Dhaka, Bangladesh
New coronavirus losing potency

Top Italian doctor says

New coronavirus losing potency

ROME, June 2: The new coronavirus is losing its potency and has become much less lethal, a senior Italian doctor said on Sunday, reports Reuters. "In reality, the virus clinically no longer exists in Italy," 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. "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. Italy has the third highest death toll in the world from COVID-19, with 33,415 people dying since the outbreak came to light on Feb. 21. It has the sixth highest global tally of cases at 233,019. However new infections and fatalities have fallen steadily in May and the country is unwinding some of the most rigid lockdown restrictions introduced anywhere on the continent. Zangrillo 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." The government urged caution, saying it was far too soon to claim victory. "Pending scientific evidence to support the thesis that the virus has disappeared ... I would invite those who say they are sure of it not to confuse Italians," Sandra Zampa, an undersecretary at the health ministry, said in a statement. "We should instead invite Italians to maintain the maximum caution, maintain physical distancing, avoid large groups, to frequently wash their hands and to wear masks." 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. "It is clear that today the COVID-19 disease is different." Another report adds: Increased antibiotics use in combating the COVID-19 pandemic will strengthen bacterial resistance and ultimately lead to more deaths during the crisis and beyond, the World Health Organization said Monday. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned that the world is "losing its ability" to use critically important antimicrobial medicines. He said a "worrying number" of bacterial infections were becoming increasingly resistant to the medicines traditionally used to treat them. Speaking at a virtual press conference, the WHO chief said that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increased use of antibiotics, which ultimately will lead to higher bacterial resistance rates. Calling the threat of antimicrobial resistance "one of the most urgent challenges of our time," Tedros urged the world to find new models to incentivise sustainable innovation in this regard. "On the supply side, there is essentially very little market incentive to developing new antibiotics and antimicrobial agents, which has led to multiple market failures of very promising tools in the past few years," he said. A press release issued on Monday also showed that high rates of resistance among antimicrobials frequently used to treat common infections, such as urinary tract infections or some forms of diarrhea, indicate that the world is running out of effective ways to tackle these diseases. "For instance, the rate of resistance to ciprofloxacin, an antimicrobial frequently used to treat urinary tract infections, varied from 8.4 per cent to 92.9 per cent in 33 reporting countries," the press release noted.

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