The worldwide death toll from the coronavirus pandemic surged past 5,000 with the total infected cases also rising to more than 140,000, as the infection continues to spread prompting different countries to take unprecedented measures to help stave off a global health crisis.

The World Health Organization’s latest report showed 4,955 total fatalities as of 09:00 GMT on Friday, while Italy reported an additional 250 new deaths on the same day, and Iran announced 85 new deaths.

Citing other sources aside from the WHO, the Johns Hopkins University data showed close to 5,400 deaths.

US President Donald declared a national emergency over the coronavirus pandemic, opening the door to providing what he said was about $50bn in federal aid to fight the disease.

The WHO has warned that Europe has now become the “epicentre” of the pandemic, also known as COVID-19.

The virus has also spread to at least 19 countries on the African continent, with Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan, Guinea, Mauritania and Eswatini (formerly known as Swaziland) all confirming their first cases.

The United Kingdom is planning to introduce emergency laws next week to ban mass gatherings in an attempt to curb the coronavirus outbreak, Reuters news agency reported citing Sky News

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