Global coronavirus deaths top 5,000

Will Taylor
News Reporter

The death toll from coronavirus has passed 5,000 worldwide.

Johns Hopkins University, which is tracking the spread of the virus worldwide, announced the new toll on Friday. There were 5,074 deaths as of 2.30pm on Friday afternoon.

Just over 3,000 people have died in China, while 1,000 have died in Italy.

A man wearing a protective face mask as commuters cross London Bridge. (PA Images)

Iran has recorded more than 400, while on Friday morning other countries had each recorded fewer than 100 deaths from the virus.

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Ten deaths have happened in the UK, although Boris Johnson warned on Thursday that more will follow.

He said: “We’ve all got to be clear, this is the worst public health crisis for a generation.

“Some people compare it to seasonal flu, alas that is not right.

“Due to the lack of immunity this disease is more dangerous.

“It is going to spread further and I must level with you, I must level with the British public: many more families are going to lose loved ones before their time.”

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He said that anyone showing symptoms including a new continuous cough or a high temperature should stay at home for seven days.

The government’s chief science adviser has told the BBC that it aims to build up the public’s herd immunity to the virus.

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“Our aim is to try and reduce the peak, broaden the peak, not suppress it completely,” he said.

“Also, because the vast majority of people get a mild illness, to build up some kind of herd immunity so more people are immune to this disease and we reduce the transmission, at the same time we protect those who are most vulnerable to it.”