The death toll from the new coronavirus has surpassed 5,000 in Europe, the new epicentre of the pandemic, with Italy, Spain and Germany reporting a steep rise in infections, as worldwide fatalities surged past 11,000 on Saturday.
Italy announced 627 more deaths on Friday, the biggest day-to-day increase in the country’s four-week epidemic, a day after surpassing China’s death toll. The total number of deaths in Italy has now reached 4,032.
Spain’s death toll has also increased to more than 1,000, while in Iran, the number on fatalities hit another grim milestone of more than 1,400, as the country marks the beginning of the Persian New Year.
An estimated 235,000 people have been infected by the coronavirus globally and close to 10,000 have been confirmed dead, according to the World Health Organization.
But the data collected by the Johns Hopkins University in the United States showed that more than 260,000 have already been infected in 166 countries, while 87,000 have recovered, mostly in China where the outbreak first erupted.
The same Johns Hopkins coronavirus monitor showed that the death toll has now surpassed 11,300 worldwide as of mid-Saturday, with the possibility of breaching 12,000 by the end of the day.