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Image Credit: Reuters

Paris: The number of coronavirus cases worldwide passed 150,000 on Saturday driven by a spike in infections in Italy, according to an AFP tally compiled from official sources.

Italy announced 3,497 new cases on Saturday, bringing the global total to 151,797, with 5,764 deaths across 137 countries and territories.

Italy, the worst-hit country outside of China where the outbreak began in December, has now registered a total of 21,157 cases and 1,441 deaths.

Denmark announces first death

Denmark on Saturday recorded its first coronavirus death, health authorities said.

"It was a person aged 81 years who was hospitalised for other serious illnesses," said officials at the hospital where the patient was treated.

The death is the fifth COVID-19 fatality in the Nordic countries. Two people have already died in Sweden and two in Norway.

Schools, universities and libraries have been closed in Denmark and civil servants have been asked to stay at home.

First French prisoner, senator test positive for COVID19

France's Public Health Authority on Saturday reported 12 new deaths from coronavirus taking the total to 91.

It said on its website that the number of cases had risen to 4,499, up from 3,661 on Friday.

A prisoner has tested positive for coronavirus in France, where many jails are overstretched, as well as a senator, officials said Saturday, describing them as the first such cases.

Hundreds of anti-government "yellow vest" protesters meanwhile ignored official warnings against gatherings of more than 100 people and massed in central Paris for their 70th weekly protest, traditionally held on Saturdays.

A 74-year-old man tested positive in a jail in Fresnes, east of Paris. He has been placed in a solitary cell on March 8 and was taken to hospital on Friday, Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet's spokeswoman said.

"When he arrived (in prison), he already had respiratory problems," said Jean-Christophe Petit, from the Fresnes prison.

A nurse had already tested positive at the prison but the justice ministry stressed there was no link between the two infections.

The Fresnes jail houses 2,159 prisoners despite a capacity of 1,320. It has been feared that the virus could spread quickly through overcrowded prisons.

The senator infected was identified as Guylene Pantel, 56, but she was reported to be in good health.

Brune Poirson, French Secretary of State the Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, also tested positive but "showed no worrying signs," her office said.

Police meanwhile said they had arrested 34 yellow vest protesters in the south of Paris on Saturday.

Frederic Lagache, the director of the country's main police union Alliance, said he had "deep disgust" with the protesters.

"We knew they had no respect for the law, now they have shown they have no civility or sense of responsibility, by putting the community in danger," he said.

Ireland announces second death

A second patient has died of the COVID-19 virus in Ireland and the total number of confirmed cases in the country has increased to 129 from 90, the country's Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan told journalists on Saturday.

Seychelles confirms two coronavirus cases

Two Italian citizens visiting the country tested positive, Jude Gedeon, the country's health commissioner, said.