Italian Higher Institute of Health Adjusts Number of Deaths Due to Covid Alone Since February 2020 Downwards From Over 130,000 to under 4,000

A reader spotted an interesting story in Il Tempo, an Italian newspaper. The Italian Higher Institute of Health had adjusted downwards its estimate of the number of people who’ve died from Covid, as opposed to with Covid, from over 130,000 to under 4,000. Yes, you read that right. Turns out 97.1% of deaths hitherto attributed to Covid were not due directly to Covid.

According to its latest report on Covid mortality, the Institute says COVID-19 has killed fewer people than the average bout of seasonal flu. According to the statistical sample of medical records collected by the Institute, only 2.9% of the deaths registered since the end of February 2020 have been due to COVID-19. So, of the 130,468 deaths registered by official statistics dating back to the beginning of the pandemic, only 3,783 are due to the virus alone. All the other Italians who lost their lives had from between one and five pre-existing diseases. Of those aged over 67 who died, 7% had more than three co-morbidities, and 18% at least two. According to the Institute, 65.8% of Italians who died after being infected with Covid were ill with arterial hypertension (high blood pressure), 23.5% had dementia, 29.3% had diabetes, and 24.8% atrial fibrillation. Add to that, 17.4% had lung problems, 16.3% had had cancer in the last five years and 15.7% suffered from previous heart failures.

Worth reading in full… if you speak Italian.

If any readers would like to translate the article for us, please send the translation to

Stop Press: We’re doing some digging into this to try to corroborate it. Treat with caution until further notice.

Stop Press 2: We trawled through the various websites of the Italian National Institute of Health (NIH) and National Institute of Statistics to try to corroborate this piece from an Italian newspaper, and it appears to be based on this report (in English) published on or before October 20th. The author of the piece is effectively stating his opinion that only those who died of Covid without comorbidities (2.9%) should be counted as a Covid death, and then extrapolates from there to suggest that the ‘real’ Covid death toll over the period in question was only 3,783. This is all contrary to the report itself and to the NIH’s detailed guidance (in Italian) on how to classify Covid deaths. It thus seems as though the article severely misrepresents the position of the NIH, but a lot seems to have been lost in translation and this is really just an opinion piece where the author is poking fun at the NIH while trying to make a point about the risks of Covid.

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