Coronavirus, Update April 18th, Day 58

Coronavirus, Update April 18th, Day 58

Today we are happy to substitute the press conference of the Protezione Civile which interrupted the ritual for the weekend.
We do it as we do every day, trying to report the available information in the clearest way possible, encouraged by your growing presence via our website which has reached tens of thousands of contacts in a short time period.

Earlier today, we wrote a separate article on the situation in Lombardy, trying to provide some insight to the situation. We invite you to read, share it as it may provide some insight as to what is going on in our region, which has been extremely hard hit.   

Key concepts to know

Leggi l’articolo in Italiano

The numbers from today add little to this theme, which is extremely close to our hearts, nor does it add much news to the overall situation, on which we are cautiously optimistic.  In Lombardy, the number of new cases totaled 1.246 with an always elevated number of tests (11.818). 

The amount of deaths in the region were just under the 200 threshold, a level we were hoping to abandon far sooner.

The amount of new patients admitted to hospitals continued to drop significantly confirming the trend of the last days: the virus is less aggressive, it is still among us but our measures have greatly limited its destructive potential.   Since the start, we have seen a high percentage of patients who overcome the infection with few symptoms, we should not be alarmed that many others (even asymptomatic) are still being found as we aggressively extend our search.   If anything we should find comfort in the amount of patients being discharged from the hospitals, the number of the seriously ill is always dropping which is confirming that the virus is always more limited, more controllable.

The situation in the rest of the country is stable, with the number of new cases equal to those from yesterday with the various regions in line with the increase we’re seeing nationally, at roughly 2%.  Piemonte remains the region with the most worrisome data, although this seems to the result of well identified clusters which would lead one to think it is not the result of a new, uncontrolled contagion.  Hopefully it has nothing to do with the sudden increase in cases in Valle d’Aosta which only yesterday Ansa had described as one of the regions with the most positive trends.  As we have learned, we shouldn’t get too alarmed over these small numbers which may pop up.  

On a positive note, the overall testing situation was quite high throughout the country with almost all the regions testing aggressively. The same goes for the drop in hospitalizations which is clearly a good sign.  

We can continue to follow the positive trend with the hope that, those who will determine the measures for the re-opening of the country will be illuminated.  It is a givern that on the 4th of May we will still be seeing new cases of the virus, apart from a few of the green regions you find on our slide.

Have a good evening.


Dr. Paolo Spada
Link to my Facebook page

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We will take care of notifying you via e-mail when there are new updates and relevant information (in italian).

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.