With 162,488 positive coronavirus cases and the second-highest death toll from the pandemic, Italy today stands in a precarious situation since the first case of COVID-19 was detected in the country. But despite the bleak scenario, experts have predicted that by May 16, the appearance of new COVID-19 cases is expected to stop.

The calculations are on the basis of statistical research conducted by experts from the Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF). The study involved the data from the Civil Protection Department on the rate of infections, via which it was concluded that within the period from May 5 to May 16, coronavirus would be eliminated from the nation

"We are going in the right direction and we must not change our strategy in the least. The return to normality will be a gradual process... the goal is to contain the situation now, and prevent further epidemic outbreaks, such as those seen in the North, and restore as much as possible a normal lifestyle," said Higher Health Council president Franco Locatelli.

As per Mike Ryan, a top emergencies expert at the World Health Organization, that the expected decline in the number of new COVID-19 cases would be thanks to the strict lockdown measures in place since March 9. But he cautioned that even after May 16, the strict rules currently in place should be lifted slowly and with a constant vigilant follow-up.

"What we are likely to see, if you imagine the lockdown and stringent measures in Italy are now in place 2-3 weeks... we should start to see stabilization because the cases we see today really reflect exposures two weeks ago," Ryan said. "So we do hope that Italy and Spain are nearly there on that... And going down [on case numbers] isn't just about a lockdown and let go."

As per their calculations, the EIEF team drew up a tentative date by which each region in Italy would be declared free of new COVID-19 cases:

  • Trentino-Alto Adige (April 6)
  • Liguria (April 7)
  • Umbria (April 7)
  • Basilicata (April 7)
  • Valle d'Aosta (April 8)
  • Puglia (April 9)
  • Friuli Venezia Giulia (April 10)
  • Abruzzo (April 11)
  • Veneto (April 14)
  • Sicily (April 14)
  • Piedmont (April 15)
  • Lazio (April 16)
  • Calabria (April 17)
  • Campania (April 20)
  • Lombardy (April 22)
  • Emilia Romagna (April 28)
  • Tuscany (May 5)

Coronavirus COVID 19 Italy People wear face masks wait at the Termini Central Station during the Coronavirus emergency, on March 9, 2020 in Rome, Italy. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced the closure of the Italian region of Lombardy in an attempt to stop the ongoing coronavirus epidemic in the Italian country. The number of confirmed cases of the Coronavirus COVID-19 disease in Italy has jumped up to at least 6387, while the death toll has surpassed 366. (Photo by Antonio Masiello/Getty Images) Antonio Masiello/Getty Images