A small town in northern Italy has reportedly stopped all new coronavirus infections as part of a successful experiment.
Vò, near Venice, was one of the 11 towns and villages at the centre of the country’s COVID-19 outbreak and began the trial at the start of the pandemic in Europe.
The experiment involved blanket testing of the town’s entire population of 3,300 people and the imposition of very strict quarantine on those infected and their contacts.
Italian news reports suggest the town has not registered new cases since Friday.
“Testing was vital, it has saved many lives,” mayor Giuliano Martini was quoted by the country’s media.
Andrea Crisanti, an infections expert at Imperial College London, who has been involved in the village’s efforts to combat the virus told Italy’s broadcast media that continuous testing and retesting of the whole population made the difference.
Professor Crisanti said: “In Vo Euganeo we tested all the inhabitants, even those who were asymptomatic.
“All citizens were put in isolation, so they could not transmit the disease.