South Africa has registered 60 new Covid-19 related deaths bringing the death toll to 908 while the total number of infections is at 43 434. FILE PHOTO African News Agency(ANA)

Experts disagree over claims that Covid-19 losing its potency

“We need to be exceptionally careful not to create a sense that, all of a sudden, the virus, by its own volition, has now decided to be less pathogenic. That is not the case at all.”

DURBAN – World Health Organization’s (WHO) Michael Ryan and several other experts on viruses and infectious diseases have slammed Italian Dr. Alberto Zangrillo; following his comments that Covid-19 was losing its potency.

Zangrillo, who is the head of intensive care at the San Raffaele hospital in Milan in Lombardy (the epicenter of Italy’s coronavirus outbreak), caused a stir on Sunday by telling Italian media that a study by his colleague had shown that the virus was losing its potency.

“We need to be exceptionally careful not to create a sense that, all of a sudden, the virus, by its own volition, has now decided to be less pathogenic. That is not the case at all,”

“It may not be the case that the virus is becoming less potent, it may be the case that we are, as a community and as a globe, are successfully reducing the number, intensity and frequency of exposure to that virus, which then on the face of it, then looks weaker,” said Ryan.

Zangrillo, who is well-known for being the personal doctor of Italy’s former President Silvio Berlusconi, said his comments were backed up by a study conducted by a fellow scientist, Massimo Clementi.

“The study showed the virus was weakening and that, in reality, from the clinical point of view, the virus no longer exists,” said Zangrillo.

Meanwhile, Matteo Bassetti, the director of the infectious diseases clinic of the San Martino hospital in Genoa on Monday also said that the virus is no longer the same, based on his experience. 

“The virus may now be different: the firepower it had two months ago is not the same firepower it has today,” he said.

Oscar MacLean of the University of Glasgow’s Centre for Virus Research said suggestions that the virus was weakening were “not supported by anything in the scientific literature and also seem fairly implausible on genetic grounds.”

 

CORONAVIRUS MONITOR