The United Nations chief has warned the coronavirus pandemic presents the world with its “worst crisis” since World War II, with the number of dead in the United States now higher than in China and hard-hit countries in Europe reporting their highest number of deaths in a single day.
The US announced some 800 deaths on Tuesday – bringing the total to more than 3,700. It also has the most confirmed cases. China has reported 3,282 deaths from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.
Spain, the United Kingdom, France and Italy each reported their largest single-day increase in deaths since the start of the pandemic. Some 12,428 people have died from the disease in Italy, the world’s most seriously affected country.
Around the world, nearly 857,000 people have been diagnosed with the virus and at least 178,000 have recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 42,000 people have died.
I’m Kate Mayberry in Kuala Lumpur with Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.
Here are the latest updates.
Wednesday, April 1
04:00 GMT – Japan to do ‘whatever is needed’ to control coronavirus
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters the government would do “whatever is needed” to control the coronavirus, as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe prepared to chair a meeting of his coronavirus task force on Wednesday evening.
Japan has reported some 2,200 cases and 66 deaths. New virus infections in Tokyo rose to a daily record of 78 on Tuesday, for a total of more than 500. Schools have been closed since March 2 and expectations are growing the shutdown will be extended.
03:45 GMT – Reporters Without Borders tracking impact of virus on journalism
Reporters without Borders (RSF) has launched its ‘Tracker 19’ tool to document state censorship, deliberate disinformation and their effect on people’s right to reliable news and information during a global pandemic.
Among its most recent entries are Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro’s attacks on the media, restrictions on the right to inform in Thailand and Turkmenistan’s decision to ban the word ‘coronavirus’.
03:35 GMT – Malaysia tightens lockdown in ‘second phase’
Malaysia is tightening its lockdown, as the so-called Movement Control Order that was originally to have come to an end on March 31 enters its “second phase”.
The Home Ministry says for the next two weeks, public transport will operated only for selected hours in the morning and evening, while private vehicles (including e-hailing services) will be banned from the roads between 10pm (14:00 GMT) and 6am (22:00 GMT).
02:40 GMT – Taiwan asks people to wear masks when using public transport
Everyone using public transport in Taiwan will need to wear masks from today while people with fevers will not be allowed into stations or airports.
Taiwan starts asking all citizens to wear masks when they take public transportation today, as the country remains on high alert about the #COVID19 outbreak. Those who are feverish will not be allowed to go to trains stations or airports. https://t.co/qORmvOqoDU
— William Yang (@WilliamYang120) April 1, 2020
Taiwan has been widely praised for its efforts to curb the virus’ spread on the island. Al Jazeera’s Erin Hale wrote earlier on Taiwan’s approach as well as the difficulties it faces because of its exclusion from the WHO.
02:20 GMT – US medical stockpile nearly out of protective gear
The US government’s emergency stockpile of medical equipment is nearly run out of protective gear.
Masks, respirators, gloves, gowns and face shields are all in short supply, two officials at the Department of Homeland Security told Reuters.
02:15 GMT – China data delayed; asymptomatic cases to be reported
China’s National Health Commission has yet to release its daily update on coronavirus cases, with asymptomatic cases expected to be added to the tally.
We’ll bring you the numbers once they’re announced.
02:00 GMT – Two staff at overseas missions die in US State Dept’s first coronavirus deaths
Two locally-employed staff at US foreign missions – one in Indonesia and one in the Democratic Republic of Congo – have died of the coronavirus, the State Department said on Tuesday, its first pandemic-related losses among staff.
01:35 GMT – Hong Kong says pet cat tests positive for coronavirus
Hong Kong’s Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department has revealed that a cat has tested positive for the coronavirus – the third pet to do so in the territory.
The short-haired cat was sent for quarantine when its owner tested positive for COVID-19. The animal does not have any sisgns, the department said in a statement on Tuesday.
Earlier two dogs tested weak positive or positive during repeated tests for the virus.
Hong Kong is urging that pet cats, dogs and other mammals should be quarantined if anyone in the household is confirmed with COVID-19.
00:30 GMT – ‘The President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America’
US President Donald Trump has just shared on Twitter his ‘Coronavirus Guidelines for America’ after warning the country faced a “very painful” two weeks as it confronts the virus.
The recommendations advise the elderly and those with underlying health conditions to stay at home and urge those feeling sick to stay at home and seek medical attention.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 31, 2020
20:50 GMT Tuesday – UN chief: ‘COVID-19 worst crisis since WWII’
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned the coronavirus pandemic is the most serious crisis facing the world since World War II, threatening people in every country and carrying the risk of “enhanced instability, enhanced unrest, and enhanced conflict.”
The UN chief was speaking at the launch of a report on the socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19.
Read all the updates from yesterday (March 31) here.