Italy “could be heading for a deadlier second peak”

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relax its locking measures, researchers following the coronavirus epidemic have predicted. “Data-reactid =” 41 “> Italy could be set for a” second peak “of death after relaxing its blocking measures, predicted researchers monitoring the coronavirus epidemic.

Imperial College London, the country could experience a sharp increase in deaths within three weeks of the partial lifting of its social distancing restrictions. “Data-reactid =” 42 “> According to an analysis by Imperial College London, the country could see a sharp increase in deaths within three weeks of the partial lifting of social restrictions.

Currently, Italy has the second highest death rate in Europe, with 29,315 deaths, compared to 29,502 in the United Kingdom.

But Imperial oil researchers predicted a second peak if the country returned to just 20% of its mobility levels before the lockdown – a measure of the number of people leaving home.

Members of the Italian army wearing masks in Turin. (Getty)

The study warned that several social distancing measures will need to remain in place to avoid a sudden increase in deaths.

He also recommended that testing, contact tracing and self-isolation of people with symptoms be used to stop the spread of the virus again.

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Dr. Samir Bhatt of the Imperial School of Public Health congratulated the Italian authorities for their response to the pandemic, but said that the worst was yet to come.

“The impact of COVID-19 on Italy has been tragic, but the response to limit the impact of the disease has been successful and the disease has been substantially controlled,” he said.

A woman wearing a protective mask next to a bus stop in Naples. (Getty)

“Unfortunately, continued social distancing and other measures are necessary to prevent this success from being quickly overturned and our work warns us against underestimating the importance of such a sacrifice. “

And Dr. Michaela Vollmer said: “Even small changes in mobility will most likely result in a resurgence of deaths and the occurrence of a second wave which could be even more significant than what Italy has already experienced. “

More than four million Italians returned to work Monday after seven weeks of lockouts.

Residents of the country are now allowed to visit family members and people with whom they have an “established emotional connection” in the same region.

Parks have also been reopened to allow people to run, and people are allowed to walk long distances to exercise.

Social gatherings are always prohibited and it is mandatory to wear a mask in public transport and in closed public spaces.

But the funeral ban has also been relaxed, with a maximum of 15 mourners allowed to attend.

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