Coronavirus: death toll may be largely underestimated in Italy

Medical check-up at the entrance to Spedali Civili hospital in Brescia, Italy, March 3, 2020. REUTERS / Flavio Lo Scalzo

Text by: Anne Tréca

How many victims has the Covid-19 actually claimed in Italy? No doubt much more than what the official figures indicate. For civil protection, a total of 32,330 people are said to have died from the coronavirus on the peninsula. Unreliable data, according to social security which announces, it, nearly 20,000 more victims for the months of March and April.


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From our correspondent in Rome,

In March and April, the death rate in Italy broke records. Well above the averages recorded for 5 years.

To the official figures for civil protection, we must add nearly 20,000 people, all of whom suggests that they died, at home, without screening, either because of the coronavirus itself, or because of other pathologies which could not be treated due to the congestion of hospitals.

A very concentrated phenomenon in the north of the country, where the coronavirus crisis has been concentrated, where we have seen hospitals saturated. There are 84% of these victims out of radar in the hospital world.

Read also: Coronavirus: the ordeal of Italy, which has lost so many grandparents

To assess the human cost of the epidemic, social security takes into account all the deaths recorded during the period which exceeds the seasonal average.

It is a new calculation method, difficult to compare with the data retained so far. The administration also puts its estimates into perspective: to truly measure the impact of Covid-19, she said, it will be necessary to wait for either a vaccine or the complete eradication of the disease.

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