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Italy's tally of coronavirus cases is probably ten times higher than the official figure of 64,000, the head of the agency collecting the data said today. 


Angelo Borrelli said it was 'credible' to suggest that as many as 640,000 people could have been infected, because only a fraction of them have received the necessary tests. 


Testing for the disease has often been limited to people seeking hospital care, with health services stretched to the limit by the scale of the outbreak. 


The latest figures show that 6,077 people have died in Italy in barely a month, close to double the number of fatalities that China has suffered.  


Military and medical personnel wearing protective suits and face masks transport coffins from a depot in Ponte San Pietro, near the hard-hid city of Bergamo in Italy


A masked Italian soldier stands in a road near where an army truck is standing in Ponte San Pietro, as soldiers are deployed to transport dead bodies in northern Italy 


Doctors and nurses wearing protective suits treat coronavirus patients in the intensive care department of the VIzzolo Predabissi Hospital in Milan today


'A ratio of one certified case out of every 10 is credible,' Angelo Borrelli, the head of the Civil Protection Agency, told La Repubblica newspaper.


The missing cases could help to explain Italy's high death rate of around 9.0 per cent, higher than Britain, France or Spain and much higher than Germany.  


Borrelli said the biggest difficulty facing Italy was a shortage of masks and ventilators in intensive care.


Medical shortages have dogged the health system since the contagion first surfaced in the wealthy northern region of Lombardy on February 21.


Italy is trying to import stocks from abroad, but Borrelli said nations like India, Romania, Russia and Turkey had halted such sales. 


'We are contacting the embassies, but I fear no more masks will be arriving from abroad,' he said.



Others have turned to more inventive solutions, with at least one startup firm converting commercial diving masks into emergency ventilators. 


However, Borrelli also sounded cautious notes of optimism after two successive declines in Italy's daily fatality rate. 


The number of new deaths has come down from a world record 793 on Saturday to 651 on Sunday and 601 on Monday. 


The number of new officially registered infections also fell from 6,557 on Saturday to 4,789 on Monday. 


Masked personnel transport a coffin to an army truck in Ponte San Pietro, near the city of Bergamo where the local mortuary and crematorium have become overwhelmed


Army trucks transport coffins away from a depot in Ponte San Pietro, with Italy's death toll piling up - although it has slowed in the last two days


'The measures we took two weeks ago are starting to have an effect,' Borrelli said, a fortnight after prime minister Giuseppe Conte ordered a nationwide quarantine. 


The Lombardy region around Milan has begun imposing 5,000 (4,600) fines on those outside without a good excuse. 


Some lockdown measures were originally due to end this week, but are being extended well into April.  


Borrelli said more data over the next few days will help understand 'if the growth curve is really flattening.'


But Borrelli and other Italian medical officials have been extremely cautious to draw any definitive conclusions from the two-day drop.


Italy's daily deaths are still higher than those officially recorded in China at the peak of its crisis in Wuhan's central Hubei province.


They are also higher than those seen anywhere else in the world, forcing the army to transport coffins as cemeteries and mortuaries are overwhelmed by the crisis. 


The health chief did not seek to blame anyone or any single factor for the fact that Italy is now at the forefront of the global crisis.


'From the very start, people were behaving in a way that fuelled the national problem,' Borrelli said.


But he did point to a Champions League match between Italy's Atalanta and Spain's Valencia's football clubs in Milan's San Siro stadium on February 19 as a particularly egregious mistake.


It was attended by 40,000 fans who celebrated the local team's win deep into the night.


'We can now say, with hindsight, that it was potentially a detonator,' Berrelli said of the match.


Source: https://www.dailymail.co.uk

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Number of Italian coronavirus cases may be ten times higher

Tap "WorldWire" above  to follow us

Italy's tally of coronavirus cases is probably ten times higher than the official figure of 64,000, the head of the agency collecting the data said today. 


Angelo Borrelli said it was 'credible' to suggest that as many as 640,000 people could have been infected, because only a fraction of them have received the necessary tests. 


Testing for the disease has often been limited to people seeking hospital care, with health services stretched to the limit by the scale of the outbreak. 


The latest figures show that 6,077 people have died in Italy in barely a month, close to double the number of fatalities that China has suffered.  


Military and medical personnel wearing protective suits and face masks transport coffins from a depot in Ponte San Pietro, near the hard-hid city of Bergamo in Italy


A masked Italian soldier stands in a road near where an army truck is standing in Ponte San Pietro, as soldiers are deployed to transport dead bodies in northern Italy 


Doctors and nurses wearing protective suits treat coronavirus patients in the intensive care department of the VIzzolo Predabissi Hospital in Milan today


'A ratio of one certified case out of every 10 is credible,' Angelo Borrelli, the head of the Civil Protection Agency, told La Repubblica newspaper.


The missing cases could help to explain Italy's high death rate of around 9.0 per cent, higher than Britain, France or Spain and much higher than Germany.  


Borrelli said the biggest difficulty facing Italy was a shortage of masks and ventilators in intensive care.


Medical shortages have dogged the health system since the contagion first surfaced in the wealthy northern region of Lombardy on February 21.


Italy is trying to import stocks from abroad, but Borrelli said nations like India, Romania, Russia and Turkey had halted such sales. 


'We are contacting the embassies, but I fear no more masks will be arriving from abroad,' he said.



Others have turned to more inventive solutions, with at least one startup firm converting commercial diving masks into emergency ventilators. 


However, Borrelli also sounded cautious notes of optimism after two successive declines in Italy's daily fatality rate. 


The number of new deaths has come down from a world record 793 on Saturday to 651 on Sunday and 601 on Monday. 


The number of new officially registered infections also fell from 6,557 on Saturday to 4,789 on Monday. 


Masked personnel transport a coffin to an army truck in Ponte San Pietro, near the city of Bergamo where the local mortuary and crematorium have become overwhelmed


Army trucks transport coffins away from a depot in Ponte San Pietro, with Italy's death toll piling up - although it has slowed in the last two days


'The measures we took two weeks ago are starting to have an effect,' Borrelli said, a fortnight after prime minister Giuseppe Conte ordered a nationwide quarantine. 


The Lombardy region around Milan has begun imposing 5,000 (4,600) fines on those outside without a good excuse. 


Some lockdown measures were originally due to end this week, but are being extended well into April.  


Borrelli said more data over the next few days will help understand 'if the growth curve is really flattening.'


But Borrelli and other Italian medical officials have been extremely cautious to draw any definitive conclusions from the two-day drop.


Italy's daily deaths are still higher than those officially recorded in China at the peak of its crisis in Wuhan's central Hubei province.


They are also higher than those seen anywhere else in the world, forcing the army to transport coffins as cemeteries and mortuaries are overwhelmed by the crisis. 


The health chief did not seek to blame anyone or any single factor for the fact that Italy is now at the forefront of the global crisis.


'From the very start, people were behaving in a way that fuelled the national problem,' Borrelli said.


But he did point to a Champions League match between Italy's Atalanta and Spain's Valencia's football clubs in Milan's San Siro stadium on February 19 as a particularly egregious mistake.


It was attended by 40,000 fans who celebrated the local team's win deep into the night.


'We can now say, with hindsight, that it was potentially a detonator,' Berrelli said of the match.


Source: https://www.dailymail.co.uk

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