More than 500,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in Europe: AFP tally

Virus Outbreak Belgium EU Summit

The US is followed by Italy with 101 739 people, Spain with 94 417 people, China with 82 272 people and Germany with 67 051 people. Cuba sent doctors to France.

While Spain's confirmed infections shot past 102,000 today and its deaths are now beyond 9,000, the increase in infections was less than the previous day, offering some hope that the contagion rate is stabilizing.

United States, which already has the highest number of reported infections in the world, has become one with the third highest death records after Italy and Spain.

The COVID-19 pandemic has killed more than 30,000 people in Europe, with Italy and Spain registering over 75 percent of the disease-related deaths. A Navy hospital ship has docked in NY, the mammoth Javits Convention Center has been turned into a hospital, and the tennis center that hosts the U.S. Open is being converted to one, too.

Iran's death toll from coronavirus has reached 3,036, with 138 deaths in the past 24 hours, Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur said, adding the country had 47,593 infected cases.

"We can see how quickly the situation is changing in each country".

Even as the virus appears to have slowed its growth in overwhelmed Italy and in China, where it first emerged, hospitals on the Continent are buckling under the load.

The staffing shortage has been worsened by the high numbers of infected personnel.

The U.S. recorded about 210,000 infections and about 4,600 deaths, with New York City accounting for about 1 out of 4 dead. In Italy alone, almost 10,000 medical workers have contracted the virus and more than 60 doctors have died.

With hospitals direly overstretched, lockdowns have been extended despite their crushing economic impact.

Germany appears to be faring better than many of its European neighbours in its battle against the coronavirus.

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For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. A Navy hospital ship was expected to accept patients soon, and the indoor tennis center that hosts the U.S. Open is being turned into a hospital.

Meanwhile U.S. President Donald Trump has warned Americans to brace for a "hell of a bad two weeks" ahead as the White House projected there could be between 100,000 and 240,000 deaths in the U.S. from the pandemic.

The spike in deaths in NY was another sign of the long fight ahead against the global pandemic, which was filling Spain's intensive care beds and shutting millions of Americans inside even as the crisis in China, where the outbreak began in December, kept easing.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the USA government's top infectious-disease expert, also warned that smaller cities are likely about to see cases "take off" the way they have in New York City.

The United States was preparing for its darkest days after known infections topped 164,000 - the highest number in the world.

"Nevermind coronavirus, we're going to die anyway!"

But members of Trump's coronavirus task force offered a grim forecast of between 100,000 and 240,000 USA deaths in coming months, taking into account current mitigation efforts.

Some have chosen to ignore social distancing guidelines. In Louisiana, buses and cars filled a church parking lot Tuesday as worshippers flocked to hear a pastor who is facing charges for holding services despite a ban on gatherings.

In the USA, federal, state and local officials negotiated over whether two Holland America cruise ships with sick and dead passengers may dock at Port Everglades, Florida.

Greece seals off a migrant camp near Athens after 21 of its residents test positive for the coronavirus - beginning with a new mother at an Athens hospital.

Trump said later that he would speak with his fellow Republican.

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