Covid, towards farewell to the isolation of virus positives

Covid, towards farewell to the isolation of virus positives

After the stop to the green pass, daily bulletins, quarantine for close contacts and the obligation to wear masks, isolation for Sars-Cov-2 positives is also starting to be put in the cellar. The Minister of Health announced the fall of one of the symbolic rules of the Covid era but "now in fact inapplicable". Horace Schillaci. The declaration of the end of the state of emergency in Italy, on 31 March 2022, provided for the stop of the system of colored zones and precautionary quarantines for contacts with positives and started the overcoming of the basic and strengthened green pass. But it didn't automatically lead to the end of all the measures taken to stem the spread of Covid.

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Decisions archived

The process was accelerated by the change of government in the autumn: the Council of Ministers of 31 October brought forward the lapse of the vaccination obligation for health personnel to 31 October, also eliminating the suspension from the exercise of the profession for unvaccinated doctors. On May 1, 2023, the obligation to wear masks in hospitals fell, with the exception of the wards where the frail are hospitalized and in the RSA. The isolation for Sars-Cov-2 positives remains in force. Initially expected after 21 days and then reduced to 14.

The latest circular that regulated the isolation of positives was issued on December 31st: those who become infected with the Covid virus are required to stay at home for 5 days. For cases that have always been asymptomatic, isolation ends even before 5 days with a negative test. But the standard does not include an expiry date and therefore there is no automatism for its forfeiture.

The solicitation to the ministers

The Federation of Organized Tourism urged it to be removed completely, with a letter to Minister Schillaci and the Minister of Tourism Santanché. "These limitations - he wrote Gabriele Milani, director of Fto - were foreseen when the health situation was completely different. It is no coincidence that the other EU states have already lifted isolation and quarantine last year". Especially since the European regulation on the green pass also expired on July 1st and digital certificates of vaccination, testing and recovery can no longer be issued.

The ministry is already at work. "Now we will remove it" also because "in fact I believe it is largely unapplied," Schillaci said. Welcome the choice Matthew Bassetti, director of the Infectious Diseases Clinic of the San Martino Polyclinic in Genoa: "The current legislation discriminates between those who take an official swab and those who do the test at home - he underlines -. Isolation must be done if the doctor who is treating the patient decides it, without it being imposed by law ". On the contrary, the infectious disease specialist continues, "the obligation to wear masks in the wards that house fragile patients is sacrosanct and must remain".

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While waiting for the announced standard to arrive, doctors are recommending over 50s, chronically ill people and healthcare workers, to get a new dose of the anti-Covid vaccine in October together with the flu shot, 12 months after the last receipt. The booster after 6 months, on the other hand, is recommended for the over 75s, the immune-compressed and pregnant women. "Vaccination coverage is very low today and there are still about 13 deaths a day from Sars-Cov-2 - he explains Roberta Siliquini, president of the Italian Society of Hygiene -. Our country is among the few in Europe that has not yet defined an autumn vaccination plan". While the Commission of Inquiry into the management of the Covid emergency is approved in the first reading in the House, the trend of a return to normality continues in Europe. "The extraordinary regulatory flexibility for drugs implemented during the pandemic is being eliminated - writes the European Medicines Agency - which led to the timely arrival of vaccines, monoclonals and antivirals.

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