Hospitalisations of Covid-19 patients have surged in Italy, so have admissions to intensive care units (ICU) albeit at a slower rate, a report showed.
According to the Italian Federation of Health and Hospital Agencies (FIASO), overall Covid-19 hospitalisations in the country grew by 19.5 per cent over the week ending Tuesday, Xinhua news agency reported.
It was the second consecutive week of double-digit growth, following a 24-per cent increase a week earlier. Nevertheless, in ICUs the increase was smaller, rising by 9 per cent over the last week.
Notably, FIASO’s data showed that the number of unvaccinated individuals hospitalized for Covid-19 is growing faster than that of the vaccinated, with a 28 per cent increase in admissions of unvaccinated patients on regular wards and a 30 percent increase in the ICUs.
On average, unvaccinated patients hospitalised with Covid-19 infections were around ten years younger than vaccinated individuals hospitalised for the disease, the report said.
The increases came as health officials warned of a potential winter wave of Covid-19 in Italy, the first European country hit hard by the pandemic in 2020.
Last week, the country’s National Institute of Health (ISS) said the virus’ transmission rate had surpassed 1.0 again, indicating the reach of the virus is increasing, with each recovered patient replaced by more than one new infection.
The country is also seeing a slower rollout of the latest booster vaccine. Giovanni Migliore, FIASO’s president, said that the virus had become endemic in Italy, and as such it was better for health officials to pitch vaccine booster shots as seasonal measures.
FIASO also noted in the report that 65 per cent of patients hospitalized with Covid-19 were initially being treated for other pathologies, while the remaining 35 per cent were specifically hospitalised for Covid-19.