The global death toll due to COVID-19 passed 150,000 as daily death tolls continued to be in the hundreds for many of the worst affected countries in Europe.
According to data published by the Coronavirus Resource Center at the US Johns Hopkins University, the number of deaths worldwide stood at 156,064 on Saturday afternoon (CET).
In Spain the overall number of deaths rose above 20,000 on Saturday, according to latest health authority figures. But the daily figure of 565 was slightly down on the previous 24 hours. Nearly 40% of all coronavirus hospital patients have now been discharged after recovering.
The UK announced an additional 888 deaths in 24 hours on Saturday, as the total number of people killed by the virus topped 15,000. Russia reported another record daily jump in the number of cases.
There have also now been more than 1,000 deaths in African countries with Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and South Africa the worst hit by the pandemic.
“In the past week there has been a 51% increase in the number of reported cases in my own continent Africa and a 60% increase in the number of reported deaths,” World Health Organisation director general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday.
“With the current challenge of obtaining testing kits, it’s likely that the real numbers are higher than reported.”
“With WHO support, most countries in Africa have the capacity to test for COVID-19, but there are still significant gaps to access to testing kits,” Dr Tedros added.
Many European countries are looking towards a “new normal” with Italy and France recording decreases in hospitalisations, a sign of improvement in both countries.
New figures from Germany on Saturday showed another 3,609 cases compared to the previous day. The previous day the German government announced the epidemic was “under control” in the country, thanking people for staying home and doctors, nurses, and other workers for working to help others.
Germany has a low death toll compared to other badly hit European countries.
“We can now say that this succeeded… the infection rate has decreased significantly,” said health minister Jens Spahn.
Here are the latest coronavirus updates:
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UK says it is now able to carry out 38,000 coronavirus tests a day – it’s aiming to hit 100,000 by the end of April.
View Friday’s developments as they happened in the blog below.