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          COVID-19 IMPACT. A man waits to enter a supermarket in Bologna, Italy, March 20, 2020. Global confirmed Covid-19 cases topped 300,000 with nearly 13,000 deaths, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at John Hopkins University. (Photo by Gianni Schicchi/Xinhua)

          NEW YORK – The number of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases worldwide topped 300,000 as 6 p.m. Saturday (US time), according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.

          The latest figure reached 303,816 cases with 12,950 deaths, the CSSE said.

          Outside China, the countries that reported over 10,000 cases include Italy, Spain, the United States, Germany, Iran and France.

          It took around only three days for the total number to jump from 200,000 to 300,000. Over 160 countries and regions have reported Covid-19 cases so far, the CSSE said.

          China’s 46 new cases mostly from abroad

          In China, health authorities on Sunday said they received reports of 46 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on the Chinese mainland on Saturday, of which 45 were imported from abroad.

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          Also on Saturday, six deaths and 45 new suspected cases were reported on the mainland with five of the deaths reported in Hubei Province while 504 people were discharged from hospital after recovery and the number of severe cases decreased by 118 to 1,845.

          The overall confirmed cases on the mainland had reached 81,054 by the end of Saturday, including 5,549 patients who were still being treated, 72,244 patients who had been discharged after recovery, and 3,261 people who died of the disease.

          The commission said that 118 people were still suspected of being infected with the virus.

          The commission added that 10,071 close contacts were still under medical observation. On Saturday, 1,110 people were discharged from medical observation.

          By the end of Saturday, 273 confirmed cases including four deaths had been reported in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), 18 confirmed cases in the Macao SAR, and 153 in Taiwan including two deaths.

          A total of 100 patients in Hong Kong, 10 in Macao and 28 in Taiwan had been discharged from hospital after recovery

          Italy has largest daily death toll

          Italy on Saturday reported another 793 deaths from coronavirus, a new daily record that brings the number of total deaths to 4,825, the highest globally.

          According to Anadolu Agency report, the latest figures provided by the Italian Civil Protection Department showed that the total number of cases in the country continues to grow, climbing 13 percent from Friday to reach 42,681.

          The epicenter of the Italian outbreak remains the northern Lombardy region, which now counts 3,095 victims.

          Following the urgent calls of local governors and mayors, the government approved more stringent rules late on Friday to avoid citizens leaving their homes violating the lockdown.

          Under the new rules, all parks have been closed and travel to second holiday homes on weekends has been banned. Outdoor activities have also been further restricted, with jogging allowed only near home.

          The army has started patrolling streets in a few regions, in the attempt to reduce infractions.

          The virus was first detected in Wuhan, China last December, and has spread to at least 167 countries and territories.

          The World Health Organization, which labeled the outbreak a pandemic, declared Europe the new epicenter. (Xinhua/Anadolu)



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