The rate of new novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infections seems to be slowing in some places around the globe, suggesting that a first corner has been turned in the fight against the deadly pandemic, Business Insider reports. However, the data is preliminary, and there remain several challenges in confronting COVID-19 ahead.
The daily rate of new, confirmed COVID-19 cases in Spain and Italy appears to be slowing, according to data from Worldometers. These results are significant, because those two countries — Italy especially — have been two of the countries hardest-hit by the coronavirus. A similar trajectory — which is to say, a peak then a decline — is also seen in the United Kingdom, which has not been as affected by the virus.
In Italy specifically, Professor Luca Richeldi remarked at a government briefing on Sunday that only 50 people that day had needed to be taken to the ICU, as compared to around 120 persons on the previous two days.
What this trend means is open to interpretation despite being encouraging, as these figures represent a small and preliminary dataset.
As it pertains to Italy, Richeldi said that the apparent decline is evidence that the country’s strict lockdown rules are working. Similarly, in the United Kingdom, epidemiologist Neil Ferguson said that the nation “can see some early signs of slowing in some indicators.”
“Look at the numbers of new hospital admissions today, for instance, that does seem to be slowing down a little bit now. It’s not yet plateaued as the numbers are increasing each day but the rate of that increase has slowed,” Ferguson said.
Similar data appears to be emerging from one locality in the United States. New York City, which has become the epicenter of the virus in the U.S., recently recorded its smallest daily increase in new cases. Dr. Farzad Mostashari, founder of health care startup Aledade, recently tweeted a cautiously optimistic tweet about the new data.
1/ Is there is any evidence that stay-home orders put into place in the past week or two have had a measurable impact on slowing the outbreak?
Where would we see it first? (We need better eyes!)
We *may* have some early signals in public data that infections in NYC slowed ???? pic.twitter.com/9M9W5wEJVy
— Farzad Mostashari (@Farzad_MD) March 28, 2020
Despite these promising and encouraging statistics coming into play, the world continues to wrestle with the repercussions surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.
President Donald Trump, who critics charge with initially downplaying the seriousness of the pandemic, recently admitted that his timeline of getting America back to work by Easter (April 12) is premature. The president recently remarked that social-distancing guidelines should remain in place at least until April 30, as CNN reports. Similarly, Trump intimated that a low-end death toll in the U.S. as a result of the novel coronavirus would amount to 100,000 people.