Coronavirus, Update April 19th, Day 59

Coronavirus, Update April 19th, Day 59

In Lombardy, a total of 855 new cases on 8.800 tests administered.  In Italy 3.000 new cases on 50.000 tests.  

In short, nothing all that new from last days.  The drop in ICU patients continues while total number of people hospitalized increased driven by some 300 new admissions in Lombardy. 
Essentially we have refilled about half of the hospital beds which were freed up yesterday.
InLombardy, the last days had shown a marked drop, not only in absolute numbers but also in percent versus all of the other regions. Today’s data partially offsets this move.

Key concepts to know

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In a strong positive sign, the Niguarda hospital in Milan, closed one of the 5 new ICU units created in the last weeks to combat the virus.

In the “traffic lights” slide, green is beginning to dominant the panorama on the national level,  even the Piemonte region today is some positive signs (not yet nearly enough!). We need to see Puglia and Liguria reflect similar trends, regardless the overall national growth rate showed a drop to 1.7%.

If you want some comfort, have a look at the international dashboard and you will find numbers around the world which are substantially different than what we’re currently seeing.

Central and Southern Italy show improvement in our overall projections, which hadn’t been updated for some time, although the issue of home isolation remains.   We would like to see some impact on the blue part of the graph which reflects the number of people healed.  It’s clear what the issue is for Lombardy (as we have touched upon several times in the past) and we have some doubts about other regions as well.

We have already touched upon several themes in our earlier post from today, we don’t want to ruin the mood. I will let you have a thoughtful look at the usual graphs & projections which can surely yield some further insights, especially the graphs focused on the regions and provinces.

Have a good evening,


Dr. Paolo Spada
Link to my Facebook page

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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.