Italian Town Reduces All New Coronavirus Cases To Zero In Matter Of Weeks
A small Italian town has managed to reduce the number of new coronavirus cases to zero.
Vo' Euganeo, in the province of Padua, Veneto, was put on lockdown after it recorded the country's first death earlier this year.
All 3,300 residents in the town were cut off from the rest of Italy and underwent tests - whether asymptomatic or not - to see if they had contracted the deadly disease.
The Governor of the Veneto region ordered that everyone in the town was tested twice - the first time ahead of the lockdown and a second just two weeks later.
Three percent of inhabitants were positively identified as having the novel coronavirus and then put in isolation.
And according to reports in la Repubblica, the strategy has proved to be a success, with the number of cases dropping from 88 - around half of which showed no symptoms - to seven in just two weeks.
Speaking about the strategy, Andrea Crisanti, an infections expert at Imperial College London, who helped in Vo' Euganeo, said testing was vital in stopping the spread.
She told The Guardian: "We were able to contain the outbreak here, because we identified and eliminated the 'submerged' infections and isolated them.
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"That is what makes the difference. If these people had not been discovered, they would probably have unknowingly infected other inhabitants."
In an open letter, Sergio Romagnani, professor of clinical immunology at the University of Florence, added: "The percentage of infected people, even if asymptomatic, in the population is very high.
"The isolation of asymptomatics is essential to be able to control the spread of the virus and the severity of the disease."
This comes after Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organisation, urged governments to get to work and test as many people as possible to help contain the disease.
He said: "We have a simple message to all countries - test, test, test. All countries should be able to test all suspected cases. They cannot fight this pandemic blindfolded."
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Featured Image Credit: PA