The allegation of a prominent Italian doctor that the new Corona virus “no longer exists” in the country caused an uproar yesterday, prompting the Italian government and the World Health Organization to warn of the absence of any evidence indicating the decline of the virus’s ability to cause the disease.
“We must be exceptionally careful not to give the impression that the virus has suddenly decided, on its own, to become less disease-causing,” said Michael Ryan, director of the WHO’s Emergency Intervention Program. “It is not at all like this.”
He added during a virtual press conference, that the new Corona virus “is still a deadly virus”, and that “thousands of people are still dying every day.”
His response came in response to the statement of Alberto Zangrelo, head of the San Rafael Hospital in Milan, the capital of the northern Lombardy region that was most affected by the epidemic, who said: “In fact, the virus is no longer present in Italy by clinical standards.”
“The smears examined during the past ten days showed a very small viral load in terms of quantity compared to those conducted a month or two ago,” Zangrelo said in an interview with “Ray” television on Sunday.
And he added, “Someone should bear the responsibility for terrifying the country.”
In response to this Italian doctor’s note, the WHO official in Geneva, Michael Ryan, said: “We do not know if this is the case for Covid 19, but it is possible that it is not the virus itself that has become less virulent, but we as a society have succeeded in Reducing the number, severity, and frequency of exposure to the virus.
On the surface, the virus appears weaker, but it may be weaker because we are improving [في معرفته وإدارته], Not because it weakens.
“I hope the virus will weaken. This is what we all hope for, but we cannot bet on this at this point.”
The Italian doctor’s comments drew boo at other experts, which followed a warning from the government to be careful.
“Pending the obtaining of scientific evidence to support the hypothesis that the virus has disappeared, I would like to invite those who say they are sure not to create a state of confusion among the Italians,” Health Undersecretary Sandra Zampa said in a statement.
Franco Locatelli, president of the National Health Council, said Zangrillos comments made him confused.
“It is sufficient to look at the number of new positive cases confirmed each day to see the continued spread of the Corona virus in Italy,” he said.
Giuseppe Ippoleto, director of the prestigious Spallatsani Institute of Infectious Diseases in Rome, said that there is no scientific evidence that the virus has changed or that its efficacy has changed.
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