On Tuesday, the head of an agency responsible for collecting data said that new infections in Coronavirus could be ten times greater than reported.
The head of the Italian Civil Protection Agency, Angelo Borelli, said in statements to the Italian newspaper “La Repubblica” reported by Reuters that the confirmed figures for the Coronavirus may now be 10 times higher than what was announced, which is about 64 thousand people.
The latest figures show that about 6,777 people were killed by the Coronavirus in Italy in just one month, making it the most affected country in the world, with nearly twice the number of deaths in China, where the virus appeared last year.
However, testing for the disease is often limited to people looking for hospital care, which means that thousands of cases have certainly not been discovered.
“One in every 10 credible cases is certified,” Borelli said, noting that he believed up to 640,000 people were infected in the country.
The head of the Italian Civil Protection Agency said that Italy’s biggest difficulty is the lack of masks and ventilation systems – a problem the health system has suffered since the infection first appeared in the wealthy northern Lombardy region on February 21.
Italy is trying to import hardware from abroad, but Borrelli said that countries like India, Romania, Russia and Turkey have stopped such sales.
“We call the embassies, but I am afraid that no masks will come from outside,” he said.
It seems certain that the pandemic will leave Italy’s already fragile economy in dire straits, with most companies closed.
The government wants to publish a rescue fund for member states in the common euro currency without restrictions – a demand that puts Rome at odds with richer northern countries.
At the present time, the so-called European Stability Mechanism (ESM) can only help euro-zone countries on condition that their economic policies are adjusted to overcome the problems that prompted them to seek financial assistance.
But Deputy Economy Minister Antonio Messiani told Reuters that the Coronavirus emergency had made such restrictions superfluous.
“The only acceptable condition is to use the resources of environmentally sound management to manage health and economic emergencies,” the Italian official said, noting that a possible battle with Brussels over the best way out of the crisis.