Italy appears to be flattening its curve, data shows

Friday - 03/04/2020 20:27
Italy’s efforts to combat coronavirus finally appear to be paying off, new data suggests.

Dr. Deborah Birx presented data Tuesday, used to extend federal social distancing guidelines through April, projecting the death toll could be as much as 100,000 to 240,000 even with mitigation efforts. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Since instituting a nationwide lockdown on March 9, the nation has seen a slowdown in its daily increase in total cases. The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins has been tracking the numbers since the start of March. 

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Silvio Brusaferro, president of the National Institute of Health, claimed that Italy seemed to be arriving at a plateau, largely thanks to the strict measures the nation has taken. 

In the run-up to March 9, Italy saw a near-constant daily increase by around 24 percent. Over the past four days (3/30 to 4/2), the average daily increase in total cases only went up around 4.2 percent -- down from an average of 7.1 percent over the previous week. 
 

(source: JHU CSSE)
(source: JHU CSSE)

 

Today's numbers show that Italy's increase in total cases increased by only 3.8 percent - the first time the number has dipped below 4 percent since the pandemic first hit the country.

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While April 13 is when the lockdown is meant to end, officials do not believe that Italy has reached its peak, and that May 16 might be the date when Phase 2 of a gradual return to work might begin.

"We must not delude ourselves that a slowdown of the spread may lead us to slow down the measures of social distancing that we have adopted," Brusaferro said in a press conference earlier this week.

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“We expect that we could reach the peak these coming days. We are not in a descending phase, but the growth is slowing down."

With the oldest population in Europe, Italy has suffered more than any other nation in Europe from the coronavirus pandemic. 

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Last week, Italy surpassed 10,000 deaths, and this week surpassed 100,000 cases.

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 Keywords: Italy, coronavirus

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