Coronavirus cases surpass 500,000 worldwide

Jane Dalton, Kate Ng
Medical staff move a patient from a train from Strasbourg to an ambulance: EPA

Coronavirus has now infected more than 510,000 people globally, up almost 40,000 from the 472,000 confirmed cases at the start of Thursday.

The number of positive cases is steadily increasing in countries such as the UK, Spain, and parts of Southeast Asia as they approach the peak of infection.

Thousands of new cases have been confirmed in Europe and the United States in recent days, pushing the total over half a million as governments worldwide impose tighter restrictions to try to curb the spread of Covid-19.

China, where the virus originated, remains the country with the highest number of infections, at 81,782 cases, but has been reporting close to zero new domestic cases in recent days.

Italy and US have the second and third highest figures of coronavirus cases in the world, with 80,539 and 75,233 infections respectively, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Read more

Italy, with 7,503 coronavirus deaths, has a higher grim toll than China’s of 3,169, as has Spain, with 4,145.

However, the pace of increase in coronavirus deaths in Spain has slowed for the first time in a week, as health chiefs recorded 655 deaths in 24 hours.

Iran, which officially has had 2,234 deaths, is fourth, followed by France, where 1,331 people have died.

The UK, with a death toll of 477, is fifth in the list.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says it has seen “encouraging signs” in Italy, but warned it was too soon to say whether the country had seen the worst of the outbreak.

To date, at least 220,000 cases have been reported in Europe, along with 11,987 deaths, the WHO says. Around six out of every 10 cases and seven out of 10 deaths have been reported on the continent.

According to Johns Hopkins University, 22,993 people have died worldwide so far, and 120,983 have recovered.