Italy’s mortality rate for March double that of last year

Italy’s mortality rate for the month of March this year was double that of preceding years, according to a report published on Monday.

March has been Italy’s worst month for fatalities under the coronavirus emergency. The study, published the US medical journal “Jama Internal Medicine”, reports that official statistics registered 41,329 deaths between March 1 and April 4. The study found this was around 20,000 more than in the five previous years, or a 104.5% increase in mortality.

The numbers published in the report also suggest that the death toll counted by Italy’s authorities is an underestimate as, on April 4, Italy had officially recorded just over 15,000 deaths from COVID-19, leaving 5,000 deaths apparently missing from the victim tally.

It is possible these deaths occurred outside hospitals, which had frequently not been included in the counts at that time.

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Rebecca Ann Hughes

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