Coronavirus, Update April 26th, Day 66

Coronavirus, Update April 26th, Day 66

Stable numbers in Lombardy.   902 new positive cases on total of 5600 people tested and total of 10.800 tests. Hospital admissions and the overall situation in the ICUs unchanged, while we finally saw drop in deaths (56).  In Italy 2.324 new cases on 50,000 tests administered and 260 deaths.

Several regions have inverted the in/out ratio even without counting those in home isolation, which are beginning to show up.

In the graph of showing the percentage increases, even Piemonte drops to 1.6%, which gives us a lot of satisfaction: we always believed it would happen. Only Liguria is lagging, while the national number is 1.2%.

Key concepts to know

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Hospital loads are roughly 30% below peak levels, that number for ICUs is 50% below peak levels. Lazio is lagging despite their number of new cases being constantly below 100. They are not even seeing a drop in home isolations as we see in Liguria, Puglia and even Lombardy.

Overall, the curves reflcting growth of the virus in Italy, especially when compared to other countries in Europe and around the world, show a situation which has stablized and can now be considered under control.

At this point, I think the time has arrived to stop producing this report on a daily basis.

The data which we have seen together in the last two months had a central role; much of the work for all of us, has been to interpret it. Otain understandable information, at least partially reliable and possibly useful. This was crucial in the weeks in which from day to day many of us were oscillating from enormous fear to great hope.

Now that the epidemic is entering the final phase, and the trend within the hospitals has consolidated, we have little to add on the overall number of new cases.  For the most part,  these cases are not actual new contagions but pre-exisiting positives of people who are asystematic. The fact is, the fire is extinguishing and apart from flare-ups, which we sincerely hope not to see, we do not expect many day to day surprises.  The justifiable worry over the reopening of activities, etc. will be measured over course of weeks and months, not days.

We will continue, as many of you, to monitor the data of the epidemic which we have learned take for what it is, with the proper attention but without wasted anxiety.  I will most certainly comment on them again in the future, when it makes sense to do so given unexpected news or even just to take stock of the situation.  All of us have to put this emergency behind us, both materially and psychologically and enter a new phase. Even this daily appointment each evening belongs to the phase which is ending. Now we have to think to the future.

Just to be clear, for me, despite the terrible situation, this will remain a touching memory,   The unexpected sharing of these posts, your warmth and grace of your comments have given me (and many others) real comfort and hope.

Your attention and sympathy has never lacked and for this I am very grateful.  Just to note, only in the last two weeks, despite the noted drop in apprehension over the virus, this page had over 200.000 visualizations.  I am sure to have made many new friends and I do not intend to lose them.  We will be in touch a bit less often to see how things are going.

So no goodbyes but a see you soon.
A heartfelt thanks.

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.