Italy's coronavirus death toll rises by 44

Francesca Landini
Italian officials say 176,370 people who have had the coronavirus have fully recovered

Deaths from the COVID-19 epidemic in Italy have climbed by 44, the Civil Protection Agency says, while the tally of new cases increased by 338.

The total death toll since the outbreak came to light on February 21 now stands at 34,345, the agency said, the fourth highest in the world after those of the United States, Britain and Brazil.

The number of confirmed cases amounts to 236,989, the seventh highest global tally behind those of the United States, Russia, Brazil, Spain, Britain and India.

The northern region of Lombardy, where the outbreak was first identified, remains by far the worst affected of Italy's 20 regions, accounting for 244 of the 338 new cases reported on Sunday.

People registered as currently carrying the illness fell to 26,274 from 27,485 the day before.

There were 209 people in intensive care on Sunday, down from 220 on Saturday, maintaining a long-running decline.

Of those originally infected, 176,370 were declared recovered against 174,865 a day earlier.

The agency said 2.847 million people had been tested for the virus as of Saturday, against 2.817 million on Saturday, out of a population of about 60 million.