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CercaCovid, how the Lombardy project works to map coronavirus risk

By downloading the Civil Protection AllertaLom app, you can choose whether to fill in a questionnaire to help virologists and epidemiologists trace the infection risk map. The goal is to reach one million downloads

coronavirus
(image: Lombardy Region)

In these hours Regione Lombardia is inviting all citizens to install the Civil Protection app AllertaLom on your mobile devices. The application, which has existed for some time, has been updated with the addition of the project CercaCovid , thanks to which experts and institutions hope to draw the map of the risk of contagion from the new coronavirus Sars-Cov-2 . Like? Each user agrees to complete a simple questionnaire , a sort of triage remotely to highlight the appearance of symptoms Covid-like – 19 over time, areas and probability of diffusion based on the movements.

📱 Help us to create a contagion risk map: download the LOM alert app, fill in the questionnaire and receive the #covid emergency info 19. # Let's stop it together with #CercaCovid!

Android ➡ https://t.co/SmgxWjlPHO

iOS ➡ https://t.co/elljObMgpJ

👇https: //t.co/vj 33 DmpUzT

– Lombardy Region (@RegLombardia) April 2, 2020

AllertaLom

AllertaLom is the application of the Civil Protection for Lombardy developed well before of the coronavirus emergency to receive notifications and information on the problems of the territory . Updates weather , snow risk and avalanches , hydrogeological risk, etc are the highlighted sections and a map of the region with a chromatic legend highlights any critical issues area by area. There is also the possibility of setting up preferred municipalities to receive alerts and notifications.

In the days of coronavirus, shortly after the outbreak of the epidemic in Lombardy, AllertaLom had already been updated for provide Civil Protection notices about the emergency, but now the Region has taken a step further and has requested one further development of the data collection app.

CercaCovid

The new app update, therefore, includes a section on the project called CercaCovid , developed together with the doctors and researchers of the San Matteo Hospital and of the University of Studies of Pavia to collect data that allow you to draw the Covid infection map of Covid – 19.

By joining the project (users must check the interest in receiving notifications about the coronavirus risk and accept terms and conditions, by viewing the documents relating to privacy), users fill in the form anonymous a questionnaire simple and fast, a sort of triage at a distance. Information such as gender , municipality of residence and work, if you move to go in the workplace, if you have had symptoms (loss of taste and smell for example) and contacts with people who tested positive in Covid – 19 in the last two weeks, if you have previous pathological conditions (overweight, diabetes, hypertension).

After filling in the questionnaire the first time it is possible to update it at most once a day and therefore report whether the conditions have changed or remained unchanged .

The goal – reads on the website of the Region – is “to cross the analysis of the data collected with other data available to the Lombardy Region and, starting from the clinical evidence provided by the healthcare facilities and from the facilities in the regional territory, calculate the degree of risk of contagion , thus strengthening the protections for all citizens, symptomatic and asymptomatic “.

“The information collected will contribute to feeding a continuously updated” contagion risk map “, which will allow experts to develop forecasting models on contagion. The aim is in fact to provide the Regional Crisis Management Unit with useful elements for locating the areas more likely to host an active outbreak, or to detect the resurgence of the infection in areas considered less at risk “.

But it is only the first step of the CercaCovid project, it has declared Fabrizio Sala, vice president of the Lombardy Region. Further updates of the app will follow, which may ask the user for more information but may also release it.

Some initial difficulties

After Sala's announcement and tutorial, however, everything did not go smoothly. The update for the addition of the section of the CercaCovid project should have been immediately available, but some users have reported on the social networks of the difficulties , such as the inability to update or some system cumbersome .

Someone already raises problems of privacy and little transparency. In this regard, the Lombardy Region and Aria Spa, the digital company that developed the application, reassure: the questionnaires are anonymous , the data and symptoms reported are not connected to the telephone users and there is no localization of the user. At least for now.

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