Rome: The head of the service said that the 64,000 cases of coronavirus officially reported in Italy could be 10 times higher than the reported cases of coronavirus.
The most recent data shows that in just one month, 6,077 people died from infection, making Italy the world’s hardest-hit country, nearly doubling the death toll in China last year.
However, testing for the disease is usually limited to those seeking hospital care, meaning thousands of cases have gone unnoticed.
“One in ten certified cases is credible,” Angelo Borrelli, director of the Civil Protection Agency, told the Republican newspaper. He said he believed there would be 640,000 people in the country infected.
He said Italy’s greatest difficulty was a shortage of masks and fans – an issue that has plagued the health system since the epidemic first surfaced in wealthy northern Lombardy on February 21.
Italy is trying to import supplies from abroad, but Borelli said countries like India, Romania, Russia, and Turkey have halted such sales. “We are in contact with the embassy, but I am afraid that masks will no longer come from abroad,” he said.
The epidemic will bring chaos to Italy’s already fragile economy, closing most businesses.
The government hopes that the rescue funds of the euro-sharing member states can be deployed indefinitely, a claim that has brought deadlock to Rome and the rich north.
Currently, the so-called European Stability Mechanism (ESM) can only help euro area countries if they adjust their economic policies to solve the problems that led them to seek economic aid.
However, Antonio Misiani, Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs, told Reuters that a corona virus emergency has made such restrictions unnecessary.
“The only acceptable condition is the use of ESM resources to manage health and economic emergencies,” he said, fighting with Brussels over a possible fight to avoid the crisis best.