Entering April with hope in our hearts as global COVID-19 death toll leaps

It was a tragic end to March 2020 in many countries, sadly. Photo: Shutterstock
It was a tragic end to March 2020 in many countries, sadly. Photo: Shutterstock

We're going to rip off the Band-Aid because the final day of March for much of the world was bleak. Here's why:

Worldwide, more than 800,000 people have been infected and more than 40,000 people have died, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The US death toll from the coronavirus has climbed past 3500, eclipsing China's official count.

Italy and Spain accounted for half the deaths, while the US had about 3550 by noon on March 31.

Spain reported more than 840 new deaths, pushing the death toll above 8000 and forcing Madrid to open a second temporary morgue after an ice rink pressed into service last week became overwhelmed.

On the US east coast, the Holland America cruise line pleaded with Florida state officials to let two ships dock and carry off the sick and the dead.

Britain has reported its highest daily jump of 381 deaths from the coronavirus, taking its total to nearly 1800.

France followed suit, too, and recorded its worst daily coronavirus death toll. Patients are now being airlifted to Switzerland, Germany and Luxembourg for treatment as the French health system struggles.

Indonesia has declared a public health emergency and a $US24.9 billion rescue package for south-east Asia's biggest economy has been detailed. Among its features was a 3-percentage-point reduction in the corporate tax rate to 22 per cent, social welfare to benefit up to 10 million households, food assistance and electricity tariff discounts.

As if all that isn't hard enough to take, there's this: Nevada in the US has painted 'social distancing boxes' on a carpark for the homeless to sleep in. Initially, padded carpeting was provided but it couldn't be adequately sanitized each day.

This has come about after a homeless man tested positive for COVID-19. That forcing Catholic Charities to close its shelter, forcing 500 people onto the streets.

Check back with us this afternoon - we'll find some sunshine and share it.

Did you know you can receive this digest twice a day by email. Sign up here.

More coronavirus stories you need to read