China, Italy, Iran are worst-affected countries. (Photo Credit: IANS file)
The number of coronavirus cases worldwide passed 150,000 on Saturday driven by a spike in infections in Italy, according to an AFP tally compiled from official sources. Italy announced 3,497 new cases on Saturday, bringing the global total to 151,797, with 5,764 deaths across 137 countries and territories.
Italy, the worst-hit country outside of China where the outbreak began in December, has now registered a total of 21,157 cases and 1,441 deaths.
Spain confirmed more than 1,500 new cases of coronavirus between Friday and Saturday raising its total to 5,753 cases, the second-highest number in Europe after Italy.
The country was expected to declare a state of alert on Saturday to try to mobilise resources to combat the virus, which has so far killed 136 people in Spain. Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez was due to speak at a cabinet meeting at 1300 GMT to announce the state of alert and new measures expected to limit the movement of people.
On Friday said the government would adopt a series of extraordinary measures in order "to mobilise all the resources of state to better protect the health of all of its citizens".
The number of cases in Spain has increased tenfold since Sunday, and bars, restaurants and all sporting and cultural institutions have been closed. The Madrid region, which is the country's worst-hit with nearly 3,000 cases, has ordered the closure of all non-essential businesses.