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Exclusives - 01 April, 2020

Coronavirus 'worst crisis' since World War II, says UN chief

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 ... #CoronavirusworstcrisissincewworldwarII...

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 4,055. It also has the most confirmed cases of 1,88,592. 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, over 860,000 people have been diagnosed with the virus and at least 178,000 have recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 42,344 people have died.

A Russian military transport plane headed for the US with a load of medical equipment and masks to help Washington fight coronavirus, Russian state TV reported.

President Vladimir Putin offered Russian help in a phone conversation with President Donald Trump on Monday, when the two leaders discussed how best to respond to the virus.

The flight, which was organised by the Russian defence ministry, is likely to be unpopular with some critics of Trump who have urged him to keep his distance from Putin and argue that Moscow uses such aid as a geopolitical and propaganda tool to advance its influence, something the Kremlin denies.

"Trump gratefully accepted this humanitarian aid," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was cited as saying by the Interfax news agency.

Britain is aiming to increase the number of tests for coronavirus to 25,000 a day by the middle of the month from its present capacity of 12,750 a day, housing minister Robert Jenrick told national Sky News. United Kingdom has so far reported more than 25,000 cases and over 1,800 deaths because of coronavirus.

Russian manufacturing activity shrank in March for the 11th straight month and at its sharpest pace since November as the coronavirus outbreak and falling client demand affected production, a survey of businesses showed.

The Markit Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for factory activity fell to 47.5 in March from 48.2 in February, remaining below the 50.0 mark dividing expansion from contraction.

With uncertainty clouding the global economic outlook, business confidence fell to its lowest since the measure of future output was first included in the survey eight years ago.

Nearly 860,000 people around the world have now been diagnosed with the coronavirus with the death toll in the US, which has the most cases anywhere, exceeding that of China.

China is due to release data showing the number of asyptomatic cases - data not previously released publicly.

Japan appears to be edging closer towards the kind of strict movement controls seen elsewhere in the world.

Taiwan is donating 10 million masks and other medical equipment to countries hit hard by the virus.

Reports are coming in that Internet has been restored to the Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh, amid concerns the blackout was preventing people from getting crucial information.

Those living in Myanmar's Rakhine state, where conflict continues, still have no access to the Internet. (With inputs from Al Jazeera)

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