ROME: Deaths from the COVID-19 epidemic in Italy rose by 610 on Thursday (Apr 9), up from 542 the day before, and the number of new cases also came in higher at 4,204 from a previous 3,836.

The daily tally of cases was the highest since Apr 5, and comes as a disappointment to a country in lockdown since Mar 9, anxious for clear signs that the illness is in retreat.

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The total death toll since the outbreak came to light on Feb 21 rose to 18,279, the Civil Protection Agency said, the highest in the world.

The number of confirmed cases climbed to 143,626, the third highest global tally behind those of the United States and Spain.

There were 3,605 people in intensive care on Thursday against 3,693 on Wednesday – a sixth consecutive daily decline offering some good news despite the climb in new cases and fatalities.

Of those originally infected, 28,470 were declared recovered against 26,491 a day earlier.

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