Italy recorded 919 deaths from coronavirus on Friday, the highest daily toll anywhere in the world, while the number of confirmed cases eclipsed the total in China where the virus first emerged.
The death toll has now surged to 9,134, the Civil Protection Agency said.
Prior to Friday’s figure, the largest daily toll was registered on March 21, when 793 people died.
The 919 people who died over the last 24 hours compare with 712 deaths on Thursday, 683 on Wednesday, 743 on Tuesday and 602 on Monday.
The total number of confirmed cases rose to 86,498 from a previous 80,539.
It took Italy’s total past that of China, where the coronavirus epidemic emerged at the end of last year.
The United States already surpassed China’s tally of cases on Thursday.
In Italy, of those originally infected nationwide, 10,950 had fully recovered on Friday, compared to 10,361 the day before. There were 3,732 people in intensive care against a previous 3,612.
The hardest-hit northern region of Lombardy reported a steep rise in fatalities compared with the day before and remains in a critical situation, with a total of 5,402 deaths and 37,298 cases.
That compared with 4,861 deaths and 34,889 cases reported up to Thursday.