Italy may have the highest death toll right now but this town is having massive success in handling the crisis.
Coronavirus continues to wreak havoc across the world and looking at the figures, Italy is definitely the worst-hit country in terms of the death toll. As of April 2, the disease has claimed 13,155 lives in Italy – which is way higher than Spain’s 9,387, USA’s 5,110, and China’s 3,312.
The country’s healthcare system is now overwhelmed with patients with 110,574 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with doctors ending up having to prioritize those who are more likely to survive.
Located in the Veneto region, the town of Vo has reported very little infections of the coronavirus. The first COVID-19 death, a 78-year-old male patient, in the country happened in the town. There have been few new confirmed cases since.
According to reports, University of Padua researchers worked hand in hand with Veneto officials and the Red Cross and immediately proceeded to conduct mass testings.
All town residents were tested for COVID-19, regardless if they had symptoms or not.
As University of Padua microbiology professor Andrea Crisanti told the media:
“We tested everybody. We found that an alarming portion of people were already positive for the virus.”
The tests discovered that about 89 residents, which is 3% of the town’s estimated 3,300 population, has the virus and most of them exhibited no symptoms.
Without delay, individuals who tested positive were placed in home quarantine and avoid contact with anyone so as to prevent the spread of the disease.
According to the researchers, sending them to hospitals would likely worsen the situation. “In principle many people in the hospital were infected,” he explained. “Many doctors, many nurses, many patients. This could be a major source of infection.”
Soon after the two-week quarantine, researchers again conducted a second mass testing and discovered that infection rate decreased from almost 3% to 0.41%.
Veneto governor Luca Zaia went as far as labeling Vo as the “healthiest place in Italy” saying the town is a living proof that “the testing system works.”
Carla Santolin, a pharmacy owner in Vo, summed it up this way:
“The Vo’ model worked great. The results have been outstanding.”
This, of course, is in line with the directive from the World Health Organization when Director General Tedros Ghebreyesus encouraged all countries across the globe to “test, test, test” reminding them that “they cannot fight this pandemic blindfolded.”
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