Perugia in Red Zone as cases of the Brazilian variant of covid rise: Fear that the “third wave will begin here”
Deserted roads, closed stores and empty classrooms, from kindergarten to high school: parts of Umbria have become a red zone.
The latest zone with the highest risk of contagion, which includes the province of Perugia and 6 communes in the province of Terni, was established by a regional ordinance over the weekend, and will remain in place until 21 February, in order to arrest the transmission of covid contagions, after the discovery of the presence of Brazilian and English variants in the region.
Therefore, self-certification for every movement has returned, even for movement within the same county. A curfew has been put in place, from 9p.m. to 5a.m.
What you can and what you can't do
Activities that are considered non-essential, from stores to markets and beauty centers, were closed as of Monday morning. Citizens are permitted to go food shopping once a day, only one person per family.
Group sports activities have been ceased in parks, and sports associations, recreational activities, and cultural centers have been closed. In the center of the Umbrian capital many bars and restaurants chose not to open their doors, not even for takeaway service.
The decision to introduce the red zone regulations in the province of Perugia was made "to slow the increase in the number of covid cases in some Umbrian territories, while the circulation in the region of two variants of the virus is verified", Perugia’s governor Tesei explained.
The outbreak in the red zone of the province of Perugia is likely to overwhelm nearby Terni as well, where only 6 municipalities have been declared red while the rest of the province is orange, where infections numbers remain stable. It is a race against time to stop the advance of the Brazilian variant of the coronavirus, which has brought the hospital of Perugia to its knees, but it is also a moment of great uncertainty and difficulty in managing the situation of a region that has two different sets of regulations.
The number of covid positive patients in hospitals in Perugia reached 500 on Monday. This was the first time this happened. There were 16 additional hospitalizations. Of the 500, 77 were hospitalizations in intensive care. According to AGENAS, (Italian National Agency for Regional Healthcare Services) there is a red alert both in intensive care and in non-critical area hospital wards. Intensive care has a bed- occupancy rate of 59% covid patients (optimal limit data is 30%), while in the non-critical area it reaches 54% (limit data 40%).