Read the latest on the spread of the novel coronavirus around the world here
March, 31 2020 - 09:11 PM
UK coronavirus deaths rise by 27% to 1,789
The number of deaths from coronavirus in the United Kingdom rose by 27 percent in the space of a day to 1,789 as of Monday at 1600 GMT, the government said.
The number of confirmed cases rose by 14 percent to 25,150 as of Tuesday at 0800 GMT, the Department for Health and Social Care said.
March, 31 2020 - 09:03 PM
G20 coronavirus plan focuses on poorer countries' debt problems
A plan by the Group of 20 major economies to fight the effects of the coronavirus pandemic will address the risk of debt vulnerabilities in low-income countries and deliver financial aid to emerging markets, a joint statement said on Tuesday.
In a videoconference, G20 finance ministers and central bankers discussed roles for the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in deploying resources and exploring measures to alleviate a lack of liquidity in emerging markets, where economies, as elsewhere, are seizing up under the effect of the virus.
March, 31 2020 - 09:00 PM
Paris to transfer 38 coronavirus patients to other regions on Wednesday
Paris health officials will begin transferring 38 critical coronavirus patients by high-speed train from the Paris to regions that have been less overwhelmed to ease pressure on the capital's intensive care capacity, officials said on Tuesday.
"What is planned from the Paris region by TGV transport is (to transport) 38 sick people", Bruno Riou, who heads up the crisis team for the Paris hospitals, told reporters.
March, 31 2020 - 08:49 PM
No proof drug touted by Trump drug is effective against coronavirus: EU
The European Commission said on Tuesday there was no evidence that a drug touted by US President Donald Trump as a potential miracle cure against COVID-19 was effective against the disease caused by the new coronavirus.
Trump had said that hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug, could be among "the biggest game changers in the history of medicine" for its potential effects against COVID-19.
March, 31 2020 - 08:07 PM
Belgian girl becomes Europe's youngest coronavirus victim: media
A 12-year-old girl died in Belgium of the coronavirus, a spokesman for the health ministry said on Tuesday, and local media reported she was Europe's youngest victim of the disease.
"It is a rare event but one that devastates us," virologist Emmanuel Andre told Belgium's official daily news conference on the spread of disease.
March, 31 2020 - 07:27 PM
Pelosi urges stronger US federal response to coronavirus
US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday urged the Trump administration to do more to implement widespread testing for the coronavirus and deliver critical supplies to combat the outbreak, saying there needed to be a more coordinated response.
Pelosi told MSNBC that President Donald Trump should immediately leverage the Defense Production Act to spur production of ventilators for patients and personal protective equipment for healthcare workers coping with the outbreak, which has claimed more than 3,000 lives in the United States so far.
March, 31 2020 - 07:26 PM
Coronavirus surveillance poses long-term privacy threat, UN expert warns
Surveillance measures rolled out across the world as governments try curb the spread of coronavirus could cause lasting damage to the right to privacy, a United Nations expert has warned.
From facial recognition to phone tracking, governments are turning to technology to trace infections and keep tabs on the population as they enforce lockdowns and quarantines.
March, 31 2020 - 06:46 PM
Turkish firms will make 5,000 ventilators in two months for coronavirus patients
A team of Turkish defence and electronics firms aim to jointly produce and deliver 5,000 ventilators to the health ministry in two months, Turkish drone-maker Baykar’s Chief Executive Haluk Bayraktar said on Tuesday.
The initial target is to put 1,000 ventilators in use by mid-April, Bayraktar also said.
The group of companies including Baykar, defence contractor Aselsan, household appliance maker Arcelik have come together to ramp up production of an existing ventilator made by Biosys to treat people with complications from COVID-19.
March, 31 2020 - 06:39 PM
Mass disinfections to combat coronavirus pose another health hazard
A drone dispersed clouds of disinfectant in the sky above Indonesia's second-largest city Surabaya on Tuesday, a response to the coronavirus pandemic which is catching on around the world despite warnings from health experts.
Mass disinfections, often by workers in protective gear resembling characters from the comedy film Ghostbusters, have become a common sight — from Turkey's Grand Bazaar to bridges in Mexico and migrant workers in India.
March, 31 2020 - 06:33 PM
Coronavirus deaths in Netherlands rise by 175 to 1,039: authorities
The number of deaths in the Netherlands resulting from the coronavirus epidemic has risen by 175 to 1,039, health authorities said on Tuesday.
The number of confirmed infections increased by 845 to 12,595, the Netherlands’ National Institute for Health (RIVM) said.
March, 31 2020 - 06:27 PM
UK police chided for overzealous response
From a ban on shops selling Easter eggs to flying drones to spot people defying self-isolation guidelines, police measures to control the spread of the coronavirus have upset some Britons living in a nationwide lockdown.
Some feel the police actions are heavy-handed and applied inconsistently. One retired judge suggested Britain was turning into a police state, although other countries from Spain to Vietnam have applied more draconian measures.
March, 31 2020 - 06:23 PM
Czech Republic's coronavirus infections top 3,000
The tally of coronavirus infections in the Czech Republic has exceeded 3,000 as the central European country ramps up testing and keeps strict measures in place to curb the outbreak.
The country of 10.7 million people has seen the highest number of cases among the European Union’s eastern wing but far fewer than in western neighbours like Germany and Austria.
The growth rate of new cases has shown signs of slowing, however, and the government said on Monday it hoped to begin easing restrictions on daily life after the Easter holiday in April if the situation is under control.
March, 31 2020 - 06:10 PM
Macron says France to rapidly ramp up production of face masks and respirators
France plans to quickly ramp up domestic production of face masks and respirators to respond to urgent needs of hospitals and caregivers during the coronavirus epidemic, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday.
March, 31 2020 - 06:05 PM
Swedish government says to increase virus testing
Sweden will launch a national testing regime to help fight the spread of the coronavirus with the focus initially on health workers and others in key jobs, the government said on Tuesday.
“The government has today instructed the public health authority to quickly develop a national strategy to increase testing for covid-19,” Deputy Prime Minister Isabella Lovin, said at a news conference. “The aim is to extend the testing to other prioritised groups.”
March, 31 2020 - 05:50 PM
China reveals 1,541 symptom-free virus cases
China said the country detected 1,541 people infected with the novel coronavirus who do not have symptoms under observation.
The much-anticipated announcement provides a deeper picture of the scale of the country's epidemic, reports Bloomberg.
March, 31 2020 - 05:16 PM
Help us like you were helped after war, Italy's virus hit cities tell Germany
Italian mayors and regional governors on Tuesday bought a page in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper to ask Germany for solidarity amid the coronavirus outbreak, saying that other states agreed to cut its debt after World War Two.
Italy has seen more fatalities from the coronavirus than any other country, with 11,591 deaths as of Monday, about a third of the global total, and more than 100,000 cases.
March, 31 2020 - 05:15 PM
Furniture brand IKEA starts producing protective gear for health care workers
IKEA, the world's biggest furniture brand, said on Tuesday it has started making protective gear such as aprons and facemasks for hospitals battling the spread of coronavirus, and aims to step up output further.
Demand for its office furniture is holding up well as many work from home due to the coronavirus, Henrik Elm, global purchase manager at brand owner Inter IKEA Group, which is in charge of supply, told Reuters.
March, 31 2020 - 04:53 PM
Swiss coronavirus death toll rises to 373, positive tests hit 16,176
The Swiss death toll from the coronavirus epidemic has risen to 373, the country’s public health agency said on Tuesday, from 295 people on Monday.
The number of positive tests increased to 16,176 from 15,575 on Monday, it said.
March, 31 2020 - 04:52 PM
Belarus reports first coronavirus death: Belta cites Lukashenko
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Tuesday a patient who tested positive for coronavirus had died, the country’s first confirmed death resulting from the virus, the Belta news agency reported.
Belarus had 152 confirmed cases as of Monday.
March, 31 2020 - 04:17 PM
Facing shortages, India bets on China for swift ramp-up of protective health gear
India will buy ventilators and masks from China to help it deal with the coronavirus, a government official said on Tuesday, even though some countries in Europe had complained about the quality of the equipment.
India has recorded 1,251 cases of the coronavirus, with 32 deaths, but health experts say the country of 1.3 billion people could see a major surge in cases that could overwhelm its weak public health system.
March, 31 2020 - 04:08 PM
Iran's death toll from coronavirus climbs to 2,898: health official
Iran’s death toll from coronavirus has reached 2,898, with 141 deaths in the past 24 hours, Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur told state TV on Tuesday, adding that the total number of infected cases has jumped to 44,606.
“In the past 24 hours, there has been 3,111 new cases of infected people. Unfortunately, 3,703 of the infected people are in a critical condition,” Jahanpur said.
March, 31 2020 - 04:00 PM
Indonesia to release 30,000 prisoners early amid virus concerns
Indonesia is set to release about 30,000 prisoners early as the Southeast Asian nation seeks to avoid a possible surge in coronavirus infections in its overcrowded prisons.
A document issued by the law and human rights ministry reviewed by Reuters stipulated that adult prisoners would be eligible for parole if they had served two-thirds of their sentences, while children would be eligible if they served half of their jail term.
Ministry spokesman Bambang Wiyono said on Tuesday the parole would encompass around 30,000 prisoners.
March, 31 2020 - 03:49 PM
Indian doctors fight coronavirus with raincoats, helmets amid lack of equipment
Shortages of protective health gear in India are forcing some doctors to use raincoats and motorbike helmets while fighting the coronavirus, exposing the weak state of the public health system ahead of an anticipated surge in COVID-19 cases.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government on Monday said India was trying to procure bulk quantities of such gear, called personal protective equipment (PPE), domestically and from South Korea and China to meet the shortages.
March, 31 2020 - 03:47 PM
Russia coronavirus cases jump to 2,337 in record daily rise
The number of coronavirus cases in Russia jumped to 2,337 on Tuesday, an increase of 500, as the country recorded its biggest daily rise for the seventh day in a row.
In Russia, 18 people who contracted the coronavirus have now died, while 121 people have recovered.
March, 31 2020 - 03:46 PM
Europe sends medical goods to Iran in trade test
France, Germany and Britain have exported medical goods to Iran in the first transaction conducted under a trade mechanism set up to barter humanitarian goods and food after the US withdrawal from a 2015 nuclear deal, Germany said on Tuesday.
The German Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the medical goods were now in Iran and added that the Instex trade mechanism and its Iranian counterpart would now work on more transactions and on enhancing the system.
March, 31 2020 - 03:45 PM
India cracks down on Muslim missionary group linked to coronavirus cases
Indian authorities sealed off the headquarters of a Muslim missionary group on Tuesday and ordered an investigation into accusations it held religious meetings that officials fear may have infected dozens of people with the coronavirus.
India has registered 1,251 cases of the coronavirus, of whom 32 have died, the health ministry said. The numbers are small compared with the United States, Italy and China but health officials say India faces a huge surge that could overwhelm its weak public health system.
March, 31 2020 - 03:43 PM
Growth in Australia coronavirus cases slows, but experts urge caution
Australia on Tuesday reported a sustained fall in the country's rate of new coronavirus infections but officials and experts warned against complacency, stressing the need for further strict social distancing policies.
To ensure compliance, state authorities enacted sweeping powers to impose hefty fines and potential jail terms on anybody breaching rules that include a ban on public meetings of more than just two people, Reuters reported.
March, 31 2020 - 03:38 PM
COVID-19 tests reach 1mn in US as total cases top 160,000
The United States has tested 1 million people in its stepped-up effort to tackle the novel coronavirus, with a capacity to test 100,000 samples daily.
"Today we reached a historic milestone in our war against the coronavirus. Over 1 million Americans have been tested," President Donald Trump announced Monday at a White House briefing, Xinhua reported.
Alex Azar, US Secretary of Health and Human Services, said the United States is now testing 100,000 samples a day in their effort to combat the outbreak.
March, 31 2020 - 03:31 PM
Indonesia declares emergency over coronavirus, expands social welfare
Indonesian President Joko Widodo declared a national public health emergency over the coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday and announced measures to help people with lower incomes.
The measures included expanding social welfare, food assistance and giving electricity tariff discounts and waivers, he said, Reuters reported.
March, 31 2020 - 03:21 PM
No need to wear mask if you aren't sick, WHO reiterates
World Health Organization officials said they still recommend people not wear face masks unless they are sick with Covid-19 or caring for someone who is sick.
"There is no specific evidence to suggest that the wearing of masks by the mass population has any potential benefit. In fact, there's some evidence to suggest the opposite in the misuse of wearing a mask properly or fitting it properly," Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO health emergencies program, said at a media briefing in Geneva, Switzerland, on Monday, CNN reported.
March, 31 2020 - 03:15 PM
Czech Republic's coronavirus infections top 3,000
The tally of coronavirus infections in the Czech Republic has exceeded 3,000, the Health Ministry said on Tuesday, after recording 184 new cases the previous day.
The country, which has carried out more than 43,000 tests and is ramping up daily testing, has reported the largest number of cases among central European states, but far fewer than bigger western neighbours, such as Germany, Reuters reported.
The ministry reported a total of 3,001 cases by the end of Monday, with 23 deaths, while 25 people have recovered.
March, 31 2020 - 03:10 PM
Philippines' reports 10 new coronavirus deaths, 538 more infections
The Philippines' health ministry on Tuesday recorded its single largest daily increase in coronavirus deaths and infections.
Ten more people died because of the outbreak, bringing the total to 88, while 538 additional infections increased the total number of cases to 2,084, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said, Reuters reported.
March, 31 2020 - 02:57 PM
New Zealand extends state of emergency to stop spread of COVID-19
New Zealand is extending the state of national emergency for a further seven days to help stop the spread of COVID-19, the Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said in a statement.
The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary, Reuters reported.
"Extending the State of National Emergency ensures we have all the resources, support and powers we need to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our communities," Henare said.
March, 31 2020 - 02:41 PM
Italy's COVID-19 cases top 100,000, record high in recoveries
The coronavirus pandemic has so far claimed 11,591 lives in locked-down Italy, as the cumulative number of cases reached 101,739, according to new data released on Monday evening by the Civil Protection Department, managing the national emergency response.
The number of recoveries also grew by 1,590 against Sunday, up to total 14,620. This marked the highest daily increase since the pandemic broke out in northern Italy on Feb. 21, according to Civil Protection Department chief Angelo Borrelli, XINHUA reported.
Italy reported the second most cumulative number of cases in the world, just after the United States, and was followed by Spain and China.
March, 31 2020 - 02:22 PM
Thailand reports 127 new coronavirus cases, one death
Thailand reported 127 new coronavirus cases and one death on Tuesday, a health official said.
The latest number raise the total number of confirmed infections in Thailand to 1,651 cases and 10 deaths since the country's first case was reported in January, Reuters reported.
March, 31 2020 - 02:00 PM
Tanzania confirms its first coronavirus death
Tanzania confirmed its first coronavirus death on Tuesday, health minister Ummy Mwalimu said in a statement.
The 49-year-old Tanzanian male, who had pre-existing conditions, had been admitted to Mloganzila Hospital in Dar Es Salaam for treatment. Tanzania had 19 confirmed cases of coronavirus as of Monday, Reuters reported.
March, 31 2020 - 01:36 PM
Japan coronavirus infections top 2,000 cases
Coronavirus infections in Japan topped 2,000 cases on Tuesday, according to a Reuters calculation based on ministry data and media reports.
A center for disabled people in Chiba prefecture, east of Tokyo, found seven more infections on Tuesday, bringing the total there to 93, Reuters reported.
Elsewhere, more infections were found in Ehime, Fukui, Kagawa, and Tokushima prefectures, as well as in a doctor and nurse in Tokyo’s cancer research hospital, according to Kyodo and public broadcaster NHK.
March, 31 2020 - 01:03 PM
Global lockdown tightens as virus deaths mount
Harsh lockdowns aimed at halting the march of the coronavirus pandemic extended worldwide Monday as the death toll soared past 37,600 amid new waves of US outbreaks.
Despite slivers of hope in stricken Italy and Spain, the tough measures that have confined some two-fifths of the globe's population to their homes were broadened, AFP reported.
March, 31 2020 - 12:29 PM
Number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany rises to 61,913
The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Germany has risen to 61,913 and 583 people have died of the disease, statistics from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Tuesday.
Cases rose by 4,615 compared with the previous day while the death toll climbed by 128, the tally showed, Reuters reported.
March, 31 2020 - 12:02 PM
Israel's Netanyahu tests negative for coronavirus after aide confirmed carrier
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tested negative for the coronavirus on Monday after a parliamentary aide was confirmed to be carrying the virus, though the 70-year-old leader would remain in isolation, a spokesman said.
Spokesman Ofir Gendelman said on Twitter that Netanyahu, his family and staff all tested negative, but "he will remain quarantined until further instructions are issued by the Ministry of Health," Reuters reported.
March, 31 2020 - 11:44 AM
China reports rise in new coronavirus cases due to imported infections
Mainland China reported on Tuesday a rise in new confirmed coronavirus cases, reversing four days of declines, due to an uptick in infections involving travellers arriving from overseas.
Mainland China had 48 new cases on Monday, the National Health Commission said in a statement, up from 31 new infections a day earlier, Reuters reported.
March, 31 2020 - 11:36 AM
Facebook offers $100mn to help virus-hit news media
Facebook said Monday it was donating $100 million to support news organizations globally hurting from the coronavirus pandemic, citing the need for reliable information about the crisis.
"The news industry is working under extraordinary conditions to keep people informed during the COVID-19 pandemic," said Facebook's news partnerships director, Campbell Brown, AFP reported.
March, 31 2020 - 11:20 AM
Coronavirus epidemic 'far from over' in Asia: WHO official
The coronavirus epidemic is "far from over" in the Asia-Pacific region, and the current measures to curb the spread of the virus are merely buying time for countries to prepare for large-scale community transmissions, a WHO official said today.
Even with all the measures, the risk of transmission in the region will not go away as long as the pandemic continues, said Takeshi Kasai, Regional Director for the Western Pacific at the World Health Organization (WHO), Reuters Reported.
Preparations for a large-scale transmission must reach everyone, Kasai said at a virtual media briefing.
March, 31 2020 - 10:51 AM
Spain registers overnight death toll of 849, highest so far
Spain registered 849 fatalities related to coronavirus overnight - the highest number in 24 hours since the epidemic started, although the increase in percentage terms was slightly lower than in the previous days, the health ministry said on Tuesday.
The death toll rose to 8,189 on Tuesday from 7,340 on Monday, while the number of cases rose to 94,417 on Tuesday from 85,195 on Monday.
March, 31 2020 - 10:33 AM
Pandemic to hit growth in Asia, China: World Bank
The coronavirus pandemic is expected to sharply slow growth in developing economies in East Asia and the Pacific as well as China, the World Bank said in an economic update on Monday.
The bank said precise growth forecasts were difficult, given the rapidly changing situation, but its baseline now called for growth in developing economies in the region to slow to 2.1% in 2020, and to -0.5% in a lower-case scenario, compared to estimated growth of 5.8% in 2019, Reuters reported.
March, 31 2020 - 10:10 AM
Myanmar reports first coronavirus death as case numbers rise
Myanmar reported its first coronavirus death today, a 69-year-old man who also had cancer and died in a hospital in the commercial capital of Yangon, a government spokeswoman said.
He had sought medical treatment in Australia and stopped in Singapore on his way home, according to the health ministry, Reuters reported.
Myanmar has confirmed 14 cases of the virus, mostly in people who have travelled overseas.
But the ministry of health on Sunday warned the country was at very high risk of a "major outbreak" after tens of thousands of migrants working in neighbouring Thailand rushed home before the border closed.
The country has a weak healthcare system after decades of neglect under the former ruling military junta.
March, 31 2020 - 10:00 AM
Coronavirus death toll tops 25,000 in Europe
The coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 25,000 people in Europe, according to an AFP tally at 1230GMT Monday taken from official sources.
With a total of 25,037 deaths out of 399,381 officially declared cases, Europe is now the continent with the highest toll from COVID-19. Italy has 10,779 deaths and Spain 7,340, making them the two most affected countries globally with more than three quarters of the deaths in Europe.
March, 31 2020 - 09:24 AM
Italy to extend coronavirus lockdown until Easter as new cases fall
Italy's government on Monday said it would extend its nationwide lockdown measures against a coronavirus outbreak, due to end on Friday, at least until the Easter season in April, as the number of new infections declines.
"The evaluation was to extend all containment measures at least until Easter. The government will move in this direction," Health Minister Roberto Speranza said in a statement after a meeting of a scientific committee advising the government, Reuters reported.
March, 31 2020 - 08:53 AM
First US military servicemember dies from coronavirus
The first US military service member has died from the coronavirus, the Pentagon said on Monday, as it reported another sharp hike in the number of infected troops.
The Pentagon said the servicemember was a New Jersey Army National Guardsman who had tested positive for COVID-19 — the disease caused by the coronavirus — and had been hospitalized since March 21. He died on Saturday, it said.
"Today is a sad day for the Department of Defense as we have lost our first American service member - active, reserve or Guard - to coronavirus," Defense Secretary Mark Esper said in a statement. No further information was provided about the victim.
March, 31 2020 - 08:30 AM
US coronavirus death toll rises past 3,000 on deadliest day
The US death toll from the coronavirus pandemic climbed past 3,000 on Monday, the deadliest day yet in the country's mounting crisis, while New York cheered the arrival of a gleaming 1,000-bed US Navy hospital ship as a sign of hope in the city's desperate fight.
In a grim new milestones marking the spread of the virus, total deaths across the United States hit 3,017, including at least 540 on Monday, and the reported cases climbed to more than 163,000, according to a Reuters tally.
March, 31 2020 - 08:12 AM
Mexico declares health emergency as coronavirus cases pass 1,000
Mexico's government on Monday announced a health emergency including stricter measures aimed at containing the spread of coronavirus after the number of cases passed 1,000 and deaths rose substantially.
Health officials reported a total of 1,094 cases of coronavirus, up from 993 a day earlier, and 28 deaths from the virus, up from 20. Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard declared a health emergency, Reuters reported.
Mexico will extend a suspension of non-essential activities to April 30, health officials said, and reduce the limit of people allowed to gather to 50.
It also said people over 60 years old and others vulnerable should strictly observe the stay-at-home recommendations.