Simona Granati – Corbis via Corbis via Getty Images
In Italy on 18 March the prevalence of the so-called ‘English variant’ of the Sars-CoV-2 virus was 86.7%, with values ranging between the individual regions between 63.3% and 100%. For the ‘Brazilian’ one, the prevalence was 4.0% (0% -32.0%), while the others monitored are below 0.5%. The estimate comes from the new rapid survey conducted by the ISS and the Ministry of Health together with the regional laboratories and the Bruno Kessler Foundation, which follows those disseminated in recent weeks from which greater transmissibility had emerged for the ‘English’ variant of 37. %.
Today 16,017 cases and 529 deaths
There are 16,017 new Covid cases in Italy in the last 24 hours, an increase compared to yesterday’s 12,916 but, as always on Tuesday compared to Monday, with many more swabs: 301,451, 145 thousand more than yesterday. So much so that the positivity rate is in sharp decline, from 8.2 to 5.3%. On the other hand, deaths increased sharply, 529 (yesterday 417), for a total of 108,879 victims since the beginning of the pandemic.
Small positive sign for intensive care, after weeks of increase (now 41% of the beds occupied, well above the 30% risk threshold): 5 fewer units (yesterday +42), with 269 entries of the day, and they are now 3.716.
On the other hand, even if limited, ordinary hospitalizations are still growing: +68 (yesterday +462), for a total of 29,231. This is what emerges from the daily bulletin of the Ministry of Health.
UK variant 86.7%, 4% cases from the Brazilian one
The detection of the lineage variant B.1.1.7 (the so-called ‘English’) in all the participating Regions / PPAA, notes the ISS, is “indicative of its wide diffusion throughout the national territory”. The national prevalence of the lineage variant B.1.1.7 estimated in the previous rapid survey of February 18 of 54% is now 86.7%.
For the investigation, the laboratories of the Regions and Autonomous Provinces were asked to select subsamples of positive cases and to sequence the genome of the virus, according to the procedures described in the circular of the Ministry of Health of last 17 March. The sample requested was chosen by the Regions / PPAA at random from among the positive samples, guaranteeing a certain geographical representativeness and, if possible, for different age groups. In total, 21 Regions / PPAAs and a total of 126 laboratories participated in the survey.