Italy recorded its single biggest rise in deaths, with 969 more victims, to bring its total number of fatalities to 9134.
The country now has 86,498 cases, surpassing China to record the grim distinction of the second-most infections in the world, behind the US.
However, the percentage rise in new infections in Italy – 7.4% – was the lowest yet.
The head of Italy’s national health institute warned today that ‘we haven’t reached the peak and we haven’t passed it’.
Italy’s national lockdown is already in its third week but school closures and a ban on non-essential activities are likely to be extended beyond April 3.
There are now 300,000 cases recorded in Europe with more than 26,000 deaths worldwide, and the United States overtook China as the country with the most infections.