Italy has officially recorded more deaths as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19) than China, marking a grim milestone for a nation rocked by the global health crisis.

ABC reports Italian health authorities counted 427 deaths on Thursday, bringing the total number to 3,405.

In China, the epicentre of the pandemic, the official tally stands at 3,245.

The news comes as Italy closes another week of nationwide lockdown conditions. Those measures came into effect March 9, weeks after China enforced a strict quarantine on its hard-hit Hubei province.

CNN reports Italian authorities are contemplating an extension of school closures past April 3, their original end date. No decision has been officially announced.

Reports from the European nation depict a health system in crisis, with hospitals pushed to their limits due to the influx of patients ill with COVID-19.

While Italy recorded 5,322 new infections overnight and a new total of 41,035, promising signs have emerged from China, which yesterday announced zero new cases in Hubei.

Australia’s Department of Health states there have been 204,700 confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide and more than 8,400 deaths.

As of yesterday morning, Australia has counted 565 cases of COVID-19 within its borders, including six deaths.

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