Coronavirus toll crosses 1,000 in Italy, over 4,250 worldwide

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Coronavirus has claimed 1,016 lives in Italy, with at least 15,113 people are infected with the virus. The global total now stands at 117,339 positive cases and 4,251 deaths across 107 countries and territories, according to an AFP tally.

Civil protection officials in Italy say 1,258 have recovered, although the number of cases has gone up by 2,651 since Wednesday. Italy is the world's worst-hit country after China.

Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said he hopes his country will be the first in Europe to get over the emergency, the BBC reported on Thursday.

He said the measures imposed in the first area of the outbreak were proving effective.

Two weeks after the first 10 towns in northern Italy were declared a "red zone" and put under lockdown, he said they had no new infections.

This then served as a model to tighten measures across the country.

Movement has been limited to urgent medical or professional need. All shops are now closed, except for pharmacies and those stocking food; companies have been ordered to shut non-essential departments; a wide range of venues - from theatres to schools and hairdressers to museums - are closed.

Italian authorities say it could take two weeks for the impact of the restrictions to be seen on the coronavirus outbreak nationwide, which is still surging in towns and cities outside the initial red zone.

The government has named a new commissioner to deal with the virus, Domenico Arcuri. He will co-ordinate the programme to resupply hospitals with equipment they urgently need.

Iran

Iran announced on Thursday that another 75 people had died of the new coronavirus, bringing the overall number of deaths to 429 out of more than 10,000 infections.

It is the highest single-day death toll in the three weeks since the Islamic republic announced its first deaths from the outbreak last month.

China

China remains the hardest-hit overall with more than 80,000 cases and 3,000 deaths, according to an AFP tally.

Beijing reported an increase in imported cases Wednesday, fuelling concerns that infections from overseas could undermine its progress in halting the spread of the virus.

US

At least 28 people have died in the US with 1,025 infected, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University -- nearly double the 550 total confirmed cases the day before.

Arsenal's game at Manchester City was postponed after players from the London club were put into quarantine, making it the first Premier League fixture to be called off because of the virus.

The virus has sparked doubts about the Olympics due to open in Tokyo on July 24, with the traditional flame lighting ceremony in Greece set to be held without spectators.

In the United States, organisers rescheduled the two-week Coachella music festival for October.

The virus and the response to the crisis has prompted pandemonium on global markets with volatility not seen since the world financial crisis in 2008.

(With agency inputs.)

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