Coronavirus, Gimbe denounces Lombardy: Rt index distorted to modify data

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The complaint comes in the crucial hours when the government must decide the “free everyone” on travel from June 3. The announcement is expected tomorrow. The independent analysis of Gimbe adds to the doubts of scientists expressed in recent days. Lombardy, the most affected by the epidemic, is not ready for four reasons. One: the percentage of positives per day is higher than what is reported. To understand the real incidence of new cases on the number of swabs performed, it is not necessary to take, as is done in daily reports, the total of swabs, but only the “diagnostic”, excluding those performed to confirm virological healing or for the need of repeat the test. So it is clear that, in the week between 4 and 27 May, the percentage of positive diagnostic swabs in Lombardy (6%) is higher than the national average (2.4%). The latest figure reported by Lombardy is instead 1.7%. Critical situation also for Liguria (5.8%) and, to a lesser extent, for Piedmont (3.8%), Puglia (3.7%) and Emilia-Romagna (2.7%).

Two: the number of positives is underestimated because there is still a massive rear-end collision. There are 1,608 “diagnostic” swabs per 100,000 inhabitants in Lombardy, slightly above the national average of 1,343. Against the 4,076 of the Aosta Valley and the 4,038 of the Autonomous Province of Trento, the regions that make the most. Veneto is at 1,800. Now, since to find the virus you have to look for it, the doubt is: how many cases would there really be if Lombardy made a massive rear-end collision? “In the three regions with a high incidence of new cases, the propensity to execute tampons remains slightly above the national average both in Piedmont (1,675) and in Lombardy (1,608) – reaffirms Gimbe -, while in Liguria (1,319) it stands just below ».

Three: the new daily cases, per 100,000 inhabitants, are three times the national average, but they are the least known. The incidence of new cases per 100,000 inhabitants, compared to the national average (32), is significantly higher in Lombardy (96). Liguria (76) and Piedmont (63) follow. If the Molise data (44) is not of concern because it is linked to a recent outbreak already identified and circumscribed, that of Emilia-Romagna (33) could be underestimated by the number of diagnostic swabs (1,202 per 100,000 inhabitants) well below the national average (1,343). Here Gimbe underlines, the one already highlighted by the epidemiologist Vittorio Demicheli, representative of the Regions in the control room of the Ministry of Health: “Beyond the official bulletins, the data that concern Lombardy, are the least known”. Conclusion of Cartabellotta: “23 days after the loosening of the lockdown, therefore, the contagion curve is not adequately under control in Lombardy, Liguria and Piedmont: in these Regions there is the highest percentage of positive diagnostic swabs, the greatest increase in new cases, compared to a limited aptitude for performing diagnostic swabs. In Emilia-Romagna, an even lower propensity could distort the number of new cases downwards “.

Four: Lombardy overestimates the healed because it communicates them together with the discharged whose healing status is not known, clinical or virological. This means that the 24,037 potentially infected individuals today can actually be more. And this, together with the limited propensity to make tampons, underestimate the value of the Rt index.

Lombardy’s response is immediate and very hard. «The statements are very serious, offensive and above all not true – reads in a note. In Lombardy, since the beginning of the pandemic, the data are published transparently and sent to the institutions and health authorities in charge. Nobody, starting from the Istituto Superiore di Sanità, has ever questioned the quality of our work which, in fact, the ISS has always validated considering it suitable to represent the situation in our region “. “And so unacceptable – concludes the Note – listen to similar statements that we hope will be corrected by those who made them ».

May 28, 2020 (change May 28, 2020 | 12:49)

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