Australia reported 15 new cases and five more deaths from the novel coronavirus Wednesday in Victoria state.

The number of infections in the country climbed to 26,972, while the death toll reached 859, Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews said at a news conference in Melbourne.

Andrews conveyed his condolences to the families of those who lost their relatives due to the pandemic.

Victoria, where a total of 20,091 COVID-19 cases have been recorded so far, is the state with the highest number of infections.

The number of recoveries in the country reached 24,213.

Out of 856 active cases, the treatment of 100 coronavirus patients continues in various hospitals, 11 of which are in intensive care.

Meanwhile, New Zealand reported three more cases, raising its count to 1,824, including 25 deaths and 1,737 recoveries.

According to the Health Ministry, there are currently 62 active cases in the country.

Across the world, the pandemic has claimed more than 969,000 lives in 188 countries and regions since the virus was first detected in Wuhan, China in December.

The US, India and Brazil are currently the worst-hit countries.

More than 31.5 million cases have been reported, with more than 21.6 million recoveries, according to figures compiled by US-based Johns Hopkins University..

*Writing by Jeyhun Aliyev from Ankara

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