Italy health authorities say infections curve in tentative decline

Rome, Apr 3 (efe-epa).- The Italian National Health Institute (ISS) on Friday said the nationwide isolation measures had helped turn around the curve in coronavirus cases and warned that the number of victims would have multiplied without the lockdown.

The latest figures in Italy showed that 2,339 new cases were detected in the last 24 hours, which seemed to confirm the downward trend touted by officials. Italy has detected 119.827 cases since the outbreak began, 85,000 of which are active. The number of deaths stands at 14,681, some 766 overnight, the Civil Protection Agency said.

Giovanni Rezza, the head of the infectious diseases at the ISS, told a press conference: “Without the restrictive measures, we would have had herd immunity but with a huge number of deaths.”

He warned that without the draconian measures, towns and cities across Italy would have witnessed tragic situations like those seen in Codogno, the town in Lombardy that was sealed off when it became the epicenter of the outbreak in the country.

Rezza argued that Italy’s current outlook was “moderate optimism.”

He said there was a light downturn in the number of new infections, a trend that should be confirmed in the coming days.

“The curve in new cases in Italy shows a kind of plateau, perhaps even a small decrease.”

He said phase 2 of the operation against the outbreak in Italy would come when the decrease in new cases is confirmed and would involve the resumption of production.

The epidemiologist warned, however, that officials would have to boost operations testing for early cases and isolating suspected cases in families and among health workers to ensure the transmission rate is contained.

Health officials are also examining the general use of masks when the country begins to reopen.

The experts reaffirmed research suggesting the coronavirus did not spread through the air, but rather through infected droplets from human beings or through contact with others, according to ISS president, Silvio Brusaferro.

He added that there were eight pharmaceutical studies being conducted on Covid-19 in Italy currently. EFE-EPA


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