Italy reports 72 coronavirus deaths on Thursday, 16,806 new cases

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MILAN, Dec 2 (Reuters) - Italy reported 72 coronavirus-related deaths on Thursday against 103 the day before, the health ministry said, while the daily tally of new infections rose to 16,806 from 15,085.

Italy has registered 134,003 deaths linked to COVID-19 since its outbreak emerged in February last year, the second-highest toll in Europe after Britain and the ninth-highest in the world. The country has reported 5.06 million cases to date.

Patients in hospital with COVID-19 - not including those in intensive care - stood at 5,298 on Thursday, up from 5,248 a day earlier.

There were 55 new admissions to intensive care units, down from 62 on Wednesday. The total number of intensive care patients increased to 698 from a previous 686.

Some 679,462 tests for COVID-19 were carried out in the past day, compared with a previous 573,775, the health ministry said. (Reporting by Maria Pia Quaglia, editing by Stefano Bernabei)

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