CORONAVIRUS: Italy’s death toll surges past 2,500 as S’Africa records 23 new cases in one day


The death toll occasioned by the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus also known as COVID-19 in Italy has surged past 2,500 cases, with 345 new deaths recorded in the country over the last 24 hours.

Health authorities say the latest update is an increase of 16 percent as the total number of cases in Italy rose to 31,506 from a previous 27,980, up 12.6 percent – the slowest rate of increase since the contagion came to light on February 21.Similarly, authorities in South Africa have recorded 23 new cases of coronavirus in one day, the highest increase of any 24-hour period since the country confirmed its first case of the deadly virus.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize admitted there had been a “debate with clinicians, epidemiologists, virologists on when we, as government must release results to the public.” Local media speculate that this debate was why the announcement wasn’t made until Tuesday evening.This comes as the World Health Organization (WHO) described the coronavirus pandemic as the “defining global health crisis of our time”, and urged countries to test all suspected cases of COVID-19.

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