Coronavirus as it happened: Outbreak declared pandemic as number of cases in Italy soars

11 March 2020, 17:48

Police officers wearing masks patrol an empty St. Peter's Square at the Vatican
Police officers wearing masks patrol an empty St. Peter's Square at the Vatican. Picture: PA

By Megan White

The World Health Organisation has declared the global coronavirus outbreak as a pandemic as the number of confirmed cases in Italy soared to over 12,000.

WHO chief Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus confirmed on Wednesday that the organisation has characterised Covid-19 as a pandemic, saying it was not a word to be used "lightly or carelessly."

The announcement came after there were almost 200 deaths in 24 hours in Italy, with the number of fatalities now at 827.

The number of cases in the country rose from from 10,149 to 12,462.

In the UK, there have been 456 confirmed cases out of 27,476 tests. Eight patients have died.

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