As American cities are being looted by unruly mobs, there’s some good news coming in from Europe.
The coronavirus outbreak in Italy, one of the hardest-hit countries, is no longer a severe threat, according to a senior Italian doctor, Reuters reported.
Italian scientist: coronavirus contained
Scenes of Italy’s coronavirus crisis provided a worrisome warning to Americans early on in the coronavirus pandemic, which has now claimed the lives of over 100,000 Americans and more than 30,000 Italians. Italy has the third-highest death toll of any nation, according to Worldometer.
Months since Italy recorded its first infections, the latest virus samples show that the coronavirus effectively “no longer exists” in the country, a scientist in Milan said.
“In reality, the virus clinically no longer exists in Italy,” said Professor Alberto Zangrillo, the head of San Raffaele Hospital. “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.”
Zangrillo said that it is time for Italy to return to normal life and that warnings of a “second wave,” which also echoed in American media before riots took over the headlines, have been overblown. A second doctor agreed that the infection no longer appears to be a grave threat.
“It is clear that today the COVID-19 disease is different,” said Matteo Bassetti of San Martino hospital.
Officials issue caution
Despite this optimistic assessment, the Italian government warned that it is too soon to tell if the fight is over and urged Italians to stay vigilant.
“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,” said Sandra Zampa, undersecretary of the health ministry.
The World Health Organization has also warned that the coronavirus is “still a killer virus.”
The message comes at a strange and distressing time for America, if not for Europe: right as the United States was starting to lift lockdown measures that strangled businesses and destroyed millions of jobs, the nation has been rocked by deadly rioting over the police killing of an unarmed black man, George Floyd.
Practically overnight, the same public officials who admonished Americans for failing to practice “social distancing” are now countenancing large demonstrations that some speculate could lead to a resurgence of the virus. The Floyd protests have also spread to European countries.