The number of coronavirus deaths exceeds 3,400 per 100,000 cases worldwide

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The number of coronavirus deaths worldwide has risen to over 3,400, with more than 100,000 cases now reported.

The Netherlands reported the first death from the virus on Friday, while Malta, Serbia, Slovakia, Peru, Togo, Colombia and Cameroon announced their first cases of the disease as it spread worldwide.

The number of 100,000 infections worldwide surpasses other major outbreaks of recent decades such as sars, mers and ebola.

But the virus is still much less widespread than the annual flu epidemics, which, according to the World Health Organization, result in up to five million serious cases around the world each year and 290,000-650,000 deaths per year.

China reported 99 new cases of coronavirus on Saturday, the first time since January 20 that the number of daily cases has increased by less than 100. The government reported 28 deaths in the 24 hours until Friday at midnight.

A total of 22,177 patients are now being treated in China, 55,404 have already been discharged.

South Korea, the hardest hit country outside China, has reported 448 new cases, bringing the total to 7,041.

In Iran, newly elected politician Fatemeh Rahabar, 55, died of the virus as the number of infections there rose by more than 1,000 overnight, killing 145 people.

Following the example of the measures imposed in China six weeks ago, Western governments are now increasingly introducing travel controls by asking people to work from home if possible and to clean up public spaces.

Many governments have introduced restrictions on visitors from China, South Korea, Italy and Iran.

Serbia said it could use the army to keep the virus at bay, while in Switzerland the military is ready to provide assistance in hospitals after 210 new cases were reported on Friday.

French Health Minister Olivier Veran said children will be banned from visiting patients in hospitals and other health facilities across the country, and patients will only be allowed to visit one adult at a time.

Spanish officials have announced a month-long closure of 200 centres in and around Madrid where elderly people are cared for and have activities during the day.

Meanwhile, the global economy is facing increasing damage due to anti-virus controls that are crippling much of the Chinese economy and disrupting travel and trade around the world.

Airlines, hotels, cinemas and other businesses that rely on public activities have lost potential billions of dollars in revenue.

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Mette Frederiksen is a The Washington Newsday correspondent. With her coverage of general science, NASA and the interface between technology and society, Frederiksen has been in the Science Desk's Technology Beat since joining Washington Newsday in 2018.

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