Italy on Thursday overtook China in the death toll from the Covid-19 outbreak, new data on the outbreak from worldometers.info has shown.
Italy’s death toll rose to 3,405 by Thursday evening, surpassing the total number of deaths so far registered in China.
In the last 24 hours, Italy recorded 427 new deaths and 5,332 new cases.
Thursday’s figure was lower than the day before, when 475 people died from the disease.
The Civil Protection Agency said that the number of cases in Italy rose to 41,035 from 35,713, up 14.9 percent, a faster rate of growth than seen over the last three days.
Italy has been on total lockdown and the number of deaths is attributed to the large number of adult population in the country.
While the number of confirmed cases is just about half of that reported in China where the disease originated, Italy is not yet out of the woods as it is still reporting new cases.
The government had stepped up efforts to contain the outbreak by closing schools, shutting down cities and imposing strict border controls.
Countries across the world are also following similar paths to either avert an outbreak or control the spread of the virus.
As of Thursday 18:25 GMT, about 237,000 people have now been confirmed with the coronavirus and 9,835 deaths globally.
But over 86,000 people have recovered from COVID-19, according to data from worldometers.info.
In Africa, new cases have continued to increase.
Although the region has seen a significant increase in confirmed cases recently, there are still fewer cases than in other parts of the world.
Twelve countries in the African region are now experiencing local transmission.
As of Thursday evening, 737 confirmed cases with 17 deaths and 67 recovered cases have been reported in 33 countries in the continent.
Nigeria reported four new cases, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 12. Two of these cases have been successfully treated and discharged. No death has yet been recorded.
Call to action
The World Health Organisation’s Director-General, Tedros Ghebreyesus, had, however, warned that the continent should be prepared for more cases.
He said the continent should learn from other continents to manage the pandemic.
Also, WHO Regional Director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, said “the rapid evolution of Covid-19 in Africa is deeply worrisome and a clear signal for action,”
She said it is crucial that governments prevent local transmission from evolving into a worst case scenario of widespread sustained community transmission. Such a scenario will present a major challenge to countries with weak health systems, she said.
“Africa can learn from the experiences of other countries which have seen a sharp decline in Covid-19 cases through rapidly scaling up testing, isolating cases and meticulously tracking contacts,” said Ms Moeti.