ROME (Reuters) – Deaths from the COVID-19 epidemic in Italy increased by 525 on Thursday, down from 578 the day before, but the number of new cases accelerated sharply to 3,786 from a previous 2,667.

The daily death toll was the lowest since Sunday, while the tally of new infections was the highest since Sunday.

The total death toll since the outbreak came to light on Feb. 21 rose to 22,170, the Civil Protection Agency said, the second highest in the world after that of the United States.

The number of officially confirmed cases climbed to 168,941, the third highest global tally behind those of the United States and Spain.

There were 2,936 people in intensive care on Thursday against 3,079 on Wednesday — a 13th consecutive daily decline.

Of those originally infected, 40,164 were declared recovered against 38,092 a day earlier.

(Reporting by Gavin Jones)

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