(NEW YORK POST) – Coronavirus no longer “clinically” exists in Italy, which has seen the deadly disease lose potency, according to a doctor.
New infections and fatalities from COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, fell steadily in the country in May.
“In reality, the virus clinically no longer exists in Italy,” Alberto Zangrillo, the head of the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan 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.”
Italy has the third highest death toll in the world from COVID-19, with 33,475 deaths and 233,197 confirmed cases as of Tuesday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Italy — the first country in the world to surpass China’s coronavirus death toll — was the first European country to lock down in early March. It began a slow reopening of some cities last month in hopes of kickstarting its dwindled economy.
A second doctor, Matteo Bassetti, agreed that the coronavirus has weakened.
“The strength the virus had two months ago is not the same strength it has today,” Bassetti, head of the infectious diseases clinic at the San Martino hospital in the city of Genoa, told the national ANSA news agency. “It is clear that today the COVID-19 disease is different.”
Still, the Italian government urged residents to continue practicing social distancing and other safety measures.
“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,” Sandra Zampa, an undersecretary at the health ministry, said in a statement.
“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.”