Slight Decline in Italy’s Death Toll as New Infections Rise

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Italy’s daily COVID-19 death toll declined slightly Wednesday to 542, a sign of hesitant hope for the virus-stricken country, even as the number of confirmed new cases rose.

Italy’s Civil Protection Agency reported 3,836 new confirmed coronavirus infections, up from the 3,039 recorded Tuesday.

But the daily tally had a note of positive news for Italy’s overstretched hospitals and morgues: For the fifth consecutive day the number of people in intensive care declined, falling to 3,693 patients, down from 3,792 on Tuesday.

In total, Italy has confirmed the highest number of deaths in the world from the novel coronavirus: 17,669 have died since Feb. 21, when official accounting of the outbreak began.

Italy also has the third-highest number of confirmed infections, after the United States and Spain.