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Italy Death Toll in 2020 is Highest Since World War Two as Covid-19 Hits

(Image: Reuters)

(Image: Reuters)

Italy has continued to register hundreds of COVID-19 deaths per day this year. Its updated tally stood at 98,974 on Thursday.

Italy registered more deaths in 2020 than in any other year since World War Two, according to data that suggest COVID-19 caused thousands more fatalities than were officially attributed to it.

Total deaths in Italy last year amounted to 746,146, statistics bureau ISTAT said, an increase of 100,525, or 15.6%, compared with the average of the 2015-2019 period.

Looking at the period from when Italy’s COVID-19 outbreak came to light on Feb. 21 to the end of the year, the ”excess deaths” were even higher at 108,178, an increase of 21% over the same period of the last five years.

The Istituto Superiore di Sanita, Italy’s top health institute, officially attributed 75,891 deaths to the new coronavirus last year, some 70% of this total excess mortality.

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Italy has continued to register hundreds of COVID-19 deaths per day this year. Its updated tally stood at 98,974 on Thursday.

Officially, COVID-19 accounted for 10% of deaths in Italy last year from Feb. 21, with marked regional disparities.

It was the cause of 14.5% of all deaths in the northern regions where the outbreak was first reported in Italy. In central areas it was responsible for 7% of all deaths and in southern ones it accounted for 5%.

Of the 100,525 excess deaths last year, 76% of the total were among people over the age of 80 and 20% were among those aged between 65 and 79, ISTAT said.

first published:March 05, 2021, 23:28 IST