According to the National Statistics Agency (Istat), from February 20 to March 31, more than 90,000 people died 38.7 per cent more than the average of around 65,000 recorded during the same periods in 2015/2019.
The agency noted that it there means no excess mortality of 25,000 for the time period, even though there were only 13,710 fatalities officially linked to coronavirus.
“The rest could either be undiagnosed COVID-19 cases or people with other conditions who were not treated properly while the health system was overwhelmed by the epidemic,“it said.
The agency noted that more than 90 per cent of the excess mortality was concentrated in municipalities with high virus infection rates, mostly in the North of the country.
In March alone, the number of deaths compared to the 2015-2019 average jumped by 568 per cent in Bergamo province, 391 per cent in Cremona province, and 370 per cent in Lodi province.
The Istat study, conducted with the National Health Institute, was based on data from 6,866 Italian municipalities, about 87 per cent of the total.
The covered period went from the detection of Italy’s first locally transmitted case, in the Northern Town of Codogno, until when the country’s infection curve started to flatten.
Italy’s official COVID-19 death toll currently stands at nearly 29,000.