The number of cases of contamination by the new coronavirus in Italy is probably 10 times higher than the official toll of nearly 64,000 people infected, said Tuesday the head of the Italian Civil Protection, which collects data concerning this epidemic.
The latest official figures also show 6,077 deaths since the first case appeared in Lombardy on February 21, making Italy the country most affected by the current pandemic, with a number of victims almost twice as high. than that recorded in China, where the virus appeared last December.
Since tests for the virus have most often been carried out on people in the hospital, it is likely that thousands of cases of infection have gone unnoticed.
“A ratio of one confirmed case to ten (undetected) seems credible to us,” said the director of Italian Civil Protection, Angelo Borrelli, in an interview with the daily La Repubblica, estimating in fact that nearly 640,000 people could be contaminated in Italy.
While the Italian health system is struggling to care for patients due to a shortage of protective masks and respirators, health authorities are struggling to obtain supplies abroad.
According to Angelo Borrelli, India, Romania, Russia and Turkey have notably stopped marketing this type of medical device.
“We are contacting the embassies, but I fear we will no longer be able to receive masks from abroad,” he said.