The mask in the office will probably be worn all summer. The very high level of contagion of Omicron frightens employers who worry not so much about the danger of the contagion, but about the quarantine that could decimate the operational offices during the holidays.
However, until June 30, the obligation resists, but only in the private sector, because it has already been abolished in the public administration. Therefore, the rules to be established from 1 July will be defined by the social partners, trade unions and employers who will meet at the end of June. However, there were no second thoughts from Roberto Speranza. Yesterday, in a technical meeting between the Ministry of Labor, Health and Inail, an update of the anti-Covid safety protocol in the workplace was evaluated but the ministry reiterated only “the strong recommendation” to use the mask where the spaces indoors do not allow for adequate distancing measures. Even Franco Locatelli, president of the Higher Council of Health believes that it is no longer the time for bans but the concept of individual responsibility of each citizen must be strengthened.
In short, the last word now goes to the Italians who, however, have to scroll through the numbers every day, sometimes not very reassuring. The president of the ISS, Silvo Brusaferro, recalls that we are still in a pandemic phase, the curve is uphill “and will grow again” with the incidence that in the latest weekly bulletin has reached 504 cases per 100 thousand inhabitants with RT a 1.07, then above the unit again. But despite a slight increase in hospitalizations and intensive care, the employment rate is well below the critical threshold. Yesterday, like every Monday, the numbers are more contained than the previous days. The new cases of Covid stop at 24,747, 341 hospitalizations, seven intensive care.
A sign that this summer wave has not yet subsided as it did in Portugal, the first country hit by the BA.4-BA.5 wave in early May, which peaked in early June and the number of infections are now returning to their previous values without the need for particular restrictions.
Even Italy, while hoping for a remission phase of the virus, is looking above all at what will happen in the autumn with the new vaccine. For now, we only know that it will be approved by Ema in early September and that hundreds of thousands of doses will arrive on the market as early as mid-month as companies are already producing the product at risk. It will likely be a bivalent vaccine that will contain Omicron 1 and the parent strain of the virus. The preliminary clinical studies will be presented today to the Advisory Committee of the American FDA. The new preparations produce double the neutralizing antibodies against Omicron 1. But on Omicron 5 also this new preparation loses its potency, up to a third compared to variant number 1. If the virus does not change, however, Pfizer also has a vaccine ready. specific only on Omicron 5. And it is not certain that in autumn this virus has not already changed for the umpteenth time.
So, to what extent is it necessary to chase the virus? «Beyond a certain limit it is useless to do so explains Marco Cavaleri, head of the EMA vaccine strategy. The important thing is to ensure hospital protection. Even if the new vaccines do not match perfectly with the variants, a reminder for protection from serious illness will be needed above all for the over 60 and the frail ».
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