The coronavirus pandemic in Italy might reach its peak soon, the country's top health authorities said on Friday.
"We have registered signs of a slowdown (in the contagion), which make us presume that we might be near the peak," Silvio Brusaferro, president of Italy's National Health Institute (ISS), told a press conference on Friday, adding that "We have not yet reached the peak, and we have not surpassed it."
Brusaferro explained that the trends of the virus spreading within the country -- according to the findings of ISS epidemiologists -- "seemed to have showed a slowdown starting on March 19-20."
"This means (restrictive) measures so far implemented are producing their effects," the ISS chief stressed, warning that appropriate individual behavior would become even more crucial from now on.
"We are slowing down in the increase, we are not decreasing yet ... and the decrease -- when it comes -- will be built on our own personal conduct," he said.
The latest figures provided by the Civil Protection Department showed the pandemic had claimed 8,165 lives in the locked-down European country until Thursday.
The cumulative number of confirmed cases was 80,539, with an increase in new active infections of 4,492 cases on Thursday against the previous day, according to Agostino Miozzo, director general of the Civil Protection Department and coordinator of the Technical and Scientific Committee.
Such daily increase has pushed the nationwide number of active infections to 62,013.