Italy's coronavirus death toll rises by 78

Giulia Segreti
Italy has the seventh highest global tally of confirmed coronavirus cases in the world

Deaths from the COVID-19 epidemic in Italy have climbed by 78, the Civil Protection Agency says, while the tally of new cases increased by 346.

The total death toll since the outbreak came to light on February 21 now stands at 34,301, the agency said, the fourth highest in the world after those of the United States, Britain and Brazil.

The death count was muddied by the fact that the central region of Lazio, around the capital city of Rome, said that only two of the 25 deaths declared on Saturday had happened in the last 24 hours, bringing the daily deaths down to 55.

The number of confirmed cases amounts to 236,651, 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 210 of the 346 new cases reported on Saturday.

People registered as currently carrying the illness fell to 27,485 from 28,997 the day before.

There were 220 people in intensive care on Saturday, down from 227 on Friday, maintaining a long-running decline.

Of those originally infected, 174,865 were declared recovered against 173,085 a day earlier.

The agency said 2.817 million people had been tested for the virus as of Saturday, against 2.784 million on Friday, out of a population of about 60 million.