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Senior Advisor

Re: While 20K new cases and several hundred more deaths are pretty horrible

Among other things in the linked article, here are some items/quotes pertaining to imperfections in the statistics themselves --

But Prof Ricciardi added that Italy’s death rate may also appear high because of how doctors record fatalities. 

“The way in which we code deaths in our country is very generous in the sense that all the people who die in hospitals with the coronavirus are deemed to be dying of the coronavirus.

“On re-evaluation by the National Institute of Health, only 12 per cent of death certificates have shown a direct causality from coronavirus, while 88 per cent of patients who have died have at least one pre-morbidity - many had two or three,” he says. 

This does not mean that Covid-19 did not contribute to a patient's death, rather it demonstrates that Italy's fatality toll has surged as a large proportion of patients have underlying health conditions. Experts have also warned against making direct comparisons between countries due to discrepancies in testing.

Prof McKee adds that testing is not currently consistent across the continent, or world.