Analysis and management of the migrant population for covid19 emergency in the province of lecce
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Local Health Authority, Lecce, Italy
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A401
Background and Objective:
The Covid19 pandemic has been a significant risk factor for the health of migrant populations in Europe and Italy. Objective study: investigate the epidemiology of Covid19 infection in the immigrant population arriving in Salento from 2020 to 2022.

Upon arrival, the Covid19 Surveillance Centre of ASL Lecce is activated. Migrants are hosted in dedicated Reception Centres, screened at time “0” by SARS-CoV-2 test and, in case of quarantine, at subsequent control test. Sample: 4056 migrants welcomed to Salento between April 2020 and October 2022 with 81 arrivals. Data stratified by gender, age, nationality were collected in a database and analyzed with MS-Excel.

Study population: 90% males, 10% females. Average age 24 years, most represented age group 20-29 years (42%), 21% minors. Most represented nationalities: Pakistan (26%), Iran (21%), Iraq (15%), Afghanistan and Egypt (11%). 7% of migrants (266) were positive (92% males, 8% females), average age 25 years, most represented age group 20-29 years (49%), 16% minors. In 2020 9% were positive, in 2021 7% and in 2022 only 2%, with an average of positive for landing of 5%. Positive migrants came mainly from Pakistan (45%), Iran (10%), Bangladesh (9%); ethnic observation shows a higher rate of positivity among Bangladeshi citizens (21%). All positive subjects showed mild symptoms, only 2 hospitalized and no deaths.

The data seem to confirm that young age and lack of comorbidity in immigrant population (healthy migrant) represent protective factors for SARS-CoV-2 infection and complications (hospitalization/deaths), despite the precarious social and health conditions. The Covid19 surveillance system has highlighted the importance for Public Health, to increase attention to the most vulnerable migrant populations, to control and contain the spread of the virus, in particular in the reception facilities, including strengthening vaccination policies and health promotion initiatives and prevention measures.