Coronavirus, Update April 16th, Day 56

Coronavirus, Update April 16th, Day 56

Overall data from Lombardy is favorable as the region registered 941 new cases on a total of 10,000 tests.   277 of those were in the province of Milan, 102 in the city.

Perhaps the most telling sign that the epidemic is waning is the drop in hospitalizations (-687) and a continued decrease in ICU patients.

The amount of deceased (231) remains high,  in line with what we’ve seen in the past days.

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The regional authority also reported 541 people recovered (discharged from hospital or emergency center) and 898 new cases of home isolation.

In Lombardy, we’re moving towards the 4th of May with a steady increase in mobility of the population, today it was already at some 42% of the pre-lockdown level.  In the coming weeks, the Region is planning to closely map general mobility and invites everyone to publicize the usage of the “Alert LOM” application (something we’ve done in the past and are more than willing to do again). 

On the other hand, the number of new cases on the national level increased, with total of 3786 new positives, in the face of a consider number of tests (61k).  On positive note, even on national level we also see a drop in new hospital admissions as well as the number of people in the ICU. The number of healed patients totaled 2000.

72% of the “actively positive” patients are currently in self-isolation.  We have repeated several times our observations regarding this data and would urge you to consult the regional graphs for further considerations.   

The number of deceased totaled 525, which is pretty much unchanged from recent days.  

We note, with greater concern, a worsening of the numbers coming from the Piemonte region which today were similar to the totals in Lombardy but on half the number of tests. The “traffic light” slide is quite telling.  Overall a discreet increase in several regions brings the total for Italy to 2.3%.   I would suggest that this number be taken lightly, given the high number of tests executed. It’s reminiscent to the increase we saw yesterday, to be considered more a fluctuation than a trend.   

In the face of these numbers, it’s hard not to feel greater apprehension over the maneuvers being discussed to dismantle the spacing measures which have been put in place. We hope these initiatives will be taken with a great deal of caution and common sense.  The Istituto Superiore di Santita wars that, based on the first serological tests (and contrary to what is widely believed) a large proportion of the population has yet to come in contact with the virus and is therefore still susceptible to the disease.  The data, which varies from region to region, is between 85% – 95%.  We remain confident that the coming days will bring more encouraging data and not the possibility of further delays.

We have time. May the 4th be with you.


Dr. Paolo Spada
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He is a vascular surgeon at the Humanitas Institute in Milan: this article, also published on his Facebook profile, is a daily update regarding the trend of COVID-19 in Italy based on official data published after 6 pm by the Ministry of Health.

The reports I publish here are based on official information. I am a doctor, and I report the numbers that the Ministry of Health issues every evening after 6pm. My job was to automate a system of graphs that show the same data over time, and divided by areas, a few minutes later the dissemination of raw data. It is a useful job, first for me, to understand the progress of the epidemic, but that many websites, and newspapers, do better than me, with interactive and much more complete graphics (as well as all over the world, not Italy only). What I add, taking advantage of some years of experience in the development of algorithms applied to medicine, is a series of projections, that is, attempts to predict the epidemic in the following weeks. It is not a question of wanting to see in the crystal ball, but only of getting an idea of ​​the possible scenario, which day by day you can glimpse on the basis of the real data available. The algorithms were initially designed on the basis of the data of the experience of the epidemic in China, the only available benchmark, against which our numbers, which can be almost superimposed in the first few weeks, vary significantly over the course of days. The projections therefore change, as data is acquired, and are also subject to “assumptions” which presuppose a certain degree of arbitrariness. Among the various hypotheses, I try to represent the “minimum” scenario, that is, the one that will probably happen even in the best of cases, or for good that the contagion goes from here on. Compared to this “little but safe” (which however is never safe) I prefer to contemplate more severe scenarios only if supported by further evidence. Finally, it should be added that the same official data are often incomplete, discontinuous, and discordant in the method of collection between one area and another in the country. An example is that of the number of infections, widely and variously underestimated, but it is not the only one, unfortunately. Although with many limitations, and lacking in the representation of the spread spread in the asymptomatic or paucisymptomatic population, these reports still provide a reading of the health burden, the effort required of hospitals, intensive care, and the number of deaths. The emergency is here, and this remains my focus, with the sole purpose of being somehow useful, and in absolute good faith. I therefore distrust anyone from the improper use, or in any case not previously authorized, of the images and comments. The content of these posts is the result of an initiative carried out in a personal capacity, in no way related to my professional activities and the institutions to which I belong. On the other hand, I have an obligation to mention, with pride, the commitment and the high social and human profile shown by doctors, nurses, and by all the staff and management of Humanitas Research Hospital in coping, at the forefront of this dramatic emergency.