• Gianluca Reale

«Covid-19 emergency could finish on April 30th in Sicily»

The end of the Covid-19 emergency in Sicily could come soon. Even on April 30th. According to the projection made by the National Observatory on Health in the Italian Regions, coordinated by Professor Walter Ricciardi, Director of the Observatory and Professor of Hygiene at the Catholic University, and by Dr. Alessandro Solipaca, Scientific Director of the Observatory, Sicily could be among the first Italian regions to reach the fateful day when there are zero infections. According to the projection, in fact, Italy could have different times in the Regions depending on the territories more or less exposed to the epidemic: in Lombardy and Marche, probably, the absence of new cases will occur not before the end of June, in Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany not before the end of May. In the other regions, the elimination of the infections could occur between the third week of April and the first week of May. «At this moment it is more than ever necessary to provide an assessment of the gradualness and evolution of the infections, in order to give the necessary support to the important political choices of the coming days» says Dr. Alessandro Solipaca. The new SARS CoV-2 coronavirus has so far resulted in over 22,000 and 700 deaths in Italy, where there are currently around 172,000 and 400 infected. «The National Observatory on Health in the Italian Regions has carried out an analysis with the aim of identifying, not the exact date, but the date before which it is unlikely to expect the elimination of new infections - explains Dr. Solipaca - and based on the data made available daily by the Civil Protection from 24 February to 17 April».

The statistical models estimated for each Region are regressive (non-linear in nature) and, therefore, are not epidemiological, therefore not based on the amount of the exposed population, the susceptible population and the contagious coefficient R0, but approximate the trend of new cases observed over time. The projections take into account the lockdown measures introduced by the DPCM. Therefore, any measures to ease the lockdown, with the reopening of the activities and the movement of people who should intervene starting today, would make the projections no longer likely. Finally, it is emphasized that the precision of the projections is linked to the correct detection of the new infections, it is in fact known that these can be underestimated due to the asymptomatic infections and the number of swabs made. According to the Observatory's projections, Basilicata and Umbria were the first to get out of the contagion from Covid-19, regions which on April 17 had only 1 and 8 new cases respectively; the last would be the Regions of the Center-North in which the infection started earlier. In Lombardy, where the first infection occurred, the resetting of new cases cannot be expected before June 28, in the Marche region not before June 27. In fact, for both Regions the downward trend is particularly slow. In Southern Italy, the elimination of new infections should begin to take place between the end of April and the beginning of May. The projections carried out show that the epidemic is reducing very slowly, therefore these data suggest that the transition to the so-called "phase 2" should take place gradually and at different times from Region to Region.

People (absolute values) positive and deceased on 17 April 2020 for Covid-19 and minimum date absence of new cases of contagion by Region