The number of deaths in Egypt from the novel coronavirus neared 2,500 on Wednesday, according to the country’s Health Ministry.

The ministry said in a statement that 85 people died from the virus in the past 24 hours, bringing the country’s death toll to 2,450.

The number of confirmed cases totals over 59,500 with nearly 16,000 recoveries.

Since first appearing in Wuhan, China last December, the virus has spread to at least 188 countries and regions.

The pandemic has killed more than 481,000 people worldwide, with an excess of 9.3 million confirmed cases and greater than 4.7 million recoveries, according to figures compiled by US-based Johns Hopkins University.

*Writing by Ali Murat Alhas

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