COVID-19 global death toll passes 15k

PARIS/ BEIJING/ MADRID, MAR 23 (AFP) | Publish Date: 3/23/2020 9:51:54 AM IST

Deaths from the coronavirus pandemic have topped 15,000 across the globe, according to an AFP tally on Monday from official figures. A total of 15,189 deaths have been recorded, the majority in Europe with 9,197 fatalities.

Italy is the hardest-hit country with 5,476 deaths, followed by China where the virus first emerged last year with 3,270, and Spain with 2,182.

With a total of 1,395 new deaths reported in the past 24 hours out of 172,238 officially declared cases, Europe is now the continent where the virus is spreading the most rapidly.

China reports no domestic coronavirus cases amid rise in imported infections: China has reported no new domestic cases of the novel coronavirus but confirmed 39 imported infections, taking the death toll to 3,270 as the country ramped up measures to strictly quarantine people coming from abroad to prevent a recurrence of the COVID-19 outbreak, health officials said on Monday.  

Nine persons died of the deadly virus in the country on Sunday taking the total death toll so far in the Chinese mainland to 3,270, China’s National Health Commission, (NHC) said on Monday.

The overall confirmed cases on the mainland has reached 81,093 by the end of Sunday. It included 3,270 people who died of the disease, 5,120 patients still undergoing treatment 72,703 patients discharged after recovery, it said.

Also, no new locally transmitted case was reported from the country on Sunday, including from the virus epicentres Hubei province and its capital Wuhan.

Last week for three consecutive days China reported zero cases of the locally transmitted cases in a major milestone in efforts to contain the vicious virus after it surfaced in the Wuhan city in December last year.

Spain death toll tops 2,000 after 462 deaths in 24 hours: govt: The coronavirus death toll in Spain surged to 2,182 after 462 people died within 24 hours, the health ministry said on Monday.

The death rate showed a 27-per cent increase on the figures released a day earlier, with the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 rising to 33,089 in Spain, one of the worst-hit countries in the world after China and Italy.

Despite an unprecedented national lockdown which was put in place on March 14, the number of deaths and infections have spiralled in Spain, with the figures growing as the country steps up its capacity for testing.

And the lockdown, which was initially put in place for two weeks, will be extended until April 11 to try to curb the spread, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said -- in a measure which will be put to parliament on Tuesday.

The rise in infections in this country of 46 million people has brought Spain’s healthcare system to the brink of collapse, particularly in Madrid, the worst-hit area, which has registered 10,575 cases, and where 1,263 people have died -- accounting for 58 per cent of the national death toll.

Some 3,910 healthcare workers have tested positive for the virus, or around 12 percent of those infected, the health ministry’s emergencies coordinator Fernando Simon said.

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