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Saudi Arabia provides $10m in global fight against coronavirus

Saudi Arabia, March 10, 2020

Saudi Arabia has provided $10 million to the World Health Organisation (WHO) for the implementation of urgent measures to minimise the spread of the new coronavirus, known as Covid-19.

This support came in response to an urgent appeal by WHO to all countries aimed at intensifying efforts to take global measures to combat the spread of the disease, Saudi News Agency reported.

The funds comes as the number of cases of novel coronavirus worldwide has crossed 111,000 people in 100 countries and territories with more than 3,800 dead.

The landmark figure came after Iran reported almost 600 new cases on Monday morning, taking its total number of infections past 7,000.

China, where the virus first emerged late last year, remains the most affected country with more than 80,000 cases, but experts have expressed hope that the Chinese outbreak has peaked.

Governments are scrambling to respond to the outbreak with countries across Europe cancelling public gatherings, restricting attendances at sporting events and closing schools - following similar measures in China and other Asian nations.

Italy is battling the deadliest outbreak outside of China with 366 people having died from 7,375 cases, much more deadly than in South Korea, which has seen a similar number of infections but just 51 deaths.

The Rome government is attempting to seal off roughly 15 million people in its hard-hit northern regions, forbidding travel around a vast area including the cities of Venice and Milan.