The number of deaths linked to the new coronavirus in Italy between March and April could exceed by around 19,000 the figures announced by the authorities, estimated, Thursday, May 21, Italian Social Security, which deemed "unreliable" the official balance sheet 32,000 dead.

In a study made public Thursday, and relayed the same day by the national media, the Italian National Institute of Social Insurance (INPS) indicates that 156,429 deaths were recorded in total between March and April in Italy, all causes of mortality combined .

This is 46,909 more than expected, based on an average of deaths observed in the same months between 2015 and 2019.

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However, the number of deaths declared by the Civil Protection - benchmark report announced daily by the authorities - linked to Covid-19 during the same period was 27,938, underlines the INPS. He therefore wonders about this difference of "18,971 deaths, including 18,412 in the North", the region most affected by the epidemic.

"Given the fact that the number of deaths is fairly stable over time, we can, with the necessary caution, attribute to the current epidemic a large part of the main deaths which have occurred in the last two months", continues INPS.

The social security organization judges that "the quantification of deaths by Covid-19, made from the number of deceased and positive patients provided daily by the Department of Civil Protection is now considered unreliable".

84% increase in deaths in northern Italy according to INPS

According to his data, deaths between March and April in the north of the country increased by 84% compared to the average of previous years, against an increase of 11% in the center and 5% in the south.

The evolution of deaths between March and April "was conditioned not only by the epidemic, but also by the consequences of confinement" which prevented some patients suffering from other ailments from being treated, estimates the INPS.

The institute mentions the case of people "who died of other illnesses because they could not find a hospital bed or because they did not go there for fear of the contagion".

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But it also takes into account positive consequences such as "reducing the number of road fatalities or accidents at work".

The INPS concludes that "to better understand the real consequences of the epidemic, it will be necessary to wait for the complete eradication of the virus, with an effective vaccine or antiviral therapy".

The pandemic has killed 32,486 people in Italy, including 26,715 in Lombardy alone, the hardest hit region in Europe, according to the latest official figures released Thursday by the Italian Civil Protection.

With AFP

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