In the “no Green Pass” events, which took place over the weekend in various Italian cities, numerous signs were displayed with the number 3783, which has recently become one of the most used arguments by those who claim that the pandemic in Italy has not been like this mortal. The number comes from a poorly informed editorial published a few days ago in the Weather, which claimed that only 3,783 people have actually died from the coronavirus, a much lower number than reports provided by health authorities. In addition to being inaccurate, that estimate is false and derives from a theme that emerged at the beginning of the pandemic on the definition of deaths due to COVID-19.
The number 3,783 was derived from the report of 19 October of the Higher Institute of Health (ISS) on the “characteristics of patients who died positive for SARS-CoV-2 in Italy”, in which it is said that as of 5 October there were 130,468 deaths among people positive for coronavirus since the beginning of the pandemic. As in all the other dozens of reports published on the subject for months now, the ISS had reported the average number of diseases observed (through medical records) in a sample of deceased, which reached 7,910 individuals. Among these, 230 patients were not affected by previous pathologies, equal to 2.9 per cent of the sample.
The author of the editorial took the 2.9 percent sample obtained and used it to establish a number of COVID-19 patients without previous illnesses among the 130,468 reported by the ISS, resulting in 3,783 deaths. (On closer inspection, the calculation returns 3,783.57, so it should be approximated in excess of 3,784.)
The number 3,783 reported in the editorial was quickly picked up by other observers, who in recent months have supported various theories without scientific basis to diminish the effects of the pandemic, and by numerous “no Green Pass” groups on social media and finally in the marches of the last days for Italian cities. According to those who spread it, it would be the demonstration that the “real deaths” due to COVID-19 are a few thousand and not the more than 130 thousand who “already had other diseases” reported by the health authorities.
It is true that most of the deceased had other pathologies at the time of infection, but this does not mean that it was previous illnesses that led to their death and not the coronavirus. And it is enough to look at the data provided by the ISS to realize this.
The average age of deceased and positive patients is 80 years, therefore very high and inevitably includes a large share of more vulnerable elderly people who, due to aging, may have other diseases. For them the risks of contracting the coronavirus are higher, because the effects of the disease could add to those of their other health problems, causing them to die sooner.
The list of previous pathologies helps to understand it better. Most of the deceased had heart problems, hypertension, diabetes and neurological problems, typical diseases among those over 80 and which can only be partially controlled by medicines and healthier lifestyles. A high number of these individuals after falling ill with COVID-19 developed complications such as acute respiratory failure, acute kidney or heart damage – all conditions that would not likely have occurred in the absence of a contagion.
(Higher Institute of Health)
Among the recurrent previous pathologies indicated by the ISS there are also tumors, reported in 16 percent of the sample analyzed. Thanks to the therapies available today, many cancers can be treated and kept under control: there are many people, not only the elderly, who live with the disease and with longer life expectancies than in the past. However, therapies can make these people more frail and their immune systems may be less equipped to deal with a viral infection than they’ve had before, such as coronavirus, with much higher risks of getting COVID-19 and having severe symptoms. which can be lethal.
It should also be remembered that not all deaths of coronavirus positive people are tracked, simply because the data refer only to the cases that emerge through the tests: it is therefore a partial estimate and certainly at fault.
Deaths in 2020 compared with the average for the period 2015/2019
Finally, there is a further element that shows how misleading the 3.783 theory is. In the first six months of 2021 alone, in Italy there were 29 thousand more deaths than the 2015-2019 average, while in 2020 the excess mortality was 100 thousand individuals compared to previous years. Of course, these deaths cannot all be traced back to the coronavirus, but the increase is still significant. Following the incorrect reasoning about previous illnesses would mean that other illnesses have suddenly become the cause of more deaths, which has not been found.
Establishing with certainty the causes of the death of every coronavirus infected would be impossible, as it is for many other infectious diseases, but the data collected so far clearly show that COVID-19 has played a role in the deaths of over 130,000 people, with grief. and pains for hundreds of thousands of family members, friends and their acquaintances.