• Sun. Oct 24th, 2021

Covid Italy, Rt index: is it time for a change?


May 10, 2021

Yellow or orange zone? The regions have asked the government for new parameters to decide anti Covid measures and restrictions in Italy. “The first thing that must be overcome today, also considering the contingent situation of the country, is that of the Rt index”, said Massimiliano Fedriga, the president of the Conference of the Regions and president of the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region. But is RT really out of date? Is it possible to change it? Here’s what the experts say. “Overcoming RT? As a technical-scientific committee, we already expressed our opinion on this last month. We suggested calculating the RT on admissions to covid wards and intensive care units for two reasons: first because in this so the data would be more recent and collected more quickly and secondly because it would be possible to evaluate the impact of the pandemic on regional health systems, less affected by the fluctuations caused by the number of positive swabs “, Fabio said yesterday in an interview with Adnkronos Ciciliano, secretary in the first CTS and now a member of the scientific technical committee launched by the Draghi government representing the Civil Protection Department. GISMONDO “RT, in a situation where the percentage of vaccinated people is increasing significantly, no longer has any value” . The position of the microbiologist Maria Rita Gismondo on the contagion index that could be subject to ‘cutting’ in this new phase of the Covid-19 emergency is clear. “It is necessary to evaluate only the saturation of beds in intensive care and deaths”, says to Adnkronos Salute the director of the Laboratory of clinical microbiology, virology and diagnostics of bio-emergencies at the Sacco hospital in Milan. “If these decrease, it can be opened easily”. SALMASO “The Rt parameter is not the only one on which to base all decisions and assign colors to the Regions. Rt, which detects the share of symptomatic cases, is, in fact, an indicator which tells us how much the pandemic accelerates – or decelerates -. The parameters on which to decide to assign restrictions to the various Regions take into account various aspects “, explains Stefania Salmaso, independent epidemiologist of infectious diseases to Adnkronos Salute. “When Rt is below 1 – explains Salmaso – we know that we are in a phase of deceleration and we can predict that the number of total cases will decrease. It is an important parameter, because it allows us to make projections and, as such, I believe At this time, for example, we have observed an increase in the Rt value, while remaining below unity, which means that the cases continue to decrease (because we are below unity) but decrease more slowly. And It is clear that by relaxing the social impact countermeasures, infections can increase “, concludes. SESTILI” The Rt index of the ISS-Ministry of Health has shown that it is no longer adequate because it is based on data that is delayed compared to the current week. try alternative methods, that there are, able to quickly photograph the situation of the present. But this does not mean that we have to reopen everything as someone would like “, Giorgio Sestili underlines at Adnkronos Salute. physicist and creator of the Facebook page ‘Coronavirus – Scientific data and analysis’, taking stock of the epidemiological situation, commenting on the pressure of some Regions in revising the Rt index in the light of the epidemiological framework. “I and many others have been arguing for some time that RT arrives late and that we can afford to lose some accuracy in favor of greater timeliness – explains Sestili – RT identifies a relationship between what happens in a seventh and what happens in the previous seventh. In this report you can put different data, for example the positive cases which, however, have the disadvantage of being affected by the number of swabs performed. I remember that there are those who developed the CovIndex algorithm , which has the advantage of being available much faster than the Rt index. In fact, the delay is about 13 days from the infection, compared to 30 days for the Rt index “. “Then there are those who, like the physicist Roberto Battiston”, former president of ASI and professor of experimental physics at the University of Trento, “have developed another Rt, which is calculated starting from admissions to intensive care, an accurate parameter that does not it depends on the swabs made “. In short, Sestili concludes, “there are already alternative RTs that have proven to work, we can use them to the fullest”. CARTABELLOTTA “Today we are in full descent phase of the third wave, surely for this week we will have this continuation of the descending phase. On the other hand, the ISS has reported a slight increase in the Rt index. The Regions say that the parameters for the color system must be changed, if there are any changes they must be made quickly, otherwise many regions will end up in the orange zone “, he said Nino Cartabellotta, president of the Gimbe Foundation, to the microphones of the broadcast ‘Italy s’รจ awakened’ on Radio Cusano Campus. “If the government says that the reopenings are irreversible – he underlined – this must correspond to a change in these parameters. Starting from next week the index is likely to increase further as we will see the effects of the first reopenings. With the completion of the vaccination. of older people, we should have greater peace of mind in reopening “.