Italy is on its feet. People are already out and coronavirus cases are declining. This is what the picture in the country looks like today. But this, according to scientists, is apparent. Dr. Massimo Galli says the virus has been stopped but not removed. The danger lies where it is least visible – in people without any symptoms. It is not known how many of the people who have been to their homes are actually carriers of the virus without any indication. Now they will mingle with the rest on the streets, shops and workplaces.
“The decision to open almost all spheres of life, to open shops, factories, was inevitable, given where the economy has gone. But we have no full guarantee that we will avoid a restart of the epidemic. The prospect of new outbreaks must obviously be taken into account and, of course, an attempt must be made to prevent it, “said Dr. Massimo Gali in an interview with Nova TV.
“The observations are fundamental – taking into account the indications, monitoring the use of masks, keeping a distance of at least a meter and a half. There is no complete guarantee that the use of masks is enough to block the spread of the virus. For example, schools remained closed. Because gathering children in the same room for 5 hours is dangerous. The classroom can become an incubator for infection and there is no way to get children to keep their distance. It will be best if we test many more people – the more, the better to assess what stage we are at, “said Dr. Gally. He himself has launched a campaign – providing tests to those who want to check if they are carrying a virus. “There are a lot of people who don’t know and need to be given a chance to get tested,” the doctor said.
“There is a huge percentage of people who are infected but have not developed any symptoms. The virus can be present for a long time. I have a patient who has been positive since the end of February. And he’s been infected ever since. The infection remains for a week, after a week, after a week. 6-7-8 weeks. We do not know if once he felt well, the patient was still infected. So testing, testing and testing again. This is the way to monitor the circulation of the virus, to test and track the contacts of these people, “said Dr. Gally. According to the epidemiologist, this is especially important now, and the fact that the number of cases has decreased should not weaken our vigilance.
“I am afraid we are not doing enough, especially in my country. It is virtually impossible to test the entire population, but it is very important to test people who have had contact with infected and people with symptoms. We now have many people with symptoms for whom we cannot provide tests, no types of tests. We need to watch very carefully what will happen after the opening of all activities. Let’s follow the experiment briefly. I call it an experiment because we don’t have previous data or research to base the effect on, “Dr. Gally explained. According to him, a forecast of when a second wave of the epidemic will appear will be possible in 2-3 weeks. “The second wave is just a hypothesis and we cannot predict an exact period. There is talk of a second wave in the fall. But how, in what modality it can manifest itself, is not known “, explains the epidemiologist. And there is no man on Earth who can say, Gally thinks. But it is good for the public to be warned about such a scenario.
“SARS 1 appeared in November 2002 and disappeared in June 2003. With officially 8098 cases worldwide, but with less than 2,000 cases outside China. It is possible that the behavior of the coronavirus is similar to SARS 1. I do not know. No one knows. It is not so easy for a virus that has the ability to infect millions to disappear in a matter of weeks or months. We do not know what strategy the virus will take. I do not see the possibility of a huge change soon, because this virus can take many mutations. But not as fast as other viruses we know. We need to organize ourselves to live with the virus. It is unbelievable to think that the virus will disappear soon, “explains the epidemiologist. “We do not know how long we will need, but it is important to change our measures and behavior according to the situation. Nothing is fixed and final in this field. ” Dr. Gally speaks of the virus as an organism with reason and cunning that is able to take strategies according to the situation. As for the measures of the governments – at the moment there is no other option but the trial and error principle. But with precise small steps.
“Some countries have found it easier to respond with adequate measures. These are the ones who were not mowed down first. They had time to prepare to limit the penetration and spread of the virus. To soften the blow to their nations. Italy was the first and in just a few weeks the virus spread without any chance of figuring out how to counteract it, ”explains Dr. Gali. “Doctors and public health organizations could have been warned more adequately than just hospitals. The facts are that the WHO warning to restrict the movement of passengers from China or people who came into contact with the coronavirus was not enough for countries like Italy. In our country, the virus was not transmitted directly from China, but from Germany, for which, of course, it is not responsible. It would be the same if the virus was transmitted from France, Great Britain, Spain, Russia or Saudi Arabia. It would not be their responsibility. It was not enough to limit the virus in China. The Italian government was one of the first to stop flights from China, but that was not enough to stop the virus. But since there is no going back, it remains to mobilize for what we can do now. People’s fear is understandable, says Dr. Gally. But it should be used as a prerequisite for caution, not panic.
“It really was a terrible, unexpected experience for me. Probably the worst in my life along with the AIDS epidemic, which is completely different, “says the epidemiologist. But, according to him, humanity has gone through similar trials before. He will go through that as well. “I believe that the influenza A virus remains a serious danger to humanity and could lead to more serious consequences than the new coronavirus,” explains Dr. Gally. According to the Italian infectious disease specialist, it is important to remember that, as Darwin said, it is not the strongest that survives, but the most adaptive.