The United Kingdom and Spain have reported their deadliest days so far as the coronavirus crisis shows no sign of letting up in Europe.

A total 367 deaths were reported in Britain on Tuesday, bringing its toll to 1651. Another 849 deaths pushed Spain's to 8189.

A 12-year-old girl became the youngest person to die of the virus in Belgium.

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More than 800,000 cases of Covid-19 have now been confirmed across 178 countries, and Europe and the United States are the new epicentres of the crisis. More than 38,000 people have died.

A member of the UME in Madrid disinfects next to a banner reading in Spanish 'I will resist, Thanks everybody'. AP Photo/Manu Fernandez
A member of the UME in Madrid disinfects next to a banner reading in Spanish 'I will resist, Thanks everybody'. AP Photo/Manu Fernandez

Vast lockdowns of millions of people across Europe have saved up to 120,000 lives, new research has found.

Data from Imperial College London has showed that strong social distancing measures in Italy, Spain, the UK and other European nations have significantly suppressed the spread of coronavirus.

The researchers believe lockdowns and school closures have been effective, however the proportion of the population infected with the virus remains low at between 2-12 per cent.

Senior lecturer at Imperial College's school of public health Dr Samir Bhatt said: "There is sound evidence that these have started to work and have flattened the curve".

"We believe a large number of lives have been saved. However, it is too soon to say if we have managed to fully control epidemics and more difficult decisions will need to be taken in the coming weeks."

Department of Mathematics professor Dr Seth Flaxman said data shows the number of infections is being driven down.

"But because these interventions are very recent in most countries, and there is a lag between infection and death, it will take longer — from days to weeks — for these effects to be reflected in the number of daily deaths."

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British Star Wars actor Andrew Jack was among the dead on Tuesday, his agent said.

Jack, who also worked as a dialect coach, died in hospital at the age of 76, Jill McCullough said.

He was unable to "see or talk to" his wife, whom he was "madly in love with", because she was quarantined in Australia, she added.

"Tragically she is stuck in quarantine in Australia, having just flown from New Zealand last week. She was unable to see or talk to him at the end of his life and there is a chance a funeral may not be held," she said.

McCullough said Jack was full of life, funny, charming and a joy to be around.

"He was still working full-pelt, currently coaching on the new Batman," she said.

Jack had appeared in Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi as General Ematt, as well as Solo: A Star Wars Story and Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens.

Indonesia has declared a public health emergency over the coronavirus and suspended all foreign arrivals into the country.

President Joko Widodo's announcement came on Tuesday after a study showed more than 140,000 people in the country could die of the virus without tougher action.

Officials spray disinfectant to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus on a street in Jakarta, Indonesia. AP Photo / Dita Alangkara
Officials spray disinfectant to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus on a street in Jakarta, Indonesia. AP Photo / Dita Alangkara

Indonesia is the world's fourth most populous country and has so far reported 1528 cases and 136 deaths.

About 30,000 prisoners who have served most of their sentences will also be released to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website

"The impact of the virus can be felt a lot already," said Ajun, 46, a motorbike driver for the ride-hailing app, Gojek.

He said he used to get up to 20 jobs a day before the outbreak, but now got five at most.

"I'm scared but I have a family that I have to provide for. Where would I get money from?" the father-of-two said.

Bali has also declared a state of emergency and is imposing stricter measures on visitors, including a 14-day self-quarantine for all people entering the island, according to the Jakarta Post.

Last week, authorities confirmed a French tourist who was found slumped over a motorcycle on a busy street in Bali died of the coronavirus and was not "drunk".

Spain's 849 coronavirus deaths are the highest number since the pandemic began, according to the country's health ministry.

New infections and deaths are up about 11 per cent each, to a total of 94,417 confirmed cases and 8189 fatalities in a slight rebound in the outbreak after a timid slowdown in its spread for the past week, which allowed authorities to focus on avoiding the collapse of the health system.

At least one third of Spain's 17 regions were already at their limit of capacity in terms of intensive care unit use, and new beds are being added in hotels, exhibition and sports centres across the country.

At least 14 per cent of those infected are much-needed medical personnel. Many lack proper protective gear.

The government also wants to cushion the social effects of a major economic slowdown. Spain is officially "hibernating". New measures halting all but essential economic activity come into full force on Tuesday.

Italy observed a minute of silence and flew its flags at half-mast in a collective, nationwide gesture to honour the victims of the coronavirus and their families on Tuesday.

The Vatican also lowered its flags to honour the more than 12,400 dead.

Flags fly at half-staff during a minute of silence commemorating the Covid-19 virus victims, at the Vatican Sant'Anna Gate. AP Photo / Andrew Medichini
Flags fly at half-staff during a minute of silence commemorating the Covid-19 virus victims, at the Vatican Sant'Anna Gate. AP Photo / Andrew Medichini

The office of Premier Giuseppe Conte said the gesture was a sign of national mourning and solidarity with victims, their families "and as a sign of collective participation in mourning with the hardest-hit communities".

More than 105,000 cases of coronavirus have now been confirmed across Italy – the world's second biggest outbreak behind the United States.

But the head of the country's national institutes of health says there should be a decline in new cases soon.

"The curve suggests we are at the plateau," Dr Silvio Brusaferro said.

"We have to confirm it, because arriving at the plateau doesn't mean we have conquered the peak and we're done. It means now we should start to see the decline if we continue to place maximum attention on what we do every day."

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has released a video message from self-isolation after displaying 'mild symptoms' of coronavirus. Video / Boris Johnson

In Lithuania, drones fitted with loudspeakers are being used to help authorities crack down on social distancing.

In the capital of Vilnius, seven drones are patrolling the skies every day from 9am to 6pm in parks, squares and other places where people tend to gather.

Dozens more are also expected to join the enforcement shortly, IT adviser Egle Radvilaite said.

Workers, wearing a protective suit, take a rest during the disinfects a public bus against coronavirus in Vilnius, Lithuania. AP Photo / Mindaugas Kulbis
Workers, wearing a protective suit, take a rest during the disinfects a public bus against coronavirus in Vilnius, Lithuania. AP Photo / Mindaugas Kulbis

About 530 cases of coronavirus have now been confirmed in Lithuania, but the government was quick to respond.

Two weeks ago, it gradually imposed restrictions banning, among other things, crowds of more than five people.

The United States' coronavirus death toll has climbed past 3500, eclipsing China's official toll of about 3300.


New York is the nation's deadliest hot spot, with about 1550 deaths statewide.

On Monday, 124 deaths were reported in the city in just six "hellish" hours, according to the New York Post.

The deaths were reported between 10.30am and 4.30pm, equating to one death every 2.9 minutes.

The borough of Queens has been hardest hit by the virus, with about 12,756 cases or just over a third of the city's more than 38,000 cases.

Brooklyn has confirmed 10,171 cases, followed by The Bronx with 6925, Manhattan with 6060, and Staten Island with 2140.

More than 175,000 cases of coronavirus have now been confirmed across the United States and more than 3100 people have died.

New modelling by the University of Washington School of Medicine predicts 2271 people will die from coronavirus on April 15 alone.

People prepare to sleep in areas marked by painted boxes on the ground of a parking lot at a makeshift camp for the homeless in Las Vegas. AP Photo / John Locher
People prepare to sleep in areas marked by painted boxes on the ground of a parking lot at a makeshift camp for the homeless in Las Vegas. AP Photo / John Locher

In Las Vegas, officials have come under fire for setting up a makeshift homeless shelter in a car park after another centre closed when a man tested positive.

Critics questioned why the rough sleepers were not put up in the city's many empty hotels, with photos showing people setting up beds inside painted squares on the concrete ground.

"Nevada, a state in one of the richest countries in the world, has painted social-distancing boxes on a concrete parking lot for the homeless to sleep in," one user wrote on Twitter.

"Every hotel in Las Vegas is empty and somehow state officials think half of a parking spot on concrete is where the homeless should wait this one out. The government should temporarily seize hotels in Vegas and let the homeless stay there to slow the spread," another wrote.

Medical personnel work in the intensive care ward for Covid-19 patients at the MontLegia CHC hospital in Liege, Belgium. AP Photo / Francisco Seco
Medical personnel work in the intensive care ward for Covid-19 patients at the MontLegia CHC hospital in Liege, Belgium. AP Photo / Francisco Seco

Belgium's national crisis centre coronavirus spokesman, Emmanuel Andre, on Tuesday announced a 12-year-old girl has become the youngest person to die of the coronavirus in the country. It was "an emotionally difficult moment" because it involved a child, he said.

"It has also upset the medical and scientific community.

"We are thinking of her family and friends. It is an event that is very rare, but one which upsets us greatly."

No details about the girl were provided.

Nearly 100 people have died from the disease in Belgium over the past 24 hours, bringing the country's total toll to 705. More than 12,705 cases have been confirmed so far.

Andre said Belgian authorities expected the spread of the disease to reach its peak in coming days, saying: "We will arrive at a point where we're close to saturation point at our hospitals."

- with wire agencies