ROME (Reuters) – Deaths from the COVID-19 epidemic in Italy climbed by 534 on Tuesday, up from 454 the day before and the largest daily tally since Friday, the Civil Protection Agency said.

The number of new infections also increased to 2,729 from 2,256 on Monday.

The total death toll since the outbreak came to light on Feb. 21 was 24,648, the agency said, the second highest in the world after that of the United States.

The number of officially confirmed cases was 183,957, the third highest global tally behind those of the United States and Spain.

People registered as currently carrying the illness declined to 107,709 from 108,237 on Monday, a second consecutive daily decline.

There were 2,471 people in intensive care on Tuesday against 2,573 on Monday, maintaining a long-running decline. Of those originally infected, 51,600 were declared recovered against 48,877 a day earlier.

(Reporting by Gavin Jones; Editing by Crispian Balmer)