Walter Ricciardi, professor at Rome's Catholic University and also a member of the CTS, said it is now “urgent” for the new government “to immediately change the strategy to combat Sars-Cov-2”.
“Continuare a convivere col virus ci porterà ad uno stress continuo che lascia sia la salute sia l'economia in condizioni assolutamente disperate, dobbiamo abbracciare la strategia “No Covid” come la Germania e la Nuova Zelanda.”@WRicciardi a #TitoloV pic.twitter.com/QlmPHvfMzB
— Rai3 (@RaiTre) February 12, 2021
“It is clear that the strategy of coexistence with the virus, adopted so far, is ineffective and condemns us to instability, with a heavy number of deaths every day,” he told news agency Ansa.
Italy’s foundation for evidence-based medicine, GIMBE, welcomed the calls for stricter measures, with its head Nino Cartabellotta telling media on Monday that “a two-week total lockdown would bring the (contagion) curve down, enabling the resumption of track and trace”.
Without a lockdown, the “whole of 2021 will be a continuous stop and go” of imposing and easing restrictions, he said.
Some politicians reacted angrily to the calls for stricter measures, with League leader Matteo Salvini blasting “experts who sow fear”.
In recent weeks many towns and provinces have been declaring their own local lockdowns or red zones in response to spikes in infection rates.
The CTS, which advises on – but does not decide – the rules, did not specify any particular measures to be implemented but called for reinforced restrictions to “contain and slow” the spread of variants.
The sudden about-turn was down to rising concerns about the spread of new coronavirus variants, according to the health ministry.