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Italian coronavirus cases likely '10 times higher than reported'

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Italian coronavirus cases likely '10 times higher than reported'

 

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ROME (Reuters) - The number of cases of coronavirus in Italy is probably 10 times higher than the official tally of almost 64,000, the head of the agency that is collating the data said on Tuesday.

 

Latest figures show 6,077 people have died from the infection in barely a month, making Italy the worst-affected country in the world, with close to double the number of fatalities in China, where the virus emerged last year.

 

However, testing for the disease has often been limited to people seeking hospital care, meaning that thousands of cases have certainly gone undetected.

 

“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, indicating he believed as many as 640,000 people could have been infected in the country.

 

He said the biggest difficulty facing Italy was a shortage of masks and ventilators - a problem that has dogged the health system since the contagion first surfaced in the wealthy northern region of Lombardy on Feb. 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.

 

The epidemic looks certain to leave Italy’s already fragile economy in tatters, with most businesses shuttered.

 

The government wants a bailout fund for member states of the shared euro currency to be deployed without restrictions - a demand that puts Rome at loggerheads with richer northern nations.

 

Currently, the so-called European Stability Mechanism (ESM) can help euro zone countries only on condition they adjust their economic policies to overcome the problems that led them to seek financial assistance.

 

But Deputy Economy Minister Antonio Misiani told Reuters the coronavirus emergency made such restrictions redundant.

 

“The only acceptable conditionality is that of using the ESM resources to manage the health and economic emergency,” he said, setting up a possible battle with Brussels over how best to emerge from the crisis.

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-03-24
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It's been said over and over again, that it is impossible to track everyone. So every number of infected people should be multiplied by 10. If a country is not testing properly, then multiply by 20. Then you will have a better picture on the ground. 

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1 hour ago, norfolkandchance said:

European Unity. America, Russia and China providing much needed aid.

Soon, they will be in need of aid. China will be struggling with the new wave soon. And I'm not joking.

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1 hour ago, norfolkandchance said:

European Unity. America, Russia and China providing much needed aid.

Chinese health workers are already liaison with Italian health workers, giving advice. 

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I guess the same may be true for all countries which don't follow an extensive testing policy like SK did. It likely includes the rest of Europe and the US.

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2 hours ago, baansgr said:

Castro stuck all HIV positives in a prison West of Cuba when I lived there...

 

Yeah, I saw that on 60 Minutes. It looked less like a prison than a hospital/resort.

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cases of coronavirus in Italy is probably 10 times higher 

 

Same as Thailand

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Hopefully we will reach the peak in the next few days, and then things will start to get better.

Probably young, healthy people will get all infected without suffering really bad symptoms.

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