68% of new cases in Italy reported in Lombardy

An interior view of the nearly-empty Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II arcades (Italy's oldest active shopping mall) in the Lombardian capital of Milan, northern Italy, 08 March 2020. EPA-EFE/MATTEO CORNER

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Deaths from the COVID-19 epidemic in Italy climbed by 87 on Friday, against 70 the day before, the Civil Protection Agency said, while the daily tally of new cases fell to 516 from 593 on Thursday.

The total death toll since the outbreak came to light on Feb. 21 now stands at 33,229 the agency said, the third highest in the world after those of the United States and Britain.

However, the Marche region said on Friday it had reduced its overall death tally by 11, saying these fatalities had not been caused by the coronavirus.

68% of new cases were identified in Lombardy. Despite this figure, the Northern region will proceed with re-opening of gyms and swimming pools on Monday.

The number of confirmed cases amounts to 232,248, the sixth highest global tally behind those of the United States, Russia, Spain, Britain and Brazil.

People registered as currently carrying the illness fell to 46,175 from 47,986 the day before.

There were 475 people in intensive care on Friday, down from 489 on Thursday, maintaining a long-running decline. Of those originally infected, 152,844 were declared recovered against 150,604 a day earlier.

The agency said 2.369 million people had been tested for the virus against 2.330 million on Thursday, out of a population of around 60 million.

Reuters  / Tgcom

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