The number of lives claimed by the mysterious new strain of coronavirus has notched up to 2,345 in mainland China while 76,288 people still remain infected. The infection has now spread to over 25 countries worldwide. China said Saturday the daily count of new virus cases has fallen significantly to 397, with another 109 people dying of the disease, most in the epicenter of Hubei province.
The new figures bring the total number of cases in mainland China to 76,288 with 2,345 deaths, as strict quarantine measures and travel bans continue to contain the disease that emerged in China in December and has since spread world-wide. The daily figure is down from 889 on Friday.
South Korea has become the newest front in a global outbreak, reporting Friday that 204 people had been infected, quadruple the number of cases it had two days earlier. Schools were shuttered Friday, churches told worshipers to stay away and some mass gatherings were banned.
Italy reports 1st death
Italy reported its first death from the new virus from China early Saturday and the number of people infected more than quadrupled due to a cluster of cases that prompted officials to order schools, restaurants and businesses to close.
State-run RAI television reported a 78-year-old man, one of two people in northern Veneto region to have been infected, died Friday. Italian news agencies ANSA and LaPresse also reported the death, citing the Veneto regional president, Luca Zaia.
In Lombardy, at least 14 new cases were confirmed, representing the first infections in Italy acquired through secondary contagion and bringing the country’s total to 19. The cluster was located in a handful of tiny towns southeast of Milan, said Lombardy regional health chief Giulio Gallera.
“This was foreseeable even if we hoped it wouldn’t have happened,” Gallera said.
The first to fall ill was a 38-year-old Italian who met with someone who had returned from China on Jan. 21 without presenting any symptoms of the new virus, health authorities said. That person was being kept in isolation and appears to present antibodies to the virus.
Where has the coronavirus spread?