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Sustained coronavirus disease (COVID-19) transmission is ongoing in Italy, with 7,375 reported cases and 366 deaths by 8 March 2020. We provide a model-based evaluation of patient records from Lombardy, predicting the impact of an uncontrolled epidemic on the healthcare system. It has the potential to cause more than 250,039 (95% credible interval (CrI): 147,717–459,890) cases within 3 weeks, including 37,194 (95% CrI: 22,250–67,632) patients requiring intensive care. Aggressive containment strategies are required.


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