In the wake of growing calls for caution in easing restrictions, a top Italian doctor has offered an alternative view that challenged what many have been arguing.
The coronavirus is losing its potency and has become much less lethal, said Alberto Zangrillo, the head of the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan in the northern region of Lombardy, which has borne the brunt of Italy's coronavirus contagion. "In reality, the virus clinically no longer exists in Italy."
"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," he told RAI television.
Zangrillo also said some experts were too alarmist about the prospect of a second wave of infections and politicians needed to take into account the new reality.
"We've got to get back to being a normal country," he said. "Someone has to take responsibility for terrorizing the country."
A second doctor from northern Italy told the national ANSA news agency that he was also seeing the coronavirus weaken. "The strength the virus had two months ago is not the same strength it has today," said Matteo Bassetti, head of the infectious diseases clinic at the San Martino hospital in the city of Genoa.