Brescia, among the cities most affected by the Covid-19 over the past year, he is still experiencing a difficult situation today. Affaritaliani.it interviewed the Dr. Angelo Bianchetti, Head of the Medical Rehabilitation Department of the S. Anna Clinical Institute in Brescia.
How is the situation in Brescia at the moment?
The city is at the center of this third pandemic wave. Hospitals have progressively increased the ability to manage Covid-19 patients, so at this moment we are able to cope with the requests for hospitalization coming from the territory. Of course we are not at the levels of the first or second wave of the Coronavirus, but still it is a fairly demanding load. However, the situation is under control and we all hope that there will soon be a decline because the pressure on hospitals, despite the system is holding up, is considerable.
Have you noticed a diversification in the age of the patients since last year?
At the moment we have patients who tend to be younger than in previous months and, in any case, still complex because about 10% go to intensive care, with long hospital stays and, unfortunately, with many deaths. Furthermore, we have noticed not only the lowering of the age of people arriving at the hospital, but also their general condition, which is better than in the first wave. At that time the situation was exceptional and I hope unrepeatable, due to a series of factors
Brescia has paid a very high price to this pandemic …
A year ago we were not familiar with the disease. In the area, the spread of the infection was enormous and very fast, like an earthquake that caught everyone unprepared and therefore it was extremely difficult to cope with the problems we encountered. Definitely the mortality in that period it was at least three o four times higher than official figures, it is now clear and recognized by all. The second wave, on the other hand, was a little different and Brescia was partially spared and our hospitals took care of many patients arriving from the other Lombard provinces where the virus was hitting hard. This third wave has still different characteristics. We see many family clusters, people who get infected in the family
What predictions do you make for the country’s immunization?
It depends on when the vaccine doses arrive. The experiences of countries that have vaccinated a lot say that following this methodology the disease is eradicated or reduced to such a level that it is then possible to control it. Here the system is well equipped: doctors, nurses, spaces are ready. The doses just need to come. I am convinced that we will make it in a few months, especially with the arrival of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine which is much easier to manage because it does not have to be kept in the cold and can be injected in the clinic
You were one of the iconic doctors, getting vaccinated among the first and with the Pfizer vaccine. How do you judge the controversy surrounding the various producers?
Yes, I was among the doctors vaccinated in the first administration. The controversies are sterile and useless. For example, when we go to the pharmacy to buy an antibiotic we wonder what is in it? No. So it’s the same thing. Right now we have different vaccines but they are absolutely comparable in terms of efficacy and safety. However, I assure you that contracting the disease is much, much worse than being given this or that vaccine. At most there can be a small reaction that can manifest itself with some line of fever, which is absolutely bearable. The disease, as mentioned, is worse
What advice can we give to the population, in light of the increase in contacts?
Now we must continue to be very cautious and the lifestyle that we have taken on for a year now must remain as a priority element. Hand disinfection, the use of masks, social distancing are behaviors that we must continue to maintain. Until at least 60% or 70% of the population is vaccinated, we must continue to be cautious. It is a long battle but we will win it.