Virologists call for total confinement in Italy

Rome, Feb 15 (efe-epa).- Italian experts including the health minister’s consultant on the pandemic Walter Ricciardi on Monday said the new government led by economist Mario Draghi should enforce a lockdown for at least one month to curb the rapid spread of the so-called United Kingdom variant of the coronavirus, which is more virulent than the original strain.

“The confinement should last as long as necessary to lower the incidence rate. It could take two, three, four weeks. It depends on when the goal (of reducing the infection rate) is reached,” Ricciardi told Italian media.

Ricciardi said the decision would have to be accompanied by a strengthening of tracking and vaccination systems.

Andrea Crisanti, another top Italian virologist, agreed with Ricciardi.

He told local newspaper La Stampa: “20% of those infected have the English variant and the percentage is destined to increase. It was necessary to close the borders in December, preventing all of this. Now we are in trouble.”

Italy currently has an incidence of 130 Covid-19 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. EFE-EPA


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