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Coronavirus: Italy expert says coronavirus cases could be '10 times' official numbers

Coronavirus: Italy expert says coronavirus cases could be '10 times' official numbers”

In the last 24 hours, 743 people have died in Italy from the Chinese coronavirus, bringing the nation's total death toll from the virus to 6,820 on Tuesday, up from 6,077 on Monday - an increase of 12.2 percent in one day.

Angelo Borrelli, the head of Italy's Civil Protection Department, developed a fever on Wednesday and his daily news conference on the coronavirus emergency was cancelled for precautionary reasons.

The total number of confirmed patients rose to 69,176, ANSA reported.

Italy has been anxious to see the day-to-day figures for new cases and deaths go down as its health system struggles under the weight of the world's largest Covid-19 outbreak outside of China.

As well, a total of 8,326 patients have recovered, said Borrelli who is also the national commissioner in charge of the coronavirus emergency.

The number of coronavirus cases in Italy may be 10 times what's been officially reported, a lead Italian expert says.

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"I am being cautious because I do not want to delude myself, but at the same time I have a lot of hope that two whole weeks of lockdown plus increasingly restrictive measures are producing results", he told a group of foreign reporters.

"Of the 50,418 people who are positive, some 26,522 are now under home isolation - being asymptomatic or with light symptoms - another 3,204 are in intensive care, and all the other hospitalized in ordinary wards", he specified.

Current restrictions are due to remain in place until April 3, but there is speculation the date will have to be pushed back given the continual rise in cases across the country.

Conte said he is hoping to do away with the lockdown as soon as possible.

Underscoring the problem, the regional governor of Veneto, Luca Zaia, ordered the confiscation of ventilators at veterinaries, saying they could be converted to human use.

While the number of deaths in Italy are starting to decrease - there were 146 less between Sunday and Monday - the number of deaths is still staggering, with 649 on Monday.



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