PARIS (HRNW) – Deaths from the coronavirus pandemic have topped 15,000 across the globe. 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.
Europe is now the epicentre of the global outbreak of a new form of coronavirus that causes a disease known as COVID-19, and Belgium has recorded 3,743 cases and 88 deaths.
Authorities acknowledge that the true tally of infections is much higher but testing is currently limited to hospitalised patients with severe symptoms and health workers with fever.
A number of workers at the European Commission, European Council and European Parliament have become infected, among them the EU s Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier who is in quarantine in his native France.