Italy’s coronavirus death toll rises by 78 to 34,301

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People walk at Piazza del Popolo, after Italy opened its borders to European countries allowing free movement after the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) lockdown, in Rome, Italy, June 12, 2020. REUTERS/Yara Nardi

ROME (Reuters) – Deaths from the COVID-19 epidemic in Italy climbed by 78 on Saturday, the Civil Protection Agency said, while the tally of new cases increased by 346.

The total death toll since the outbreak came to light on Feb. 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 around 60 million.

Reporting by Giulia Segreti, editing by Gavin Jones

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