Latest on the spread of the coronavirus around the world

FILE PHOTO: Medical workers in protective suits push a patient on a stretcher in front of the Policlinico Tor Vergata, where patients suffering from coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are hosted, in Rome, Italy March 30, 2020. REUTERS/Remo Casilli

Countries affected by the novel coronavirus around the world extended restrictions and looked for new measures to aid the virus-hit economies as WHO warned the epidemic is “far from over” in the Asia-Pacific region.

Deaths, infections

  • More than 799,800 people have been infected across the world and over 38,800 have died, according to a Reuters tally.
  • For an interactive graphic tracking the global spread, open in an external browser.
  • U.S.-focused tracker with state-by-state and county map, open in an external browser.


  • The number of deaths in Italy, which will extend nationwide lockdown measures at least until the Easter season, could be underestimated in official figures, its national health institute said on Tuesday.
  • The European Union’s executive warned Hungary that emergency measures must not undercut democracy.
  • Paris health officials will begin transferring patients by high-speed train to regions that have been less overwhelmed, officials said on Tuesday.
  • As England’s death toll rose 29%, some police officers have been criticised for overzealous lockdown response.
  • Russian lawmakers backed jail sentences of up to seven years for quarantine offenders as the number of cases jumped by a record daily amount.
  • A Russian doctor who met Putin last week said he himself had been diagnosed with the virus.
  • A 12-year-old girl died in Belgium of coronavirus, the health ministry said on Tuesday as local media reported she was Europe’s youngest victim.
  • Belarus reported its first death.


  • The United States’ top congressional leaders split on Tuesday over the need for more legislation to tackle coronavirus after three earlier bills were approved, including a $2 trillion relief package.
  • U.S. House Speaker Pelosi said she does not plan to be tested despite her proximity to the latest lawmaker diagnosed.
  • Brazil’s president said hunger is just as big a threat as COVID-19, again playing down the seriousness of the outbreak during a news conference.
  • Brazilian supermarkets are planning to hire 5,000 temporary workers in Sao Paulo’s metropolitan region, the most severely affected, to meet higher demand and replace quarantined employees.
  • Ecuadorean authorities said they would improve corpse collection, as delays left families with relatives’ bodies in their homes for days in some cases.

Asia and the Pacific

  • Tokyo recorded a record number of new cases in a day, as pressure built on the prime minister to order a lockdown.
  • China will start releasing information from Wednesday on patients with no symptoms, ordering them into quarantine for 14 days, after the mainland witnessed its first rise in infections in five days.
  • India sealed off headquarters of a Muslim missionary group and ordered an investigation into accusations it held religious meetings that officials fear may have infected dozens of people.
  • Shortages of protective health gear in India have forced some doctors to use raincoats and motorbike helmets ahead of an anticipated surge in cases.
  • Afghan authorities have quarantined 16 health workers as Afghans fleeing hard-hit Iran have helped spread the virus in the border province of Herat.
  • The Philippines recorded its largest daily increase in deaths and infections, as it ramped up testing with the arrival of thousands of kits from abroad and opened new laboratories.
  • Malaysia’s stay-at-home order has prevented major daily spikes in infections, the government said, but the World Bank warned its economy would shrink this year for the first time in more than a decade.
  • Myanmar reported its first death.

Middle East and Africa

  • Lagos, Africa’s largest city, ground to a halt on Tuesday as it and the Nigerian capital Abuja entered a two-week lockdown.
  • Tunisia ordered the release of 1,420 prisoners.
  • Iran considered tougher curbs as its death toll climbed to almost 2,900 on Tuesday.
  • Dubai said it would help its state-run Emirates airline and enforced a full lockdown on a district famous for its gold and spice markets.
  • A team of Turkish defence and electronics firms aim to jointly produce and deliver 5,000 ventilators in two months.
  • Sierra Leone confirmed its first case, and Tanzania its first death.

Economic Fallout

  • Global stock markets slid on Tuesday as investors continued to assess the economic damage from the pandemic, with world equity index on pace to finish its worst quarter since the financial crisis of 2008.
  • A G20 coronavirus plan will address the risk of debt vulnerabilities in low-income countries and deliver financial aid to emerging markets, a joint statement said on Tuesday.
  • The pandemic is threatening to disrupt Argentina’s debt restructuring talks with creditors, raising the prospect of a default and a downgrade, ratings agencies and bondholders told Reuters.
  • The German government is planning to extend support for mid-sized companies, government sources said on Tuesday.
  • Portugal will accelerate its government bond and Treasury bill issuance, the state debt agency said on Tuesday.
  • Russian lawmakers cleared the government to exceed the budget’s state borrowing limits.
  • A coronavirus resurgence may scupper forecasts of a recovery in air passenger demand by the end of the year and strong growth in 2021, the chief economist of a global airline trade body warned on Tuesday.
  • Furniture giant IKEA is producing face masks and other protective gear for hospitals, joining a growing list of companies venturing beyond their normal business to help meet equipment shortages.