Coronavirus, the change of strategy in Lombardy: “Taking charge and monitoring of Covid patients by general practitioners”


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Make multiple swabs. For days and from many quarters – as the infectious disease specialist of Sacco Massimo Galli had already done – people have been asked to perform tests on asymptomatics to reach the greatest number of infected people and try to further stem the infections. Veneto, as a region, had applied a blanket strategy – which however appears impracticable in numbers – and now Lombardy also seems to follow this path. Even if the Lombard Councilor for Welfare Giulio Gallera, in Agorà answering a question about the possibility of making tampons even for asymptomatics: “What we do and what they do in Piacenza is exactly the same thing. In Piacenza, the general practitioner reports who must make the swab, which is what is happening and will take place in the Lombardy Region. There are no Regions that do tampons and Regions that do not“.

But then he also added that the Pirellone “yesterday approved a resolution that provides taking charge and monitoring on the territory by family doctors, including through telemedicine systems, of both Covid patients who have been discharged but have not yet recovered from either those who start having the first symptoms“, Recalled Gallera. The action of the family doctors started a few days ago and, according to the first data reported today by Corriere della Sera, in Milan the submerged cases of coronavirus already identified, that is, of people who experience similar symptoms, would be around 1800. Ignore the real number of infections can trigger other epidemics of Covid-19 and sAccording to estimates from several American, Chinese and Japanese studies, ‘hidden’ infections could represent 60% of the total, as an article on the Nature magazine website explains. Hence the need to identify the infected without symptoms or with few symptoms.

In Lombardy “today those who have a symptom and who gets worse can have a comparison with the general practitioner who checks the conditions and sends him to the hospital to make the swab, when needed. We are involving family doctors for much more stringent surveillance, this is the correct way to follow the disease, “said Gallera, explaining that for people under monitoring”there will be a wide distribution of kits with mobile phone, oximeter and thermometer“. Right on the distribution of the oximeter to those who are isolated in quarantine, the appeal of the president of 118 has arrived: “A patient cannot be expected to go into respiratory crisis, because at that point he has already fallen into the abyss, the lungs are compromised”.

“The buffer – the commissioner then highlighted – has a relative value. Doing them massively means taking days and days to process them. We have 22 laboratories that process swabs and we manage to make 5,000 a day. We are considering expanding our potential, we are the region with the most centers, but if we make 100-200 thousand tampons per day, how long would it take? It is important to check and monitor health conditions and take action on those in need“.


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