COVID-19: An executive report. April 2020 update

Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei – Commissione Salute

Maurizio Cecconi, Guido Forni, Alberto Mantovani

The first version of this Report was issued on March 25, 2020. The Lincei Health Committee (Commissione Salute) plans to update and upload this report on a monthly basis. The opinions here expressed fall within the sole responsibility of the above mentioned Commissione.


Italy and the entire world are currently facing the dramatic challenge of the SARS-Cov-2 virus. In the face of this unexpected pandemic, which is putting many aspects of human civilization in great difficulty, the Commissione Salute of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei felt that it was its social responsibility to provide the society at large with an Executive Summary of the current knowledge on the origin, mechanisms treatment available to tackle this new virus.
This Report does not intend to provide a comprehensive state-of-the-art review, but rather a snapshot of this rapid evolving situation, a field undergoing rapid evolution, with a daily flood of scientific publications and non-peer reviewed reports. The preparation of a COVID-19 report in this context is therefore a risky undertaking and the drafters of this document are well aware of their limits.

With the limits of the metaphor, we are experiencing wartime medicine and wartime scientific research. We are too often called upon to respond to the plight of patients with empirical approaches. Despite these conditions, a rigorous assessment of the data remains and increasingly becomes an absolute obligation. Finding a balance between emergency and methodological rigor represents a major challenge.
Hopefully, with the above mentioned cautionary remarks, this report will provide for the moment the tools to better understand and respond to the unprecedented challenge we are facing.

May 1st, 2020