The number of deaths in Egypt from the novel coronavirus neared 3,000 Tuesday, according to the country’s Health Ministry.     

The ministry said in a statement that 81 people had died from the virus in the past 24 hours, bringing the country’s death toll to 2,953.  

Another 1,557 people tested positive for COVID-19, raising the overall count to 68,311. 

Total recoveries from the pandemic have reached 18,460, the ministry added. 

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 508,000 people worldwide, with an excess of 10.3 million confirmed cases and greater than 5.3 million recoveries, according to figures compiled by US-based Johns Hopkins University.

*Writing by Burak Dag

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