The latest analysis of data shows that thousands of deaths have not been officially attributed to Covid-19, reports Reuters.
In its second report on the pandemic’s effect on Italy’s mortality rate, Istat said that from February to the end of November 2020, there were almost 84,000 more fatalities, compared with the average of the previous five years.
Out of these fatalities however, only 69 percent were officially registered by the health ministry and civil protection unit as being attributed to Covid-19.
Italy has been continuing to record hundreds of Covid-19 deaths per day since this study ended in November. On Wednesday, December 30, the official updated official record was released, reaching 73,604 the highest death toll in Europe and the fifth highest in the world.
Istat’s report, along with the National Health Institute, said it was not possible to say with certainty that the rises in mortality rates was entirely due to Covid-19, because of difficulties in determining exact cause of death.
However, the report said the excess number of fatalities did follow the timeline of the pandemic.
In November in Italy’s northern regions deaths rose by 61.4 percent compared with the average of the previous five years, while in central Italy they were up by 39.3 percent and by 34.7 percent in the south.
Italian health authorities admitted in April that the official death count, as well as the tally of positive cases, was likely to be underestimated.