China reported 150 new deaths on Monday from the coronavirus outbreak, according to health authorities – a new daily record since the Covid-19 illness began spreading in December 2019.
Also, South Korea announced the seventh death.
At the same time, 409 new cases of infection were confirmed by China’s National Health Commission.
A total of 149 of the new deaths and 398 of the new infections occurred within Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak.
The number of confirmed infections on the mainland rose to 77,152 with overall deaths rising to 2,592.
In spite of the high number of fatalities and ongoing outbreaks worldwide, official statistics point to a slowdown in the spread of the virus within China.
South Korea announced the seventh death from the novel coronavirus, according to the Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).
The centre confirmed on Monday that the number of cases has risen by 161, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 763.
Many of the new South Korean cases are linked to a hospital (110) and to a religious group called the Shincheonji Church of Jesus (129) near the south-eastern city of Daegu, authorities said.
Five of the seven deaths are believed to be linked to the hospital, which has been isolated to halt the further spread of the virus.
The city of Daegu and the nearby county of Cheongdo, where the hospital is located, have been declared “special care zones”.
Nine medical staff at Daenam Hospital had also been confirmed to be infected with Covid-19.
Similarly, a total of 152 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Italy, including three deaths and one recovery, said Angelo Borrelli, head of the country’s civil protection department.
The total includes 110 cases in the northern region of Lombardy, 21 in the north-eastern region of Veneto, and nine in the northern region of Emilia-Romagna, Borrelli said at a televised press conference.
Borrelli added that an Italian researcher has made a full recovery.
Giulio Gallera, Lombardy’s regional council member for welfare, said that an elderly cancer patient infected with the virus was the third person to have died from the sickness in Italy.
Eleven towns, 10 in Lombardy and one in Veneto, are under lockdown.
Local authorities have issued bans, closing several gathering spots and prohibiting people from entering or leaving the affected areas.
Several economic measures have been taken in the virus-hit regions, including suspending tax and mortgage payments and asking workers to stay home, reports said on Sunday.
“We are evaluating measures to assist workers who are banned from going to work,’’ Italy’s Labour Minister, Nunzia Catalfo, said.
On Sunday, Veneto Governor, Luca Zaia, said the Venice Carnival was cancelled.
The Ministry of Education said schools in the affected areas will remain closed until Feb. 29 while four Series of football matches have been suspended. (dpa/NAN)