Italy reports 34,767 new coronavirus cases, 692 deaths

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Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Naples
Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Naples

ROME (Reuters) - Italy registered 34,767 new coronavirus infections in the space of 24 hours, the health ministry said on Saturday, slightly down from 37,242 the day before.

The ministry also reported 692 COVID-19-related deaths after 699 on Friday.

Italy was the first Western country to be hit by the virus and has suffered 49,261 deaths from COVID-19 since its outbreak emerged in February, the second highest toll in Europe after Britain's. It has also registered 1.38 million cases.

The northern region of Lombardy, centred on Italy's financial capital Milan, remained the hardest-hit area on Saturday, reporting 8,853 new cases, down from 9,221 the day before.

(Reporting by Angelo Amante; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Kevin Liffey)