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Global coronavirus death toll passes 40,000: Live updates

US fatalities exceed China's tally, with more than 3,400 deaths, as Spain, UK and France report record rise in toll.

The death toll in the United States from the new coronavirus outbreak has surpassed the official tally in China, with more than more 3,400 fatalities recorded, according to data collected by the Johns Hopkins University.

That means the US now has the third highest death toll after Italy and Spain, and the highest number of coronavirus cases in the world with more than 175,000.

Further restrictions on movement are being considered in the US to curb the spread of the virus, with the country now reporting twice the number of cases as China where the outbreak began late last year.

Meanwhile, Spain, the United Kingdom and France each reported their biggest overnight jump in deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Around the world, more than 820,000 people have been confirmed to have the virus, and at least 174,000 have recovered. More than 40,000 people have died.

Here are the latest updates.

Tuesday, March 31

20:50 GMT - UN chief: 'COVID-19 worst crisis since WWII'

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that the world faces the most challenging crisis since World War II, confronting a pandemic threatening people in every country, one that will bring a recession "that probably has no parallel in the recent past."

There is also a risk that the combination of the disease and its economic impact will contribute to "enhanced instability, enhanced unrest, and enhanced conflict," the UN chief said at the launch of a report on the socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19.

20:11 GMT - Oman reports its first death from coronavirus

Oman's health ministry reported its first death from coronavirus, a 72-year-old Omani man, state TV said on Twitter.

Oman reported as of March 31, 192 coronavirus cases in the sultanate.

20:00 GMT - Qatar's airport staff reduced amid outbreak

Qatar's Hamad International Airport has temporarily reduced the number of employees onsite by 40%, with most working from home or on annual leave, a Qatar Airways spokesman said.

"In a press conference earlier today, we confirmed that there had been a temporary reduction of 40% of staff at Hamad International Airport across various areas including food and beverage, retail and ground staff," the spokesman told Reuters news agency. 

"This is purely a short-term response to the COVID-19 crisis and the reduction in passenger numbers through the airport."

19:30 GMT - Teenager dies in London after testing positive for coronavirus

 A 13-year-old boy in London who tested positive for coronavirus has died, a UK hospital said. 

"Sadly, a 13-year old boy who tested positive for COVID-19 has passed away, and our thoughts and condolences are with the family at this time," King's College Hospital said in a statement.

"The death has been referred to the coroner and no further comment will be made."

19:20 GMT - Tunisia extends lockdown by two weeks

Tunisia will extend a lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus by two weeks to April 19, the presidency said in a statement.

Tunisia has confirmed 362 cases of the coronavirus and nine deaths and has imposed a general lockdown for over a week, preventing people from leaving their homes except to buy necessities or work in certain jobs.

Read more here

19:10 GMT - Qatar Airways sees '75% decrease in operations' 

Qatar Airways' operations have decreased by more than 75 percent, the chief operating officer of Hamad International Airport said on state TV. 

Badr Mohammed al-Meer said 75 percent of Qatar Airways' fleet has been grounded and that will rise to 90 percent.

He said figures from Monday showed a 90 percent decrease in travellers compared to before the coronavirus crisis. 

19:00 GMT - Burundi confirms first 2 cases 

The tiny East African nation of Burundi has confirmed its first two coronavirus cases, the health ministry said in a statement. 

Both men were Burundian. One, 56, had recently returned from neighbouring Rwanda and the other, 42, had recently returned from Dubai, the statement posted on Twitter said.

18:45 GMT - Turkey's coronavirus death toll exceeds 200

More than 200 people have died from COVID-19 in Turkey, which has ramped up tests to more than 15,000 a day, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced. 

Koca shared the latest figures on Twitter, saying that 46 people had died in the last 24 hours, which raised the country's overall toll to 214.

With 2,704 more cases of the novel coronavirus, the total has reached 13,531.

18:30 GMT - Qatar reports 88 new cases of coronavirus

Qatar's health ministry reported 88 new confirmed cases of coronavirus, taking its total number of infections to 781, as it also announced a second death from the virus. 

A total of 62 people have so far recovered from COVID-19, the ministry said in its daily update. 

18:25 GMT - US tourists tested positive after Mexico spring break

A group of 28 US tourists who returned to Texas from the Mexican beach resort of Cabo San Lucas have tested positive for coronavirus, the city of Austin said in a statement.

"About a week and a half ago, approximately 70 people in their 20's departed in a chartered plane for a spring break trip. Some of the group returned on separate commercial flights. Currently, 28 young adults on this trip have tested positive for COVID-19 and dozens more are under public health investigation," the statement said.

18:00 GMT - NY governor: 'Your stupid actions don't just affect you'

Al Jazeera's Radmilla Suleymanova has this report from New York:

"New York Governor Andrew Cuomo blasted those ignoring strict social distancing orders to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, a day after crowds gathered to catch a glimpse of the USNS Comfort docking in New York Harbor.

'You want to go out and act stupid for yourself that's one thing. But your stupid actions don't just affect you. You come home and can infect someone else and even cause death for them,' Cuomo said during his daily briefing.

People gathered on the west side of Manhattan yesterday, taking photos, clapping and waving the American flag at the US Navy's floating hospital equipped with 1000-beds to treat COVID-19 patients."

17:50 GMT - France reports record 499 deaths in 24 hours

France reported its highest daily number of deaths from coronavirus since the epidemic began, saying 499 more people had died in hospital to bring the toll to 3,523.

There are now 22,757 people hospitalised in France with COVID-19, with 5,565 of them in intensive care, health official Jerome Salomon told reporters in his daily update.

The French death toll includes only those who died in hospital and not those who died at home or in old people's homes.  

17:45 GMT - First case in rebel-controlled eastern Ukraine 

Rebel-controlled eastern Ukraine has reported the first case of the coronavirus, the health minister of the self-proclaimed republic, Olga Dolgoshapko, told reporters in Donetsk. 

The conflict in eastern Ukraine, pitting Moscow-backed rebels against the Ukraine government, has killed more than 13,000 people since 2014.

17:30 GMT - Dutch schools, restaurants to stay shut till April 28

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said all schools, restaurants, and gyms would remain closed until at least April 28.

Rutte's government on March 15 had ordered schools closed until April 6. A ban on public gatherings was strengthened last week and extended until June.

"Even after April 28 it will be a while before we get back to normal, don't make plans for the May holidays," Rutte told a news conference in The Hague, at which he also urged people to adhere to social distancing rules.

17:15 GMT - Saudi minister tells Muslims to wait on making Hajj plans

Saudi Arabia is urging Muslims to wait before making plans to attend the annual Hajj pilgrimage until there is more clarity about the coronavirus pandemic, the kingdom's minister for Hajj and Umrah said, according to state television. 

Some 2.5 million pilgrims usually flock to the holiest sites of Islam in Mecca and Medina each year for the week-long ritual. 

In addition to closing mosques, Saudi Arabia has already halted international flights and suspended the year-round Umrah pilgrimage to Mecca. 

Source: aljazeera


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