ROME (Reuters) – Deaths from the COVID-19 epidemic in Italy climbed by 195 on Wednesday, against 172 the day before, the Civil Protection Agency said, but the daily tally of new cases fell to 888 from 1,402 on Tuesday.

The total death toll since the outbreak came to light on Feb. 21 now stands at 31,106 the agency said, the third highest in the world after those of the United States and Britain.

The number of confirmed cases amounts to 222,104, the fifth highest global tally behind those of the United States, Spain, Britain and Russia.

People registered as currently carrying the illness fell to 78,457 from 81,266 the day before, the agency said.

There were 893 people in intensive care on Wednesday, down from 952 on Tuesday, maintaining a long-running decline. Of those originally infected, 112,541 were declared recovered against 109,039 a day earlier.

The agency said 1.779 million people had been tested for the virus against 1.742 million on Tuesday, out of a population of around 60 million.

(Reporting by Crispian Balmer; Editing by Gavin Jones)