Top Health Official Says Italy Has Reached ‘Plateau’ Of Coronavirus Outbreak

ROME, ITALY, MARCH 31: An Italian tricolor flag waves at half mast in memory of victims of Covid-19, in Piazza Venezia, Rome, Italy, on March 31, 2020. Italian government is expected to extend restrictions against co... ROME, ITALY, MARCH 31: An Italian tricolor flag waves at half mast in memory of victims of Covid-19, in Piazza Venezia, Rome, Italy, on March 31, 2020. Italian government is expected to extend restrictions against coronavirus spread until after Easter. (Photo by Riccardo De Luca/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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March 31, 2020 12:11 p.m.

ROME — The head of Italy’s national institutes of health says the country has hit the “plateau” in its coronavirus infection rate, three weeks into a national lockdown.

Dr. Silvio Brusaferro says the country should start to see a decline in new cases in the epicenter of Europe’s pandemic. But he stressed it would be folly to relax Italy’s productivity shutdown and stay-at-home restrictions now, even though the rate of new virus infections is slowing.

“The curve suggests we are at the plateau,” he said. “We have to confirm it, because arriving at the plateau doesn’t mean we have conquered the peak and we’re done. It means now we should start to see the decline if we continue to place maximum attention on what we do every day.”

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