March 23, 2020 / 5:29 PM / 6 days ago

Italy coronavirus deaths rise by 602 in a day, lifting total death toll to 6,077

Coffins of people who have died from coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are seen in the church of the Serravalle Scrivia cemetery, which like many places in northern Italy is struggling to cope with the number of deaths from the virus that is growing every day, in Alessandria, Italy, March 23, 2020. REUTERS/Flavio Lo Scalzo

ROME (Reuters) - The death toll from an outbreak of coronavirus in Italy has grown by 602 to 6,077, the head of the Civil Protection Agency said on Monday, the smallest rise in numerical terms since Thursday, suggesting a clear downward trend.

The Civil Protection Agency initially said 601 people died on Monday, but the agency head told reporters the real number was 602. However, the agency said in a subsequent statement that a death had been wrongly added to Sunday’s total, meaning the total tally on Monday was 6,077 not 6,078.

The total number of confirmed cases in Italy rose to 63,927 on Monday from a previous 59,138, an increase of 8%, the Civil Protection Agency said — the lowest rise in percentage terms since the contagion came to light on Feb. 21.

Of those originally infected nationwide, 7,432 had fully recovered on Monday compared to 7,024 the day before. There were 3,204 people in intensive care against a previous 3,009.

The hardest-hit northern region of Lombardy remained in a critical situation, with a total of 3,776 deaths and 28,761 cases. That compared with 3,456 deaths and 27,206 cases reported up to Sunday.

(This story makes clear total tally is 6,077 not 6,078)

Reporting by Crispian Balmer, editing by Gavin Jones

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