Empty street during the Italian Easter quaratine.

08-04-2020


It’s easter. But the celebrations focused around family, religion and the wonderful Italian spring weather will undoubtedly NOT be occurring in Italy this year. The catholic nations’ government has announced an increased enforcement of the already extensive lockdown, with the fines being increased to three thousand euros, while those infected who are caught outside will be facing imprisonment for up to five years. “Don’t go out this easter. Not to your family, or your friends, just don’t go anywhere” warn the Mayors across Italy. Some parts of Italy are even being warned against going to the supermarket. “And don’t think you can get away with saying you’re just going shopping. None of us can let down our guard in this crucial time, and there can be no excuses” warns Luca Menesini, the Mayor of Capannori in Florence. Italians watching the news have been frustrated, as each evening at six o’clock reports of infected and deceased rise and fall day to day seemingly without reason, and with no real explanation from experts as to why, many people feel the quarantine is not really helping. “It is confusing and difficult, but the public has to trust that these measures are necessary” experts express pleadingly. Some suggest that variations in testing from day to day could be the answer to the baffling results, and since it has been suggested that the numbers of cases could be far more spread out through the population, then any change to the diagnostic process could cause results to vary. One theory suggested by a recent blood test conducted in Italy is that up to five million people in Italy alone have contracted the virus, with the majority having little or no symptoms, which could mean a lot about the virus, drastically changing what we know about its mortality and infectivity rates, while other news regarding doctors in China’s Wuhan region confirming the reinfection of nineteen doctors, which could mean herd immunity is non-existent and an eventual ‘second wave’ of infection imminent. All of this is to say that “We still don’t know enough about this disease to effectively fight it without quarantine measures”. While Italians continue to experience rough times in their homes over Easter, experts say “Not staying home would make things worse”. As we have seen, the coronavirus can incubate an average of fourteen days, so response to a surge in infections would be halted for at least that long, extending the need for further quarantine. The situation has hopefully passed its highest point, but there’s no telling what would happen if we were to throw caution to the wind. To leave you with good news, multi-national researchers working in the Italian city of Pavia have studied and passed legislation of a new test, now being commercialised in Pavia, Rome and in Europe, while it will be ready for the food and drug administration for Americans by the month’s end. This advance in technology against the coronavirus means that people won’t have to wait 7 hours like they did with the previous test, this new test takes only one hour to show the results. With the test’s decreased waiting time, the health system can decentralise testing, relieving the stress from hospitals and allowing further analysis of the virus.

Written by Ashley Dry

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