But campaigners insist that, on top of those factors, grave mistakes were made by the region’s politicians and public health officials, and are demanding answers.

“The biggest mistake was not to declare a red zone around the towns of Alzano Lombardo and Nembro, near Bergamo, on February 23, when the first cases were discovered,” said Luca Fusco, the president of the campaign group Noi Denunceremo, meaning We Will Denounce.

“If they had done that, the spread of infection could have been stopped in its tracks. Instead, we ended up with 6,000 dead in the province of Bergamo.”

The campaign group now has 56,000 followers on Facebook, with families all around Italy calling for investigations into alleged failings by the authorities.

It has been alleged that officials in Lombardy dithered over imposing red zones because they were reluctant to close down factories, which are vital to the local economy.

Doctors and nurses bear no blame for the huge numbers of infected and dead, with many losing their own lives in the fight against coronavirus, the campaigners say.

They believe regional officials failed to heed the warning signs and allowed the virus to spread.

“They did not prepare themselves to fight the emergency. We don’t want any compensation, any money, we don’t want anything like that. We only want truth and justice. Those who made mistakes must resign,” Mr Fusco, an accountant, told The Telegraph. “We want a full investigation.”

He has a personal stake in the legal action, having lost his 85-year-old father, Antonio, to Covid-19. “He was completely healthy. He had no other illnesses. We know from the tests that it was coronavirus that killed him,” he said.

Relatives also claim there was a drastic shortage of protective equipment, such as face masks, for medical staff, and a lack of clear health and safety guidelines for infected people and their families.

Fifty complaints will be presented to prosecutors in Bergamo on Wednesday, with a further 150 to follow. Campaigners are calling it D-Day, with D standing for denounce.

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