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Open AccessArticle

Italian Public Health Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic: Case Report from the Field, Insights and Challenges for the Department of Prevention

1
Department of Health and Social Policies, Autonomous Province of Trento, 38122 Trento, Italy
2
Department of Prevention, Local Health Authority 3 of Venice, 30174 Veneto Region, Italy
3
Department of Prevention, Local Health Authority 1 of Rome, 00135 Lazio Region, Italy
4
Department of Prevention, Local Health Authority 2 of Treviso, 31100 Veneto Region, Italy
5
Department of Prevention, Local Health Authority of Bologna, 40124 Emilia Romagna Region, Italy
6
Department of Prevention, Local Health Authority of Trento, Autonomous Province of Trento, 38123 Trento, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(10), 3666; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17103666
Received: 22 April 2020 / Revised: 15 May 2020 / Accepted: 16 May 2020 / Published: 22 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The COVID-19 Pandemic in Europe: Response to Challenges)
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak is rapidly progressing globally, and Italy, as one of the main pandemic hotspots, may provide some hard lessons for other countries. In this paper, we summarize the current organizational capacity and provide a pragmatic and narrative account of strategies and activities implemented by the Department of Prevention (Dipartimento di Prevenzione)—the regional entity of the Local Health Authority of the Italian National Health Service in charge of public health—since the beginning of the outbreak. We conduct a preliminary analysis of general strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) of the response strategies from a local perspective. Furthermore, we provide firsthand insights on future directions and priorities to manage this unprecedented pandemic. Our case report gives a qualitative view of the healthcare response, based on the experience of frontline professionals, with the aim to generate hypotheses about factors which may promote or hinder the prevention and management of a pandemic locally. We highlight the importance of a public health approach for responding to COVID-19 and reshaping healthcare systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; pandemic response; case report; Italy; hygiene and public health; public health department COVID-19; pandemic response; case report; Italy; hygiene and public health; public health department
MDPI and ACS Style

Torri, E.; Sbrogiò, L.G.; Di Rosa, E.; Cinquetti, S.; Francia, F.; Ferro, A. Italian Public Health Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic: Case Report from the Field, Insights and Challenges for the Department of Prevention. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 3666.

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