ROME – “Clinically the new coronavirus no longer exists”. While the number of patients falls in all regions, Alberto Zangrillo, director of intensive care at San Raffaele in Milan, at 1/2 hour more the Covid ends.
“About a month ago, we felt epidemiologists fear a new wave at the end of the month-beginning of June and who knows how many intensive care places to fill. In reality, the virus from the clinical point of view no longer exists. This is what the Vita and Salute San Raffaele University says, says a study by the director of the Clementi Institute of Virology, says Professor Silvestri of Emory University in Atlanta “.
Second Matteo Bassetti, director of the infectious diseases clinic of the San Martino hospital in Genoa, the coronavirus “could now be different: the firepower that had this virus two months ago is not the same firepower that it has today. It is clear that Covid-19 disease is different today: the clinical presentation and course are in fact much milder. ”
The president of the Italian virology society Arnaldo Caruso, Bassetti underlined, “has already stated that he has isolated the SarsCov2 virus in the laboratory in Brescia and that this seemed to have less virulence”. However, “beyond the scientific demonstrations, as a doctor who is daily on the field – said the expert – I say that the sick of now are different from those of two months ago: before the patients had a much more serious condition, now less”.
It is therefore “evident – says the infectious disease specialist – that Covid-19 disease is different today, because its clinical presentation and its course are milder”.
Always referring to his experience ‘in the trenches’ in the hospital, Bassetti has in fact underlined how, in recent months, he has seen more than 1,500 Covid-19 patients at San Martino in Genoa: “For about 4-5 weeks – he said – the patients we see are no longer as serious cases as in March and April “.
Precisely this evidence on the field, explains the infectious disease specialist, “makes us say that the virus may be different; why it must be studied and clarified, but certainly the firepower that this virus had at the beginning is not the same firepower it has today. ”
If before, that is, he had a “very powerful war paraphernalia, to use a metaphor, now the weapons available to him are less”. And in all of this, says Bassetti, “the fact that we doctors have become better at treating Covid-19 patients has absolutely nothing to do with it; this comes later, but it is the initial clinical presentation of patients that has changed. ”
The braking that comes from the President of the Superior Health Council and member of the technical scientific committee is imperative Franco Locatelli: “I can only express great surprise and utter bewilderment at the statements made by Professor Zangrillo with phrases such as the ‘virus no longer exists clinically’ and that ‘terrorizing the country is something for which someone must take responsibility. Just look at the number of new cases confirmed every day to demonstrate the persistent circulation of the virus in Italy “.
“Having greatly increased the intensive care places is a huge merit of the national health system, as it has allowed to offer a clinical response to many patients who otherwise could not have been adequately treated. Furthermore – says Locatelli – these places will remain available for those who in the future will need them also for clinical situations other than Covid-19. We should all rejoice that the lockdown measures have produced the expected effects by containing the epidemic spread with savings of many human lives and this irrefutable result must push us to continue on the path of responsibility for individual behavior, not to be discouraged through dangerous declarations that forget the drama experienced in this country”. “It is equally clear, even to non-expert eyes – he concludes – that the clinical management of patients is certainly facilitated today by the lower number of cases than those observed on peak days and by what has been learned in these months. These are the concrete facts, the rest are personal opinions ”.
On the same wavelength, the pulmonologist Luca Richeldi, member of the Technical Scientific Committee: “The virus is still circulating and it is wrong to give misleading messages that do not invite caution. “It is undoubtedly true and reassuring that the pressure on hospitals has drastically reduced in recent weeks. However, it should not be forgotten – he notes – that this is the result of the equally drastic measures to contain the viral circulation adopted in our country “.
“Moreover – affirms Richeldi – it is good to remember that viral circulation is a dynamic process, so the gradualness and caution in the resumption of economic and social activities must remain our priority. Especially in light of the reopening of June 3rd “. “After all, it is enough to see how unfortunately the situation is very different in countries, such as Russia, Mexico or India, in which – he concludes – these measures have not been so effective and have not given the comforting results we see in our country”.
At the moment “there is no published evidence or scientific study showing that the new SarsCov2 coronavirus has changed,” reiterates director of the Spallanzani National Institute for Infectious Diseases in Rome, Giuseppe Ippolito. “Fortunately in Italy we now have fewer serious cases and this shows that the containment measures adopted have paid off. To date – Ippolito reiterated – there is no evidence nor any published scientific study that the virus has mutated. And we can only speak on the basis of recognized and published scientific studies “. Usually, he warns, “viruses will subside over the course of several years, but you don’t have to be catastrophic or optimistic at all costs.” Now, “what we need to do – concludes the scientific director of Spallanzani – is to monitor the situation day by day and never abandon prudence”.