Phase 2 officially begins today. The first half of this difficult game has been filed, what can we say we really know about our opponent?
Are we ready for phase 2? Is it really the right time to start again? While there has been debate over the meaning of “kinsman” for days, there are still too many doubts about many aspects of this emergency. Phase 2 talks about Italy’s economic recovery, tries to dictate the guidelines for the reopening of many businesses. But the virus has not been defeated at all and therefore more caution should be exercised. So we report the observations drawn by an expert in the sector Marco Cattaneo. He is the editor of “Le Scienze” scientific magazine, the Italian edition of Scientific American. He addressed some aspects and above all he tries to clarify some perplexities.
Too many doubts about the virus that is still scary
Like many scholars and experts of the subject, Cattaneo also observes the importance of tracing, testing and therefore of the treatments to defeat Covid-19. Unfortunately, however, not everyone is willing to follow the directions. The only certainties, which it is always good to remember, concern contagion. As Cattaneo pointed out in a recent interview with AGI, Covid is a respiratory virus. To transmit it are, therefore, breath, cough, sneeze. Indoor places like supermarkets are unsafe. But open ones such as parks or villas risk becoming gathering places. So what can be done to still avoid spreading the infection? Respect the rules, Cattaneo assures. But doubts remain.
Among the doubts: the air we breathe
Attention should also be paid to air circulation “I think it is more probable – Cattaneo warns – that the ventilation systems can play a role in the spread of the virus, circulating the air with the viral particles emitted by a patient well over 1- 2 meters, as recently demonstrated by a Chinese study. This will be a problem especially in summer, also because if the issue is the circulation of the air, sanitizing installations wouldn’t help anyhow.” A virus whose incubation times could be 5-7 days up to 15 days. But it would at least serve a month of zero new cases to restart.
Tracing and testing, the word to the expert
Based on the indications of the WHO, the World Health Organization, the three T’s model has been introduced: Test, Trace, Treat. According to Cattaneo more tests are needed, at least 150 thousand a day, even random, to be associated with the thermoscanner for the tested ones. This would be the only way to isolate any person tested positive to Covid-19 and then trace his contacts. But also on there are this many doubts. Serological tests are useful to try and carry out an epidemiological investigation of ‘submerged’ patients “but cannot currently replace molecular analysis – he observes -, that is, the swab”.
It is necessary to define the perimeter of the infection, an early tracing in order to isolate it. In fact, among the certainties that exist in the scientific world there is that which concerns asymptomatics. “It is important to define the perimeter of the infection, and to catch as many people having Coronavirus as possible with few or no symptoms – he says -. Instead in Italy, at least at the beginning, the opposite strategy was pursued: as has been said, we found ourselves in front of a flock of sheep that kept falling down the side of a cliff and we hurried run downhill to cure them instead of thinking about building a fence.”
Treatment for Covid and hope for the vaccine
There have been many and different therapies that are being tested in the field. We proceed by trial and error. Antivirals, chloroquine, heparin to reduce thrombotic complications, anti-inflammatory . But we don’t know, “still exactly what organic consequences the virus has, there are studies that have traced it in the testicles and other organs: it could also nest in the organism, disappear and then re-emerge, like herpes does. But there are no certainties. “And the vaccine remains the only hope to defeat the virus. But the times, as mentioned several times, are long. At the moment there would be a hundred vaccines being tested. But the race has started to reach the solution and the expected goal.
High attention to second wave risk
Ever since this emergency began, it has always been said that high temperatures could slow down the infection. But the fear is that even if it decreases with the summer, it will not disappear without the vaccine. And therefore it is necessary to be ready for a possible second wave in the autumn.
The doubts about phase 2 and the delays in Italy
Cattaneo is sure that unfortunately in Italy there is still a lot to do on the so-called phase 2. “The health system – he says – must precisely be able to test, trace, isolate every contact and cure them, but we know that this is not the case, at least not always. And then minimizing the risks in healthcare facilities and nursing homes, and it was a huge hit for us.” Safety measures at school and in the workplace were made during lockdown. But public transport is always overcrowded, and it is at risk of becoming immediate vehicles of contagion. A step forward has been made on imported infections because for the moment there are few people traveling.
But more information is needed. “In Italy – he underlines – apart from the daily bulletins that we have been following for two months, things have not been clearly told. We do not know if after the huge sacrifice asked to 60 million Italians there is a health plan ready for postemergence. They should explain what will happen, what the inevitable risks will be, what they plan to do to contain them, and not treat us all like children. They should make spot to inform about the new app to track infections or even to explain the correct use of the mask. Instead, we are talking for days about what is meant by ‘kinsman’. In short, we also need to improve on this last point”.