Covid-19: Doctors call for red zone across Italy

All of Italy should be red zone say GPs.

Italy's family doctors have called for the entire country to come under red zone restrictions as medics battle the second wave of covid-19.

"I would decide a red zone in all of Italy," said Silvestro Scotti, president of the Italian federation of general practioners (FIMMG), reports Italian news agency ANSA.

Speaking to Sky TG24 on 10 November, Scotti described the government's three-tiered system of red, orange and yellow zones as a "joke of a jigsaw."

Scotti also underlined the fundamental role played by family doctors in the pandemic and the extreme pressure they face.

“We have doctors, nurses, health workers, cleaners, people who have been fighting this battle for months now" - he said - "Family doctors are currently assisting 542,000 positive patients at home, who, even if asymptomatic, are patients who are afraid and want to be reassured. All of this is underestimated, as if it did not exist."

Under the colour-coded system, the red zones are the areas with the highest contagion risks, and currently include Calabria, Lombardia, Piemonte, Val d'Aosta and Alto Adige as well as the autonomous province of Bolzano.

The most restrictive measures apply in red zones, including local lockdowns. People are prohibited from entering or leaving, or moving to other towns or cities within the zones, and may only leave their homes for reasons of necessity, such as work, health or taking children to school. Distance learning applies to the final two years of middle school as well as high school. Bars, pubs, restaurants and most shops are closed. 

The medium-risk orange zones, with slightly less severe restrictions than the red zones, are Abruzzo, Basilicata, Liguria, Puglia, Sicily, Tuscany and Umbria.

The rest of Italy, including the Lazio region around Rome, falls under the moderate risk yellow category where there are no restrictions other than those imposed nationwide.

The call by FIMMG comes two days after Filippo Anelli, president of the national federation of doctors' guilds FNOMCEO, called for a "total lockdown, across the country."

The head of Italy's Higher Health Institute (ISS), Silvio Brusaferro, said on 10 November that Italy's intensive-care units are at "high risk of being swamped" due to the sharp rise in covid-19 cases, stating: "There is alarm and we cannot underestimate the situation."

On 10 November Italy registered 35,098 new cases of covid-19 over the previous 24 hours, according to data released by the Italian health ministry.

There were 580 new coronavirus-related deaths on 10 November, up from 356 fatalities the day before, in what is the highest daily toll since 14 April, reports ANSA.

For official data relating to the covid-19 situation in Italy see the health ministry website.

Photo credit: Pino Mastrullo / Shutterstock.com.