A top Italian official says that the nation’s actual number of coronavirus cases could be 10 times the known count, which is already the highest in Europe.
The government is preparing for extended measures to keep people at home, as the country experiences the most fatalities than any other affected nation a total of 6,077 deaths and 64,000 cases, according to Reuters.
Experts say the correct numbers are likely much higher as tallies are only counted for those seeking hospital care.
A ratio of one certified case out of every 10 is credible, Angelo Borrelli, the head of the Civil Protection Agency, said in an interview with La Repubblica.
On Monday, Italy reported a decline in the number of deaths and infections related to the virus, a small but notable sign that measures to curve its spread could be working in the country.
Italys Civil Protection agency announced 4,789 new cases Monday, 700 less than the 5,560 new cases documented on Sunday.
The official numbers of the last two days indicate a slowdown in the epidemic, said Giorgio Gori, the mayor of Bergamo, a city in Lombardy that has experienced the most substantial death toll in Italy.
The government has shut down all non-essential business until April 3, issuing fines as much as $4,300 for those who violate the shutdown protocols.
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, Gori said.