What's the current Covid situation in Italy?

The Local Italy
The Local Italy - [email protected] • 5 Oct, 2022 Updated Wed 5 Oct 2022 13:58 CEST
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With Covid cases on the rise in Italy, what's the situation on the ground? Photo by Hector RETAMAL / AFP.

Covid cases are on the rise again across Europe, and Italy is no exception. What's the current situation on the ground, and are there any new health measures planned?


Italy's Covid infection rate stood at 20.1 percent as of Tuesday evening, national media reported, with more than one in five of those who were swabbed in the previous 24 hours testing positive for the virus.

There are now 14,000 more Covid cases in Italy than there were a week ago, with the number of Covid patients admitted to hospital also on the rise.

The number of hospitalised Covid patients rose by 39.7 percent in the past week, according to national broadcaster Rai, in what Italy's Federation of Hospitals and Healthcare Companies (Fiaso) was calling a "sudden turnaround".


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The majority of patients in hospital are reportedly elderly, with an average age of 74 among those who were vaccinated and of 70 among the unvaccinated. There has been no increase in hospitalisations of under-18s due to Covid.

Alessio d'Amato, health councillor for the Lazio region, said that only one in three over-60s in his territory had received a fourth dose to date, and that many were still unaware that the vaccination programme had been extended to include them.

READ ALSO: What is Italy’s Covid vaccination plan this autumn?

The rise in infections as we head into autumn was anticipated, says Matteo Bassetti, director of the Infectious Diseases Clinic of the San Martino Hospital in Genoa.

Over-60s in Italy are eligible for a fourth dose Covid vaccine. Photo by Marco Bertorello / AFP

"It was widely expected that with the first week of October we would have a significant increase in infections since we returned to school, we returned to business activities, there are more of us on buses, trams, in general there is greater contact," Bassetti said in an interview with the 24 Mattino radio programme.

More important than the number of infections, he added, was the number of people with severe symptoms and the rate of hospitalisations, which at this stage - given the lag time between the onset of symptoms and admission to hospital in severe cases - is still unclear.

READ ALSO: Italy eases Covid measures ahead of new government 

According to a draft health ministry circular reportedly seen by the news site Adnkronos on Tuesday, the ministry is considering bringing back mask mandates in closed spaces in the event of "an evident epidemiological worsening" of the Covid situation.

Almost all Italy's remaining mask requirements were lifted at the start of October, with masks now no longer required on public transport - though they continue to be compulsory in all healthcare settings and care homes until the end of the month.

READ ALSO: How tourists and visitors can get a coronavirus test in Italy

Should the situation deteriorate further, the draft document reportedly provides for a return to remote working and rules limiting the size of gatherings.

In response to a request from comment, the ministry reportedly told Adnkronos that no circular had been published, and that the government was continuing to monitor the situation and advised the vulnerable and over-60s to receive a fourth dose.









The Local Italy 2022/10/05 13:58

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