Coronavirus Timeline (March): COVID-19 cases cross 826,000 worldwide

Update as of 31 March 2020: Number of people affected rises to 826,222 worldwide, with 40,708 deaths and 174,115 recovered so far, as per the latest GISAID update

The COVID-19 outbreak that began in the city of Wuhan in China has spread across the world, claimed 40,708 lives and infected 826,222 people so far. Several cases have been reported in many countries across the world, triggering panic about a 2003 SARS-like global outbreak.

We give you a chronological breakdown of the situation over the past few weeks. Here's a screengrab showing the latest status of coronavirus across the world:

Coronavirus status as of 31 March, 2020
Coronavirus status as of 31 March, 2020 GISAID

(For complete timeline from 1 February 2020 to 29 February 2020, click here)

Mar. 1: The Czech Republic and Armenia become the latest countries to report their first COVID-19 cases, increasing the total number of countries with confirmed cases to 66. First casualties are reported in Australia and Thailand.

-- Australia, Lebanon, the UK and Qatar report more cases as the death toll in Iran increases to 54. South Korea reports hundreds of cases adding to the tally that stands at 3,526. The number of cases worldwide increases to 87,446 and the death toll touches 2,990.

-- Pakistan, which has reported four cases of the coronavirus, shuts its border with Afghanistan. Adding to the woes of containing the infection, a dog belonging to a COVID-19 patient tests "weak positive" for the infection, officials say.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan Reuters

-- Churches in South Korea suspend services amid fears of a spread of infection. French officials announce the shutdown of The Louvre Museum in Paris.

Mar. 2: Andorra, Iceland, Indonesia and Portugal report their first cases increasing the number of affected countries to 68.

--The official death toll across the world crosses 3,000 and stands at 3,048. The number of confirmed cases increases to 89,197.

-- The US reports a second COVID-19 death — a 70-year-old man in the state of Washington. Kazakhstan announces the barring of Iranian nationals from entering the country from March 5 while Israel heads to the polls in the midst of the virus outbreak.

-- With over 500 cases reported in one day, the number of cases in South Korea increases to 4,335.

Mar. 3: Germany, India, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar and South Korea report new cases as the total number of reported cases across the world increases to 92,314.

-- Ukraine reports its first case as Iran continues to see new cases. With 77 deaths, stands second in COVID-19 deaths as the worldwide toll stands at 3,131. Pirhossein Kolivand, the nation's head of emergency medical services, tests positive for coronavirus.

Pope Francis
Pope Francis Wikimedia Commons

-- Pope Francis tests negative for COVID-19. Twitter asks employees to work from home amid growing coronavirus fears.

-- Canada asks travellers from Iran to self-isolate. Shanghai authorities say that visitors from coronavirus-stricken countries will be quarantined for 14 days.

Mar. 4: India reports more cases, the number of reported infections rises to 28. Iraq reports its first two COVID-19 deaths. The global death toll stands at 3,214.

-- More countries continue to report cases as the total number of cases across the world reaches 94,261 across 82 countries. Hungary and Poland confirm first cases.

-- Amid growing fears of the spread of the coronavirus infection, Saudi Arabia suspends Umrah pilgrimage, while Iran cancels Friday prayers and bans officials from travelling.

-- The Chinese Medical Association says the median incubation period of SARS-CoV-2 is 5-7 days and the maximum of 14 days. Chinese scientists identify two strains of the coronavirus.

Representational Picture Wikimedia Commons

-- Japan announces that the Olympics 2020 will be held as scheduled. The London Book Fair is cancelled.

March 5: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Egypt, Slovenia, South Africa and Switzerland report their first cases, increasing the number of countries with confirmed cases to 89.

-- Number of COVID-19 deaths sees a spike in Italy and Iran, with 148 and 107 reported deaths respectively. The total number of deaths across the world stand at 3,347.

-- The number of deaths in China crosses 3,000 as the number of cases reported worldwide stands at 97,840.

-- Israel and the US cancel joint military exercise. England versus Italy Six Nation rugby match is postponed.

March 6: WHO urges all countries to make containment a priority as the global total of confirmed cases crosses the 100,000-mark and stands at 101,583 and the death toll reaches 3,460.

-- Cameroon, Peru, Serbia, Togo and the Vatican confirm first cases, increasing the number of countries affected by COVID-19 to 97.

Donald Trump

-- US President Donald Trump signs an emergency bill for the spending of $8.3 billion to aid state and local authorities in responding and battling coronavirus. Smaller EU member states urge bigger ones such as Germany and France to share essential medical supplies to halt the spread of COVID-19.

-- More cases are reported in the US sates of Maryland and New York. China reports 140 new cases and 30 more deaths. In less than 3 days, the number of cases in India jumps to 31 while the death toll in Iran and Italy increase to 124 and 197 respectively.

-- The Asian Development Bank reports that the global economic losses due to the coronavirus outbreak could amount to $347 billion while European stocks plunge amidst growing fears surrounding the disease.

-- Tokyo Olympics organisers conduct the first test event for Olympics 2020 set to be held in the country.

March 7: A massive spike in the number of confirmed cases is seen as over 4,000 news cases are reported, bringing the worldwide toll to 105,479.

-- Costa Rica, Malta and Paraguay report first cases as the number of countries with confirmed COVID-19 cases stands at 100.

Michael Bloomberg
Michael Bloomberg Wikimedia commons

-- Italy and Iran report several new deaths; the death toll touches 233 and 145 respectively. The global death toll reaches 3,555.

-- Two attendees of a conference that was also saw the presence of Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, test positive for the coronavirus. Iranian MP, Fatemeh Rahbar, dies of COVID-19.

-- Pope Francis cancels his major public appearances to prevent the spread of infection among large crowds gathering to see him. NBA star LeBron James says "I ain't playing" if fans are not allowed to attend games to contain the spread of the infection.

March 8: Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York, declares a state of emergency in the state as the number of cases grows at an alarming rate and crosses 100. The worldwide total of confirmed cases reaches 107,900.

-- Bulgaria, the Maldives and Moldova report first cases as COVID-19 spreads to 107 countries.

-- US President Donald Trump said that "fake news media is doing everything possible" to make the US look bad as the virus spreads in the nation.

March 9: Albania reports its first two cases as the number of reported cases stands at 113,432 across 109 countries.

-- As the number of cases drastically jumps to 9,172, Italy becomes the second most affected country after China. With nearly 100 deaths reported in a single day, the number of deaths in the country sharply rises to 463 as the worldwide death toll touches 3,994.

-- WHO says COVID-19 is closer to becoming a pandemic but can be controlled through containment and mitigatory measures.

Italy prison riots
Italy prison riots Twitter/My Amigo

-- In a bid to contain the spread of the infection, Iran temporarily releases nearly 70,000 prisoners. Riots erupt across several prisons in Italy as precautionary measure of limiting visits to reduce chances of infection is met with severe resistance.

-- Qatar bans entry to travellers from 14 countries. Saudi Arabia extends travel bans to more countries including France, Germany and Spain.

March 10: With 168 casualties reported in just 24 hours, the number of deaths in Italy jumps to 631, while the global death toll stands at 4,259. Italy becomes the worst-hit European nation and second in the world with 10,149 cases.

-- Iran reports 881 new cases in less than 24 hours, increasing the total number of reported cases in the country to 8,042 cases, and adding to the global total of 117,730 cases.

-- The Vatican shuts down St. Peter's square and its main basilica to tourists in order to reduce the risk of spread of infection. Several countries impose closure of schools and universities, and ban public events.

St. Peter's square
St. Peter's square Wikimedia Commons

-- Amid rising fears around infected travellers spreading COVID-19, several countries such as Austria, Denmark, Kazakhstan, Morocco, Portugal and Serbia impose travel restrictions and bans on countries affected by the coronavirus.

-- Congo, Mongolia, Morocco and Panama report their first cases, increasing the number of affected countries to 117 countries.

-- The US says it is likely that the number of service members and related personnel infected by the coronavirus is higher than the reported figures.

March 11: WHO finally declares the global outbreak of COVID-19 a pandemic as the total number of cases across 118 affected countries reaches 121,564.

-- Several countries report their first cases and coronavirus deaths. Bolivia, Honduras, Ivory Coast and Turkey report their first cases. Belgium, Bulgaria, Indonesia, Panama and Sweden report their first deaths increasing the number of casualties to 4,373.

Giuseppe Conte
Giuseppe Conte Wikimedia Commons

-- Number of COVID-19 deaths in Iran and Italy continue to rise. Eshaq Jahangiri, Iran's senior vice president and two other members of the cabinet, become the latest Iranian officials to be stricken by the infection. Italy's Prime Minister e announces the allocation of € 25 billion towards fighting the pandemic in the European nation.

-- Amid the coronavirus outbreak, several events such as the Coachella music festival, FIFA Congress, and G20 Agriculture and Water meeting, are postponed. However, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will proceed as planned chief Yoshiro Mori announces.

March 12: Adding to the tally of 4,718 global casualties, Algeria, Austria, Greece, India and Poland, report their first COVID-19 deaths.

-- French Polynesia and Guyana report their first cases as the number of confirmed cases worldwide stand at 127,863.

-- Several prominent personalities test positive for the infection. Hollywood actors Tom Hanks, and his wife Rita Wilson announce their contraction of the infection. NBA star Donovan Mitchell also tests positive. Irene Montero, Spain's Equality Minister is diagnosed with COVID-19 and Pablo Iglesias, Deputy Prime Minister of the country is also quarantined.

Ali Akbar Velayati
Ali Akbar Velayati Wikimedia Commons

-- As Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior adviser to Iran's Supreme leader becomes the latest official to contract the infection and the death toll in the country touches 429, Iran seeks emergency funding of $5 billion from IMF.

March 13: As the number of COVID-19 cases in the US crosses 1,700, US President Donald Trump declares a national emergency. With nearly 10,000 new cases reported in a day, the number of infections worldwide stands at 137,445.

-- More countries report first cases as the number of countries affected by the virus increases to 117. South China Morning Post reports that the first case of an individual suffering from COVID-19 in China was traced back to November 17, 2019.

-- Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro tests negative for the coronavirus. Bulgaria declares state of emergency as the number of cases in the country rises to 23.

-- As the global death toll reaches 5,088, Italy reports 250 deaths in a single day. With several European countries reporting an increasing number of cases, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO says that Europe is the new epicenter of the pandemic.

March 14: Over 10,000 cases are reported in a single day across the globe, increasing the number of confirmed cases to 147,838 in 147 countries

-- Iran reports over 90 deaths as the number of casualties in the Middle Eastern nation rises to 611, and COVID-19 deaths in Italy sharply increases to 1,266. The global death toll rises to 5,539.

A man looks at the screen of his mobile phone in front of an Apple logo outside its store in Shanghai, China on July 30, 2017.

-- 11 new cases are confirmed by China's National Health Commission, all of which are travellers from other parts of the world, specifically the US, Italy and Saudi Arabia. Apple announces the closure of all its stores outside greater China till March 27.

-- Austria announces $4.4billion as a coronavirus aid package. In the US, the House of Representatives passed an aid package of $50 billion.

March 15: In 24 hours, a tremendous rise in the number of cases is seen in Italy and Spain. Italy becomes the second worst-hit nation with 21,157 confirmed cases and 1,441 deaths. Spain reports nearly 2,000 cases as its tally rises to 7,798 cases and 289 deaths. The global total stands at 162,687 cases and 6,065 deaths.

Pedro Sanchez
Pedro Sanchez Wikimedia commons

-- A day After Canadian Prime Minister's wife tests positive for COVID-19, the wife of Spanish Prime Minister , Begona Gomez, also tests positive. El Salvador, Kazakhstan and Lebanon declare an emergency.

-- Irish government directs pubs to suspend operations while Australia imposes self-quarantine on foreign arrivals. Countries in the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) discuss plans to tackle COVID-19.

-- Major Islamic centers such as the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and the tomb of Imam Reza in Iran close doors to avoid the spread of the coronavirus.

March 16: Number of people affected rises to 179,073 worldwide, with 7,074 deaths and 78,078 reported recoveries.

-- More European countries shut themselves off, with the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia suspending entry to foreigners. Germany partly closes its borders with five neighboring countries.

-- The US Centers for Disease Control recommends that all gatherings of more than 50 people be banned. New York City closes down its school system and orders all bars and restaurants to shut down, sparing some outlets for food takeout and delivery.

-- New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says that events of 500 people or more will not be permitted. Ayatollah Hashem Bathaei-Golpaygani, a member of the Assembly of Experts, dies of COVID-19.

Idris Elba
Idris Elba Wikimedia Commons

-- Idris Elba and Olga Kurylenko become the latest Hollywood celebrities to test positive for coronavirus. Chinese entrepreneur and billionaire, Jack Ma, sends test kits and masks to the US.

March 17: With 135 deaths in one day, the number of casualties in Iran rises to 988 while the global death toll jumps to 7,519. The number of deaths in Italy rises sharply to 2,503.

-- Over a 26 percent rise is seen in the UK in a single day as the number of cases increases to 1,950, adding to the global tally of 190,694.

-- China approves the trial of the first COVID-19 vaccine developed within the country. Immune response to coronavirus is mapped, say Australian researchers. Several countries seal their borders to prevent the spread of the infection. Sri Lanka bans entry of all flights for two weeks. Iran frees 85,000 passengers temporarily.

-- France says nationalisation of big companies an option amid economic troubles caused by the coronavirus outbreak. Pakistan's Prime Minister calls for the removal of sanctions on Iran and write off debts to poorer countries.

March 18: Over 20,000 new cases are reported globally in a single day, leading to a tremendous rise in the number of COVID-19 cases, which stands at 212,616 across 157 countries.

-- With nearly 500 deaths reported in a single day, the number of casualties in Italy rises to 2,978, bring the number of coronavirus deaths across the world to 8,727. Rising by more than 4,000 new cases, Italy's number of reported COVID-19 cases increases to 35,713.

 Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison Reuters

-- US President Donald Trump calls himself as a "wartime president" as the outbreak in the country worsens with the number of confirmed infections standing at 7,323 and deaths at 115. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO, calls the disease an "enemy against humanity."

-- Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison declares a "human biosecurity emergency" in the island nation, while Portugal seeks to declare a 15-day state emergency.

-- German pharma giant Bayer is said to make a significant donation of a drug that has shown some effect against the disease, to the US government. The UN estimates that 25 million jobs across the world could be affected due to the economic crisis triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.

March 19: Italy's death toll crosses that of China's. Adding to the global deaths that stand at 9,785, Italy's death toll jumps to 3,405.

Representational Picture Xinhua/IANS

-- For the first time in three months, Wuhan, the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in China, and the province of Hubei, report zero cases. However, the worldwide tally of the number of confirmed cases rises by over 20,000 to touch 235,404.

-- As Europe struggles to contain the coronavirus outbreak, the US CDC announces that the total number of cases in the country increases to 10,491 with 150 deaths. The number of casualties in Iran rises to 1,284.

-- Michel Barnier, the European Union's chief negotiator for Brexit, announces that he tested positive for COVID-19. Thousands of foreigners and Filipinos make a rush to leave the country as a month-long lockdown is announced.

-- Experts warn that Somalia could be ravaged by the coronavirus infection if necessary measures are not put in place as the country confirms its first COVID-19 case. African nations asked to 'prepare for the worst' as the number of cases on the continent begins to rise.

March 20: In a single day, 627 deaths are reported in Italy — the largest daily jump — as the death toll in the country is the highest in the world with 4,032. The global death toll stands at 11,147.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus Wikimedia Commons

-- Amidst speculation that youth might be invulnerable to the coronavirus, WHO chief warns the you that, "You are not invincible", with the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases reaching 265,495.

-- Ukraine imposes emergency while Brazil's senate approves a presidential decree in favour of one. National armies are called in Italy and Bulgaria to enforce lockdowns.

-- Banks in Australia announce a $57 billion loan relief package for businesses while Saudi Arabia announces that it will borrow more from debt markets to finance economic measures aimed at reducing the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

-- As several countries continue to report more new cases, China records zero new cases for a second consecutive day. Russia begins animal testing of coronavirus vaccine prototypes.

March 21: Over 32,000 new cases are reported worldwide bringing the total number of COVID-19 cases to 297,090. Italy sees a massive spike in the number of deaths as the toll touches 4,825, and the global death toll rises to 12,755.

Joe Biden
Joe Biden Wikimedia Commons

-- Several countries shut their borders and suspend all flights. A member of US Vice President Joe Biden's staff tests positive for the coronavirus. The Brazilian Olympic Committee (COB) and USA Track and Field (USATF) seek the postponement of the Olympics to 2021.

-- Turkey imposes curfew on patients over the age of 60. Amazon announces raise in overtime pay for associates in its US warehouses.

-- All malls, schools and restaurants in Bangkok are shut till April 12. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says that all restrictions would be called off in two to three weeks.

March 22: In a single day, 651 deaths are reported in Italy, increasing the death toll in the country to 5,476. The global death toll stands at 14,380.

-- Singapore reports 23 new confirmed cases and 98 new cases are reported in South Korea. No new cases are reported in Wuhan for a fourth consecutive day. The worldwide total of reported cases increases sharply to 328,275.

Mike Pence

-- US Senator Rand Paul becomes the first senator to test positive for the coronavirus. German Chancellor Angela Merkel set to go into quarantine after coming in contact with a doctor who tested positive for the infection. US Vice President Mike Pence tests negative for COVID-19 after a staff tests positive for the virus.

-- Australia mulls over "draconian measures" to impose stricter social distancing. India imposes a countrywide 14-hour curfew. Ecuador replaces health minister as the number of cases in the country spikes.

March 23: Death toll in Italy touches 6,077 as 602 deaths are reported on Monday. The global casualties reach 16,113. The UK and France continue to report more deaths.

-- Several new cases are reported across many countries, bringing the worldwide total to 367,457. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says the "pandemic is accelerating" and calls for countries to be aggressive in their approach.

Representational Picture Pixabay

-- Canada pulls out of Tokyo Olympics and the country's Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, urges other countries to do the same. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says holding the event could become "optional". German Chancellor Angela Merkel tests negative for the coronavirus after an infection scare.

-- Several countries including India, South Africa, Tunisia and Pakistan declare immediate or impending lockdowns to reduce the spread of the disease. Many nations call in their armies to impose lockdowns.

March 24: Italy and Spain continue to report a massive number of single-day deaths. The former reports 743 deaths, increasing its total to 6,820, and the latter reports 514 deaths as the number of casualties increases to 2,696. The worldwide COVID-19 deaths surge to 18,246 while the number of infections sees a tremendous spike as it reaches 409,014.

-- Ford Motor Co. joins General Electric and 3M Co. in manufacturing ventilators, in response to US President Donald Trump's appeal to automakers to work across disciplines and produce essential life-saving equipment. Facebook reports that its ad sales are affected by the pandemic.

-- Australia's most populous state, New South Wales, reports its highest one-day spike of 149 new cases bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 1,886. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announces a 21-day lockdown in the country as the number of confirmed cases crosses 500.

Indian Prime Narendra Modi
Indian Prime Narendra Modi Wikimedia Commons

-- Bahrain's finance minister Sheikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa announces that the country will soon announce an $11.41 billion stimulus package. Thailand follows suit and announces a $3.25 billion package, and also declares a state of emergency.

March 25: Italy reports 683 more deaths, increasing the number of COVID-19 deaths in the country to 7,503. Spain registers 738 more casualties, rasing the countries death toll 3,434.

-- Turkey, England, Germany, Switzerland, and other countries report a steady rise in the number of deaths and cases, as the number of worldwide cases surpasses 454,000.

-- Spain's Deputy PM Carmen Calvo tests positive for the coronavirus. Spanish Confederation of Medical Unions (CESM) presents legal demand to the country's Supreme Court seeking adequate. Deputy British Ambassador to Hungary, Steven Dick, dies of the disease at the age of 37.

-- Russiam President Vladimir Putin calls on Russians to stay indoors and delays constitutional reforms vote. Russia considers shutting down, restaurants and cafes in order to prevent a spread.

March 26: With 82,400 cases, the US becomes the worst affected country in the world, crossing China and Italy whose totals stand at 81,782 and 80,589 respectively. The total number of COVID-19 infections stands at

G20 Summit G20 twitter

-- G20 countries pledge to pump $5 trillion into the global economy to protect it against COVID-19 fallout. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the US imposes sanctions on five Iranian companies and over a dozen Iranian individuals. India announces a $23 billion package to benefit the poor affected by the 21-day lockdown imposed in the country.

-- Several countries such as Honduras and Kenya, report first deaths as the global death toll reaches 22,993. WHO says that it is seeing "encouraging signs" as the number of deaths reported in Italy is reducing.

-- China says that no local cases are reported. All new cases are imported.

March 27: As US hospitals fall short of life-saving ventilators, US President Donald Trump signs an order asking carmaker, General Motors Co, to produce the equipment by invoking the Defense Production Act. The number of cases stands at 94,238, the highest in the world, and deaths stand at 546.

-- Several members of the UK cabinet test positive, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Other officials who test positive for COVID-19 are Health Minister Nadine Dorries and British Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

 British counterpart Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson IANS

-- In order to enable debt relief to the poorest countries in the world, IMF approves changes to the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT). The financial body also announces that the global economy has entered a recession.

-- Zimbabwe announces a 21-day lockdown while Indonesia works towards the imposition of one. Israel set to call in the army to enforce lockdown. France extends its lockdown as the number of deaths reaches 1,696, adding to the total global causalities of 26,455.

-- South Korea, Thailand, New Zealand, and several other countries report new cases, bringing the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases across the world to 576,859.

March 28: US President Donald Trump mulls over imposing quarantine in Connecticut, New Jersey and New York as the number of cases in the country increases to 116,505. The global tally sees a massive rise and touches 652,079.

-- Italy's death toll crosses the 10,000 as hundreds of deaths are reported bringing the total to 10,023 as the global death toll reaches 30,313. European countries such as France, Germany, Spain, and UK, among others, continue to report new cases and deaths.

-- United States Food and Drug Administration approves new rapid test from Abbott Laboratories that can detect the disease in five minutes. UN donated 250,000 masks to coronavirus-hit New York and two million protective equipment across 74 countries.

Hassan Rouhani
Hassan Rouhani Twitter/Hassan Rouhani

-- Iran President i says lack of health infrastructure the reason behind the scale of the pandemic in the country as the number of cases in the country stands at 35,408 and the number of casualties is 2,517. 21-day lockdown in India hits a roadblock as thousands of migrant workers are stranded in the capital creating a serious health risk.

March 29: As the number of cases in India rises to 987 with 25 casualties, Indian railways begin converting railway coaches into isolation wards in anticipation of an increased number of infections.

-- US President Donald Trump announces extension of social distancing norms by 30 days. Amidst the rise of the number of cases to 132,627, CDC issues travel advisory to New York Area. The country's leading infectious disease expert, Anthony Fauci warns that the death toll in the country could cross 100,000.

Justin Trudeau Sophie Trudeau
Justin Trudeau/Instagram

-- Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, wife of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recovers from COVID-19. Venezuela's opposition leader, Juan Guaido, calls for the formation of a 'national emergency government' to combat the spread of the disease in the country.

-- Thomas Schaefer, the finance minister of Germany's Hesse state commits suicide amid fears of an economic crisis brought on by the pandemic. France, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and Turkey report more new casualties as the global death toll touches 33,509.

March 30: As the number of cases across the world increases to 766,336 WHO says that "physical distancing" is better than "social distancing". WHO, Dr. Takeshi Kasai, Regional Director for the Western Pacific region, says that the fight against the disease was a "long-term battle" and counties must not let their guard down.

-- Human Rights Watch appeals to the Indonesian government to release "wrongfully" held prisoners including political prisoners in order to mitigate the risk of outbreaks of COVID-19 in its overcrowded prisons. Indonesia set to cease all arrivals and movement by non-Indonesian citizens, the only exception being foreigners on some diplomatic visits and foreigners with residence permits.


-- According to reports, workers at US warehouses of Amazon test positive for the infection, prompting some workers to stage a walkout at its Staten Island warehouse. Spain's Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez proposes an increase in the European Union's budget to tackle the pandemic-led crisis in the region.

-- Several countries including Belgium, France, Iran, and Spain report several deaths as the death toll touches 36,873.

March 31: Chris Cuomo, CNN anchor and brother of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, tests positive for COVID-19. Yhombi-Opango, Congo's ex-president succumbs to the infection. The global casualties stand at 40,708.

Chris Cuomo
Chris Cuomo, working from home after being tested positive for coronavirus. YouTube Grab/ CNN

-- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says that the COVID-19 pandemic is the most challenging global crisis since World War II. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo reprimands those ignoring social distancing norms.

-- Saudi Arabia urges believers to postpone Hajj pilgrimage plans amid the coronavirus pandemic. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte announces that the country's gyms, restaurants and schools, will remain shut at least till April 28.

-- Scientists from Imperial College London say that lockdowns could have saved up to 56,000 lives in Europe. Operations decrease by 75 percent for Qatar Airways as travel regulations and bans across the world affect the global airlines business.

-- More than 9,000 new cases are reported in New York City alone as the number of confirmed cases in the US reaches 174,467. The worldwide total touches 826,222.

(This is a developing story and the timeline will be updated on a daily basis)

This article was first published on April 15, 2020
Related topics : Coronavirus