ROME: Some experts in Italy believe that coronavirus could lose its potency over time, giving hope to people eager to resume normal life.
“COVID-19 evolves, loses power of contagion and probably lethal capacity,” Prof. Massimo Gicozzi of the Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome told the Senate a week after Italy’s government eased the national lockdown.
Massimo Clementi, director of the microbiology and virology laboratory at San Raffaele Hospital in Milan, told Arab News: “The first evaluation is linked to the clinical expression of the infection, which is now less aggressive. In the dramatic phase, between the end of March and the first half of April, 80 people were arriving sick every day at our hospital.”
He added: “Most of them were admitted immediately to the intensive care unit (ICU), and very often we couldn’t save them. But in recent weeks things have changed a lot. Our ICU isn’t under pressure anymore and we even have more beds available. A scenario like this was unthinkable for us in the peak of the infection.”
Clementi said new viruses are always “very aggressive” in the first phase, “then they learn to live with their victims, allowing them to survive. If a virus kills, it can’t replicate.”
Hospital and university virology laboratories and many Italian hospitals have established a network to increase and share observations and studies on COVID-19, and experiments on new treatments.
“The goal is to work together to have continuous monitoring of the virus sequences,” Clementi said. “There’s hope that this new coronavirus could progressively become as harmless as its related viruses responsible for the cold.”
But there is no consensus among experts over whether the arrival of warmer summer weather will weaken COVID-19. “For now it’s just a guess, but it’s very likely that’s the case,” said Clementi.
However, Prof. Pier Luigi Lopalco, a famous epidemiologist at the University of Pisa, said “there’s still no scientific evidence” to substantiate that.