According to government officials in Italy and Spain, their countries have reached the top of the inflection curve for the coronavirus.
Spain lost 849 people to the virus on Tuesday, 864 on Wednesday and 950 between Wednesday and Thursday. 8,102 new cases were announced between Wednesday and Thursday, a 7.9% increase, marking the lowest percentage increase in cases since lockdown measures were implemented three weeks ago. On March 13 the rate of increase was 42.7%; the rate has risen as high as 70%. The Guardian noted that between March 15-25, the number of coronaviruses cases grew 20% per day, but after March 25 therate dropped to 12% and lower. María José Sierra of Spain’s center for health emergencies said on Thursday, “Generally speaking, we can say that yesterday’s rise in cases, which was around 8%, tells us that we’re carrying on in the stabilization phase of the pandemic.”
Spanish Health Minister Salvador Ella said the peak of the curve had been reached, while cautioning of “many difficult weeks ahead,” as The Daily Mail reported. Ella continued, “I’m aware that when we speak about the number of deaths, there are no positive figures. But allow me to offer you at least a glimmer of hope. The data shows us that the numbers have stabilized and we have achieved the first objective which is to reach the peak of the curve and we are beginning the slowing down phase. However, because of the very nature of the pandemic, we still have many difficult weeks ahead of us.”
Meanwhile, in Italy, the curve seems to have reached its peak; The Guardian reported:
Italy’s civil protection authority announced on Wednesday that the country’s tally – already the highest in the world – had climbed by 727 deaths to 13,155, and that the number of confirmed infections, including deaths, recovered and current cases, had risen by 4,782, taking the total to 110,574. But the daily rise in the number of deaths was sharply down on Tuesday’s figure of 837, and the 2,937 new active cases represented an increase of 3.8% – more than the previous day, but confirming a declining trend.
Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza stated, “Experts say we are on the right track and the drastic measures we have taken are starting to yield results,” adding it would be “unforgivable to assume this was a definitive defeat” of Covid-19, which he called “a long battle.”
The first confirmed cases of coronavirus in Italy came at the end of January; Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said the two individuals were Chinese tourists who had landed in Rome. Spain’s first confirmed case on the Spanish mainland came in late February after a woman in Barcelona became ill after traveling to Italy.
Vox reported, “The first positive cases of coronavirus on the Spanish mainland came on February 26, including in both Madrid and Barcelona, the country’s two most important cities. It was then that the heads of Spain’s largest public hospitals told the Health Ministry ‘more tests had to be done, and as soon as possible.’”