues)
“In light of the above, given the current distribution of variants of the Sars-CoV-2 virus, it is therefore recommended to: continue to closely monitor the circulation of variants of the Sars-CoV-2 virus – lists the ministerial circular – strengthen the tracing activities of cases and case contacts; promptly and scrupulously apply both the planned transmission containment measures and the isolation and quarantine measures in the event of Voc (Variant of concern, ed) suspected or confirmed Delta, for which reference is made to Circular no. 22746 of 21 May 2021 “.
Again, the dicastery recommends “applying the indications of the circular of the Ministry of Health n. 3787 of January 31, 2021, sequencing as a matter of priority the samples from: subjects vaccinated against Sars-CoV-2 who subsequently become infected despite the development of an immune response to the vaccine; subjects in high-risk contexts, such as hospitals in which immunocompromised patients positive to Sars-CoV-2 are hospitalized for long periods; cases of reinfection; subjects arriving from countries with a high incidence of Sars-CoV-2 variants; in case of increased incidence or change in transmissibility and / or virulence of infection in an area; subjects belonging to clusters to evaluate the chain of transmission and / or the effectiveness of infection containment strategies “.
Finally, it is necessary to “ensure vaccination strategies that take into account the possible lower protection against Delta variant infections after a single dose of vaccine, the sustained efficacy of full vaccination and the need to carry out a complete vaccination against Covid-19 as soon as possible. , if available, in individuals at risk of severe infection “.
FORECASTS: DELTA AT 90% AT THE END OF AUGUST – “Based on the latest available evidence, it is expected that 70% of new Sars-CoV-2 infections in Europe will be due to the Delta variant (B.1.617.2) by early August and 90% by end of August “. These are the estimates already published by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (Ecdc).
“Any relaxation during the summer months of the severity of non-pharmacological measures in place in the EU / European Economic Area at the beginning of June, without a simultaneous increase in the levels of complete vaccinations in the population – reads the document signed by the Director-General for Prevention, Giovanni Rezza – could lead to a sudden and significant increase in daily Covid-19 cases in all age groups, and especially in those under 50, with an associated increase in hospitalizations and deaths “.