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Infectious disease specialist Massimo Galli has warned the coronavirus situation in Italy is “out of control” and said the country must adopt new measures to stop the spread of the deadly virus.
Dr Galli, from the Sacco hospital-State University of Milan, said: “I fear that there is not the slightest doubt in having to emphasis that the situation is widely out of control despite local and regional differences.
“The measures adopted must be applied with extreme care and effectiveness if we want to reverse a trend in a reasonable time and not find ourselves in an even more complex situation in the very short term.”
Dr Galli also warned they don’t know if or when they will have a vaccine but said they need to plan how to get out of the crisis immediately.
He added: “We need planning that allows us to understand how we can get out of this crisis immediately and how we can continue to stay out of it until something arrives that helps us.
“And this something will probably be the vaccine, but we do not know when we will have it and, unfortunately, not even if we will have it.”
Italian Minister of Health Roberto Speranza said a vaccine will be distributed by the end of the first quarter of 2021.
But Dr Galli said: “I am completely in solidarity with auspicious positions, but we cannot wait for a result that could or could not happen.
“It would be like going into battle to have a weapon in your hand that will arrive in an unspecified number of months.”
According to the European Centre for Disease Control, Italy currently has one of the highest 14-day cumulative number of coronavirus cases per 100,000.
Yesterday, Italy was registering 671.1 cases, whereas the UK was reporting 477.5.
The data is a terrifying warning of things to come for England as the country entered its second national lockdown last week after cases continued to soar.
Under the new four-week lockdown, pubs and restaurants have been forced to close again with only essential shops remaining open.
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While the world continues to see rising numbers of cases, there has been a glimmer of hope.
A vaccine being developed by Pfizer and BioNTech was found to be 90 percent effective during trials.
In the fourth phase of the trials, the drug was given to 43,538 patients from six countries.
The drug managed to remove 90 percent of the virus within 28 days of being injected with the vaccine.
Pfizer chairman and chief executive Dr Albert Bourla said: “The first set of results from our Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trial provides the initial evidence of our vaccine’s ability to prevent COVID-19.
“With today’s news, we are a significant step closer to providing people around the world with a much-needed breakthrough to help bring an end to this global health crisis.”
If proved to be successful, the vaccine could be rolled out to the elderly and NHS staff before Christmas.
A vaccine use for the wider population will not be ready for use until spring next year.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the country will be ready to use the vaccine as soon as it is approved.
He tweeted: “If and when the Pfizer & BioNTech Group vaccine is approved, we will be ready to start using it.
“But the biggest mistake we could make now would be to slacken our resolve at such a critical moment.
“We must continue to work together to protect our NHS and save lives.”
Additional reporting by Maria Ortega
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