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July 10, 2021

Strengthen tracking activities, enhance sequencing and accelerate vaccine boosters.

These are the recommendations contained in a circular from the Ministry of Health, which dictates the measures in the light of an 'Delta variant international alert: increase in Covid-19 cases in various European countries'.

"The relaxation of control measures in recent weeks - reads the document signed by the Director General of Prevention, Giovanni Rezza - has generated an increase in the mobility of people at national and international level, leading to an increase in the social interactions of the population. Italian context, in which the vaccination campaign has not yet reached sufficient coverage in all age groups, the spread of variants with greater transmissibility can have a significant impact ". For this reason, "in order to contain and mitigate its impact, it is important" first of all "to maintain the incidence at values ​​that allow the systematic tracking of most positive cases and the massive sequencing of Sars-CoV-2,to identify early and control the evolution of genetic variants in our country ".

"In light of the above, given the current distribution of variants of the Sars-CoV-2 virus, it is therefore recommended to: continue to closely monitor the circulation of variants of the Sars-CoV-2 virus - lists the ministerial circular - strengthen the tracing activities of cases and case contacts; promptly and scrupulously apply both the planned transmission containment measures and the isolation and quarantine measures in the event of Voc (Variant of concern, ed) suspected or confirmed Delta, for which reference is made to Circular no. 22746 of 21 May 2021 ".

 Again, the dicastery recommends "applying the indications of the circular of the Ministry of Health n. 3787 of January 31, 2021, sequencing as a matter of priority the samples from: subjects vaccinated against Sars-CoV-2 who subsequently become infected despite the development of an immune response the vaccine; subjects in high-risk contexts, such as hospitals where immune compromised patients positive to Sars-CoV-2 are hospitalized for long periods; cases of reinfection; subjects arriving from countries with a high incidence of Sars-CoV-2 variants; in case of increased incidence or change in transmissibility and / or virulence of the infection in an area; subjects belonging to clusters to evaluate the chain of transmission and / or the effectiveness of infection containment strategies ".

Finally, it is necessary to "ensure vaccination strategies that take into account the possible lower protection against Delta variant infections after a single dose of vaccine, the sustained efficacy of full vaccination and the need to carry out a complete vaccination against Covid-19 as soon as possible. , if available, in individuals at risk of severe infection ".