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Italian anti-vaxxer who used a FAKE ARM to get his jab and avoid restrictions is 57-year-old dentist


An Italian anti-vaxxer who tried to dodge getting the Covid-19 vaccine by wearing a fake arm has been revealed to be a 57-year-old dentist who has reportedly been suspended from his job as a result.

Guido Russo was rumbled by doctors at a vaccination centre in Biella, northern Italy, on Thursday after he wore a silicone and foam arm for his jab in a bid to fool officials into giving him a Covid health pass so he could avoid restrictions. 

The dentist, who is now under investigation for fraud, has said his life ‘has been ruined’ after he was exposed for using the fake arm which he bought from Amazon.

Medics’ suspicions were raised when they realised the texture of his silicone arm did not match a normal limb, described as a theatre prop, despite the realistic skin colour. 

Guido Russo was rumbled by doctors at a vaccination centre in Biella, northern Italy, on Thursday after he wore a silicone and foam arm for his jab in a bid to fool officials into giving him a Covid health pass

Guido Russo was rumbled by doctors at a vaccination centre in Biella, northern Italy, on Thursday after he wore a silicone and foam arm for his jab in a bid to fool officials into giving him a Covid health pass.

The dentist, who is now under investigation for fraud, has said his life 'has been ruined' after he was exposed for using the fake arm which he bought from Amazon

The dentist, who is now under investigation for fraud, has said his life ‘has been ruined’ after he was exposed for using the fake arm which he bought from Amazon 

Russia reportedly tried to persuade the doctor to inject a dose of the vaccine into the silicone arm even after they realised it was fake.

It is thought the man was trying to fool doctors into giving him a Green Pass – a certificate that proves the holder has been vaccinated, tested negative or recently recovered from Covid. 

Since August, the pass has been required for indoor dining in restaurants, to visit museums, cinemas, theatres and attend sporting events. 

Russo tried to use the fake arm last week, ahead of a tightening of the rules from today in Italy for people who have not yet been vaccinated against Covid-19. 

The new rules mean unvaccinated Italians are banned from going to indoor restaurants, theatres and museums in an effort to reduce the spread of coronavirus and encourage vaccine skeptics to get their jabs. 

After being exposed, Russo told journalists: ‘You ruined my life. Go away. I’ll call the police.’ 

Russia reportedly tried to persuade the doctor to inject a dose of the vaccine into the silicone arm even after they realised it was fake

Russia reportedly tried to persuade the doctor to inject a dose of the vaccine into the silicone arm even after they realised it was fake

Medics' suspicions were raised when they realised the texture of his silicone arm did not match a normal limb, described as a theatre prop, despite the realistic skin colour

Medics’ suspicions were raised when they realised the texture of his silicone arm did not match a normal limb, described as a theatre prop, despite the realistic skin colour

Russo was already known for his anti-vaccination stance and a sign on the door to his practice in Biella reads: ‘The presentation of the green pass is exclusively VOLUNTARY.’ 

Russo has reportedly been suspended from the Order of Doctors although it was not clear if that was because of his stance on vaccines, or his attempt to get a Green Pass illegally. 

Filippa Bua, the nurse who foiled the man’s attempt, said she was ‘incredulous’ at the brazen attempt to dodge the vaccine. 

She said nurses at the site had been dealing with angry residents who do not want to get vaccinated but feel they have to for weeks. 

Bua said: ‘He was a distinct person, like so many others, even smiling, which rarely happens of late.

‘It was late in the morning of a well-organised day, but very intense from an emotional point of view because those who do not want the vaccine are showing up.’  

She explained that there are people who are crying, screaming and swearing.

Filippa Bua, the nurse who foiled the man's attempt, said she was 'incredulous' at the brazen attempt to dodge the vaccine

Filippa Bua, the nurse who foiled the man’s attempt, said she was ‘incredulous’ at the brazen attempt to dodge the vaccine

Speaking about Russo, Bua added: ‘I immediately realised that something was wrong. We are professionals, but such imaginative things had never happened to me.

‘When I touched the arm to feel it before the injection, I realised it was rubber foam.’ 

Although it was very similar to real skin, the colour and texture of the arm made the health worker suspicious. She asked the patient to show her his whole arm. She said: ‘He was wearing a stage bust and, when I discovered it, he even tried to make a joke.’ 

Bua said that he allegedly asked her to turn a blind eye to his foiled plan and let him go. But she refused and reported him to a doctor on duty. 

The nurse had earlier told Corriere: ‘My colleagues and I try to lower the level of tension by not giving our side to any provocation. 

‘But I’m really tired and just as sorry, to see all these people who do not understand how much the vaccine is essential to protect their health, and their loved ones.’ 

The head of the Piedmont regional government, Albert Cirio, said: ‘It is incredible news, it seems like a joke but there is nothing to laugh about: it is a very serious case.’ 

He said such an act was ‘unacceptable faced with the sacrifice that our entire community has paid during the pandemic, in terms of human lives, the social and economic cost.’

The incident comes as Italy brought in tougher restrictions for unvaccinated people on Monday, excluding them from indoor restaurants, theatres and museums to reduce the spread of coronavirus and encourage vaccine skeptics to get their jabs.

Only those who have the ‘Super Green Pass’, which requires Italians to be double-jabbed rather than providing a negative Covid test result, will be able to fully participate in public life from Monday.

Italian police will be checking whether those visiting indoor restaurants, bars, concerts, sports events, theatres and public events, have the ‘super’ green health pass until January 15.

The restrictions follow a steady rise of Covid cases in Italy for the past six weeks, with 15,021 infections recorded on Sunday, and a concern about the new Omicron variant which is believed to be more transmissible than the Delta strain. 

A visitor has his Covid health pass checked at the entrance to the Roman Forum in Rome on Sunday

A visitor has his Covid health pass checked at the entrance to the Roman Forum in Rome on Sunday 

The restrictions follow a steady rise of Covid cases in Italy for the past six weeks, with 15,021 infections recorded on Sunday, and a concern about the new Omicron variant which is believed to be more transmissible than the Delta strain

The restrictions follow a steady rise of Covid cases in Italy for the past six weeks, with 15,021 infections recorded on Sunday, and a concern about the new Omicron variant which is believed to be more transmissible than the Delta strain

Elsewhere in Europe, leaders have rushed in a raft of new lockdown measures and travel bans amid panic over rising cases and the arrival of the Omicron variant. 

Germany has announced it will lock down its unvaccinated citizens and ban them from most public spaces in the run-up to Christmas, while those in France will have to show proof of vaccination to maintain a valid Covid pass which allows them into public venues. 

Italy’s vaccination rate is higher than many of its neighbors, at 85 per of the eligible population aged 12 and older and 77 per cent of the total population. But people in their 30s, 40s and 50s have proved the most reluctant to get vaccinated, with nearly 3.5 million still not having received their first doses.

They are also the same age group that is now being hardest hit by the virus, according to Silvio Brusaferro, head of Italy’s National Health Institute.

While Austria and Germany are moving toward making vaccines mandatory, Italy is instead tightening restrictions on the unvaccinated on the more convivial time of the year. 

From Monday,  smart phone applications that check people’s health pass status will be updated and those who have merely tested negative in recent days for Covid will no longer be allowed into public events or public buildings. 

Also starting from Monday, people must have a normal Green health pass – which can be obtained with a negative test result – to access  local public transport and stay in hotels. 

European leaders have rushed in a raft of new lockdown measures and travel bans amid panic over rising cases and the arrival of the Omicron variant

European leaders have rushed in a raft of new lockdown measures and travel bans amid panic over rising cases and the arrival of the Omicron variant

In Milan, the prefect said health passes will be checked before people are allowed onto the subway or buses.  

With the holiday shopping season approaching, many cities including Rome and Milan have ordered mask mandates even outdoors. 

Public health officials say vaccinations, along with prudent public behavior including wearing masks in crowds, are key to reducing infection levels as winter weather pushes more activities indoors. 

They credit Italy’s relatively high level of immunisation as one reason that the infection curve is not as steep as last winter, when broad restrictions were imposed with the spread of the delta variant.

‘It is clear that after two years of the pandemic, we cannot easily close schools to physical classes and shut down economic activity,’ said Gianni Rezza, the health ministry’s director of prevention.

‘Therefore, you can try to keep the virus spread down with measures that are sustainable, and with proper use of the health pass. Then the big bet is on the vaccinations,’ he said.



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