«Masks in schools a necessary precaution. New phase of the pandemic, but with its feet on the ground »- Corriere.it

from Monica Guerzoni

Minister of Health: “Doctors are right, we must not consider this challenge won”

Roberto Speranza he replies from New York, where he landed yesterday at the invitation of his colleague Xavier Becerra. The two health ministers signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen cooperation between Italy and the United States in the health sector. Today, the Secretary of Article One will also see the White House consultant on the pandemic Antony Fauci, “an important reference for the international scientific community in the months leading up to the fight against Covid-19”.

Minister, after more than two years of fighting the virus, this May 1 marks a lasting turning point?

“We are in a new phase, but if I invite you to keep your feet on the ground, it is because this virus has been shown to be unpredictable. The state of emergency is over, but the pandemic is not over and we must continue our gradual path. “We are in a different phase thanks to the fact that over 90% of the population over the age of 12 have been vaccinated. We must never forget that.”

The premiere hoped to ease even more. Why did the precautionary line prevail?

“We have once again decided together on the basis of the epidemiological framework and the assessments of our scientific community. Today, we are taking another important step by significantly overcoming the green passport and easing the obligation to wear masks.”

Children and teenagers have paid a very high price, why did you decide to keep the mask in schools?

“The father was the highest price paid by those who go to school, and we have long since passed distance learning to allow our children to complete the year face to face. Now only the positive ones stay at home. There are only a few weeks back, and in this short period we still hold the precautions of the masks ».

In the workplace, they are recommended, but companies and public administrations can impose them in situations of greatest risk. Is it not a mess as customers are exempt?

“None. We have protocols that are shared by the social partners and that give clear indications, just like Minister Brunetta’s circular on public administration. So overcoming the obligation also means entering a new phase of individual responsibility. The mask is always recommended when there is a risk of infection ”.

Why does the fourth dose for seniors not start?

“It’s too early to make a budget. We’re just getting started as soon as the European authorities, at the suggestion of Italy, have given uniform indications to member states. So far, 200,000 doses have been administered between over 80 and guests in RSA and 120,000 immunocompromised. There is no doubt that we must accelerate. ”

Will the fourth dose be for everyone? And when will we get a new vaccine tailored to the new variants?

An extension of the fourth dose is very likely in the light of autumn. The health authorities will assess whether it is for everyone or only for other generational groups. We are ready. Our hope is that the vaccine adapted to the variants will arrive in the autumn, but Ema and Aifa will have to express themselves first. ”

Does it make sense at the end of the restrictions to keep unvaccinated teachers in the secretariat instead of in the classroom?

“Changing teachers a few weeks after leaving school would be detrimental to the educational path.”

When do you remove the vaccination obligation for over 50 years?

“We want to see the epidemiological picture and evaluate. In the meantime, the obligation is valid for health workers until December and over 50 until 15 June “.

How do you envision next fall? Doctors are concerned and urge hospitals to prepare for the resumption of the virus.

“Doctors are right, we must be ready and not consider the challenge won. We must transform the crisis of this pandemic into an opportunity to relaunch our national health service. When I became Minister, there were 114 billion in the sickness fund and another 1 was put. billion a year. We are now at 124. Such a leap was never seen before. And then there are 20 billion of Recovery “.

Have you reflected on why you, who see the polls remain highly valued by the citizens, were perhaps the minister most disputed by the Allies, starting with Salvini?

“In recent years, I have been solely driven by the need to put the protection of human health above all else. Honestly, I have not thought of anything else. Neither to the Allies nor to my personal consent ».

Covid killed 163,000 people in Italy alone. Are you claiming the government’s strategy, or could you have saved even more lives with a different policy?

“We have always done everything we could. We must never forget that we were the first to be affected, as knowledge of the virus was very weak. Then the presence in Italy of many elderly people and the well-known fragility of the older part of the population always weighed on the government’s strategy ”.

In Padua, a child died yesterday, which was positive.
“When a child loses his life, it is always a dramatic event. The clinical picture must be analyzed in depth. The Veneto region has ordered all the controls.”

Should war or pandemic scare us more?

“These are two very different things. The fight against Covid is man against the virus, war is man against man. However, there is a communication problem, it seems that the war has replaced Covid. This is true in the media, not in reality. in fact, the war has added to Covid, it has not replaced it. “

Given the suffering of the majority, when Draghi sees Biden, will he have to relocate Italy towards greater caution in terms of weapons and sanctions?

“It is right to support Ukraine, the victim of Putin’s unwarranted aggression. There must be no gray areas on this. It is just as urgent to work to reopen a dialogue that will lead to a ceasefire as soon as possible. There is plenty of room here. to Europe and also to Italy, which has always been a bridge-builder in the country and promotes peace ‘.

How strong is the desire to run for a vote in government?

“I am convinced that there will be no vote in the autumn, the Legislative Assembly will go all the way. The two challenges of the pandemic and the PNRR have been joined by the war. The country needs everything except instability ».

1 May 2022 (change 1 May 2022 | 08:02)

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