Daily death toll down in Italy, as local agency puts doubts in official figures

epa08437113 Customers and vendors during the reopening of an open-air clothing market in Naples, Italy, 22 May 2020. Several countries around the world have started to ease COVID-19 lock-down restrictions in an effort to restart their economies and help people in their daily routines after the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic. EPA-EFE/CESARE ABBATE

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Italy recorded 130 new deaths from the COVID-19 epidemic on Friday against 156 the day before, the Civil Protection Agency said, while the daily tally of new cases rose marginally to 652 from 642 on Thursday.

The new cases were identified from almost 75,000 tests, meaning that one every 115 persons tested was found positive (0.86%).

The total death toll now stands 32,616, the agency said, the third highest in the world after those of the United States and Britain.

However, statisticians believe Italy, like many other countries, has suffered considerably more deaths from the virus than its official data suggest, because many casualties were never tested.

A study this week by Italy‘s social security agency INPS showed that there were almost 47,000 more deaths between March 1 and April 30 than in the average for the same period in the five years from 2015 to 2019.

Of these, around 28,000 were officially counted as COVID-19 fatalities, leaving around 19,000 deaths unaccounted for. INPS said it was reasonable to suppose that “a large part” of these excess deaths were due to the coronavirus.

The Civil Protection Agency said the total number of confirmed cases in Italy since the start of its outbreak now amounts to 228,658, the sixth highest global tally behind those of the United States, Russia, Spain, Britain and Brazil.

People registered as currently carrying the illness dipped to 59,322 on Friday from 60,960 the day before.

Reuters / Tgcom

%d bloggers like this: