Italy may be on wrong path in fighting coronavirus contagion -scientist




  • In US
  • 2020-03-30 13:35:20Z
  • By Reuters

By Stefano Bernabei

ROME, March 30 (Reuters) - Italy's measures to halt coronavirus contagion do not seem to be working and it should change its strategy by setting up centres to separate people with suspected symptoms from their families, a prominent Italian scientist said on Monday.

Italy, which has suffered the world's highest death toll from coronavirus, has been in nationwide lockdown for about three weeks, but in the last three days new infections have continued at between 5,000 and 6,000 per day.

The highest daily death toll since the outbreak began on Feb. 21 was registered on Friday, with 919 fatalities, and the tally was only slightly lower in the following two days.

Andrea Crisanti, professor of microbiology at Padua University, said in an interview with Radio Capital that many of these new cases are probably people who are being infected by fellow family members at home.

Crisanti said that instead of telling people with mild symptoms to self-isolate at home, the authorities should have set up centres to separate them from their families, as was done in China where the epidemic originated in December.

"Is someone posing the problem of why, despite all these restrictive measures, we are still seeing infections? Are they asking if all these people who are sick at home are infecting other members of their family?" he said.

"In our opinion, the infections are happening at home."

Crisanti helped coordinate the coronavirus response in Italy's affluent northeastern region of Veneto, where blanket testing was introduced at the start of Italy's outbreak in the second half of February.

That helped identify cases and limit contagion much more successfully than in the neighbouring Lombardy region where only people with severe symptoms are tested, and only in hospitals.

Lombardy has since been hit with 6,360 registered coronavirus deaths, far more than any other Italian region, whereas Veneto has recorded just 392 fatalities. However, the Lombardy outbreak was much bigger from the outset.

Crisanti argued that a similar approach to the one carried out in Veneto should now be conducted nationwide.

"We need to be much more aggressive in identifying people who are sick at home," he said.

"We need to go to their homes, test them, test their family members, their friends and neighbours, and all the people who test positive should be taken, if they are well enough, to accommodation centres outside their homes."

Angelo Borrelli, head of the Civil Protection Agency, said the ongoing rate of contagion and deaths did not mean the national government's measures were ineffective.

"Without these measures we would be seeing far worse numbers and our health service would be in a far more dramatic state," Borrelli told reporters at the weekend. (Writing by Gavin Jones Editing by Mark Heinrich)

COMMENTS

More Related News

'Maestro to Mister': Italy legend Pirlo replaces Sarri as Juventus coach

Former Italy and Juventus star Andrea Pirlo was appointed the Italian champions' new coach, just hours after Maurizio Sarri's sacking with the club promising a "new chapter in world football". Sarri, 61, leaves Juventus after just one season, a day after the Italian giants crashed out of the Champions League in the last 16 to French club Lyon. The 41-year-old Pirlo, with no previous top-level coaching experience, recently took over the Juventus U23 side and arrives on a two-year contract.

Juventus appoint Pirlo as new manager
Juventus appoint Pirlo as new manager

RESENDING WITH COMPLETE SCRIPT VIDEO SHOWS: JUVENTUS WRITTEN STATEMENT CONFIRMING ANDREA PIRLO AS NEW COACH, FILE FOOTAGE OF ANDREA PIRLO, FILE FOOTAGE OF JUVENTUS STADIUM SHOWS: INTERNET (AUGUST 8, 2020) (JUVENTUS WEBSITE - ACCESS ALL) (MUTE) 1. WRITTEN STATEMENT ON JUVENTUS WEBSITE CONFIRMING ANDREA PIRLO AS THE NEW COACH TURIN, ITALY (FILE - APRIL 13, 2015) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 2. ANDREA PIRLO ON PITCH AT JUVENTUS TRAINING SESSION 3. VARIOUS PLAYERS ON PITCH 4. GIOGRIO CHIELLINI AND PIRLO LAUGHING TURIN, ITALY (FILE - FEBRUARY 23, 2015) (REUTERS -...

Migrants adrift after camp at France-Italy border shut
Migrants adrift after camp at France-Italy border shut

Sudanese migrant Soulaimen has been sleeping on the beach in the Italian border town of Ventimiglia for 10 days now. With his only shelter a sleeping bag and pasta meals donated by a charity, the 20-year-old is getting by as best he can after a transit camp run by the Italian Red Cross was ordered to stop welcoming new arrivals and cease operations. Now, the migrants who continue to flock to this town hoping to cross into France are on their own, faced with strengthened border police and an uncertain future.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: US