On March 18, a convoy of military trucks left Bergamo cemetery carrying hundreds of coffins. That image has become one of the symbols of the Covid-19 epidemic that hit Italy. What happened exactly in the most affected province of Italy has long remained a mystery. INTWIG – a Research and Data Analysis Agency based in Bergamo – tried to solve it.
The mortality analysis
In mid-March, INTWIG started analysing data on excess mortality in Lombardy region during the Covid-19 pandemic. Comparing the deaths with the average number recorded over the same period in previous years, the Agency found out that the victims of the new coronavirus were much more than those reported officially. The comparison conducted on each municipality showed that the deaths linked to the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the province of Bergamo were actually over 6.000, twice as many as those officially declared (3.100). Based on an infection fatality rate of 1.6, INTWIG estimated that about 36% of the inhabitants of the province had contracted the virus, much more than other areas of Lombardy.