Covid-19 is losing its potency and has become much less lethal, according to a senior Italian doctor
“In reality, the virus clinically no longer exists in Italy,” said Alberto Zangrillo the head of the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan.
Zangrillo’s hospital is found in the northern region of Lombardy, which faced the brunt of the country’s coronavirus contagion.
Speaking to the Italian national broadcaster, RAI, Zangrillo added, “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.”
Third highest death toll in the world
Italy has seen the third highest Covid-19 death toll in the world, with 33,415 deaths and the sixth highest reported cases in the world. A total of 233,019 people were confirmed to have been infected in the country.
Italy soon introduced some of the most restrictive lockdown measures in Europe which made exercise only permitted inside the home and banned domestic travel.
Coronavirus is ‘not the same strength’ as before
The country’s measures proved to be successful and, during the month of May, the number of new infections and fatalities fell at a continuous pace, resulting in some lockdown rules being lifted.
Zangrillo suggested that the government and some experts have been guilty of scaremongering the public, saying, "Someone has to take responsibility for terrorizing the country” and urging Italy to "get back to being a normal country.”
Another doctor from northern Italy is in agreement with Zangrillo, and told the national ANSA news agency that he too sees evidence that the coronavirus has weakened.
"The strength the virus had two months ago is not the same strength it has today," said Matteo Bassetti, head of the infectious diseases clinic at the San Martino hospital in the city of Genoa.
"It is clear that today the Covid-19 disease is different."
What is the government’s stance?
However, Italian government officials disagree with Zangrillo, claiming it is too soon to announce victory over the virus and suggesting such claims were confusing citizens.
In a statement, Sandra Zampa, an undersecretary at the health ministry, said, "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.
"We should instead invite Italians to maintain the maximum caution, maintain physical distancing, avoid large groups, to frequently wash their hands and to wear masks."