Rome, May 22 : Italy’s northern region of Veneto, one of the epicenters of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country, has for the first time since the outbreak began, not registered any new coronavirus cases over the last day, Andrea Crisanti, a virologist and a professor at the University of Padua, said on Thursday.
Veneto, with 19,038 cases, is among the regions hit hardest by COVID-19, after Lombardy with 86,091, Piedmont with 29,990 and Emilia-Romagna with 27,417. Meanwhile, the regional authorities have conducted more coronavirus tests per capita than most other regions, including Lombardy. “Zero cases - this is the positive result, which should be maintained by the responsible behavior,” Crisanti, who advises regional authorities on the COVID-19 response, said.
Crisanti was among the researchers who proposed experimental mass testing in Veneto's Vo commune back in March. The virologists mass-tested all 3,000 residents of the municipality, including people with no COVID-19 symptoms at all, which allowed the local authorities to prevent the uncontrolled spread of the infections and led to an early lockdown exit.
As of Thursday, Italy has confirmed over 228,000 COVID-19 cases, more than 134,000 recoveries and 32,486 fatalities. Over the past 24 hours, the authorities confirmed just 642 new cases country-wide — the smallest daily rise since the beginning of the outbreak. (UNI)