Officials in Italy on Tuesday said that the country may have 10 times more cases than the current reported cases of the novel coronavirus.
Angelo Borrelli, the head of the country's civil protection agency said on Tuesday, "For every officially certificated positive, there are ten non-certified," CNN reported.
That would mean Italy would have had more than 600,000 positive cases of coronavirus, according to Borrelli's estimate, having recorded a total of 63,967 cases as of Monday.
It could also potentially explain what seems to be a much higher death rate in the country than in other countries. According to World Health Organization statistics, as of March 22, Italy had a death rate of more than 9% of all confirmed cases.
If the country actually has had ten times as many cases as recorded, the death rate would be 0.9%. This would be more in line with the 0.6% death rate in South Korea.
Civil protection agency data Tuesday showed a slight decrease in the number of cases for a second consecutive day, but only in the "next few hours we will see if the growth curve is really starting to flatten," Borrelli said.
"We should buy more ventilators and masks should be sold at every street corner," said Borrelli, admitting difficulties in finding these medical supplies.
Moreover, The National Civil Aviation Authority (ENAC) of Italy has authorised the use of drones to monitor the movements of citizens in municipal areas to ensure the containment of the disease.
Monday saw a small decrease in cases and deaths for a second day. Italy confirmed 601 new coronavirus-related deaths over 24 hours, bringing the total to 6,077. Another 4,789 new cases were diagnosed, bringing the total number of cases to 63,927.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)