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Israeli doctor in Padua says Italy will ‘flatten the curve’ in weeks

An Israeli doctor in Padua tells Zman Yisrael, The Times of Israel’s Hebrew-language sister site, about treatments that have been effective in Italy.

“In the past few days, people have begun to recover, in part due to new medications and also as a result of the fact that it takes some two weeks to recover from the virus,” says Carmi Sheffer.

He attributes the high death rates in Italy to the spread within geriatric hospitals. “The moment the virus arrives in a place where an elderly population is concentrated, it spreads like wildfire,” he says.

In Padua, the autoimmune medicine Tocilizumab has proven effective, but can only be used once established that no other viruses are present in the patients’ bodies, he says. The hospital where he works has also seen positive results from the antiviral drug Remdesivir, he says.

“We will control the virus and flatten the curve within a few weeks, but the closure will continue until June,” he predicts. “Italy is ahead of Israel by something like a month, so in my opinion, [in Israel] it will end only in July.”

But he also predicts that Israel could see soaring death rates, like Italy.

“I do not think the Israeli health care system is prepared for an outbreak on this scale. Israel’s advantage is the army, which can build field hospitals to treat mild cases, which is should,” he says.

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