Some positive news for the world has emerged today from Italy. Reuters reported that the head of the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan “in the northern region of Lombardy, which has borne the brunt of Italy’s coronavirus contagion” expressed optimism at the state of the virus. “In reality, the virus clinically no longer exists in Italy,” said Alberto Zangrillo.
Italy stands at the third-highest death toll globally from COVID-19, with 33,415 deaths since recognition of the outbreak on February 21. Fatalities and those who have tested positive for the virus have “fallen steadily in May and the country is unwinding some of the most rigid lockdown restrictions introduced anywhere on the continent” according to Reuters.
Zangrillo told RAI television “the swabs that were performed over the last 10 days showed a viral load in quantitative terms that was absolutely infinitesimal compared to the ones carried out a month or two months ago.” Zangrillo also believes some experts have been too alarmist about the potential of a second surge.
“We’ve got to get back to being a normal country…someone has to take responsibility for terrorizing the country,” said Zangrillo. A second doctor from northern Italy had similar things to say about the novel virus. “The strength the virus had two months ago is not the same strength it has today…it is clear that today the COVID-19 disease is different,” said Matteo Bassetti, head of the infectious diseases clinic at the San Martino hospital in the city of Genoa.
Officials in the Italian government, however, urged caution against claiming victory too soon. “Pending scientific evidence to support the thesis that the virus has disappeared…I would invite those who say they are sure of it not to confuse Italians” said Sandra Zampa, an undersecretary at the health ministry.
Zampa added, “we should instead invite Italians to maintain the maximum caution, maintain physical distancing, avoid large groups, to frequently wash their hands and to wears masks.”