Elected authorities in northern Italy admit to doubting more and more the official figures on the fatalities of the covid-19 pandemic in the country, saying they fear that the values are too undervalued.
Very close to Bergamo (north), the Italian city most affected by the pandemic, the municipality of Nembro, which has almost 12,000 inhabitants, “officially registered 31 deaths attributed to covid-19”, writes the local doctor Luca Foresti and the mayor of the municipality Claudio Cancelli in an article published today by the Corriere della Sera newspaper.
"Something about these numbers did not convince us and we went to see the statistics on the average number of deaths in the city in the previous years between January and March," explained the two men.
"The number of deaths, under normal conditions, would be around 35, but this year we recorded 158, that is, 123 more than the average and not 31", the number of deaths officially attributed to the coronavirus, they added.
The two officials report having observed the same anomaly in other small municipalities in the region, namely in Cernusco sul Naviglio, with a number of "abnormal" deaths 6.1 times higher than those officially attributed to covid-19.
On Wednesday, the mayor of Brescia, another city in northern Italy that was hit hard by the pandemic, also said that the number of infected and dead was higher than officially announced.
"In the region of Brescia, contagions are much more numerous than what is said", guaranteed Emilio Del Bono, adding that there are many sick people at home "and it is not known how they are".
Official figures include deaths in hospitals and nursing homes.
With 7,503 deaths and almost 75,000 cases of infection, Italy remains the country most severely affected by the pandemic.
Roberto Burioni, a renowned virologist in Italy, also said that the number of people infected "is not entirely reliable" because it does not take into account asymptomatic cases.
A warning that the governor of the Naples region takes, adding that the covid-19 crisis "will explode dramatically" in the area.
The region "is going to live, in the next 10 days, a real hell", because the Government did not send any medical and health protection equipment, estimated Vincenzo De Luca.
Although the northern region of Italy, and especially Lombardy, has a less fragile hospital system than the southern region, this is where the pandemic is affecting the country the most.
The new coronavirus, responsible for the covid-19 pandemic, has already infected nearly 450,000 people worldwide, of whom more than 20,000 have died.
After appearing in China in December, the outbreak spread worldwide, prompting the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare a pandemic situation.
The European continent, with around 240,000 infected, is the one where the highest number of cases is currently emerging, and Italy is the country in the world with the most fatalities, with 7,503 dead in 74,386 cases recorded to date.
Spain is the second country with the highest number of deaths, registering 3,434, among 47,610 cases of infection.
The countries most affected after Italy, Spain and China are Iran, with 2,077 deaths in a total of 27,017 cases, France, with 1,331 deaths (25,233 cases), and the United States, with 827 deaths (more than 60,000 cases) .
The African continent recorded 69 deaths due to the new coronavirus, exceeding 2,631 cases.
Several countries have adopted exceptional measures, including the quarantine regime and border closure.