Italian Virologist Warns of Fourth Wave of Coronavirus


Italian virologist Fabrizio Pregliasco has warned that Italy could face a potential fourth wave of coronavirus infections due to the number of outstanding cases, which could threaten those who are not vaccinated.

Pregliasco said there are at least 240,000 coronavirus positive cases in Italy and claimed that the real number could be twice as many. He stated that infected people “on the loose” could pose a risk to others not vaccinated against the virus.

“Half a million infected continue to pose a danger to those who are not yet vaccinated and, in any case, keep the chain of infections high,” Pregliasco said, adding that he was not willing to say the pandemic will end in the coming months, Il Giornale reports.

“Outdoor life protects us from the virus more than expected, but slowly, the contagion spreads. It would be important at this stage to relaunch tracking to better counteract and monitor the spread of the virus,” Pregliasco said.

In April, several experts warned of a fourth wave by the end of May due to Italy starting to reopen but infectious diseases expert Matteo Bassetti rejected the idea, noting on May 26th that cases had gone down and claimed those who made the predictions had inserted partisanship and ideology into conversations on the pandemic, rather than science.

Pregliasco stated in April that he was “pessimistic” about the reopenings and claimed at the time that a fourth wave was possible if people did not adopt the “correct behaviour.”

The Italian virologist is not the only expert speaking out about a potential fourth wave. Greek physician George Pavlakis warned this week that a fourth wave could occur if summer restrictions were lifted too fast.

Pavlakis stated that herd immunity could only be achieved in Greece if at least 80 per cent of the country’s population were fully vaccinated and recommended Greeks not go on holiday unless they had at least one dose of the vaccine.

The government is preparing to ease restrictions this month in the UK, but some experts have warned of a potential third wave of infections.

Former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith spoke out this week, criticising scientists he called “obsessed” with scrapping the country’s reopening.

“What we have got now is a bunch of scientists obsessed, obsessed with one single issue to the detriment of absolutely everything else,” he said.

Regius professor of medicine at the University of Oxford, Sir John Bell, also commented on the issue, saying that Prime Minister Boris Johnson should stick to his plan to restore freedoms in the UK.

“If we scamper down a rabbit hole every time we see a new variant, we are going to spend a long time huddled away, so we do need to keep a bit of balance to the discussion and keep our eyes on the serious disease that we are trying to prevent,” Sir John said.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)

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