Chinese workers head back to work as coronavirus death toll climbs

The coronavirus death toll worldwide climbed to at least 102,469 Saturday as migrant workers started returning to work in China, where the crisis started.

Germany, Iran and South Korea — the hardest-hit country after China — all reported big spikes in cases.

Roughly 78 million Chinese migrant rural workers have returned to work, accounting for 60% of the total who returned home for the Chinese New Year holiday, government officials said Saturday.

Beijing is increasing measures to limit the disruption to businesses as economic impacts widen across the globe.

Chinese officials said the risk of a new wave of contagion is rising as more people start moving around again, and the country will continue efforts to contain the spread.

In Germany, the number of cases jumped to 684 on Saturday, reflecting a tenfold increase in the past week and the second-largest number of cases outside Italy, which has at least 4,636 cases.

Malta also reported its first case on Saturday, a 12-year-old girl.

In Iran, 21 more people were reported dead overnight, raising the death toll to 145. The nation also confirmed more than 1,000 infections, bringing the total to 5,823. A newly elected member of parliament was among the dead, as the virus continues to hurt the Islamic Republic’s leadership.

South Korea reported 448 new cases, bringing its total to at least 7,041, most tied to a controversial, secretive church.

With Post wires

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