Latest on the coronavirus: Global coronavirus cases now top 800,000
A woman wearing a face mask queues to buy kerosene in Tegucigalpa on March 30, 2020, during the lockdown ordered by the Honduran government to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. (AFP Photo)
Just days after hitting half a million, the number of coronavirus cases worldwide crossed the 800,000 mark on March 30, according to data compiled by U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.
More than 170,325 people diagnosed with the virus have so far recovered globally.
- Italy's government on March 30 said it would extend its nationwide lockdown measures against a coronavirus outbreak, due to end on April 3, at least until the Easter season in April, as the number of new infections declines.
- The death toll has risen by 812 in the last 24 hours, the Civil Protection Agency said, reversing two days of declines, although the number of new cases rose by just 4,050, the lowest increase since March 17, reaching a total of 101,739.
- The British prime minister's senior adviser, Dominic Cummings, is self-isolating with symptoms just days after the British leader himself tested positive.
- France recorded its worst daily coronavirus death toll on March 30, exceeding 3,000 for the first time, and army helicopters transported critical patients from the east to hospitals overseas.
- More than a dozen Russian regions including the city of St Petersburg introduced a partial lockdown.
- Finland will extend most of its measures to contain the coronavirus outbreak by one month until May 13 from April 13.
- Denmark may gradually lift a lockdown after Easter if the numbers of coronavirus cases and deaths remain stable.
- Spain overtook China in the number of those infected with coronavirus. The total number of infections rose to 85,195 on March 30, above the 81,470 registered in China where the disease originated. An overnight death toll of 812 people brought fatalities in Spain from the virus to 7,340.
- Germany hopes to launch a Singapore-style smartphone app within weeks to help trace infections.
- Hungary's prime minister has secured open-ended emergency powers to fight the outbreak.
- A Navy hospital ship with 1,000 beds arrived on March 30 morning in New York City to help relieve the coronavirus crisis gripping the city's hospitals. The USNS Comfort, which was sent to New York City after 9/11, will be used to treat non-coronavirus patients while hospitals treat people with COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.
- The U.S. government has cut deals with Johnson Johnson and Moderna Inc and said it is in talks with at least two other firms to expand manufacturing capacity within the United States for coronavirus vaccines.
- Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro stepped up his stand-off with state governments by suggesting that democracy could be at risk if the coronavirus crisis leads to social chaos.
Asia and the Pacific
- China will step up prevention and control of asymptomatic coronavirus cases, state media reported.
- Police in India fired tear gas to disperse a stone-pelting crowd of migrant workers defying a three-week lockdown against the coronavirus that has left hundreds of thousands of poor without jobs and hungry.
- Tokyo's governor called on residents to avoid outings, but said it was up to Prime Minister to declare a state of emergency.
- The World Health Organization has not shared with member states information Taiwan provided including details on its cases and prevention methods, its foreign ministry said.
- Vietnam suspended public transport services.
Middle East and Africa
- 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 March 31, adding that the total number of infections has jumped to 44,606.
- 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 U.S. withdrawal from a 2015 nuclear deal, Germany said on March 31.
- Saudi Arabia will finance treatment for anyone infected with the coronavirus in the country, the health minister said, while the agriculture ministry took steps to boost wheat and livestock supplies.
- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tested negative for the coronavirus on March 30 after a parliamentary aide was confirmed to be carrying the virus, though the 70-year-old leader would remain in isolation, a spokesman said.
- Zimbabwe began a 21-day nationwide lockdown, following neighbour South Africa in implementing some of the world's toughest anti-coronavirus measures likely to hurt an economy already suffering hyperinflation and food shortages.
- Global stocks rose on March 30 despite a drop in oil prices to their lowest levels since 2002, as central banks and the United States tried to contain damage from the coronavirus that has upended the world economy.
- Trade ministers from the Group of 20 major economies agreed on March 30 to keep their markets open and ensure the continued flow of vital medical supplies, equipment and other essential goods.
- The International Monetary Fund said relaxing the euro zone's fiscal rules and support from the European Central Bank and European Stability Mechanism is critical to a strong regional response.
- Banks across the euro zone are ditching dividends to shore up reserves as the outbreak threatens to tip the world into a deep recession.
- Israel will spend 80 billion shekels ($22 billion) to help the economy weather the coronavirus crisis.
- Switzerland may have to expand its emergency fund for companies after banks loaned out $6.89 billion in the first four days of the scheme.
- Peru is readying a stimulus package worth around 12 percent of its gross domestic product.
- The outbreak will push Germany into recession in the first half of this year and could result in its output contracting by up to 5.4 percent this year.
- Collapsing oil prices are costing some OPEC members not only lost revenue when they most need it to tackle the coronavirus crisis, but also market share they may never recoup.
- South Korea will make emergency cash payments to all but the richest families and draw up a second supplementary budget next month.
- Nigeria's currency eased to 415 naira per dollar on the black market on March 30 after its president ordered a lockdown of two of the country's biggest cities.
- Singapore's central bank aggressively eased its monetary policy, with the city-state's economy bracing for a deep recession.
Sports and events
- English Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur announced on March 30 that they would open their stadium to people who have been affected by the novel coronavirus outbreak.
- The postponed Olympic Games will now begin on July 23 next year and run until Aug. 8, the head of the Tokyo 2020 organising committee said on March 30, as the coronavirus pandemic made it impossible to plan and prepare for them properly this year.
- Yoshiro Mori, the head of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee, confirmed the new dates after he made the decision with the International Olympic Committee. Mori said the Paralympic Games would run from Aug. 24-Sep. 5.