Coronavirus: Italy cases probably 10 times higher, civil protection agency head says

Spain recorded 700 deaths in the last 24 hours, surpassing China to become country with second most deaths in the world

The number of coronavirus cases in Italy is probably 10 times higher than the official tally, the head of the agency collating the data said on Tuesday.

Speaking to Italian newspaper La Repubblica, head of the Civil Protection Agency Angelo Borrelli said that “a ratio of one certified case out of every 10 is credible”, stating that he believed as many as 640,000 people could be infected.

Testing for the disease in Italy has often been limited to hospital care, meaning thousands of infections could have gone undetected.

On Wednesday, Italy reported 683 deaths, bringing the total to 7,503.

New cases numbered 5,210.

Spain on the other hand continued its steady death toll, with over 700 deaths reported in the last 24 hours.

Spain has now surpassed China in total death toll, coming second to Italy, the worst-hit country in the world.

France reported 231 deaths, bringing the total to 1,331.

The rise in the number of deaths represents a daily increase of 21 percent, a slight slowing from the previous two days with the country now in its second week of lockdown.

The United States also saw an agreement between the White House and Senate leaders being struck, with a $2 trillion measure to aid workers, businesses and a healthcare system strained by the rapidly spreading coronavirus outbreak.