For months now, the daily briefings by Italy’s civil defense agency have been supplying grim updates on the number of people killed by COVID-19, the highly infectious respiratory disease brought. On from the new coronavirus, deepening a sense of gloom at a country that is now the strongest center of this outbreak.
Despite a string of near-draconian measures slowly rolled out to stop the spread of this virus, including a national lockdown and the shutdown of non-essential businesses, Italy has not been able to”flatten the curve” – slowing the spread of the contagion in an attempt to prevent an already overburdened healthcare system from being overrun.
The nation’s most present tally reported that a total of 6,078 deaths in 63,928 infections, employing a world-leading fatality rate of over 9 percent. In Germany, which has reported over 24,000 cases and 94 deaths, it’s at 0.3 percent. But there might be many reasons for Italy’s alarming mortality rate.
“The numbers we have aren’t representative of the whole infected population,” said Massimo Galli, head of the infectious disease unit in Sacco Hospital in Milan, the principal city in the worst-hit area of Lombardy where 68 percent of their overall national fatalities are reported.
Galli explained the crisis situation quickly escalated over the last month, Italy concentrated its testing only on people showing severe symptoms in regions with high epidemic intensity – the outcome, experts say, is that the currently available amounts create a statistical artifact, a distortion.
This causes an increase in the fatality rate as it is in line with the most severe cases instead of on the totality of these infected,” Galli said. Experts believe it’s this so-called”stealth transmission” which has driven the rapid spread of this outbreak, infecting communities that remain unaware until they develop symptoms and get tested.
As of March 15, Italy had completed about 125,000 tests.
By comparison, South Korea – that implemented a strategy of widespread testing – has conducted some 340,000 evaluations, such as those showing no or mild symptoms whatsoever.
It’s recorded almost 9,000 infections thus far, with a mortality rate of 0.6 percent. While the new coronavirus can infect people of all ages, elderly adults, whose immune systems have diminished with age, appear to be more vulnerable to getting seriously ill after contracting.
With 23 percent of Italians over 65 years old, the Mediterannean nation has the second-oldest inhabitants in the world after Japan – and observers believe age distribution may also have played a part in raising the fatality rate.
Another possible element is Italy’s healthcare system itself, which offers universal coverage and is largely free of charge. In Sacco Hospital – one of Italy’s biggest medical centers – who died because of coronavirus- was already suffering from other serious ailments.
As stated by the ISS’s latest report tracing the profile of COVID-19 victims, 48 percent of those deceased had a mean of three preexisting disorders. Experts pointed to Italy’s”social contact matrix” as another possible motive, although indirect, behind the broader spread of this coronavirus among elderly people.
Old Italian people, while Nearly All them live with themselves, are not isolated, and their lifestyle has been overrun by a far more extreme interaction with their children and younger people compared to other nations,” stated Linda Laura Sabbadini, fundamental manager of the Italian National Institute of Statistics.