ROME: The death toll from an outbreak of the coronavirus in Italy has climbed by 766 to 14,681, the Civil Protection Agency said on Friday (Apr 3), marginally higher than the daily tally of 760 fatalities registered a day earlier.

The number of new cases was slightly lower, growing by 4,585 from a previous 4,668, bringing total infections since the outbreak came to light on Feb 21 to 119,827.

Friday was the fifth consecutive day in which the number of new cases remained within a range of 4,050-4,782, confirming government hopes that the epidemic has hit a plateau, ahead of an expected decline in the near future.

Italy hit a daily peak of 6,557 new cases on Mar 21.

The daily death toll has been between 727 and 766 for the last three days, down from 837 on Tuesday and a peak of 919 on Friday of last week.

Of those originally infected nationwide, some 19,758 had fully recovered on Friday, compared to 18,278 the day before. There were 4,068 people in intensive care, up from a previous 4,053.

Italy has registered more deaths than anywhere else in the world and accounts for more than a quarter of all global fatalities from the virus.

In Lombardy, the epicentre of the outbreak, the daily death toll was slightly lower than the day before, coming in at 351 against 367 on Thursday, but new infections rose to 1,455 versus 1,292.

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