WHO expresses optimism coronavirus in Italy may peak this week

Italian Red Cross member in Fondi, near Rome, a farm town which has the largest wholesale produce market serving Rome and Naples has been put under even more stringent lockdown than the rest of the country due to a cluster of COVID-19 cases. Italy, 25 March 2020. EPA-EFE/GIUSEPPE LAMI

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The World Health Organization said Wednesday that Italy’s coronavirus epidemic may peak this week.

“The slowing in the pace of growth is an extremely positive factor, and in some regions I believe we are close to the drop-off point of the curve, therefore the peak may be reached this week and then fall away,” WHO deputy director Ranieri Guerra told Radio Capital.

“I believe that this week and the first days of the next will be decisive because they will be moments in which the government’s measures of 15-20 days ago should find an effect”, he said, referring to a nationwide lockdown on movements.

The number of coronavirus sufferers to have died in Italy has passed the 7,000 mark, but the rise in the number of new cases of contagion fell for the fourth day running, the Civil Protection Department said on Wednesday.

It said 57,521 people are currently infected with COVID-19 in Italy, 3,491 more than Tuesday. The daily rise on Tuesday had been 3,612, on Monday 3,780 and on Sunday 3,957. The number of coronavirus deaths rose 683 to 7,503.

The daily rise was lower than 743 on Tuesday but higher than 601 on Monday and 651 on Sunday. Italy registered a record increase of 793 COVID-19 deaths on Saturday.

The department said 9,632 people have recovered from the coronavirus in Italy, 1,036 more than yesterday. The rise in recoveries on Tuesday was 894.

The overall number of people to have been infected in Italy, including the deceased and people who have recovered, is 74,386. Of those, 3,489 patients are in intensive care.

Civil Protection Department head and Coronavirus Emergency Commissioner Angelo Borrelli was unable to attend the daily press conference updating the figures after suffering symptoms of fever. The result of a swab is being awaited.

 

Read more via ANSA

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