GENEVA, March 20. /TASS/. As of March 19, 209,839 people across the world have been infected with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and 8,778 people have died, the World Health Organization (WHO) informed in its daily situation report on Friday. The organization noted the rapid spread of the disease, with the amount of people infected rising by 100,000 in the past 12 days.
"The number of confirmed cases worldwide has exceeded 200,000. It took over three months to reach the first 100,000 confirmed cases, and only 12 days to reach the next 100,000," the bulletin informs. WHO reported that in the past 24 hours, the number of COVID-19 infections in the world rose by 16,556, and the number of reported deaths rose by 828. The highest number of coronavirus cases has been documented in the Western Pacific Region (92,333 cases, 3,377 deaths). There are 87,108 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the European Region and 4,084 confirmed deaths, with the daily increase of 10,221 infected persons and 591 deaths.
In late December 2019, Chinese authorities notified WHO about an outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, central China. On March 11, WHO officially characterized the situation with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) as a pandemic.