It’s a ratio between people who caught the disease and those who die.
More testing does not by itself reduce the case fatality rate. The underlying assumption has always been there are more people who get the disease than reported.
Thus lowering the rate, when a greater percentage of the population is tested.
It is true that Italy hasn’t tested as great a portion of the population but I’d don’t believe they have given up testing. If anything they have increased testing.
I truly hope that 8.5% is not the final death rate in Italy.
Here is an opinion article where the conjecture is that Italy’s high rate is a combination of age and lack of tests
https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/16/opinion ... index.html
If it does turn out to be 1% even in Italy, that is troubling because it means there are almost 10 times as many cases as are being reported.
Germany is cause for hope.