Italy coronavirus death toll passes 90,000, with 421 new fatalities

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ROME (Reuters) - Italy reported 421 coronavirus-related deaths on Thursday against 476 the day before, the health ministry said, taking the official toll since the epidemic emerged a year ago to 90,241, according to health ministry data.

The ministry also reported 13,659 new COVID-19 infections over the past 24 hours, up from 13,189 the day before, bringing the total tally of cases to 2.597 million.

Some 270,142 tests for COVID-19 were carried out in the past day, against a previous 279,307, the health ministry said.

Patients in hospital with COVID-19 - not including those in intensive care - stood at 19,743 on Thursday, down from 20,071 a day earlier.

There were 147 new admissions to intensive care units, up from 133 on Wednesday. The total number of intensive care patients rose to 2,151 from a previous 2,145.

When Italy's second wave of the epidemic was accelerating quickly in the first half of November, hospital admissions were rising by about 1,000 per day, while intensive care occupancy was increasing by about 100 per day.

(Reporting by Crispian Balmer, Editing by Angelo Amante)