The latest daily count in Italy is smaller that Saturdays fatalities (File)
Italy's world-topping death count from the coronavirus pandemic approached 5,500 on Sunday after the Mediterranean country reported another 651 deaths.
The latest daily count was smaller than Saturday's record 793 fatalities but still the second-highest registered during Italy's month-long crisis.
The number of new coronavirus infections rose by 10.4 percent to 59,138.
Italy's death count now stands at 5,476.
"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."
Sunday's figures suggest that strict containment measures imposed around the northern epicentre of the crisis near Milan on March 8 might be starting to bear fruit.
Milan's Lombardy region reported just 30.4 percent 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 percent of Sunday's COVID-19 deaths.