The head of Italy’s civil protection authority says he feared the true number of people infected with coronavirus in Italy is 10 times higher than its 63,927 certified cases.
Angelo Borrelli said Tuesday that the more likely number tops 600,000 because so many are yet untested and asymptomatic. What’s the real number of coronavirus cases in US !?
“The report of one certified patient for every 10 undiagnosed is credible,” Angelo Borrelli, the head of the Civil Protection Agency, told La Repubblica newspaper.
The number of new cases and new deaths dropped for a second day in a row on Monday, but Borrelli warned that given the current trajectory, Italy will very soon surpass the total number of cases in China.
Italy has been on a nationwide lockdown since March 10. More than 6,077 people have died with the virus, nearly three times the number of reported deaths in China.
The government has shut down all non-essential business until April 3 and the cabinet was due to meet later on Tuesday to tighten the screws still further, including hiking fines for people violating the shutdown to up to 4,000 euros ($4,300) from a maximum 206 euros at present.
Angelo Borrelli, 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.