Italy has confirmed another 427 deaths in the past 24 hours, raising the toll to 3,405 - and therefore overtaking China, where the virus originated.
Lombardy, the worst-hit region, recorded 319 deaths in one day.
Italy is the world's worst-affected country after China, where the virus originated last year. At least 8,758 people have died, most in China.
The vast majority of the more than 200,000 confirmed cases - 80% - have occurred in Europe and the Western Pacific region, which includes much of Asia, the World Health Organization (WHO) says.Many countries have taken drastic measures, including social distancing and cancelling major events to help slow transmission and reduce pressure on the health systems.