(The Hill) – Nearly 200 people have died in Italy from the novel coronavirus in one day, NBC News reports.
The Italian Civil Protection Agency confirmed to the news agency that the country, which has the worst outbreak of COVID-19 outside of China, recorded 196 deaths between Tuesday to Wednesday. NBC News reports a total of 897 deaths from the virus have been recorded in the country thus far.
The confirmation comes after earlier reports placed the total number of coronavirus cases in Italy at 10,000 on Wednesday.
“Right now, the epicenter – the new China – is Europe,” Robert Redfield, the head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said.
As more cases and deaths from the virus have been reported in the country, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has reportedly announced plans to allocate 25 billion euros, or $28.3 billion, toward fighting the outbreak.
The government has also been urging its citizens to stay inside to prevent the spread of the virus which, according to data from the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering, has been confirmed in over 122,399 cases worldwide as of Wednesday afternoon.
Along with that number, 4,522 deaths from the virus have been recorded, the majority of which were in China, where the virus was first detected late last year. Additionally, the center has also confirmed 66,687 recoveries.
Amid the international outbreak of COVID-19, for which scientists have not yet found a vaccine, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially characterized the disease as a pandemic on early Wednesday.
“In the days and weeks ahead, we expect to see the number of Covid-19 cases, the number of deaths, and the number of affected countries climb even higher,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.