The global toll: There are 383,944 cases of novel coronavirus and 16,595 deaths globally, according to Johns Hopkins University, which is tracking figures from the World Health Organization and additional sources.
Calls to postpone Olympics: New Zealand athletes became the latest to voice their support for postponing Tokyo 2020 2020, and are backed by the country’s Olympic committee. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who said yesterday that postponement was now an option, is set to hold a call with International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach within the hour.
Hubei ending restrictions: The central Chinese province at ground zero for the novel coronavirus pandemic plans to lift nearly all lockdown restrictions on Wednesday. Measures will remain in place in the provincial capital, Wuhan, until April 8.
More curfews and restrictions: India has expanded its mammoth lockdown to cover about two-thirds of the population. Pakistan is deploying its army to assist with the outbreak. Several Australian states are enacting border checkpoints. Albania has entered a strict 16-hour daily curfew. Countries in mainland Europe remain under lockdown, and the UK has banned people from leaving home except for “very limited” reasons.
43% of US population told to stay at home: At least 16 states have issued stay-at-home orders, which, once in effect, will impact 142 million people, or 43% of the US population, according to data compiled by CNN using US Census population estimates. There are over 42,600 cases, including at least 540 deaths, with Hawaii reporting its first death. Patients at a nursing home in Washington at the centre of the state’s outbreak were in “imminent danger” from early on because of several failures by the facility, according to regulators.
Markets surge on hopes of US rescue plan: The promise of unlimited support for markets from the Federal Reserve and hope that Congress is moving towards a huge fiscal stimulus package boosted US futures overnight, as well as markets in Europe and Asia.
Ice rink in Spain turned into morgue: The bodies of Covid-19 victims are being delivered to the Palacio de Hielo, which is being used as a temporary morgue in Madrid. The regional government said it was a “temporary” measure to ease pressure on hospitals in Spain, which has more deaths than any other country other than China and Italy.
Middle Eastern countries need support: A dozen countries in the Middle East and Central Asia have reached out to the International Monetary Fund requesting financial support due to the coronavirus outbreak. Iran has extended the temporary release of 85,000 prisoners.
The situation in Asia: Thailand reported three more deaths and 106 new cases today, taking the national tally to 827 confirmed cases. Thai officials are discussing imposing emergency measures. Singapore reported its biggest one-day surge in cases since the outbreak began. Tokyo’s governor warned that Japan’s capital could be placed under lockdown if the number of cases spike. Myanmar and Laos reported their first two cases. Beijing will quarantine and test all international arrivals and Macao will ban most non-residents from entering.