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COVID-19 death toll continues to surge in Europe

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A Serbian military personal wearing a protective mask walks amongst beds set up inside a hall at the Belgrade Fair to accommodate people suffering from mild symptoms of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on March 24, 2020. More than 200,000 coronavirus cases have been declared in Europe, according to an AFP tally on March 24, 2020.

The number of people infected or killed by the novel coronavirus is still surging in Europe, despite earlier hopes that Italy might be turning the corner.

France has reported 240 new deaths, raising the country’s total to 1,100 fatalities while having 22,000 confirmed cases.

The country has become the fifth state to record more than 1,000 deaths from coronavirus as it enters its second week of lockdown.

The French ministry of health said that another 240 people had died due to the virus over the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of deaths recorded in the country's hospitals to 1,100. The total number of cases detected in France now stands at 22,300, an increase of 2,444 in 24 hours.

A flicker of hope that Italy, the worst hit European country, might be turning the corner faded after officials reported an increase in new cases and deaths.

Italy recorded 743 new deaths, bringing the fatalities to over 6,800. The total number of confirmed cases also reached nearly 70,000.

On Monday 602 people died. That followed 650 deaths on Sunday and 793 on Saturday -- the highest daily figure since the coronavirus contagion came to light on February 21.

The total number of confirmed cases in Italy rose to 69,176 from a previous 63,927, an increase of 8.2 percent, in line with Monday's growth rate, the Civil Protection Agency said.

The Italian prime minister has urged people to respect the regulations in place. However, Giuseppe Conte also expressed hopes about loosening the lockdown restrictions as the country’s infection rate was slowing.

Italy reported just an eight-percent rise in new infections, the lowest level since the country registered its first death on February 21st.

Meanwhile, in Spain, the number of registered patients rose to nearly 42,000 with some 3,000 deaths.

Cases in Germany soared to over 27,000 with 114 deaths. Officials in the UK have reported 87 new coronavirus deaths, taking the overall tally to over 400.

The number of confirmed cases also rose to over 8,000.

More than 415,000 people worldwide have been infected by the virus and over 18,500 have died, according to a running count kept by Johns Hopkins University.

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