Global coronavirus death toll tops 7,000

PTI

Wuhan: In this Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020, photo, a nurse prepares medicines for patients at Jinyintan Hospital designated for new coronavirus infected patients, in Wuhan in central China's Hubei province. China reported thousands new virus cases and more deaths in its update Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020 on a disease outbreak that has caused milder illness in most people, an assessment that promoted guarded optimism from global health authorities. (AP/PTI Photo)

File Photo: In this photo, a nurse prepares medicines for patients at Jinyintan Hospital designated for new coronavirus infected patients, in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei province. China reported thousands of new virus cases and more deaths in its update Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020, on a disease outbreak that has caused milder illness in most people, an assessment that promoted guarded optimism from global health authorities. (AP/PTI Photo)

The number of deaths around the world linked to the new coronavirus has topped 7,000, after Italy announced a new surge in fatalities, according to an AFP tally at 1700 GMT on Monday.

A total of 7,007 people have died, with a 175,536 infections recorded globally.

China has the highest number of fatalities at 3,213, followed by Italy with 2,158 deaths and almost 28,000 cases.

Several countries have put their citizens under partial or total lockdown amid the growing spread of coronavirus around the world.

In Europe, Germany and France have imposed stringent new measures to limit social contact.

French President Emmanuel Macron announced an enforced lockdown, a step similar to curbs imposed by Italy and Spain. Also European Union’s external borders would be closed to travellers from Tuesday.

Spain will also start controls at land borders at midnight on Monday and only Spanish citizens, residents and special cases will be allowed in the country.

Italy is the worst-affected nation outside China. It reported 349 new deaths from the novel coronavirus on Monday, taking its total to 2,158.

In the US, President Trump said Americans should not gather in groups of more than 10 people as the country’s cases passed 4,400, with at least 86 fatalities.

The President says the nationwide coronavirus emergency could last until the end of the summer or even longer.

At least 40 US states have declared an emergency over the virus, and 29 states are shutting schools.

Meanwhile, the US has begun the phase one clinical trial of an investigational vaccine for coronavirus. The open-label trial will enrol 45 healthy adult volunteers aged 18 to 55 years over approximately six weeks.

Iran, which has the third-highest number of confirmed cases globally, on Monday reported 129 more deaths, its highest tally in a single day. Health Ministry has urged people not to travel outside their province.

The fourth-most-affected nation, South Korea, reported a slowdown in new infections, with President Moon Jae-in saying he was increasingly confident of overcoming the virus.

However, there has been a sharp rise in coronavirus cases in Africa. Strict measures are being introduced in many of the 26 countries affected, with schools and borders closing in several parts of Africa.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths outside China has now surpassed the number inside. More than 87,000 people have been infected outside China, while just over 80,000 cases have been reported inside.

(With inputs from PTI)