Coronavirus news: Government ‘fears 80% of country could be infected’, as deadly outbreak sweeps Europe amid looming pandemic

Samuel Osborne, Jon Sharman, Chiara Giordano, Vincent Wood
Malaysia's Ministry of Health/AF

Rates of the Covid-19 coronavirus have continued to spike across Europe with new instances confirmed in France and Germany as the number of cases outside China outstripped those within the East Asian nation for the first time since the virus’s emergence.

As Beijing confirmed 411 new cases compared to 427 in the rest of the world, the virus was also observed in all of the planet’s habitable continents for the first time. In a 24 hour period initial cases were announced in Romania, Norway, Georgia, North Macedonia, Greece, Pakistan, Algeria and Brazil.

Meanwhile in Italy, where the virus has quickly spread following infections in ten towns in the north, health officials confirmed 400 people had been infected in total while 12 people had died. Elsewhere Berlin’s health Minister Jens Spahn warned his nation was on the cusp of an epidemic, telling a news conference “The infection chains are partially no longer trackable, and that is a new thing".

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