Italy reports 53 coronavirus deaths on Thursday, 379 new cases

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The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Rome

ROME (Reuters) - Deaths from the COVID-19 epidemic in Italy climbed by 53 on Thursday against 71 the day before, the Civil Protection Agency said, but the daily tally of new cases rose to 379 from 202 on Wednesday.

The total death toll since the outbreak came to light on Feb. 21 now stands at 34,167, 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 236,142, the seventh highest global tally behind those of the United States, Russia, Brazil, Spain, Britain and India.

People registered as currently carrying the illness fell to 30,637 from 31,710 the day before.

The northern region of Lombardy, where the outbreak was first identified, remains by far the worst affected of Italy's 20 regions, accounting for 252 of the 379 new cases reported on Thursday.

There were 236 people in intensive care on Thursday, down from 249 on Wednesday, maintaining a long-running decline. Of those originally infected, 171,338 were declared recovered against 169,939 a day earlier.

The agency said 2.746 million people had been tested for the virus as of Thursday, against 2.713 million on Wednesday, out of a population of around 60 million.

(Reporting by Gavin Jones)