Coronavirus death toll in Spain overtakes China

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Spain records 738 deaths in past 24 hours, while death toll in Italy now double that of Hubei

Spain’s coronavirus death toll has overtaken China’s, climbing to 3,434, while a slowdown in the rate of new infections in Italy has raised hopes that the peak of its outbreak could be within sight.

After more than a week in lockdown in Spain, another 738 people died over 24 hours, but officials expressed hope that the daily rise in deaths might be stabilising. “If we are not already at the peak, we are very close,” said Fernando Simón, the head of Spain’s health emergency centre.

The first death was reported in the occupied West Bank, of a Palestinian woman in her 60s.

Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, postponed a public vote in April on a constitutional change that would allow him to stay in power beyond 2024.

Closures aimed at containing the coronavirus pandemic are preventing aid from reaching 300,000 people in conflict zones across the Middle East, the Norwegian Refugee Council said.

Libya announced its first coronavirus case, as experts warned the conflict between two groups for control of the country could make containing the spread of the virus very challenging.

South Africa’s police minister said two people had been charged with attempted murder for refusing to obey orders to self-isolate.

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