The coronavirus disease outbreak has escalated to a new level with Europe now becoming the "epicentre" of the global pandemic, according to the head of the World Health Organisation (WHO)
On Friday, 13 March, WHO director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that there are now "more reported cases and deaths in Europe than the rest of the world combined" outside of China.
More cases are now being reported every day than were reported in China at the height of its epidemic.
Latest statistics from the WHO shows that the number of deaths in three European hotspots has increased, with Italy being the most affected country in the world outside of China.
As of this writing, a total of 1,266 people have died in Italy where the coronavirus disease has infected 17,660. Of the 1,266 deaths in Italy, 250 died over the past 24 hours.
There has been a nationwide lockdown in Italy since 9 March
Italy is the first country to implement a national quarantine as a result of the outbreak.
On Wednesday, 11 March, the lockdown was tightened to ensure that all commercial and retail businesses would remain close except those providing essential services, like grocery stores and pharmacies.
However, Italians are reportedly struggling to adjust to the lockdown, with reports of 161 individuals being sanctioned by police in a single day for violating the lockdown orders.
In response, the authorities are now imposing a three-month prison sentence or a fine of 206 euros (RM980) against those found guilty, according to a report in Al Jazeera yesterday, 13 March.
In Malaysia, the highest spike in confirmed cases was recorded in a day in which almost all the new cases are linked to a four-day ijtimak tabligh gathering held at Jamek Sri Petaling Mosque in Kuala Lumpur:
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