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China records no new deaths from coronavirus

The border with Russia has been closed while a ban on foreigners entering Hong Kong has been extended.

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Efforts to tackle the coronavirus worldwide are continuing (Czarek Sokolowski/AP)

Efforts to tackle the coronavirus worldwide are continuing (Czarek Sokolowski/AP)

Efforts to tackle the coronavirus worldwide are continuing (Czarek Sokolowski/AP)

China said it has recorded no deaths from the coronavirus in the last 24 hours.

The country gave rise to the global pandemic and has suffered 3,331 deaths and 81,740 cases of Covid-19.

Authorities said in their daily update on Tuesday that there were 32 new cases, all of which were from people who had returned to China from overseas.

Another 12 suspected cases – also all imported – were being kept under observation, along with an additional 30 asymptomatic cases.

China now has 1,242 confirmed cases in treatment and 1,033 asymptomatic cases under isolation and monitoring.

Numbers of daily new deaths have been hovering in the single digits for weeks, hitting just one on several occasions.

New coronavirus cases were also dropping in the European hotspots of Italy and Spain.

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(PA Graphics)

(PA Graphics)

Press Association Images

(PA Graphics)

In France, although daily deaths spiked to a record of 833, the rate of new intensive care hospitalisations has slowed dramatically.

Beijing continues to take strong measures in a bid to keep the virus at bay.

China and Russia have closed their land border and river port near Vladivostok following the discovery of 59 confirmed cases of the new Covid-19 among Chinese citizens returning home via the crossing.

All Chinese citizens who arrive in the border region aboard Russian domestic flights will be forced to undergo a 14-day quarantine, according to a notice posted on the website of the Chinese consulate in Vladivostok.

Only those holding special passes will then be permitted to travel on the Russian side of the border area, the notice said.

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People wearing face masks in Hong Kong (Vincent Yu/AP)

People wearing face masks in Hong Kong (Vincent Yu/AP)

AP/PA Images

People wearing face masks in Hong Kong (Vincent Yu/AP)

It was not clear whether pass holders would be able to cross into China.

In addition, all guesthouses, nursing homes, on the Russian side of the border area will also be closed to outsiders through June 1, the notice said.

“Here, the consulate general strongly recommends and reminds relevant Chinese citizens to fully take into consideration the above situation” and not seek to return to China through the border crossing, the notice said.

Hong Kong will continue to be closed to foreigners, extending the initial two-week entry restrictions on non-residents indefinitely.

Non-residents coming from overseas to Hong Kong by plane will be denied entry, and those coming from mainland China, Macao and Taiwan will be barred from entering if they have been overseas in the past 14 days.

The move to continue shutting out foreigners was announced by the government, and comes as the number of Covid-19 cases in Hong Kong rose to 915.

Meanwhile, more than 160 current and former global leaders are urging the world’s 20 major industrialised nations to approve 8 billion dollar (£6.5 billion) in emergency global health funding to hasten the search for a vaccine, cure and treatment for Covid-19 and prevent a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

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(PA Graphics)

(PA Graphics)

Press Association Images

(PA Graphics)

In an open letter to governments of the Group of 20 nations, the leaders, ministers, top executives and scientists also called for 35 billion dollars (£28.5 billion) to support countries with weaker health systems and especially vulnerable populations, and at least 150 billion dollars (£120 billion) for developing countries to fight the medical and economic crisis.

They also urged the international community to waive this year’s debt repayments from poorer countries, including 44 billion dollars (£36 billion) due from Africa.

While a communique from the G20 leaders’ summit on March 26 recognised the gravity and urgency of the health and economic crisis sparked by the pandemic, the letter said “we now require urgent specific measures that can be agreed on with speed and at scale”.

The group called for a global pledging conference, coordinated by a G20 task force, to commit resources to meet the emergency needs to tackle the coronavirus.

The 165 signatories included former UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon, 92 former presidents and prime ministers, the current prime ministers of Ethiopia and Bangladesh, Sierra Leone’s president, philanthropist George Soros, former Irish president Mary Robinson who chairs The Elders, and Graca Machel, the group’s deputy chair.

PA