Stampa estera

Examining the role of the Italian COVID-19 scientific committee

The main advisory body on the pandemic in Italy includes experts in many fields, but lacks expertise in crucial areas.

In March 2020, a group of 292 Italian scientists wrote an open letter to the prime minister, Giuseppe Conte. Among them were the heads of top biotechnology and clinical research centres in Italy, and experts in molecular testing, virology and microbiology. They proposed a plan to scale up Italy’s COVID-19 diagnostic capacity by harnessing the potential of academic research centres, and offered their laboratories and personnel at no additional cost.

At the time Italy’s death rate was soaring and its hospitals overwhelmed, despite a stringent national lockdown. Patients with symptoms had to wait several days for a swab. Yet, the call remained unanswered. “We received informal news from government officials saying the proposal wasn’t viable”, recalls Andrea Graziani, a professor at the Department of Molecular Biotechnology at the University of Turin, who was among the signatories.



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