MORE than half of residents in the northern Italian city of Bergamo have tested positive for coronavirus antibodies, health authorities announced on Monday.
Some 9,965 residents from one of the worst-hit areas by Covid-19 were tested between April 23 and June 3, and the survey results showed 57 per cent had antibodies meaning they had been in contact with the virus.
Health workers were also tested, and of the 10,404 in the survey, the percentage with antibodies drops to 30 per cent.
Bergamo’s health authorities stated that the survey used a ‘random’ sample of people which was ‘sufficiently broad’ to indicate accurately the number of those infected by Covid-19 throughout the province.
According to national statistics institute ISTAT, deaths in the city of Bergamo rose by 568 per cent in March compared with the 2015-2019 average, making it Italy’s worst-hit city in terms of coronavirus fatalities.
During lockdown, the city was forced to call in military trucks to help transport coffins to other cemeteries around Italy as those in the city were overwhelmed. Chilling images of churches filled with coffins awaiting burial were symbolic of the shocking death toll in the city.
Italy’s total Covid-19 deaths stand at almost 34,000, and the region of Lombardy, where Bergamo is located, has recorded 16,000 of those.