May 21, 2020 / 4:03 PM / 11 days ago

Italy's daily coronavirus death toll and new cases broadly stable

FILE PHOTO: A courier wearing a protective face mask rides a cargo bike as people walk on via Etnea during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, as shops, restaurants and bars are allowed to reopen but under strict social distancing rules, in Catania, Italy May 19, 2020. REUTERS/Antonio Parrinello

ROME (Reuters) - Italy recorded 156 new deaths from the COVID-19 epidemic on Thursday, against 161 the day before, the Civil Protection Agency said, while the daily tally of new cases also declined slightly to 642 from 665 on Wednesday.

The total death toll since the outbreak came to light on Feb. 21 now stands at 32,486, the agency said, the third highest in the world after those of the United States and Britain.

The number of confirmed cases amounts to 228,006, the sixth highest global tally behind those of the United States, Russia, Spain, Britain and Brazil.

People registered as currently carrying the illness fell to 60,960 from 62,752 the day before.

There were 640 people in intensive care on Thursday, down from 676 on Wednesday, maintaining a long-running decline. Of those originally infected, 134,560 were declared recovered, against 132,282 a day earlier.

The agency said 2.079 million people had been tested for the virus as of Thursday, against 2.038 million on Wednesday, out of a population of around 60 million.

Reporting by Gavin Jones, editing by Crispian Balmer

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