The global death toll from the novel coronavirus surpassed 20,000 Wednesday, according to figures compiled by U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.

The virus known as COVID-19, which emerged in Wuhan, China last December, has spread to at least 172 countries and regions around the globe, while a total of 20,499 people have died and confirmed cases exceeds 451,355.

In all, 112,982 people diagnosed with COVID-19 have recovered from the disease.

Italy, Spain, China and Iran continue to be the most affected countries.

Although China has the most confirmed cases with more than 81,600, Italy recorded the most deaths with 7,503

Read more: Coronavirus claims over 20,000 lives globally