Italy's coronavirus death toll passes 100,000 -ministry

ROME, March 8 (Reuters) - Italy’s coronavirus death toll passed the 100,000 mark on Monday, the health ministry said, as the government battles to contain a third wave of infections.

Italy is the seventh country in the world to reach the bleak milestone, following the United States, Brazil, Mexico, India, Russia and Britain.

The health ministry said 318 people had died of the disease in the past 24 hours bringing the total tally since the epidemic hit the country 13 months ago to 100,103.

Over the last day, some 13,902 new cases were logged against 20,765 on Sunday. Fewer tests are normally carried out at the weekend, which means case numbers are often low on Mondays.

Infections rose 23% last week by comparison with the week before and health officials have warned that the country faces a fresh surge of cases as a more contagious variant of the disease gains ground. (Reporting by Crispian Balmer; Editing by Angelo Amante)