Italy records highest annual death toll since second world war

Italy records highest annual death toll since second world war
Coffins of deceased Covid patients at a church in Bergamo, Lombardy, in March 2020. Photo: AFP
Italy is set to record more than 700,000 deaths in total this year, the highest annual figure since 1944.
 “2020 is not over yet, but a reasonable analysis leads us to believe that we will go over the threshold of 700,000 deaths,” said Gian Carlo Blangiardo, president of national statistics agency Istat, on Tuesday.
“It can be deduced that the high death toll is linked to the impact of Covid-19,” Blangiardo told Italy's Rai television.
“This is a worrying level because the last time something like this happened was in 1944 when we were in the Second World War”.
By comparison, Italy registered a total of 647,000 deaths in 2019, he said.
Italy on Saturday became the European country with the highest pandemic death toll.
The health ministry said on Tuesday that a further 846 Covid deaths were recorded in Italy in the previous 24 hours – another near-record high number.
Italy's total Covid-19 death toll now stands at 65,857.
Authorities also said that 14,844 new positive cases had been recorded in that time.
The number of patients in hospital, and in intensive care, continues to fall steadily.
Meanwhile the trend of Italy's population declining and becoming steadily older year on year continued in 2019, according to another set of data released by Istat on Tuesday.

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