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Coronavirus: Belgium death toll passes 10,000, UK breaks new daily cases record

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A medic takes a nose swab sample from a patient to be tested for coronavirus in a drive-in test station in Liege, Belgium.
A medic takes a nose swab sample from a patient to be tested for coronavirus in a drive-in test station in Liege, Belgium.   -   Copyright  Francisco Seco/Associated Press
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Belgium, one of the countries worst-hit by the coronavirus pandemic in Europe, has seen the death toll from COVID-19 pass the 10,000 mark, according to the latest figures.

The densely-populated country of about 11.5 million inhabitants recorded 10,001 deaths on Wednesday, rising by 13 in 24 hours, and 117,115 positive cases in total against 115,353 the day before, according to public health institute Sciensano.

In terms of deaths related to coronavirus, Belgium has the highest mortality rate of any country in Europe - and third in the world - with 87.44 deaths per 100,000 population as of September 29, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Spain was second with 67.33 deaths per 100,000 population. The UK, which has seen over 42,000 fatalies, rounded out the top three with 63.30 deaths per 100,000.

Belgian authorities from the start of the pandemic seven months ago have opted for a broad census on how deaths were recorded, adding those occurring in hospitals and retirement homes.

Also included were deaths possibly linked to the virus which had not necessarily been confirmed by testing.

At the peak of the pandemic in April, Belgium had recorded more than 250 deaths a day over a 10-day period, with a record of 321 on 8 April, according to Sciensano's figures.

The 5,000 mark was crossed on 17 April.

Meanwhile, the UK broke its own record for the highest daily number of coronavirus infections again on Tuesday with another 7,143 new cases reported in 24 hours.

It also recorded 71 coronavirus-related deaths, the highest daily leap since July 1.

In Wales, four more councils have imposed tighter restrictions, putting more than half a million people in the north of the country under local lockdown.

Movement in Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire, and Wrexham will be restricted unless for work or education from 7 pm CEST on Thursday, joining 12 other local authorities in south Wales already back under lockdown conditions.