Urged by the outbreak of the COVID-19 in Italy, this study aims at helping to tackle the spread of the disease by resorting to operations research techniques. In particular, we propose a mathematical program to model the problem of establishing how many diagnostic tests the Italian regions must perform in order to maximize the overall disease detection capability. An important feature of our approach is its simplicity: data we resort to are easy to obtain and one can employ standard optimization tools to address the problem. The results we obtain when applying our method to the Italian case seem promising.
Department of Business Studies, Roma Tre University, and Department of Computer, Control and Management Engineering Antonio Ruberti, Sapienza University of Rome, March 13, 2020