Coronavirus live news: Spain records new highest daily death toll, as Syria reports first Covid-19 death

New York, New Jersey and Connecticut halt non-essential travel; global deaths pass 30,000 with one-third in Italy

8.38pm BST

My colleague Henry McDonald has reports from Belfast that a couple in their 70s have died of the coronavirus. The man reportedly had cancer and the woman was being treated for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. There have been 21 deaths in Northern Ireland.

8.25pm BST

The UK government’s effort to source 30,000 medical ventilators to treat Covid-19 patients has resulted in two major orders so far, 10,000 for Dyson’s new CoVent prototype and 10,000 from a consortium called Ventilator Challenge UK, which expects to begin producing this week.

But some firms claim they could have provide medical ventilators sooner and were inexplicably snubbed. The government has this evening offered an explanation of why.

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