More than 15,000 people have died of the new coronavirus while over 350,000 infections have been confirmed as of Monday, data from a U.S. university showed.
The figures from Johns Hopkins University underscore that the acceleration of deaths from COVID-19 is increasing despite efforts by countries around the world to slow the spread of the virus.
(The Grand Central Terminal is seen empty in New York on March 22, 2020.)
The number of deaths from the coronavirus reached 5,000 on March 13 and had doubled by Friday, just one week later. The toll has now surpassed 15,000 in only three additional days.
Italy, the hardest-hit country, reports more than 5,400 deaths, accounting for over a third of the total fatalities from the pneumonia-causing disease.
The number of coronavirus cases worldwide has also been surging, with a jump of about 50,000 in the past two days, according to the data.
Referring to more conservative World Health Organization data that over 300,000 people have been infected with the coronavirus, WHO Director General Tedros Ghebreyesus told a press briefing on Monday that COVID-19 has been reported "from almost every country in the world."
"That's heartbreaking," he said, adding, "The pandemic is accelerating."
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