Estimating the Severity of COVID-19: Evidence From the Italian Epicenter
14 Pages Posted: 2 Apr 2020 Last revised: 31 May 2021
Date Written: April 2, 2020
We provide new results on the misreported level of mortality in the Italian region of Lombardy and in the province of Bergamo using official and original data sources. Since February 2020 Lombardy and in particular the province of Bergamo have been severely hit by the novel COVID-19 infectious disease. Combining official statistics, retrospective data and original data (i.e., obituaries and death notices) we provide a tentative estimate of the "real'' number of deaths caused by COVID-19 as well as the total number of persons infected. Our findings suggest that the reported mortality rate attributable to COVID-19 accounts only for one half of the observed excess mortality rate between March 2020 and March 2019.
Keywords: Coronavirus; COVID-19; Mortality Rate Estimation; Pandemic; Italy; Lombardia
JEL Classification: I12, I18
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation