March 22 coronavirus news

By Julia Hollingsworth, Jenni Marsh, Rob Picheta, Fernando Alfonso III and Amir Vera, CNN

Updated 10:30 p.m. ET, March 22, 2020
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12:22 a.m. ET, March 22, 2020

Men's World Ice Hockey Championship canceled because of coronavirus

Finland's players celebrate after winning the Men's Ice Hockey World Championships final against Canada on May 26, 2019 in Bratislava, Slovakia.
Finland's players celebrate after winning the Men's Ice Hockey World Championships final against Canada on May 26, 2019 in Bratislava, Slovakia. Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images

This year's Ice Hockey World Championship has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) announced Saturday.

The tournament had been due to take place in Switzerland in May.

IIHF President René Fasel said it was a "harsh reality to face" for international ice hockey, but one that "we must accept.”

“The coronavirus is a global problem and requires major efforts by government bodies to combat its spread. The IIHF must do all it can to support this fight.
"We have to set sport aside for now and support both the government bodies and the ice hockey family.”

The refund policy for ticket holders will be clarified as soon as possible, the IIHF said.

12:09 a.m. ET, March 22, 2020

Australia's biggest state is shutting down all "non-essential services"

From CNN’s Isaac Lee in Hong Kong 

People walk past a retail store in Sydney on March 19.
People walk past a retail store in Sydney on March 19. Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images

The Australian state of New South Wales will shut down all "non-essential services" in an attempt to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

"Tonight I will be informing the National Cabinet that NSW will proceed to a more comprehensive shutdown of non-essential services," NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said in a statement Sunday. 

Essential services and stores, such as petrol stations, convenience stores and pharmacies, will remain open. The shutdown will take place over the next 48 hours.

Sydney -- Australia's biggest city -- is the capital of New South Wales.

New South Wales has 469 confirmed novel coronavirus cases, the highest of all Australian states. Australia has more than 1,000 cases of coronavirus.

12:02 a.m. ET, March 22, 2020

South Korea confirms nearly 100 new coronavirus cases

From CNN’s Jake Kwon in Seoul

Hospital president Kim Sang-il stands outside a coronavirus testing booth at Yangji hospital in Seoul on March 17.
Hospital president Kim Sang-il stands outside a coronavirus testing booth at Yangji hospital in Seoul on March 17. Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images

South Korea has confirmed 98 new cases of coronavirus, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said on Sunday.

This brings the number of cases in the country to 8,897, with 104 deaths due to the virus.

11:53 p.m. ET, March 21, 2020

Italy reported nearly 800 more deaths Saturday. That's the biggest one-day jump since the outbreak

Coffins are downloaded at the Ferrara cemetery, from a military convoy coming from Bergamo, a city at the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in northern Italy, March 21.
Coffins are downloaded at the Ferrara cemetery, from a military convoy coming from Bergamo, a city at the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in northern Italy, March 21. Massimo Paolone/LaPresse via AP

The coronavirus death toll in Italy has risen by 793 in the past 24 hours to 4,825, the Italian Civil Protection Agency said Saturday.

That was an almost 20% on Friday’s figure and was the biggest one-day spike since the outbreak began.

The worst-affected region is Lombardy, where 3,095 people have died from the virus.

Italy's confirmed cases total rose by 6,557 to 53,578.

Higher than China: Italy's death toll is now higher than that of China, where the outbreak started.

According to China's National Health Commission, the country has had 81,054 confirmed cases and 3,261 deaths. In mainland China, 72,244 people have recovered and been discharged from hospital.

11:43 p.m. ET, March 21, 2020

New Zealand closes two diplomatic posts -- and more closures may be on the horizon

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters speaks at a press conference at Parliament on March 17 in Wellington, New Zealand. 
Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters speaks at a press conference at Parliament on March 17 in Wellington, New Zealand.  Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

New Zealand has temporarily closed its High Commission in Barbados and its Embassy in Myanmar due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced the moves on Sunday, saying the government had made the decision based on the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown in Barbados and Yangon in Myanmar.

The government was also concerned about the pressure Covid-19 was putting on local health systems, Peters said.

The staff and their families will be withdrawn from both posts. The closures will be reviewed in one month.

Could there be more closures? Peters did not rule out the possibility that more diplomatic posts could be shut.

“We are actively working to sustain our network around the globe and we have every intention to keep the vast majority of New Zealand’s 62 diplomatic posts open," Peters said.
"However, with the rapidly changing health, safety and security situation for staff overseas due to COVID-19, we cannot rule out other temporary closures as a result of the pandemic.”

What if New Zealanders in those countries need consular assistance? If you need consular help, you can still reach out to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs through its helpline. Find out more details here.

11:29 p.m. ET, March 21, 2020

Australia announces an additional "safety net package" worth $38 billion

From Isaac Yee in Hong Kong 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg speak during a press conference at Parliament House on March 22 in Canberra, Australia. 
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg speak during a press conference at Parliament House on March 22 in Canberra, Australia.  Sam Mooy/Getty Images

Australia has announced a second support package worth $38 billion to help deal with the economic impacts of the coronavirus.

In a press conference Sunday, local time, Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the new package is designed to "cushion the blow to households as a result of the coronavirus and to support businesses."

"Since the government announced the first stimulus package over a week ago, the global and domestic economic environment has deteriorated," he said.

He added that the government now "expects the economic shock to be deeper, wider and longer."

Who will it benefit? Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the "safety net package" includes support for "sole-trader, retirees and those on income support," as well as assistance for businesses to keep employees. The Prime Minister added that the government is providing up to $57,900 to eligible small and medium sized businesses to help them continue operations and pay rent, bills and staff. 

"Our focus is on cushioning the blow and providing help to every Australian," the Prime Minister said.

The Australian government has now injected $109 billion into the economy including the new $38 billion support package announced Sunday, local time. Treasurer Frydenberg said the sum of the support packages released so far is equivalent to 9.7% of Australia's GDP.

Australia has more than 1,070 confirmed cases of coronavirus.

11:15 p.m. ET, March 21, 2020

This stadium is home to NFL's Washington Redskins. Now the parking lot has been turned into a coronavirus screening site

WJLA
WJLA

During game time, the parking lot at FedExField would be used to, well, park cars.

But now, the parking lot of the stadium home of NFL’s Washington Redskins will be used as a coronavirus screening site, according to the team's website.

The Washington Redskins are working with the Prince George's and Maryland Health Department to turn the lots into a community screening station.

And they've already got started. On Friday, the Maryland National Guard put up 10 tents and hand-washing stations in the parking lot.

11:12 p.m. ET, March 21, 2020

Top US Congress leaders will meet with the Treasury Secretary ahead of a stimulus bill vote

From CNN's Manu Raju

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speaks at a hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill March 11 in Washington, DC.
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speaks at a hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill March 11 in Washington, DC. Andrew Cabellero-Reynolds/Getty Images

The top four leaders of Congress will meet with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin at 11 a.m. on Sunday, hours before a crucial procedural vote to advance the massive stimulus bill, according to three sources with knowledge of the plans.

The meeting is in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office, and also will include House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

While negotiators are close to a deal on the Senate side, it’s still uncertain whether Pelosi will get behind it or will seek to make changes to the measure when it gets to the House.

What's in the stimulus package?

It's not clear yet, but it looks like it will be big. People directly involved in the negotiations tell CNN it could top a cost of $1.5 trillion.

Larry Kudlow, a top economic adviser to Trump, went even further in estimating the overall scope of the package Saturday, telling reporters it could top $2 trillion.

"The package is coming in about 10% of GDP, it's a very large package," Kudlow, the director of the National Economic Council, said. Ten percent of gross domestic product is roughly $2 trillion.

Read more about the package here.

10:57 p.m. ET, March 21, 2020

There are now more than 8,115 coronavirus cases in New York City

From CNN’s Mark Morales

A doctor examines a patient inside a testing tent at St. Barnabas hospital on March 20 in New York City.
A doctor examines a patient inside a testing tent at St. Barnabas hospital on March 20 in New York City. Misha Friedman/Getty Images

New York City has now recorded 8,115 coronavirus cases and 60 deaths.

About 1,450 people have been hospitalized -- and at least 370 of those are in intensive care.

New York State has 12,260 coronavirus confirmed cases and 70 deaths, making it the worst-affected state in the United States.