A professor who is an expert in infectious diseases has said that the Covid-19 protocol used by Serie A must now be changed with the new variant, according to a report in the Italian print media today.
Speaking during an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport, Professor Matte Bassetti, director of the Infectious Diseases Clinical Operating Unit of San Martino di Genova attempted to clarify the situation around the Omicron variant of coronavirus and how Serie A handles match postponements.
“It’s true, but because the protocol has remained the same as the one stipulated after the famous Napoli-Genoa. But in the meantime, many things have changed, even in terms of knowledge of the virus.
“The problem today is being able to adapt to this new variant, which is completely different from the others. The time has come to change the rules of the game because with that protocol it was only a matter of time: if the championship does not stop this time, it will stop soon.”
Professor Matteo Bassetti feels that football right now in Italy is a mirror of the general state that the country is in. He adds that the virus must now be attacked rather than the virus attacking the country.
“Football at the moment is the mirror of the country. There is a large-scale social problem, immediate decisions must be made, not to continue to stall. Today the virus must be attacked, we can no longer be attacked by the virus.
“I have heard that from February 1st there will be a mandatory vaccine in football and that is fine. But in the meantime I think there are already a lot of vaccinated players, it seems to me over 80 per cent.
“A sufficient number of athletes to change the rules: whoever has two or three doses of the vaccine, if he is asymptomatic, should be free to play and do his job.”
When asked why local health authorities can’t seem to work together, Professor Matteo Bassetti called for a new level of communication between sporting government bodies.
“Because each region has its own protocol and each tries to enforce its own. You see, in Italy we are too blocked by bureaucracy and instead here we need to accelerate with concrete facts.
“We need a working table that involves the FIGC, the Lega – which obviously has a vested interest in playing games – and the Ministry of Health.
“We need to rewrite the rules taking into account, as I said before, that the protocol made in 2020 has been overtaken by events and that today there is a very high percentage of vaccinated and cured.”
He feels that the way events are currently unfolding, the league will have to be stopped soon.
“Absolutely yes, we can avoid stoping the league but not with the protocol that is currently in force. Frankly, when we talk about vaccinated and asymptomatic, I don’t see what the problem is in sending them out regularly.
“Then if one is symptomatic, then he puts himself in quarantine according to the current law. But those who are well must not be forced into isolation or quarantine, otherwise, we will not leave again.”