Italy coronavirus deaths surge by 853, highest toll since March 28

ROME (Reuters) - Italy reported 853 COVID 19-related deaths on Tuesday, soaring from 630 the day before and the highest daily toll since March 28.

A patient suffering with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is treated in the intensive care unit of the Maggiore di Lodi hospital, in Lodi, Italy, November 13, 2020. REUTERS/Flavio Lo Scalzo

The health ministry also registered 23,232 new coronavirus infections, up marginally from 22,930 the day before.

There were 188,659 coronavirus swabs carried out in the past day, compared with a previous 148,945.

Italy was the first Western country to be hit by the virus and has seen 51,306 COVID-19 fatalities since its outbreak emerged in February, the second highest toll in Europe after Britain’s. It has also registered 1.455 million cases.

While Italy’s daily death tolls have been the highest in Europe over recent days, the rise in hospital admissions and intensive care occupancy has slowed.

The number of people in hospital with COVID-19 stood at 34,577 on Tuesday, a decline of 120 from the day before. That compared with a daily increase of 418 on Monday.

The number in intensive care rose by 6, following an increase of nine on Monday, and now stands at 3,816.

When Italy’s second wave of the epidemic was accelerating fast in the first half of November, hospital admissions were rising by around 1,000 per day, while intensive care occupancy was increasing by about 100 per day.

The northern region of Lombardy, centred on Italy’s financial capital Milan, remained the hardest hit area on Tuesday, reporting 4,886 new cases.

The central region of Lazio, around Rome, which has a far smaller population, chalked up the second highest number of new cases, at 2,509.

Reporting by Gavin Jones; Editing by Crispian Balmer