reports 144 coronavirus deaths on Sunday, 9,148 new cases

MILAN (Reuters) - reported 144 coronavirus-related deaths on Sunday against 226 the day before, the health ministry said, while the daily tally of new infections fell to 9,148 from 12,965.

The average number of cases and deaths reported each day has fallen over the last few weeks, with infections at 35% of the peak reported in November. (Graphic of global cases and deaths)

has registered 121,177 deaths linked to COVID-19 since its outbreak started last year, the second-highest toll in Europe after Britain and the seventh highest in the world.

Patients in hospital with COVID-19 - not including those in intensive care - stood at 18,345 on Sunday, down from 18,381 a day earlier.

There were 109 new admissions to intensive care units, down from 143 on Saturday. The total number of intensive care patients however rose slightly to 2,524 from 2,522.

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Some 156,872 tests for COVID-19 were carried out in the past day, down from 378,202, the health ministry said.

(Reporting by Stephen Jewkes; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Lisa Shumaker)

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