Italy’s world-topping toll from the coronavirus pandemic approached 5 500 on Sunday after the Mediterranean country reported another 651 deaths.

The latest daily toll was smaller than Saturday’s record of 793 fatalities but still remains the second-highest registered during Italy’s month-long crisis.

This nation of 60 million citizens accounts for over a third of the nearly 11 500 deaths that have been officially reported.

The country still holds record for the highest single-day death toll for any country since the coronavirus outbreak started.

Italy’s death toll now stands at 5 476.

The number of new infections rose by 10.4% to 59.14%.

“The figures announced today are lower than those for yesterday,” Italian civil protection service chief Angelo Borrelli told reporters.

“I hope and we all hope that these figures can be borne out in the coming days. But do not let your guard down.”

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Sunday’s figures suggest that strict containment measures imposed around the northern epicentre of the crisis near Milan on 8 March might be starting to bear fruit.

Milan’s Lombardy region reported just 30.4% of the new infections on Sunday.

It had been reporting about two-thirds of Italy’s coronavirus deaths throughout the month-long crisis.

The region of 10 million officially registered 55.5% of Sunday’s Covid-19 deaths.

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