Italy: big doubts on the true number of deaths of the COVID-19

Italie: gros doutes sur le nombre réel de morts de la COVID-19

Elected officials in northern Italy are expressing more openly their doubts about the death toll of the COVID-19, fearing that the official figures are very under-valued.

Very close to Bergamo (north), Italian city most severely affected by this pandemic, the municipality of Nembro, which has about 12 000 inhabitants “has officially registered 31 deaths attributed to the COVID-19,” write in an article published Thursday by Corriere della sera, Luca Foresti, a responsible local medical, and Claudio Cancelli, the mayor of this municipality.

“Something in this figure, we were not convinced and we went to see the statistics on the average deaths in the municipality for the previous years for the period January-march”, they pursue the two men.

“The number of deaths in normal conditions would have had to be about 35, but this year we have registered 158, that is to say, 123 more than the average and not the 31”, the number of deaths officially attributed to the coronavirus, add two men, physicists by training.

They fall under the same anomaly in other small towns in the region, including Cernusco sul Naviglio, with a number of deaths “abnormal” to 6.1 times higher than the one officially assigned to the COVID-19.

As soon as Wednesday, the mayor of Brescia, another town in the North of Italy hit hard, had estimated that the number of infections and deaths was higher than what was officially announced.

“In the region of Brescia, the contaminations are much more numerous than what you say. The number of deaths is also more important, because there are many sick people among them and it is not known how they go,” said Emilio Del Bono.

With 7503 dead and nearly 75 000, the peninsula remains the country most badly hit by the pandemic. The official figures include deaths in hospitals and in retirement homes.

Roberto Burioni, a virologist widely known in Italy, has also estimated that the number of people infected “is really not reliable”, because it does not take into account asymptomatic cases.

A warning that the governor of the region of Naples, Campania, resumes his account. The crisis of the COVID-19 “is going to explode in dramatic fashion” in its region that “will live in the next 10 days a living hell”, because the government has not sent any medical equipment and health protection, assured Vincenzo De Luca.

In the south, the hospital system is much more fragile than in the region of Milan, the Lombardy region, the most affected by the pandemic.