Coronavirus, how to read the Civil Protection bulletin and the contagion data


New infections, deaths, tampons. For days, for months now, also on these pages, to guarantee you the most correct, complete and punctual information, we have unfortunately acquired familiarity with the terms related to the Coronavirus emergency and with the Civil Protection bulletin, issued at 6pm. An essential tool to understand the progress of the infection but which is not always easy to understand. To help you navigate this sea of ​​data and statistics, with the hope of being able to forget about it as soon as possible, we thought of offering you a guide on how to deal with its reading.

The most useful way to read the bulletin outline – It may seem strange but, to be more understandable, the table (find today’s one here) should be read from right to left. Starting from the data relating to the tampons, then moving on to the total cases, excluding the deceased and recovered to obtain the currently positive subjects and finally to see how they are divided on the territory, in the hospital or within the home.

Today’s Bulletin – You can find at this link the complete data and a brief analysis of today’s numbers, the ones we offer you and we will continue to offer you day after day at the time of publication by the Civil Protection. In summary, the contagion data are as follows.

Currently positive: 28,997 (-1,640)
Died: 34,223 (+56, + 0.2%)
Discharged / Healed: 173.085 (+1.747, + 1%)
Intensive care patients: 227 (-9, -3.8%)
Buffers: 4.514.441 (+70.620)
Total cases: 236.305 (+163, + 0.07%)

Regional bulletins – Before going into detail, it is good to specify how the national bulletin is composed. At different times of the day, each regional department of Civil Protection provides the data found on its territory. Although the criteria tend to be uniform, there are slight differences that can lead to inconsistencies. It has happened that some Regions did not indicate certain data by 6 pm, with the consequence that they were then counted at national level the following day, slightly “falsifying” the national bulletin. Furthermore, not all criteria are standard. For example, tampons: to date, Basilicata has never indicated the existence of two tests carried out on the same person. This means that either a second swab is not used to ascertain healing, or it is simply not reported.

Specifically: the Lombardy bulletin – Given that the region has been the epicenter at the Italian level of the epidemic, for some time we have presented you, more or less simultaneously with the national bulletin, that of Lombardy. Also in this case, there is a certain difference in the indicators: it presents only the new infections, not the increase or decrease in active cases compared to the previous day. In addition, he talks about discharged subjects, which at national level are generally included in the healed: further on, we briefly explain the difference, but in essence the bulletin issued at 6 pm by the Civil Protection overestimates the healed in Lombardy, because a discharged subject is not necessarily also healed .


The new infections – It is the number of those who have been tested and have been successful. It does not take into account, for obvious reasons, those infected who, having not carried out the swab, are not among the confirmed cases. In the past 24 hours there have been 163.

Currently positive – It is the total number of people who, at the time of the publication of the bulletin, are affected by Covid-19. Compared to the total of cases, it does not include the deceased and the cured. Today there are 28,997.

Increase or decrease – It is the variation in the number of subjects currently positive compared to the previous day. It takes into account the newly infected (which lead to an increase), as well as the healed and deceased (which lead to a decrease). This is the figure around which there has been and we are still experiencing greater confusion, also because in the initial stages of the epidemic (since there were not many dead or cured from the outset), it did not differ much from the number of new infections. For a long time it has had a positive sign. It is now negative, considering that dead and (fortunately above all) recovered are more than the new ones infected. In the last 24 hours it is equal to -1.640: the sum of dead (56) and recovered (1,747) in fact exceeds the total of new cases (163).

Deceased – It is the number of people who died after officially contracting Covid-19. As explained several times by both the Civil Protection and doctors, it does not necessarily indicate that the main cause of death is infection: for this reason, validation of the ISS is necessary, which takes a long time. Vice versa, this figure does not take into account people who, despite having contracted the disease, never entered the statistics of confirmed cases for not having taken the test. In the last 24 hours, 56 were totaled 34,223 dead since the start of the pandemic.

Heal – One of the voices that, without going into the merits, creates greater scientific debate. It includes both subjects who have simply been discharged and healed from a clinical point of view, and those who have actually recovered at a virological level according to the guidelines of the Superior Health Council, because they are subjected to tests that ascertain their negativity. Today there were 1,747, for a total of 173,085 since the start of the pandemic.

In home isolation – They are the people who, having no symptoms or having mild symptoms, have tested positive for Coronavirus and cannot move from their home until a new tampon ensures that it is cured. I’m in quarantine. And they are the vast majority of the infected: to date, 24,877 people.

Hospitalized with symptoms – These are subjects who, having tested positive, show symptoms that make hospitalization necessary, but do not require the use of intensive care machines. To date, there are 3,893 inpatients.

Hospitalized in intensive care – A key fact: indicates the people currently in intensive care. It is a purely numerical index: it does not specify why a certain number of people left T. I. (they can in fact be discharged but hospitalized in another department or deceased) and does not indicate how many people entered or left T. I. during the day. To be clear: yesterday there were 236 inpatients in intensive care, today there are 227. This does not mean that 9 people actually went out of intensive care. They could, probably are, more and new entries have made the number of resignations less evident. To put it bluntly: absurdly, all the people who were in intensive care yesterday may have come out of it and been replaced by new infected people. Obviously this is not so, but it is an example that we hope will make the concept clear.

Swabs – This is the number of tests carried out on the current date. It has grown progressively: on March 23, for example, the swabs made were 275,468, with an increase of 17,066 compared to the previous day. In today’s bulletin we reached 4,514,441, an increase of 70,620 compared to yesterday. In practice, over time it has gone from about 20 thousand to a double, triple or even greater number of tests carried out per day (during the weekend they decrease). For this reason, compared to the absolute number of swabs carried out, it is even more relevant to relate this figure to the number of confirmed cases. In any case, the count of tests carried out in one day does not tell us how many people have been subjected to tampons.

Cases tested – In fact, this is the number that indicates how many people have actually been checked in a day. To date, compared to 4,514,441 swabs made, the cases tested are 2,784,196. Because? The answer is simple: in many cases the swab is carried out on people who have already been tested and who need to carry it out again, either because they were previously negative but could have contracted the virus, or especially because they were previously positive and a new test must be performed to find that it heals.

Total cases – This is the number of people for whom a case of Coronavirus infection has been confirmed since the outbreak. It is made up of the total number of active cases, plus the healed and the deceased. As of today, there are 236,305, of which 28,997 are currently positive, 173,085 healed and 34,223 died.


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