On March 11th, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic. The decision has been confirmed pointing to the over 118,000 cases of the coronavirus illness in over 100 countries. In such scenario, world-wide countries are forced to undertake social, economic, and health measures while implementing the National Pandemic Plan.
The Italian Pandemic Plan aims to strengthen preparations for a pandemic both at national and local level so as to:
· Minimise the risk of transmission and limit morbidity and mortality resulting from the pandemic;
· Reduce the impact of the pandemic on health and social services and ensure the maintenance of essential services;
· Guarantee up-to-date and timely information on decisions, health workers, the media and the public
Depending on pandemic phases, the measures and related impact are different. It is possible to distinguish three pandemic stages:
Interpandemic Period (Phases 1-2): In such phases, epidemiological and virological surveillance of the influenza syndrome is maintained
Phases of alert (Phases 3-5): In such phases, action is aimed at improving the COVID-19 syndrome surveillance system and preparation of further activities for timely recognition of influenza cases.
Pandemic phase (Phase 6): In such phases, epidemiological as well as virological surveillance are both maintained while keeping estimate the impact of the pandemic. In this last case, the following indicators are required:
– weekly number of hospital admissions according to diagnosis;
– weekly number of admissions for influenza syndrome resulting in death;
– weekly number of total deaths taken from a sample of communities:
– sentinel monitoring on absenteeism in schools and at work.
In this phase, the impact of measures to restrict the mobility of the population includes:
– Limitations on travel to areas not affected;
– Adoption of common rules of hygiene;
– Isolation of patients with suspect symptoms, preferably at home, to reduce the quantity of resources entailed.