Italy’s health institute says 18 regions are moderate risk for Covid-19

Italy’s health institute says 18 regions are moderate risk for Covid-19
Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA / AFP
The circulation of the Delta variant is now largely prevalent in Italy and most of the country's regions have been classified as moderate epidemic risk, according to Italian health authorities.

The weekly incidence at a national level has showed a further slight increase in coronavirus cases, according to the latest health data by Italy’s Higher Health Institute.

On a national level, the incidence rate – the weekly cases of infection per 100,000 inhabitants – remains above the low-risk threshold of 50.

18 regions have been classified as moderate risk, with Lazio and the autonomous provinces of Bolzano and Trento the only regions to be categorised as low risk.

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Puglia, Sicily and Tuscany – while in the moderate ranking – have been identified as the regions with high probability of progressing to increased risk levels.

But this classification isn’t the full picture when it comes to deciding which regions move into the various tiers of restrictions – a moderate epidemiological risk classification alone doesn’t mean a region would lose its ‘white zone’ status.

Sardinia and Sicily are two regions that could move into a low-moderate risk ‘yellow zone’ in the coming weeks: they have both recorded rates of infections and hospitalisations which approach the threshold for new anti-Covid measures to be imposed.

Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP

They almost meet the parameters set when a region will move from ‘white’ to a ‘yellow’ zone:

  • The incidence of weekly cases of infection per 100,000 inhabitants is between 50 and 150;
  • The occupancy rate of intensive care units exceeds 10 percent and;
  • Occupancy reaches 15 percent in the case of general hospital wards.

All three have to be met at the same time for a region’s risk status to be upgraded.

Meanwhile, the first localised ‘red zones’ for months were declared in two municipalities in the southern region of Calabria.

On a national level, the incidence rate is increasing with 73 cases per 100,000 inhabitants compared to 68 last week. The lowest weekly cases are in Molise with 20.9.

The report found that the current impact of Covid-19 on hospitals is “limited”, but occupancy rates and the number of people admitted to both general wards intensive care are increasing.

No region or province exceeds the critical threshold of occupancy of beds in general wards and intensive care – although the ICU occupancy rate is slightly increasing, now at 4 percent.

The report also pointed to the effectiveness of vaccinations, with 96.8 percent coverage against Covid-related deaths among those vaccinated versus unvaccinated.

Covid-19: Italy says 70 percent of population vaccinated with first dose is ‘comforting’

“Higher vaccination coverage and the completion of vaccination cycles are the main tools to prevent further recurrences [of cases]”, stated the ISS.

“Extensive case tracking and containment should be carried out, attention should be kept high and measures and behaviour should be implemented and enforced to limit further increases in virus circulation,” it added.

Deputy heath secretary Andrea Costa told news channel La7, “It is not a coincidence that in regions with lower numbers of vaccinated there is a risk of yellow zone – there is a direct link,” reported news agency Ansa.

The data shows “that the islands where there is a delay in the vaccination cycle, should make us think about how important it is to vaccinate,” he added.

On Friday, Italy recorded 7,409 new cases and 45 new deaths – an increase from yesterday’s 7,270 cases and 30 deaths. The positivity rate has slightly increased to 3.28 percent

Italy has confirmed 127,476 coronavirus-related deaths in total.


Member comments

  1. Poor comparison using the risk of driving. Car accidents are not transmissible to numerous people, who in turn spread it. The same goes for all those other ailments people like to use as comparisons, such as heart disease, diabetes etc. COVID-19 is not the same as the “good old flu”. “The World Health Organization estimates that 290,000 to 650,000 people die of flu-related causes every year worldwide.” In 18 months worldwide 4,357,277 people have died of covid, those figures don’t even come close, especially when there is a school of thought that figure is underestimated. Then there are the 206,879,108 who have had covid. Of those 206,879,108 think about how many thousands, have been left battling with living with long covid for over 12 months with no end in sight.

    1. It is a good comparison in that the problem with covid is not that it is transmissible, it is that it comes with a high death to transmission ratio. The cold spreads like crazy but comes with a low death to transmission ratio. The problem is the deaths.

      1. In this analogy, long covid relates to people who don’t die in car crashes but are maimed. Lower the speed limit, less people maimed.

    2. After the spreading of covid we’ve already seen, and after the vaccines that have already been administered, the death to infection percentage at this point is much closer to the flu than it was at the beginning of the pandemic. Don’t mistake me for thinking covid wasn’t more dangerous than the flu. It was. It just isn’t anymore.

    3. It is the same in the sense that the point of the restrictions is to save lives. It is also a good comparison as at least 50% of the road deaths are of people who were not at fault. Many die on the road because of other irresponsible drivers. Just as contracting a disease because people have decided to not live in a cave isn’t the person’s fault who gets sick. Reducing the speed limit would save lives. In fact, if it was reduced and kept that way, 20 years from now when COVID is just a memory, the new reduced speed limits would still be saving millions of lives. The vast majority of the 4 million deaths to covid happened before vaccines during the first two waves. In no way do I think that restrictions shouldn’t have been enacted at that time to prevent 2x maybe 3x maybe 4x deaths. I’m ok with that. The point is that now, with the vaccination rates that Europe is at and the US is at the deaths are nowhere near what they were at the beginning of the pandemic. In the UK where there are anywhere from 30 to 130 deaths a day right now they are starting off the Premier League with packed stadiums, as they should be in my opinion. This despite the information floating around the internet about how you can still spread it even if you’ve been vaccinated. Other countries with less deaths are still not letting stadiums fill up. So there is no standard, just whatever the government decides is an acceptable risk. At some point we have to ask how much risk are we ok with and how much restriction are we ok with. Clearly you are not ok with a 30 mph speed limit.

      1. Don’t disagree restrictions should be lifted with vaccinations. That being said, only when health officials have deemed it so. Restrictions should be in place until they have calculated it is no longer a risk to the greater community, to protect those who have not had the opportunity to be sufficiently vaccinated or those who cannot be vaccinated. Whether that be in the form of certain percentage of people who are fully vaccinated, had one shot, or a date in the future.

        It will be interesting to see how Europe copes with the coming winter.

        Too many people focus on the deaths which appear to be less with the vaccines in circulation, not enough thought is given to all those who will potentially be left suffering with long covid, with lifting restrictions before sufficiently are fully vaccinated.

        Still feel you’re grasping at straws with your analogies.

        Never the twain shall meet.

        1. Not grasping. I understand driving and viruses are different things. They are the same though in that restrictions on how we live our lives regarding either of them can potentially save lives or put more lives in danger. Innocent people die on the roads when the speed limits are increased. Innocent people die in pandemics where restrictions are eased. Seems pretty clear the analogy. Driving is in fact just one area where we could save lives. There are potentially hundreds of aspects of the way we choose to live our lives that could be changed and have the end result of saving lives. We live with the risk though because there is a balance between having a life worth living and being safe and protected at all times. I’m guessing you’d be in favor of wearing masks from here on out, even when covid is gone, to protect from the flu or any other bugs? What if wearing a mask is introducing its own new risks? What if distancing and masking and sanitizing actually weakens our immune systems and makes us more susceptible to other bugs? What if viewing other human beings as potential vectors of disease and threat isn’t actually good for our minds? What if the exponential increase in alcoholism ends up causing all kinds of health problems down the road? What if small businesses going out of business, massively increasing depressions and the largest transfer of wealth from the middle class to the upper class in centuries turns out to be bad for the majority of peoples pocket books and health?

  2. I’m sorry but these restrictions are ridiculous. At the beginning of the pandemic, deaths as a percentage of infections were very high. Now, because of the natural course of respiratory bugs and because of vaccines, deaths as a percentage of infections are very low. It is about the same as the good old flu. Governments need to stop acting like we never lived with risk before, or like the natural state of the world is to exist without risk. To be alive on this earth is to live with risk. If governments were so concerned with saving life and mitigating risk why don’t they institute a maximum speed limit on all highways of 50 km/h? What if they just said you can’t drive faster than 30 mph and called it the new “normal?” We’d all have to accept that we have to add a little more time to our planning and in 10 years literally millions of lives would be saved.

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