Sui swabs the executive did not move in time and so the Regions acted in no particular order and already at the end of March they had complained about the lack of reagents. Then in May the Lombard governor Attilio Fontana reiterated how Commissioner Arcuri had sent 3.5 million swabs without reagents.
In the same period, criticisms also came from Confindustria medical devices, which denounced a lack of organization. President Massimiliano Boggetti explained that “sand Italian producers are under no obligation to supply the SSN facilities first, it ends up selling abroad. In short, there was no clarity on needs and on how to obtain supplies“. In essence, the Italian supply chain exists but is forced to export products outside our country. Furthermore, Boggetti underlined how Arcuri contacted Farmindustria and Federchimica, but in reality it is the associated Confindustria medical devices that make the reagents. And coincidentally, the request launched by Arcuri on the market was also the result of dialogue with Confindustria and the manufacturing companies.
In short, Arcuri tried to put a patch. And a few days ago he told the Social Affairs Commission that “Italy is not doing enough swabs for three reasons“, Including the one that”reagents are deficient worldwide“. So the question is still not resolved.
The debate was not lacking either serological tests, analyzes to understand how many people in our country have developed antibodies to the new coronavirus, even in the absence of symptoms. The executive acted late, so much so that the investigation of seroprevalence by the Ministry of Health, Istat and the Italian Red Cross began only on 25 May. In the meantime, the regions have not been waiting. Six have started testing. The first was Veneto on March 31, then Emilia-Romagna on April 3, Lombardy on April 23, Marche and Piedmont on May 4 and Lazio on May 11. All the Regions have identified the recipients of these investigations as health workers. Other targets are law enforcement, corporate workers or citizens.
Let’s go back to the national level. At the end of April, Arcuri had announced that national tests on a sample of 150,000 people would start on May 4. In reality it was not so because the government’s ok arrived on May 10 and then finally on Monday the serological investigation began throughout Italy.
But are the tests reliable? Antonio Cassone public health microbiologist, who headed the Department of Infectious, Parasitic and Immunomediated Diseases of the Higher Institute of Health, underlines ilgiornale.it that “the test tells if a person has antibodies to the virus but does not say how many and which antibodies are needed to be protected by Covid“. Cassone therefore states that “they do not ensure immunity from the disease and above all they do not say whether a person can recover the virus“.
The microbiologist also sheds light on the hospital and home treatment to deal with coronavirus. Highlight that “at the beginning of the epidemic the infection was not actively sought but people were expected to get sick and this means going to the hospital“. The doctor says that “A passive surveillance strategy has been made whereby the virus control is based on the detection of the case of disease, not of infection“. But in reality, as Cassone pointed out, the data showed that 80% of the subjects do not become seriously ill and therefore can stay at home and be followed by the general practitioner. Then the doctor recalls instead that Veneto has searched for the infected and “has been able to better monitor cases through isolation and quarantine“.
Cassone says that the national strategy of intervening on the patient only in case of severe symptoms has been going on for about a month, from the beginning of the epidemic until March 20. According to the expert, it was then noticed that this was wrong, many more swabs were made and many more cases of non-serious infected were found. Just think that “even in Lombardy there were more people at home than in the hospital as shown by data from the Ministry of Health“. The doctor points out that “now we have come to the point that there are many non-serious people at home. After three months, a lot of mild pathology is seen. But that doesn’t mean the virus is less aggressive“.
We are in late May and the app immune for tracing coronavirus infections it is still in the experimental phase. Deputy Minister of Health Sileri has announced that it will be ready for early June. It should be tested in 6 regions but Friuli Venezia Giulia has withdrawn its availability.
Speaking to the Chambers, Prime Minister Conte said on April 21 that the app would be crucial in phase 2, while Arcuri stressed that it could be operational from May. In fact, government guidelines came in late April. Then everything was stopped. In the meantime, a political debate has begun on privacy and the relationship between state and citizen. In addition, it was discussed that the app works if integrated with the national health service. In short, there are a number of problems behind technology. But also of effectiveness as underlined by Adolfo Urso, vice president of Copasir (Parliamentary Committee for the Security of the Republic).
The Senator of Fratelli d’Italia explains that Immuni risks being “ineffective”If it does not respect 4 conditions. First of all “it must be done as quickly as possible – Urso specifies a ilgiornale.it -, it must be downloaded by at least 40% of citizens, a sufficiently large number of swabs and certified tests must be done because otherwise data cannot be put in the app“. Urso then highlights that “it must be interoperable with apps from other European countries, that is, it must communicate in real time with the German, French and so on“.
Copasir vice president confirms that Italy is lagging behind on this technology and says that our country must start as soon as possible “the construction of a national app system integrated into a vast European system“.