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Coronavirus latest: France, Spain, UK record deadliest day

The US death toll is now greater than China's official count. And a record number of people have died in the past 24 hours in France, Spain and the UK. Follow DW for the latest.

  • 849 people have died from COVID-19 in Spain in just 24 hours
  • Over 800,000 COVID-19 cases have been reported worldwide, with more than 40,000 deaths
  • German health authorities warn the pandemic will "carry on for weeks and months"
  • Jena is the first German city to introduce the mandatory wearing of face masks

Updates in Universal Coordinated Time (UTC/GMT) 

This live updates article has now closed. Click here for the latest April 1 updates.

23:28 Almost 60% of patients who were later confirmed as having COVID-19 reported losing their sense of smell and taste, according to an app developed by UK scientists to track symptoms. In the group that tested negative, only 18% reported temporarily losing those senses. The research team from King's College in London analyzed data from hundreds of thousands of users reporting symptoms through the app. Of these, 1,702 also reported having been tested for COVID-19, with 579 positive results and 1,123 negative results.

"When combined with other symptoms, people with loss of smell and taste appear to be three times more likely to have contracted COVID-19 according to our data, and should therefore self-isolate for seven days to reduce the spread of the disease," said study leader Tim Spector, a King College professor.

22:47 The US currently has a stockpile of 10,000 ventilators, which it is holding in reserve to meet demand during the peak of the outbreak, US President Donald Trump said. "We haven't hit the top yet," Trump told reporters. "When the surge occurs... we'll be able to distribute them very evenly."

The US leader also said some officials were "hoarding" medical equipment in case the number of infections escalated. "If they do need them, we will be able to have them there before they need them," Trump added.

22:20 The White House unveiled a coronavirus model on Tuesday projecting between 100,000 and 240,000 deaths in the US. The projection is informed by the outbreak progress in New York and New Jersey, which are heavily affected by the virus. The death toll estimate assumes that social distancing measures would continue to be followed. 

Anthony Fauci, a top public health official who is helping lead the US effort against COVID-19, said that the authorities would need to "anticipate" that number but should not "accept it as being inevitable." "I — all of us — want to do much better than that," Fauci said.

"Every time we get more data, we feed it into the model," he said. "As we get more data, as the weeks go by, that could change."

The US currently has 184,183 confirmed infections and has registered 3,721 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

22:05 In a bid to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, the US government has issued social distancing guidelines for the next 30 days. The guidelines advise citizens to "avoid" groups of over 10 people, social visits and shopping trips. The administration also advised Americans to use "drive-thru, pickup or delivery options" when buying food, instead of bars and restaurants.  

Furthermore, the guidelines recommend older people and persons who feel sick to stay at home, and for sick children to stay out of schools.

"If someone in your household has tested positive for the coronavirus, keep the entire household at home," the US authorities said. "Do not go to work. Do not go to school. Contact your medical provider."

On the issue of hygiene, the advisory recommends washing hands, avoiding face touching, and sneezing and coughing into tissues or the elbow. "Disinfect frequently used items and surfaces as much as possible," the officials said. 

21:43 US President Donald Trump described COVID-19 as a "plague" and warned of a "very, very painful two weeks" ahead for the US at the daily White House briefing on Tuesday. "We are at war with the deadly virus," Trump said, adding: "Every citizen is being called upon to make sacrifices, every business is being asked to fulfill its patriotic duty, every community is making fundamental changes to how we live, work and interact each and every day."

 

21:32 UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that the coronavirus crisis will trigger a recession that "probably has no parallel in the recent past." Presenting a report on the pandemic's socioeconomic impact on Tuesday, Guterres said the world was facing its most challenging crisis since World War II.

"The magnitude of the response must match the scale of the crisis — large-scale, coordinated and comprehensive, with country and international responses being guided by the World Health Organization," said the UN chief. Such response would only be possible "if everybody comes together and if we forget political games and understand that it is humankind that is at stake."

20:40 Burundi, one of the last African countries to not yet report coronavirus, has confirmed its first cases of COVID-19. The two men were Burundian but had recently returned from trips abroad, the Health Ministry said.

20:30 A 13-year-old boy has died in a London hospital, adding to the growing list of youngsters who have died from the new coronavirus. The teenager, who had no underlying health conditions, died without any family members close by due to the highly infectious nature of the virus.

Earlier on Tuesday, a 12-year-old Belgian girl became the youngest person in Europe to die from COVID-19. A week ago, a 16-year-old died from the novel virus despite having no underlying health problems. New York City has also reported its first COVID-19 death of a person under 18.

19:56 We just updated the overview of lockdown measures across Europe. Read more here: Coronavirus: What are the lockdown measures across Europe?

19:25 France has reported its highest daily death tally, with 499 people dying in hospital to bring the country’s total to 3,523. Currently there are 22,757 people hospitalized in France and 5,565 of those are in intensive care, health official Jerome Salomon said.

The French death toll includes only those who died in hospital and not those who died at home or in old people's homes. The number of confirmed infections also rose sharply by 7,578 to 52,128. 

"This situation is completely unprecedented in the history of French medicine," Salomon said in his daily briefing.

France has been in lockdown for two weeks and Salomon said hospitals in eastern France were under "great tension" while in Paris and its wider surroundings the circumstances were also "difficult."

As a result, France has been transporting some patients to other parts of the country, or even to neighboring countries, such as Germany and Switzerland.

19:08 US President Donald Trump has accepted an offer from Russian President Vladimir Putin to provide medical equipment, the Interfax news agency reported, citing the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. A Russian plane with the equipment is set to leave for the United States on Tuesday, the news agency quoted Peskov as saying. According to Peskov, this assistance was discussed during a telephone call between the two leaders on Monday.

"On the Russian side, against the background of the grave epidemiological situation in America, assistance was offered in the form of medical equipment and protective means," Peskov said. "Trump gratefully accepted this humanitarian aid."

18:24 Former US president Barack Obama has taken a thinly veiled swipe at Donald Trump’s handling of the outbreak. Obama took to Twitter as Trump finalized a controversial rollback of the previous administration’s vehicle fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards.

"We've seen all too terribly the consequences of those who denied warnings of a pandemic," Obama tweeted. "We can't afford any more consequences of climate denial. All of us, especially young people, have to demand better of our government at every level and vote this fall."

Obama's Twitter post included a link to a story about the White House's new policy.

Trump and his government have faced criticism for failing to heed warning signs about the outbreak, particularly after death tolls surged in China and Italy.

The United States now has more than 175,000 confirmed infections, the most of any country in the world, and the death toll has surpassed China's, with more than 3,400 people dying of the virus.

17:54 Muslims should wait for more clarity on how coronavirus will develop before planning the annual haj pilgrimage, Saudi Arabia has said. The warning came from the kingdom’s minister for haj and umrah. Around 2.5 million Muslim pilgrims visit the holy sites of Islam in the Saudi cities of Mecca and Medina each year, providing a significant source of revenue for the country. Every able-bodied Muslim is expected to make the traditional visit once in their lifetime. There are around 1.8 billion Muslims worldwide.

17:48 Here is a round up of the most important updates from Africa today:

Africa has had relatively few confirmed cases of COVID-19 compared to other continents, but health experts are concerned about African nations' vulnerability to widespread outbreaks. There have been over 5,400 confirmed cases and around 170 deaths.

Kenya: Police have ordered a probe into the shooting of a 13-year-old boy on his balcony in Nairobi. Police officers allegedly opened fire to enforce a night-time curfew. The boy later died of his injuries. Locals reported ongoing confrontation in the slum where the shooting took place as police forced people into their houses. The dusk-to-dawn curfew is one of the measures put in place to try to slow the spread of coronavirus. Some public services have been stopped and people are being encouraged to stay at home. Kenya has 59 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and one person has died.

Uganda: Police have charged 20 LGBT+ people with disobeying social distancing regulations. The move drew criticism from rights groups, who say the group was deliberately targeted. Gay sex can be punished with a life sentence in Uganda. Police arrested 14 people in a shelter in Kampala on Sunday. Groups of more than 10 cannot meet in Uganda under social distancing rules. LGBT+ people are often in danger of being attacked in public spaces in Uganda. Social distancing measures were increased on Tuesday, with the country essentially in lockdown. Uganda has 33 confirmed cases of COVID-19. 

Nigeria: Africa's largest city of Lagos has spent its first 24 hours under some of the most strict social distancing measures on the continent. They were put in place on Monday. The city center of Lagos was deserted and police turned away trucks carrying non-essential supplies and ordered people out walking to go home. The Nigerian government has pledged basic food rations for 200,000 of the neediest in Lagos, but residents are concerned about how they will survive without being able to work for two weeks. Nigeria has 135 confirmed cases and two people have died.

South Africa: The health minister of the southern African country has said that the spread of COVID-19 has not been as drastic as expected. "We are observing the trend," Zweli Mkhize said. "We expected 4,000-5,000 [new cases] but we haven’t reached that." South Africa is on the fifth day of a 21-day lockdown period, which is being enforced by the military. Around 39,000 tests have been conducted. South Africa has the most cases of coronavirus in Africa, with 1,343. Five people have died.

Tanzania and Mauritius have both reported their first deaths from coronavirus, while Sierra Leone has confirmed its first case.

Six African nations are some of the only ones in the world yet to confirm a case of coronavirus, though this may be because of a lack of testing kits. South Sudan, Lesotho, Burundi, Malawi as well as the small island nations of Comoros and Sao Tome and Principe.

17:28 Volkswagen has announced an extension to the closure of its plants in Germany. The shut down will continue for an additional 10 days, with production now set to resume on April 19. It is the second time VW has extended its manufacturing halt. The German carmaker has also indicated that it will reduce the working hours for tens of thousands of its employees.

Volkswagen, like a number of other automotive firms, is struggling with plummeting demand and broken supply chains. It will also have to implement stricter hygiene standards when it restarts manufacturing. The measures announced by Volkswagen are similar to those of BMW, who have stated up to 20,000 employees will have to work part-time when car plants re-open on April 19. BMW has also suspended operations in the United States while manufacturing in China has started again.

17:15 Turkmenistan has banned public discussion of coronavirus, according to media rights group Reporters Without Borders. 

"The state-controlled media are no longer allowed to use the word," the group said in statement. "People wearing face masks or talking about the coronavirus on the street, at bus stops or in lines outside shops are liable to be arrested by plain-clothes police."

Reporters without Borders cited a report by Radio Liberty saying that the authorities would detain people discussing the virus in public areas.  The most recent use of the word "coronavirus" by the state news agency appears to have been last week. 

President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov has cracked down on dissenting voices in Turkmenistan in his 14 years governing the former Soviet country on the Caspian Sea.

16:56 Italy's civil protection agency has reported 4,053 additional cases, to bring the country's total to 105,792. Another 837 people died, bringing the death toll to 12,428, the most of any country in the world.

The head of Italy's national institutes of health has said the country has hit the "plateau" in its rate of infections, three weeks into a national lockdown, and should start to see a decline in new cases.

Dr. Silvio Brusaferro said: "The curve suggests we are at the plateau. We have to confirm it, because arriving at the plateau doesn't mean we have conquered the peak and we're done. It means now we should start to see the decline if we continue to place maximum attention on what we do every day."

16:17 Britain has reported a record daily death toll of 381, more than double the number the previous day’s figure.

"As of 5 p.m. (1600 GMT) on 30 March, of those hospitalized in the UK, 1,789 have sadly died," the Health Ministry reported on Twitter.

The victims were between the ages of 19 and 98, and all but 28 had underlying health conditions, NHS England said in a statement. Britain's previous highest daily toll was 260, recorded on Saturday, with the number dropping to 180 on Monday.

More than 25,000 people have tested positive in the UK, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

"The rising death toll in recent days showed the vital importance of the public continuing to stick to the social distancing guidance which has been put in place by the government," Johnson said in a video-link cabinet meeting. "The situation is going to get worse before it gets better – but it will get better," the prime minister added.

Meanwhile, the UK is offering a free automatic visa extension to NHS workers with visas due to expire in the next 6 months.

16:11 The official coronavirus death toll in the US has surpassed China's, with 3,393 fatalities thus far. China has reported 3,300 coronavirus deaths. The US is now ranked third globally in terms of total fatalities, following behind Italy and Spain, who have respectively reported 11,591 and 8,189 deaths.

New York City, the current epicenter of the outbreak, is scrambling to relieve its overburdened health system. A giant convention center in the city as well as the tennis center where the US Open is held have both been converted into temporary hospitals to accommodate the surge in patients. On Monday, a Navy hospital ship with 1,000 beds docked in a city harbor. Over 1,200 deaths have been reported in New York state, the majority in New York City. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called the figures "beyond staggering."

16:00 The pathogen that causes coronavirus was present in the sewage system of a Dutch city before it confirmed its first cases, scientists in the Netherlands have said in a preliminary report.

If their findings are accurate, waste water surveillance may be a way to determine COVID-19 in communities before testing.

Read more: Coronavirus in sewage foreshadowed outbreak in Dutch city

Watch video 02:05

Cancer drug to treat COVID-19?

15:35 An 18th person has died from coronavirus at a nursing home in the German city of Wolfsburg in Lower Saxony, making it the nursing home with the most fatalities in all of Germany. The residence for people with dementia has registered 74 cases of coronavirus among the institute’s 145 total residents. 

Multiple nursing homes around Germany have suffered severe coronavirus outbreaks and fatalities. In a home in Würzburg in Bavaria, 16 deaths have been reported. Lower Saxony has forbidden all nursing homes in the state from taking on new residents unless the person can confirm they have completed a 14-day quarantine. 

Several employees at a hospital in Wolfsburg also tested positive for the virus, causing significant disruption to the health institute. Wider staff testing has revealed only a small number of new cases and the mayor of Wolfsburg has said the hospital should be functioning normally by Wednesday.

15:30 Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government has proposed a bill that would temporarily release some 45,000 prisoners in response to the possibility of COVID-19 spreading in jails. Another act included in the bill would release an additional 45,000 prisoners permanently.

There are roughly 300,000 inmates in the country's crowded prisons and the government has been working on reforms to ease pressure on the system, while human rights groups have said coronavirus infections could easily take hold within the jails.

Tuesday's announcement comes after the number of confirmed coronavirus infections in Turkey rose to 10,827, less than three weeks after it registered its first case. Turkey’s death toll currently stands at 168.

Meanwhile, Turkish defense and electronics companies are working together to produce 5,000 ventilators to help treat COVID-19 patients, the head of a military drone manufacturer has revealed. Baykar Chief Executive Haluk Bayraktar said 100 engineers from his firm, defense contractor Aselsan and household electronics maker Arcelik, were teaming up to have the ventilators ready by the end of May.

In Tunisia, 1,420 prisoners have been released as part of an amnesty to combat the spread of the COVID-19 in the country’s jails, a presidency statement said.

And in the UK, pregnant women are set to be temporarily released from British prisons, the Ministry of Justice confirmed.

The decision refers to pregnant women "who do not pose a high risk of harm to the British public."

"Governors can now temporarily release pregnant prisoners so that they can stay at home and reduce social contact like all other expectant mothers have been advised to do," said Justice Secretary Robert Buckland.

14:50 The Health Service Executive in Ireland has issued guidelines on safe sex and masturbation during the pandemic.

According to the advice, people should only be sexually active with someone they live with and who does not have the coronavirus or symptoms of it. In addition, it is advised to avoid kissing anyone outside your household or who has symptoms of the virus, such as a dry cough or fever.

New York City, one of the hardest-hit coronavirus cities in the world, has issued similar advice.

Its guidelines suggest it is best to have sex only with people close to you and that masturbation will not spread COVID-19, especially if you wash your hands (and any sex toys) with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after sex.

British HIV/AIDS charity Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) released a statement last week saying the need to keep two metres from anyone "has to include not hooking up for sex."

Dating site statistics in the UK show people are sending more messages online to meet new people, flirt, and swap explicit images. In France, porn sites have been reporting 50% more traffic since the country went into lockdown in the middle of March.

14:20 European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has warned European Union nations that emergency measures should be "limited" and "strictly proportionate." The head of the EU's executive arm issued a statement a day after Hungary's far-right Prime Minister Viktor Orban was granted sweeping powers to rule by decree without a time limit.

Read more: EU warns Hungary over coronavirus power grab

13:42 American Airlines says it will apply for a financial aid package from the US government and it expects to receive $12 billion (€11 billion) as a result. The airline industry is one of the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic, with airlines across the United States suspending most transatlantic flights and a large number of domestic routes. The US Congress has assigned $50 billion in aid for the airline industry as part of its $2.2 trillion coronavirus economic relief bill approved last week.

Meanwhile, British Airways is suspending all flight’s from London’s Gatwick Airport for the foreseeable future. International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG), the owner of British Airways and Iberia, has said it would reduce its flying capacity by at least 75% in April and May.

13:40 German zoos are seeking €100 million ($110 million) in aid, the Association of Zoological Gardens has revealed.

"Unlike other facilities, we cannot just shut down our operations — our animals have to keep being fed and looked after," association head and Leipzig zoo director Jörg Junhold wrote in a letter to Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Junhold said zoos are currently working without incomes, but still have to consider expenses. Large zoos are working on the basis of a weekly loss of some €500,000 due to the crisis, according to the Berlin-based association.

The Association of Zoological Gardens represents 56 zoos across Germany that care for and breed more than 180,000 vertebrate animals, many of which are endangered species.

13:29 Berlin has opened its first hostel for homeless people. The hostel provides 200 beds for use by any person living on the streets of Berlin, regardless of nationality, spokesman for Berlin Social Services Stefan Strauß said Tuesday. There is also a separate floor with 20 spots reserved specifically for women.

"When the coronavirus infection reaches this community, there is the risk of a catastrophy that I don’t even want to describe," said Werena Rosenke, director of Wohnungslosenhilfe, a German NGO that helps the homeless.

She added that many homeless people are at higher risk of catching the virus due to pre-existing medical conditions. Recent federal figures estimate that there are around 678,000 homeless people in Germany.

Read more: Berlin opens first hostel for the homeless amid coronavirus pandemic

12:45 Soccer clubs in Germany’s Bundesliga have agreed that the suspension of the season should be extended until April 30.  The German Football League (DFL) stopped both league competitions on March 13. All 36 clubs in both the top flight and second tier of German football accepted the measure after a video conference meeting. With nine rounds of matches left in the Bundesliga, issues such as the league title and relegation are still to be decided. 

Playing games behind closed doors once restrictions are partially lifted is considered a likely option.

Read more: Bundesliga must finish season or face dire financial consequences

12:39 Spain's Health Ministry has reported 849 coronavirus-related deaths over a 24-hour period, a record high for the Iberian nation. It is the fourth consecutive day that Spain has recorded over 800 deaths.

The country has registered almost 100,000 cases overall after some 9,000 people were diagnosed with coronavirus in the past 24 hours.

COVID-19 has now claimed the lives of 8,189 people, forcing the Spanish capital of Madrid to open a second temporary morgue. Last week an ice rink was also being used as a morgue but a second temporary resting place was deemed necessary after the rink became overwhelmed.

11:42 The daily report released by China’s National Health Commission will include the details about asymptomatic coronavirus patients for the first time, from Wednesday, said Chang Jile, a commission official. The decision follows the first rise in mainland infections in five days, and heightened fears that people could be spreading the virus unknowingly.

11:07 Italy held a minute of silence and flew flags at half mast on Tuesday to mourn the 11,591 deceased victims of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Mediterranean nation has recorded nearly a third of all deaths related to the pandemic worldwide. It marks the first time the country has seen so many deaths from a single disaster since World War II.

The virus "is an injury that hurt the whole country," Rome mayor Virginia Raggi said after observing the minute of silence at noon. "Together, we will get through this," she said. 

Vatican City also flew its yellow-and-white flags at half mast on Tuesday. Italy has over 100,000 reported cases of coronavirus, and has been under a lockdown for the past three weeks. The restrictions imposed are set to last until at least mid-April.

10:18 Ethiopia on Tuesday said it would restore phone and internet service to a restive portion of the country’s west, over fears that the monthslong shutdown was keeping millions from accessing information about the coronavirus pandemic. 

Communications were cut in the area known as Wollega, from early January, following conflicts with a rebel group. 

The move was largely a response to pressure put on the Ethiopian government to lift the blackout, as the east African country battles its first wave of coronavirus. 

 "Access to timely and accurate information is essential in a time of crisis, especially as Ethiopia simply does not have the infrastructure to cope with a coronavirus outbreak," Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a statement on March 20, adding that the blackout was "disrupting life-saving services."

10:12 France, Germany and the United Kingdom have delivered medical supplies to Iran in the first transaction under Instex, a mechanism set up to bypass American sanctions on Tehran, the German Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

"France, Germany and the United Kingdom confirm that Instex has successfully concluded its first transaction, facilitating the export of medical goods from Europe to Iran. These goods are now in Iran," the ministry said in a statement.

Iran has been the Middle Eastern country most heavily hit by the coronavirus outbreak, with over 40,000 reported cases and almost 3,000 deaths. The country’s efforts to tackle the pandemic have been made more difficult by US sanctions, which prevent it from accessing essential medical supplies.

09:51 A 12-year-old girl in Belgium has died of COVID-19, health officials said on Tuesday. Such a fatality in a person of that age is a "very rare occurrence," said government spokesman Dr. Emmanuel Andre. The fatality marked the first death of a child due to coronavirus in Belgium. The country currently has almost 12,000 reported cases, and a death toll of 513.

09:33 In football, lower-league clubs are facing an uncertain financial future, with no games being played and no fans in stadiums. So, some of them have come up with some creative ideas in this crisis. Click through our picture gallery here:

09:27 Taiwan took some of the earliest action against the coronavirus outbreak, and was more prepared for the pandemic due to the island nation’s experience tackling the SARS outbreak in 2003, according to one Taiwanese health expert. 

"We learned our lessons from the SARS outbreak, where doctors and nurses died while taking care of SARS patients. So the whole of society has been on high alert for the past few years, just to be ready for the next attack of new, emerging diseases," Chan Chang-Chuan, Dean of the College of Public Health at the National Taiwan University told DW.

Chan also slammed the WHO for what he says was a slow response to the coronavirus outbreak, and its exclusion of Taiwan from membership.

"The WHO has made several mistakes in delaying the claim of [this being a] pandemic," he said.

Had the WHO included Taiwan, the two could have collaborated to implement more effective solutions at an earlier stage in the pandemic. You can watch the interview via this tweet here:


 
"If they had included Taiwan in the formal discussions, some of our successful measures could have been adopted by some other countries that are suffering now," Chan said. "By excluding Taiwan, the WHO did not do well for the rest of the world. Do you think politics won out here over global health?" 

While China sees Taiwan as a breakaway province, Taiwan sees itself as a separate, sovereign nation. It is recognized by just 14 of 193 United Nations member states.

08:58 The Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Germany’s health research organization, lists the total number of cases in the country as 61,913, while Johns Hopkins University (JHU) says the total number of cases is 66,885. Their reported death rates also differ, with a current death toll of 583 listed by RKI, and JHU suggesting a toll of 645 as of Tuesday. 

The disparity in case and death counts are due to the organizations' different methods of collecting data. JHU researchers combine data from the World Health Organization, national authorities, local media and some Twitter accounts to glean their figures. 

Meanwhile, the RKI compiles its numbers in accordance with the Infection Protection Act, meaning that they only publish figures that have been reported to the institute by official health authorities. Some of those figures may also not be officially reported until the next working day, so RKI’s case and death counts are often lower than those JHU reports.

08:30 "The pandemic [in Germany] is continuing and will carry on for weeks and months," said Lothar Wieler, the head of the Robert Koch Institute. In particular, containment measures to protect particularly vulnerable persons and to expand healthcare capacity will also have to continue. 

He added that he is optimistic that the measures would be effective, and that he expects "tangible figures" on the impact of the measures to be available by Easter. The death rate in Germany is currently very low, at just 0.8%, however, he believes that that rate will increase. 

"I would like to ask all people to take this disease seriously," he said, as one study showed that only 41% of Germans believe that COVID-19 is dangerous.

08:22 Official Malaysian government advice, urging women to dress up at home, stop "nagging" and wear makeup while under lockdown has drawn widespread criticism. Malaysia’s Women’s Affairs Ministry issued the "advice" in a series of online posters with the hashtag #WomenPreventCOVID19. 

One of the sexist posters depicts a man sitting on a sofa and asks women to refrain from being "sarcastic" if they need help with household chores. 

"In the midst of a global pandemic, @KPWKM thought what we need is some good old-fashioned sexism," wrote one Twitter user. 

Women’s groups have warned lockdowns could see a rise in domestic violence, as many will be trapped with their abusers.

08:03 People are not the only victims of the coronavirus pandemic, according to German animal rights groups. Empty city centers could result in the death of thousands of pigeons, who are "starving miserably," Leonie Weltgen, a species protection specialist with the German Animal Welfare Association told German daily Express.

Because pigeons are loyal to their locations, they will not leave the city centers and will instead starve to death if they are not provided with food soon. As it’s currently their breeding season, many young animals will die in their nests if their parents can no longer feed them," she said. 

The group is now calling on cities to set up feeding points for the pigeons, where they are provided with feed such as corn, grains or seeds.

07:33 The coronavirus pandemic is already having a major impact on the tourism industry, with German travel giant TUI seeking aid. Watch DW's latest report here:

Watch video 02:24

Tourism giant TUI seeks aid amid coronavirus woes

07:31 Producers of protective facial masks are only delivering the masks to hospitals at inflated prices, and there has been a 3,000% increase in the average cost of a mask since the middle of February, according to a report by German public broadcaster WDR.

The report comes amid calls made by doctors in Germany to boost production of personal protective equipment, which is running low in hospitals due to the coronavirus pandemic.

07:20 Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann is encouraging citizens to address violations of the contact regulations with the person committing the violation, or to report infractions directly to police.

"For example, if someone is standing in line at the supermarket, and someone is not holding the required distance from someone else, it can be pointed out that the rules are not being observed," Herrmann told RTL. However, citizens should report more serious violations to police.

06:48 The German city of Jena in the eastern state of Thuringia has introduced a facial mask requirement in public spaces, making it the first city in Germany to adopt such a measure.

"In a week, wearing mouth-and-nose protection in Jena sales outlets, local public transport and public buildings will become mandatory," the city said. Shawls and scarves can be used in addition to masks, as long as they cover the nose and mouth. 

Yesterday, Social Democratic Party (SPD) health expert Karl Lauterbach told the German Editorial Network that such a regulation would be "sensible." The comments followed Austria’s new measures implemented yesterday, requiring people to wear protective masks in supermarkets.

05:48 Vietnam is set to begin 15 days of mandatory social distancing from Wednesday, to curb community transmission of the coronavirus, said Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc. 

"From midnight on April 1, everybody is required to stay at home and can only go out to buy food or in emergency cases and must keep at least two meters from others," he said. Vietnam currently has 204 reported cases and no reported deaths.

05:37 German Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht told German public radio that using tracking technology for personal data to help in the fight against coronavirus would "only be allowed if people consent," adding that "having the data at our disposal is already a significant invasion of privacy."

Watch DW's latest report on data tracking and why it is controversial here:

Watch video 12:01

Why tracking personal data to fight coronavirus could be problematic

05:29 The US is considering expanding travel restrictions beyond China, Europe and Iran, US President Donald Trump has said.

"They’ll be staying away and we may add a few more," he said. "But the guidelines will very much be as they are, maybe even toughened up a little bit. But they’re having a big impact, they’re having a tremendous impact."

The ban on foreign arrivals already applies to China, Iran, Ireland, the UK, and 26 Schengen Area countries. The US currently has more cases than any other country, with 164,539 reported infections and over 3,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

05:03 Indonesia is set to ban all foreign arrivals to and transits within the country to curb the spread of coronavirus. Foreigners with residence permits and some diplomats will be exempt from the ban, according to Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi. 

Indonesia currently has 1,414 reported cases and a death toll of 122, according to Johns Hopkins University.

04:46 The coronavirus epidemic is "far from over" in the Asia-Pacific region, a World Health Organization (WHO) official warned on Tuesday.

The current measures to curb the spread of the virus are just buying time for countries to prepare for large-scale community transmissions, according to Takeshi Kasai, Regional Director for the Western Pacific at the WHO. 

Everyone must make preparations for widespread transmission, and even countries that are seeing a reduction in case counts should not let down their guard, Kasai said.

04:37 New and controversial lockdown measures came into force in Spain on Tuesday, after Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced that all workers employed in non-essential sectors must stay home until April 9. 

Previously, all citizens who could not work from home had been allowed to continue going to and from their workplaces, as part of the emergency measures that have been in place since March 15.

Spain has the highest number of coronavirus infections in Europe, after Italy, with more than 87,000 confirmed cases, and a death toll of 7,916, according to Johns Hopkins.

04:01 South Korea reported 125 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, taking its total number of infections to 9,786. Four more people died of the coronavirus, bringing the total death toll to 162.

03:41 An online concert hosted by legendary musician Elton John raised nearly $8 million (€7.26 million) for two charities, one of them aiming to help Americans deal with the economic fallout of the coronavirus crisis.

The UK-born singer and composer performed from his kitchen, with other famous musicians, including Billie Eilish, the Backstreet Boys, Lizzo, Alicia Keys, Mariah Carey, Lady Gaga and Tim McGraw, also remotely taking part in the hour-long "iHeart Living Room Concert for America."

In addition to the music, the Sunday show also featured stories from nurses, doctors, truck drivers, supermarket employees and other people who are continuing to work as the US faces a pandemic.

02:39 Here is the latest from across Latin America:

Panama: Under new quarantine rules, Panama will separate citizens by gender. Men would be allowed to go out to supermarkets and pharmacies on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, while women would be able to buy supplies on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Nobody will be allowed out on Sunday. The government has also limited the duration of the outing to two hours. The new measures are set to go into effect on Wednesday and last for 15 days. Latest figures: 1,075 infections, 27 deaths, 9 recovered.

Mexico: The government of Mexico declared a health emergency as the number of infections topped 1,000 on Monday. The officials also announced the lockdown measures will stay in place until the end of April, and cut down the maximum size of public gatherings from 100 to 50 people. At the same time, the country's Health Ministry said people residing in the country would gradually return to work after April 30. Latest figures: 1,094 infections, 28 deaths, at least 35 recovered.

Brazil: President Jair Bolsonaro slammed self-isolation and other measures declared by local authorities as harmful to the economy. "You can't impose any more quarantine than there already is," he told Rede TV. Bolsonaro previously compared the coronavirus to a "little flu," ignored appeals from health officials by meeting groups of his supporters, and warned that stricter measures could push the country toward "chaos."

On Monday, opposition leaders called for Bolsonaro's resignation over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. "Enough is enough," about a dozen of the president's rivals said in an open letter. "He is committing crimes, spreading false information, lying and inciting chaos."  Latest figures from the country: 4,630 infections, 163 deaths, 120 recovered.

To understand how the Brazilian president polarizes public opinion over the COVID-19 pandemic, read this piece: Bolsonaro polarizes Brazil with lax coronavirus response

Venezuela: The authorities in Venezuela have been "90% effective" when it comes to containing the coronavirus pandemic, said President Nicolas Maduro. However, he warned the outbreak could still spread through local communities. In the next two weeks, the country should "definitely break the chain of contagion" and then move toward relative normality, he said on Twitter. Latest figures: 135 infections, 3 deaths, 39 recovered.

Ecuador: With the coronavirus spreading rapidly in Ecuador, the government has pledged to improve collection of dead bodies after complaints from the residents. Ecuador is under strict quarantine and curfew measures. Some residents of the country's most populous city, Guayaquil, complained that the strict lockdown prevents them from disposing of their relatives' remains, forcing them to keep the bodies at home. Latest figures: 1,966 infections, 62 deaths, 3 recovered.

El Salvador: Thousands of people queued up in San Salvador on Monday, in spite of a lockdown order, to seek subsidies promised by the government. Police used pepper spray to disperse the crowds, Previously, the government pledged to give $300 per household to people working informal jobs, such as house cleaners and street vendors, amid the coronavirus crisis. Latest figures: 30 infections, 0 deaths, 0 recovered.

02:10  Finance ministers and central bankers of the Group of 20 major economies will hold a second round of virtual talks on Tuesday to push ahead the coronavirus response, said Saudi Arabia, which currently holds the group's rotating presidency. 

G20 leaders last week pledged a "united front" in the fight against the pandemic, saying they were injecting $5 trillion (€4.5 trillion) into the global economy to head off forecasts of a deep recession

01:20 The World Bank says economic growth in the Asia-Pacific region will take a hit this year on account of the massive public health crisis unleashed by the novel coronavirus. Under a worst-case scenario, the region could suffer its sharpest downturn since a devastating financial crisis more than two decades ago, the bank said. 

The bank's report projects that growth in the region would slow to 2.1% this year from 5.8% in 2019 under a "baseline" forecast in which economic recovery takes hold this summer.

But under a worse case, in which the adverse effects of the virus spillover into next year, the region's economy would contract 0.5%, the bank estimates.

In the World Bank's base case, China, the world's second-largest economy, would see growth slow from 6.1% last year to 2.3% this year. In the worse-case scenario, growth in China would come to a near halt with a tiny 0.1% gain. 

Read more:  Will coronavirus spark a wave of food nationalism?

00:42 The US military announced the first death of a service member due to the coronavirus. The disease claimed the life of a New Jersey Army National Guardsman who was hospitalized on March 21.

"Today is a sad day for the Department of Defense as we have lost our first American service member — active, reserve or Guard — to coronavirus," Defense Secretary Mark Esper said in a statement, without providing more information on the victim. 

"This is a stinging loss for our military community, and our condolences go out to his family, friends, civilian co-workers and the entire National Guard community."

Hours before announcing the guardsman's death, the Pentagon said that 568 troops have so far tested positive for the virus, more than double the number declared on Thursday.

Over 450 Defense Department's civilian employees, contractors and dependents have also tested positive.

00:15 Spain banned funeral ceremonies amid the coronavirus crisis, including vigils attended by friends and family in private homes, regardless of the cause of death. Under the orders announced on Monday, up to three people are allowed to attend a burial or a cremation. The attendees would also be required to maintain a safe distance.

Amid a nationwide lockdown, the government said that "religious celebrations and civilian funeral ceremonies are postponed until the end of the alert" which is currently set for April 11.

Spain has seen 7,340 coronavirus deaths, more than any other country except Italy, where the death toll stands at 11,591. Italian authorities have already implemented similar measures.

Watch video 07:17

Spain and Italy hit hard by coronavirus

00:05 In Germany, consumer groups warn of online scammers taking advantage of the coronavirus crisis.

The fraudsters "want to take advantage of people's worries and fears to enrich themselves," said the head of the Federation of German Consumer Organizations, Klaus Müller.

Some people provide unreliable medical information, while others advertise non-existing online businesses to sell face masks and disinfectants, Müller told Germany's Funke Medien Gruppe.

"The goods are allegedly in stock, but the payment is only possible in advance," the activist said. "The goods are never delivered. The operator and the shops are not reachable and the buyers do not get their money back."

Müller also warns against people trying to make money through price gouging, ramping up the prices of the highly sought-after products.

This includes online traders who "offer a set of toilet paper rolls for €20 ($22) or one liter of disinfectant fluid for €199."

The coronavirus pandemic has set off a wave of panic-buying in Germany, leading to intermittent shortages of toilet paper and disinfectants.

00:00 Catch up on yesterday's news here: More than 750,000 cases across the globe 

ed, kp, lc,rc,jsi,djv/sri (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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