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.

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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.

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.

HEALTH Coronavirus(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.

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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.