Italy reports 616 coronavirus deaths on Tuesday, 14,242 new cases

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The city at the centre of Italy's coronavirus disease (COVID-19) tragedy vaccinates thousands of health workers

ROME (Reuters) - Italy reported 616 coronavirus-related deaths on Tuesday, up from 448 the day before, the health ministry said, while the daily tally of new infections rose to 14,242 from 12,532.

Some 141,641 swab tests were carried out in the past day, against a previous 91,656.

Italy has registered 79,819 COVID-19 deaths since its outbreak came to light on Feb. 21, the second-highest toll in Europe and the sixth-highest in the world. The country has also reported 2.303 million cases to date, the health ministry said.

Patients in hospital with COVID-19 - not including those in intensive care - stood at 23,712 on Tuesday, up 109 from a day earlier.

There were 196 new admissions to intensive care units, against 168 the day before.

The total number of intensive care patients fell by six to 2,636.

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 around 100 per day.

(Reporting by Angelo Amante, editing by Gavin Jones)