Right now Italy is home to 139,422 confirmed cases of coronavirus, ranked number 3 worldwide, only next to the US and Spain. But the daily increase in the cases has been reducing since its peak on March 21. This reflects Italy's efforts to flatten the curve. The country witnessed widespread outbreak of coronavirus, Italy was the first to surpass China's coronavirus cases. WHO called Europe as the epicentre of the pandemic, before the US took over.

Italy has been in lockdown since March 9. Two weeks once, the country reviews its lockdown measures, the next will be April 13. There are talks of phase two of the lockdown as death toll slowed. The PM of Italy today warned EU countries must act in a co-ordinated way helping worst-hit countries, or else EU could fail.

Chinese and Cuban doctors arrive in Italy
Chinese and Cuban doctors arrived in Italy with 31 tons of medical supplies from China and drugs from Cuba (March 14) Twitter

"Yes, we flattened the curve: We are seeing some hope, some light," said Lorenzo Casani, health director of an elderly's clinic in Lombardy, reported Time. But he said that the tunnel is very long.

The evidence for the impact of lockdown is important says Flavia Riccardo, researching in the Department of Infectious Diseases of Italian National Institute of Health. The country set up an aggressive policy in contact tracing and caring. She said that Italy performed more tests than other EU countries.

Mythical Peak

Italy coronavirus
Italy's flattening curve of daily increase John Hopkins University

Experts say that official numbers don't include those who have COVID-19 but haven't been tested. There are a huge number of cases with mild illness and those who aren't symptomatic, said Casani

Massimo Galli, the head of the infectious diseases at Milan's Sacco Hospital, says such asymptomatic cases are going undetected. "It is extremely difficult to forecast the progression of the disease, the curve, and the mythical peak of the epidemic in such conditions." However, he was happy with the data.

As per Italy's Civil Protection Department, it took between three and four weeks for the curve to flatten. The efforts would continue as Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said "We cannot plan for an easing of the lockdown yet, in a speech on last Wednesday.

"Draconian measures are the only way to avoid catastrophe," says Casani. He said, patients initially feel an inflammatory response requiring intensive care, in order to avoid overburdening of healthcare systems of other countries; early intervention would be needed before the disease progresses.

Outside help

Cuba, China and Russia have helped in this regard. China shipped medical supplies like respirators and masks to Italy, which included 30 tons of equipment and nine medical staff.

After Cuban drug Interferon Alpha 2B got requested by many countries, Italy got supplies of it including a team of Cuban doctors. In the case of Russia, a public relations exercise, "from Russia with love" was attached to the plane that shipped equipment to Italy.