These are the 9 countries where the coronavirus has become fatal

Two deaths have been recorded in Hong Kong. (PA)

China and South Korea have reported more cases of the new coronavirus as clusters of the disease grow in Europe and the Middle East amid rising global concern.

In the UK, 13 people have been diagnosed with the virus, officially known as Covid-19, including four over the weekend who had been on the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was held in quarantine in Japan.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has so far refused to label the disease a “pandemic” despite it spreading to more than 30 countries worldwide, with a mortality rate of around 2%.

But which countries have been worst hit by the virus?

There have been over 2,700 deaths worldwide, although the figures relating to Iran are unclear (PA)

China – 2,663 deaths

In mainland China, there have been 2,663 deaths among 77,658 cases, mostly in the central province of Hubei. More than 12,000 people affected in the country have already recovered.

China reported 508 new cases and another 71 deaths on Tuesday, 68 of them in the central city of Wuhan, where the epidemic was first detected in December.

Chinese president Xi Jinping warned earlier this week that the country’s virus epidemic is “still grim and complex” and called for more efforts to halt the outbreak.

South Korea – 10 deaths

South Korea now has the second-most cases in the world with 893 and has also seen a near 15-fold increase in reported infections in a week, with 60 new cases reported on Tuesday.

As the country reported its eighth fatality, health workers continued to find batches in the south-eastern city of Daegu and nearby areas, where panic has brought towns to an eerie standstill.

Health workers said they planned to test every citizen in Daegu who showed cold-like symptoms for the coronavirus, estimating about 28,000 people would be targeted. President Moon Jae-in has placed the country under a red alert, the highest level.

Seven deaths have been recorded so far in Italy (AP)

Italy – 7 deaths

In Italy, where 229 people have tested positive for the virus and seven have died, police manned checkpoints around a dozen quarantined northern towns as worries grew across the continent.

Italy has placed 11 towns on lockdown in an attempt to contain the spread of the virus and imposed a range of curfews. 

Iran – 15 deaths (official number)

In Iran, a report of dozens of deaths in a single city emerged as infections were reported to have spread for the first time to Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Afghanistan from the Middle Eastern nation.

In the city of Qom, the country’s semi-official ILNA news agency cited a politician in reporting a staggering 50 people had died of Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus – although those numbers are unconfirmed.

The government, however, claims there have only been 15 deaths related to coronavirus so far.

Hong Kong – 2 deaths

Hong Kong has confirmed 69 cases of the virus, with two deaths.

The territory’s government has imposed strict travel bans on those trying to enter from China and announced on Tuesday it will begin evacuating its residents from the mainland.

A map showing the suspected coronavirus cases worldwide (Getty)

France – 2 deaths

A 60-year-old man has become the first French victim of the coronavirus in the country, the health ministry announced on Wednesday.  

The man died overnight after being rushed to a Paris hospital in serious condition on Tuesday evening, bringing the total death toll in the country to two, following the previous death of an 80-year-old Chinese tourist.

The man was one of three new coronavirus cases in France, and the total number of confirmed infections in the country now stands at 17.

Previously announced cases include one French health worker, six people in Contamines-Montjoie and five people who had recently travelled from China.

Japan – 1 death

The tally of domestically transmitted cases in Japan has swelled past 159, including one death.

Japan has also drawn heavy criticism for its handling of a virus outbreak on the UK-registered cruise ship Diamond Princess that caused 691 infections, killing four passengers.

Watch the UK’s health secretary discuss his concerns about COVID-19

Philippines – 1 death

The first death from coronavirus outside China was registered in the Philippines last month.

A 44-year-old Wuhan resident, who later died, and a female companion visited three cities in the Philippines before they were both tested positive for the virus in the capital, Manila.

There have since been two other confirmed cases in the country.

Taiwan – 1 death

On 21 January, a 50-year-old woman who had returned to Taiwan from her teaching job in Wuhan was diagnosed with coronavirus.

Since then there have been 30 confirmed cases, including one death – a man in his 60s. Several Taiwanese nationals were also infected onboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship.