Trumps flags tougher coronavirus curbs for US: Live updates

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The US now has more cases of COVID-19 than any other country in the world and New York is particularly hard hit [Andrew Kelly/Reuters]

The United States might toughen movement restrictions to curb the spread of coronavirus, with the country now reporting twice the number of cases as China where the outbreak began late last year.

US President Donald Trump told the media that guidelines on social distancing – encouraging people not to gather in groups of more than 10 and avoid dining out – would remain in force until the end of April, and said they could be “toughened a bit”. 

The US has nearly 163,500 confirmed cases, the highest in the world. 

In the hard-hit countries of Europe, Italy reported the slowest daily rise in infections for two weeks, although the number of dead rose by 812. In Spain, an additional 800 deaths were reported. 

More:

Around the world, more than 784,000 people have been confirmed to have the virus, and nearly 165,000 have recovered. More than 37,500 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.

Tuesday, March 31

00:45 GMT – China reports 48 new cases

China has just released its daily coronavirus update, with 48 confirmed new cases.

The National Health Commission says all the cases came from overseas and there have been no new local infections. 

00:30 GMT – Pentagon reports first coronavirus death of US soldier

The Pentagon has reported the first death of a US soldier from COVID-19.

The man was a New Jersey Army National Guardsman and had been in hospital since March 21.

Defense Secretary Mike Esper said it was a “sad day” for the country’s military and a “stinging loss”.

00:00 GMT – Indonesia urged to release ‘wrongfully held’ from overcrowded jails

Human Rights Watch (HRW) is urging Indonesia to release all those held ‘wrongfully’ in its jails, including all Papua political prisoners amid a growing risk of COVID-19 in the country’s overcrowded prisons.

HRW’s Indonesia researcher Andreas Harsono says the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, which manages the prison system, should also consider alternatives to detention for those nearing the end of their sentences and people jailed for minor offences such as failing to pay a fine.

Harsono says there were 270,000 people in prison as of March 23, more than double the system’s capacity. The trial of six West Papuan activists charged with treason is also continuing with more than 50 others on trial across the country.

Read all the updates from yesterday (March 30) here.

 

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