Italy reports record 993 COVID-19 deaths in last 24 hours - health ministry

FILE PHOTO: 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

ROME (Reuters) - Italy reported a record 993 coronavirus-related deaths on Thursday, against 684 on Wednesday, and 23,225 new infections, compared with 20,709 the day before, the health ministry said.

The previous record number of deaths registered in a single day was 919 on March 27, at the peak of the first wave of the pandemic.

The first Western country hit by the virus, Italy has seen 58,038 COVID-19 fatalities since its outbreak emerged in February, the second highest toll in Europe after Britain’s. It has also registered 1.665 million cases to date.

There were 226,729 swabs carried out in the past day, up from a previous 207,143.

The number of people in hospital with COVID-19 stood at 31,772 on Thursday, down 682 on the day before. The number in intensive care decreased by 19 and now stands at 3,597.

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.

Reporting by Crispian Balmer, editing by Gavin Jones