Data models suggest Italy, one of the hardest-hit areas from the global coronavirus pandemic, might be clear of new COVID-19 cases by the middle of May, just 10 weeks after it went into lockdown, Newsweek reported.
"We are going in the right direction and we must not change our strategy in the least," Higher Health Council president Franco Locatelli said, per the report. "The return to normality will be a gradual process.
"The goal is to contain the situation now, and prevent further epidemic outbreaks, such as those seen in the north, and restore as much as possible a normal lifestyle."
The research data came from calculations by Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF) experts, who forecast elimination of the COVID-19 in Italy the week of May 5-16.
"In Lombardy — and especially in the worst-hit areas of Lodi and Bergamo — the number of infectious respiratory events for which regional emergency vehicles have been called is markedly reduced," Locatelli added, per the report. "Interventions — deployment of emergency vehicles — on the territory have halved compared to March 14-15."
The data used for the models were from a point up to March 29, so there might have been some changes from the past two weeks more of data.
"What we are likely to see, if you imagine the lockdown and stringent measures in Italy are now in place 2-3 weeks," according to World Health Organization expert Mike Ryan, per Newsweek. "We should start to see stabilization because the cases we see today really reflect exposures two weeks ago.
"So, we do hope that Italy and Spain are nearly there on that . . . and going down [on case numbers] isn't just about a lockdown and let go," Ryan said.
Italy Deputy Health Minister Pierpaolo Sileri said, per Newsweek, "we are witnessing a flattening of the curve" and the country might get "a drop in the number of people infected within seven to 10 days."
"There are no signs of a descent yet, but things are improving," he concluded, per Newsweek.
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