Step 2: the World Health Organization yesterday announced six requirements to move forward. They said that “no nation meets all the criteria, but each country must act by assessing the risk”. We must “control the transmission of the infection; have a health system capable of detecting, testing, isolating and treating every case and tracing every contact”. And yet “minimize the risks in healthcare facilities and nursing homes; implement preventive measures in workplace, in schools and in other places where it is essential that people go. The risks of importing contagion must be managed and communities need to be fully educated.”
We don’t know when this step 2 will begin (May 4th? Perhaps!). And we don’t even know the methods, which vary at regional level.
Stop at rush hour: staggered exits
The entry and exit times for workers and students will be staggered. Each mayor will have the duty to decide the time slots in which public and private offices will be active. As for schools, the hypothesis is that of a return in September. As for businesses and factories, they can already resume work by adapting to the safety and social distancing protocols, communicating the request to the prefect of competence. Factories will have a production cycle of 24 hours, dividing the workers into small numbers. There are also incentives for smart working, for companies and employees.
Transport during step 2
The Minister of Transport, Paola De Micheli, is in line with the staggering of activities: “we have to imagine a completely different organizational model for society”, based on “a change in frequencies during peak times and working hours”. Entry and exit will take place in a outdistanced and split way thank to personnel. Seats on public transport will probably be alternated and there will be marked strips on the ground for those who stand.
App: control during Step 2
An App will be chosen among 300 or more proposals. By tracking citizens, it will be easier to screen people and places frequented to limit the spread of the virus. The app should follow well-defined guidelines and clarify the privacy issue. There are also two models to choose from. The first is the geolocation of Colao, the other via bluetooth as suggested by the Ministry of Innovationm, Pisano. The app to be installed on our smartphones may be pan-European.
Protections and distancing
During step 2 workers will return in sanitized environments with masks, gloves, respecting the safety distance and all the other measures envisaged. Serological tests will probably start on a sample of 150 thousand people (divided by job profile, gender and six age groups). It will also be necessary to determine how the masks will be worn. Civil Protection estimates that around 2-300 million masks will be needed per month. As from the beginning of the emergency, WHO will always be the spokesperson on which the choices will depend.