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A coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infected patient from France is transferred from an ambulance aircraft to an ambulance car at the airport in Dresden, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in Dresden, Germany April 2, 2020.  - Sputnik International

Live Updates: Global Number of COVID-19 Cases Surpasses 1,099,000, Spain Nears Italy's Tally

The worldwide number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus disease has reached 1,099,389, at least 58,901 people have died, the count by Johns Hopkins University shows.

China has registered 18 new imported cases of COVID-19 and one case of internal transmission within the past 24 hours, with four people having died of the disease, the National Health Commission said on Saturday.

The outbreak of COVID-19, which was declared a pandemic on 11 March by the World Health Organisation, erupted in late December in Wuhan and left 81,620 Chinese citizens infected, with 3,322 fatalities, according to the commission.

The United States remains the nation worst affected by the virus, with more than 277,900 infections registered and over 7,000 people dying, according to Johns Hopkins University.

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03:39 GMT 04.04.2020

The death toll has risen from 174 to 177 over the past day, according to the Health Ministry's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

02:13 GMT 04.04.2020

"According to our data, more than 2,000 Russian citizens, who showed the intention to return home, remain in the United States. Under new circumstances, we are urgently changing our work, shifting from creating lists of our compatriots to providing targeted assistance to the compatriots in dire need", the ambassador said, as quoted by the embassy's Facebook page.

01:13 GMT 04.04.2020

China has registered 18 new imported cases of COVID-19 and one case of internal transmission within the past 24 hours, with four people having died of the disease, the National Health Commission said on Saturday.

"The National Health Commission received information about 81,639 confirmed cases of pneumonia caused by a new type of coronavirus from 31 provinces [regions and municipalities], including 1,562 currently ill people. 331 people are in critical condition, 3,326 have died, 76,751 people have been discharged from hospitals", the commission said in a statement.

01:12 GMT 04.04.2020
00:09 GMT 04.04.2020

"Concerning the menэs international match calendar: [the Working Group advises] to postpone all international matches due to be played during the upcoming June 2020 window; and to organise bilateral discussions with confederations concerning 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers in order to finalize a revised match schedule pending health and safety developments", FIFA said in a statement on Friday.

00:00 GMT 04.04.2020

The death toll has increased by six to 42 people over the past 24 hours.

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Over the past 24 hours, the number of confirmed cases has risen from 7,910 to 9,056.

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The changes will take effect on Saturday and last until next Friday. Aeroflot's offshoot Rossiya will slash flights to Russia's Far East.

20:04 GMT 03.04.2020
19:38 GMT 03.04.2020

The number of people infected with COVID-19 has risen by 571 to 7,428. Five more people have died from virus-related complications, taking the death toll to 39.

19:34 GMT 03.04.2020

The Court will consider rescheduling some cases from the March and April sessions before the end of the Term, if public health and safety guidance permits, the release added.

The court's term typically runs from October to October the following year, with most decisions released in June.

19:31 GMT 03.04.2020

The overall total since the start of the outbreak has risen to 1,505, the country's health minister Zweli Mkhize said.

The death toll stands at seven.

19:23 GMT 03.04.2020
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18:15 GMT 03.04.2020

PARIS (Sputnik) - A total of 588 people have died from the coronavirus in French hospitals over the past 24 hours, with the toll now exceeding 5,000, Jerome Salomon, the head of the national public health service, said on Friday.

"Since March 1, 5,091 people have died in hospitals," Solomon said at a briefing, adding that 83 percent of them were older than 70.

He added that 1,416 persons had died in French retirement homes since the same date. The total death toll has reached 6,507.

Over 27,000 coronavirus patients remain in hospitals, including 6,662 people in critical condition. Ninety-three patients in life-support departments are under 30, Salomon said.

17:45 GMT 03.04.2020
17:35 GMT 03.04.2020

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced stricter measures aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus.

These include a ban on going outside for people younger than 20 (previously, only those who are older than 65 were forbidden to leave their houses) and compulsory mask-wearing in public places. 

Erdogan added that starting from Saturday night, entries and exits from 30 major towns as well as entry and exit points to Zonguldak province, will be closed. The ban will remain in place for the next 15 days and can be extended if necessary. 

16:40 GMT 03.04.2020

TORONTO (Sputnik) - The Canadian government is allocating $71 million to support food supply in vulnerable communities amid the growing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Friday.

"The government will provide C$100 million [US$71 million] to meet the urgent food needs of vulnerable Canadians, including those living in indigenous and northern communities," Trudeau said during a daily briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trudeau said food banks and other organizations have seen a significant drop in donations and volunteers amid the pandemic, forcing the federal government to take action.

16:33 GMT 03.04.2020

The government of Malawi confirmed on Friday that the first three COVID-19 cases were registered in the country, bringing the number of countries on the continent that have not officially registered cases of the disease down to four.

In the televised address to the nation, president Peter Mutharika said that a 61-year-old woman who had recently traveled to India, as well as two of her contacts, tested positive for the disease.

Only four other countries in Africa — Lesotho, South Sudan, Comoros, and Sao Tome and Principe — have not reported any COVID-19 cases yet.

16:03 GMT 03.04.2020

The number of COVID-19 cases in Indonesia has reached 1,986, with 196 of them being registered over the past 24 hours, the country's Health Ministry said on Friday.

Meanwhile, the death toll from the disease in the country has increased to 181, and a total of 134 patients have recovered.

In late March, Indonesian President Joko Widodo declared a health emergency due to the spread of COVID-19. As a part of measures to curb the pandemic, the authorities have also temporarily banned entry and transit services for foreign nationals.

16:01 GMT 03.04.2020

Russian and Serbian experts have discussed the engagement of Russian medical experts, arriving in the country to assist the fight against the coronavirus, and have agreed that they will operate in areas with unfavorable epidemiological situation, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Friday.

"The first meeting of Russian and Serbian military experts was held at the Batajnica air base, located 20 kilometers [12.4 miles] to the north-west of Belgrade, under supervision of Serbian Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin. They focused on defining the possible areas of deployment of the Russian assistance arriving in Serbia," the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.

It has been decided, following consultations, that Russian medical experts will be working in areas with the most difficult epidemiological situation: Belgrade, Cuprija, Valjevo, Novi Sad, Nis, Kragujevac and Kikinda.

"Experts from the Russian Defense Ministry's Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Protection Troops may be engaged in the disinfection of a military town ... where coronavirus cases have been registered among Serbian military," the ministry went on to say.

15:31 GMT 03.04.2020

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic not only represents a threat to international peace but also puts at risk food security, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a press briefing on Friday.

“It is a threat to food security too, and, obviously, we must make sure that all supply chains are maintained,” Guterres said.

He added that it is critical to ensure that food and medical supply chains are not disrupted, especially in developing countries.

In March, Guterres launched a $2 billion appeal to respond to challenges posed by COVID-19 in the poorest and most vulnerable places in the world.

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14:46 GMT 03.04.2020

Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced on Friday that starting from April 7, schools and most workplaces across the country will close for one month in the light of the quickly spreading COVID-19 pandemic.

"We should make a decisive move now to preempt escalating infections. We will, therefore, impose significantly stricter measures. This is like a circuit breaker. It will help to reduce the risk of a big outbreak occurring. This circuit breaker will apply for one month," the prime minister said in a televised address to the nation broadcast on his Facebook account.

The official added that residents should stay at home and go out only if necessary, for instance, to go to work or a nearby shop. Markets, shops, hospitals and banks will continue to operate as usual. Beginning April 8, Singaporean students and schoolchildren will be transferred to distance learning, while kindergartens will close.

14:46 GMT 03.04.2020

The number of new COVID-19 cases in one day in Japan for the first time since the pandemic's onset has exceeded 300, bringing the cumulative total to 3,800 infected people, Japanese media reported on Friday.

According to the NHK broadcaster, summarizing data from local Japanese authorities, 325 new confirmed COVID-19 cases have been recorded over the past 24 hours as of 9 p.m. (12:00 GMT) Friday, including 89 cases in Tokyo and 35 cases in Osaka.

The toll of COVID-19 in Japan has thus increased to 3,813 cumulative cases, the plurality of them in Tokyo (773) and among passengers of the Diamond Princess cruise ship (712), and 88 people have died.

According to the Japanese Health Ministry's forecast, the peak of the infection in Japan might claim up to 229,500 cases.

14:24 GMT 03.04.2020

Foreign visitors in Australia should make all possible arrangements to return to their home countries so that the Australian government can protect its own citizens and residents during the COVID-19 outbreak, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said during a press conference on Friday.

“If you’re a visitor in this country, it is time, as it has been now for some while … to make your way home and to ensure that you can receive the supports that are available where they are in your home countries,” Morrison said.

The Australian prime minister stated that his call for foreign visitors to return home was motivated by the desire to ensure that the country’s citizens and permanent residents could be suitably supported by the government amid the economic disruption caused by the pandemic.

“At this time, Australia must focus on its citizens and its residents to ensure that we can maximize these economic supports that we have,” Morrison remarked.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper, approximately 1.6 million temporary visa holders are currently resident in Australia and are not eligible to receive social security benefits.

14:10 GMT 03.04.2020

The BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) has issued bonds worth RMB 5 billion yuan (about $705 million) in the China Interbank Bond Market to assist Beijing in combating the coronavirus, the bank said in a press release on Friday.

"On April 2, 2020, the New Development Bank successfully issued a 3-year RMB Coronavirus Combating Bond in the China Interbank Bond Market. The Bank raised RMB 5 bln, garnered interest from a high-quality diversified investor base both onshore in mainland China, as well as offshore ... The aim of this bond issue is to support the Chinese Government in the financing of public health expenditure in Hubei, Guangdong and Henan provinces that are hit the hardest by COVID-19," the press release said.

According to the NDB, the pandemic has heavily affected both the population and the economy of the country. Therefore, the bank issued these bonds to finance a loan worth RMB 7 billion ($989 million), the first emergency assistance given by the NDB to China in late March.

13:20 GMT 03.04.2020

The European Union cancels certain taxes and duties on import of medical equipment to ease procurement for medical institutions during the coronavirus epidemic, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Friday.

"Hospitals, doctors & nurses need quality medical equipment and it must remain affordable. To make sure of this, we will no longer levy taxes & duties on imports of such products into the EU during the #coronacrisis," von der Leyen said on Twitter.

13:17 GMT 03.04.2020

Police in Sri Lanka have arrested 11,019 people for violating the curfew imposed earlier in March to curb the transmission of COVID-19 in the island nation, Sri Lankan media reported.

According to the Ada Derana news outlet, police have also confiscated 2,727 vehicles in connection with COVID-19 curfew violations of their owners to be kept in custody until the pandemic threat is lifted.

Sri Lanka imposed a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew over the pandemic on March 20 with several subsequent extensions. The government warned people about police being mandated to sanction violators even without warrants and about a subsequent strict legal action.

The number of COVID-19 cases in Sri Lanka as of Friday is 151 confirmed cases, including four fatalities, according to the latest situation report by the Sri Lankan Ministry of Health.

12:48 GMT 03.04.2020

The European Union has decided to delay the application of new rules on medical devices so that all efforts can be aimed at fighting the coronavirus pandemic, EU Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas said on Friday.

"We are delaying the entry into application of new EU rules on medical devices so that we can have our medical industries pouring all their energy into helping fight #COVID19. We are leaving no stone unturned in our support to national public health systems in their hour of need," Schinas wrote on Twitter.

The initiative was proposed by the EU Commission earlier in the day in order to ensure that the necessary medical devices can be available on the market during the crisis triggered by the spread of the virus.

12:48 GMT 03.04.2020

The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) confirmed on Friday that the first staff member in the western city of Herat was diagnosed with the coronavirus, adding that the organization is stepping up its support for the Middle Eastern country to help fight the pandemic.

"As the United Nations ramps up its support to Afghanistan’s government and people in the fight against COVID-19, the Organization today confirms that a national staff member in Herat tested positive for COVID-19. Our colleague is the first UN worker in the country to have tested positive. He is presenting mild symptoms and our hope is that he will soon be on the path to full recovery," the mission said in a press release.

According to the press release, UN agencies are backing all measures taken by the local government to contain the spread of the disease. In particular, four testing centers have opened in the cities of Kabul, Herat and Jalalabad, while several others will begin operating soon. In addition, 34,000 front line health workers are engaged in disease surveillance, and the agencies are helping to accelerate the local procurement of key products, such as soap.

"Also, yesterday, the World Bank approved a US$100.4 million grant for Afghanistan’s emergency response and health systems preparedness," the mission added.

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11:53 GMT 03.04.2020

Saudi Arabia has decided to impose a curfew in three provinces starting from 3 p.m. (12:00 GMT) until further notice over the current COVID-19 situation, the state news agency SPA reported on Friday, citing a source in the Interior Ministry.

The source said that the curfew was put in place in the port city of Dammam, the province of Qatif in the east, and the city of Taif in the west.

The measure was taken to combat the pandemic and fulfill the health authorities' recommendations. Meanwhile, services such as banks, food shops and medical centers will continue to work.

11:53 GMT 03.04.2020

The number of cases of the coronavirus in Romania has increased by 445 over the past 24 hours, bringing the total toll of those infected to 3,183, while related fatalities have reached 116, Health Minister Nelu Tataru said on Friday.

"As of today, we have lost 116 patients. I offer my condolences to everyone who lost loved ones. To date, 3,183 cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed in Romania, 281 patients have been cured," Tataru said at a briefing broadcast on the national government's Facebook account.

11:16 GMT 03.04.2020

Palestine has registered 10 more coronavirus cases in the country, and now the total number of those infected has reached 171, a spokesman for the Palestinian government Ibrahim Melhem said on Friday.

"Ten COVID-19 cases were recorded. This brings the total to 171," Melhem said.

He added that the new patients were in the city of Tulkarm, and in the towns of Biddu, Qatanna and Hizma.

Meanwhile, 250 Palestinian workers arrived from Israel overnight, but their test results will only be announced in the next few hours, he said.

10:49 GMT 03.04.2020

Armenia has requested 10,000 COVID-19 testing kits from Russia, and has already received 3,000 of them, Alina Nikoghosyan, spokesperson for the country's Health Ministry, told Sputnik on Friday.

"Armenia has turned to Russia [for assistance], including for testing COVID-19] kits. We have already received about 3,000 kits and are expecting a new batch in the near future," Nikoghosyan said, adding that Yerevan had applied for 10,000 kits.

To date, the Armenian Center for Disease Control and Prevention has registered 736 confirmed cases in the country. In a bid to curb the spread of the virus, the authorities declared a state of emergency on March 16, which the country will remain under until April 14.

10:43 GMT 03.04.2020

The number of COVID-19 cases in Switzerland has increased to 19,303, including 484 fatalities, the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health said on Friday.

According to the statement, 1,036 new COVID-19 cases and 52 fatalities have been registered in Switzerland over the past 24 hours.

10:36 GMT 03.04.2020

China is willing to share its expertise in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic with other countries but will never resort to using it as a tool to boost its geopolitical profile, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Friday.

"As you are aware, COVID-19 pandemic is a sudden crisis that demands a swift response. Currently, we must focus on safeguarding the health and lives of people across the globe. Speaking of China's efficient measures and expertise in the fight against the epidemic, we will never use them as instruments for geopolitical influence," the spokeswoman said, adding that Beijing would be glad if other countries could use some of Chinese measures or suggestions.

So far, COVID-19, which was first detected in the Chinese province of Hubei, has spread to over 200 countries, racking up over one million confirmed cases in total.

10:36 GMT 03.04.2020
10:27 GMT 03.04.2020

The number of COVID-19 cases in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev has increased from 161 to 189, including two new fatalities adding up to a death toll of three, Kiev Mayor Vitaliy Klichko said on Friday.

"The number of Kievans who have contracted the coronavirus over the past day has unfortunately increased by 28 and two people have died. There has been a total of 189 confirmed cases of the coronavirus disease in the capital, of which three were lethal," Klichko said at a briefing.

Of 28 new COVID-19 cases in Kiev, 17 were confirmed in male patients aged 16-70 and 11 others were confirmed in female patients aged 17-69, whereas the two new fatalities were both in females, according to the mayor.

He also said that only 13 patients had been taken to a hospital, while the rest were getting treatment in quarantine at home.

The Ukrainian Health Ministry has confirmed 942 COVID-19 cases, including 23 fatalities, as of Friday.

10:27 GMT 03.04.2020

The number of cases of the coronavirus in Lithuania has reached 696 with 47 of them being registered over the past 24 hours, the national government said on Friday.

According to the authorities, so far, nine patients have died and seven others have recovered.

Meanwhile, neighbouring Latvia confirmed 35 new cases of the disease on Friday, which brings the total toll of those infected in the country to 493, according to the National Center for Disease Prevention and Control. The authorities have reported so far only one fatality.

10:15 GMT 03.04.2020
09:57 GMT 03.04.2020

The number of COVID-19 cases in Iran has reached a total of 53,183 cases, including 3,294 fatalities, the Iranian Health Ministry's spokesman told the IRINN channel on Friday.

According to Kianush Jahanpur, 2,715 new COVID-19 cases and 134 fatalities have been registered in Iran over the past 24 hours.

The record daily numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths that Iran has registered so far are 3,186 and 157 respectively.

09:35 GMT 03.04.2020
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Nationals of 131 countries will now be able to see how the dynamic of people's movements in their community has changed after the COVID-19 restrictions on movements in regular reports using aggregated anonymized data from Google's services, the company said on Friday.

"Starting today we’re publishing an early release of our COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports to provide insights into what has changed in response to work from home, shelter in place, and other policies aimed at flattening the curve of this pandemic," the company said on its website.

According to the statement, the reports will be using aggregated data to outline movement trends in initially 131 countries – their number to be increased soon and several regions to potentially add up as well – in places such as retail and recreation, groceries and pharmacies, parks, transit stations, workplaces, and residential. To protect users' privacy, the company pledged not to share any personally identifiable information, like an individual’s location, contacts or movement.

Google cited public health officials as reaching out to say that "the same type of aggregated, anonymized insights [that Google uses] in products such as Google Maps could be helpful as they make critical decisions to combat COVID-19."

The company said it will record not the actual number of visits to such places, but rather their percentage point increase or decrease over the previous several weeks, with the latest timestamp being 48 to 72 hours prior to the release.

The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11. To date, close to 100 countries have introduced quarantines and other restrictions on people's movements in a bid to curb the spread of the infection. As of Friday, the global toll of COVID-19 has exceeded one million cases with over 53,000 fatalities, according to statistics compiled by the Johns Hopkins University.

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“We are aware of reports of a COVID-19 case related to an Embassy New Delhi employee. We are working with Indian health authorities to ensure the employee receives proper treatment," the US State Department said in a statement.

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European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen told Europe 1 radio on Friday that talks were underway among European Union member-states over whether or not to extend border closures beyond Easter in order to tackle the coronavirus crisis.

06:36 GMT 03.04.2020

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday thanked his fellow citizens for observing the COVID-19 quarantine and called for national unity and solidarity amid the spread of disease, which has now claimed over 2,300 cases in India.

Modi asked Indians to observe self-isolation on March 22 and then next day extended the measure for another three weeks, until April 14.

"Now that tens of millions of people are in their homes, some of them might wonder as to how they are going to fight COVID-19 all alone. But please remember, none of us are alone. The strength of 1.3 billion Indians is with each of us," Modi said in a nationwide address, calling upon the people to "go to the light from the darkness created by the coronavirus."

06:35 GMT 03.04.2020

The death toll from the coronavirus disease in the United States has reached 6,053 out of a total of over 245,500 infected persons, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University.

The largest number of COVID-19 fatalities was in New York, where the disease has left 1,562 people dead.

The number of recovered patients across the country stands at 9,228.

The United States has been the most affected nation in terms of number of cases. To date, more than 1 million people have been infected with the coronavirus worldwide, with over 53,000 fatalities, according to Johns Hopkins University.

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Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban told state radio on Friday that the country would introduce a new pandemic fund on Saturday and work out the details of the country's biggest economic stimulus package by Tuesday.

According to the premier, the plans focus mainly on employment.

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