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Over a million people have contracted the novel coronavirus worldwide.
This is according to a running tally by Johns Hopkins University.
South Korea, meanwhile, has surpassed 10,000 infections.
Ron Chang has the details.
According to the latest figures, at least 1 million and 16,534 infections have been recorded across 181 countries.
The United States, where the novel coronavirus is spreading the most rapidly, has reported the most confirmed cases at nearly 246,000.
The number of actual infections, however, is believed to be higher since many countries are only testing severe cases or patients requiring hospitalization.
The most recent tally also showed over 53,000 deaths.
Around one fourth of global fatalities have been recorded in Italy followed by Spain and France, making Europe the current epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier, the World Health Organization expressed deep concern towards the "exponential growth" in the number of coronavirus cases in recent weeks.
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the disease is expected to gain a greater foothold in countries in Africa and Central and South America, where he said "COVID-19 could have serious social, economic and political consequences."
Meanwhile, here in South Korea, the total number of infections has surpassed 10,000 after 86 new cases were reported Friday.
But more than half, over 6,000 patients, have made full recoveries.
More infections are expected in the coming days due to imported cases of the virus.
Ron Chang, eFM News.■
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