Sunday, April 5, 2020

The number of infections and deaths from the virus is stabilizing in many areas



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Italian officials said Sunday they may soon have to consider easing restrictions after seeing the daily coronavirus death toll plunge to its lowest in over two weeks. The 525 official COVID-19 fatalities reported by the civil protection service was the Mediterranean country’s lowest toll since 427 deaths were registered on March 19. They also represented a decline of 23 percent from the 681 deaths reported on Saturday. “The curve has started its descent and the number of deaths has started to drop,” Italy’s ISS national health institute director Silvio Brusaferro told reporters. “If these data are confirmed (in the coming days), we will have to start thinking about Phase 2,” he said in reference to an easing of a month-long national lockdown.

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President Donald Trump and his coronavirus task force on Sunday noted that the number of infections and deaths from the virus is stabilizing in many areas, offering Americans some hope. “As you can see from the hopeful signs in Italy and Spain, where we see, finally, new cases and deaths declining, it is giving us hope of what our future could be,” Dr. Deborah Birx said during the White House coronavirus press briefing on Sunday. She said that both countries had completed four weeks of social distancing, which had a positive effect on driving down the numbers. “We can look like that,” she said, urging Americans to continue following the presidential guidelines. Italy reported its lowest daily death toll in two weeks, and deaths have fallen for three straight days in Spain. In a series of slides, Birx noted at the White House that there is even some stabilization in large metro areas such as Detroit and Louisiana. New York also reported its first decline in deaths from coronavirus. Trump cheered on the American people for their efforts. “I will say that they are doing maybe a better job than we all thought were possible,” he said, pointing to the empty streets in New York City as evidence that people were taking the guidelines seriously. Vice President Mike Pence also voiced hope about the “glimmers of progress” in the numbers. “The truth is we are starting to see cases, and most importantly losses as hospitalizations begin to stabilize,” he said.

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