March 24 coronavirus news

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11:40 p.m. ET, March 23, 2020

New York's infection "attack rate" is five times higher than the rest of the US, health expert warns

Doors lead into the Emergency Department at St. Barnabas Hospital on March 23 in the Bronx borough of New York City.
Doors lead into the Emergency Department at St. Barnabas Hospital on March 23 in the Bronx borough of New York City. Misha Friedman/Getty Images

New York, the hardest-hit state in the US, now has 21,689 coronavirus cases and 157 deaths.

New York City alone has 13,119 cases. At least 2,213 of those patients are hospitalized and 525 are in the intensive care unit.

Earlier today, health expert Dr. Deborah Birx said at a news briefing with President Donald Trump that the greater New York City area has an "attack rate close to one in a thousand" -- five times higher than what other areas are experiencing. 

Some 28% of tests in New York are positive, she said -- compared to less than 8% in the rest of the country. 

"(New Yorkers are) the group that needs to absolutely social distance and self isolate at this time. Clearly the virus had been circling there for a number of weeks to have this level of penetrance into the community," she said.

Watch:

11:13 p.m. ET, March 23, 2020

Just joining us? Here’s the latest on the coronavirus pandemic

Medical workers transport a patient into an intensive care unit at San Raffaele hospital in Milan, on March 23.
Medical workers transport a patient into an intensive care unit at San Raffaele hospital in Milan, on March 23. Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty Images

The global toll: There are 381,293 cases of novel coronavirus and 16,508 deaths globally, according to the Johns Hopkins University, which is tracking figures from the World Health Organization and additional sources. 

China: For the first time in six days, China has reported a new case of coronavirus in Hubei province -- ground zero for the pandemic. Mainland China reported 78 new cases on Monday, of which 74 were imported, and seven new deaths, according to the National Health Commission. A total of 73,159 patients in mainland China have recovered and been discharged from hospital.

43% of US population told to stay at home: At least 16 states have issued stay-at-home orders, which will impact 142 million people, or 43% of the US population, according to data compiled by CNN using US Census population estimates.

UK lockdown: Prime Minister Boris Johnson imposed the most stringent social restrictions on the British public since the end of World War II. The public is being told stay at home, with exceptions for shopping for basic necessities; one form of exercise a day; medical need; and, for designated key workers, traveling to and from work.

More countries restrict movement and travel Cuba is limiting travel to and within its borders. From Tuesday, all schools will be closed for a month and the government will “regulate” Cubans ability to leave the communist-run island. South Africa will enforce a three-week lockdown starting at midnight on March 26. Zimbabwe announced the closure of all borders, except for returning residents and cargo, effective immediately. The Netherlands will ban all public gatherings until June 1. More than 750 million people across India are under lockdown.

Virus hotspots: Italy has confirmed 601 new coronavirus-related deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of fatalities to 6,077 and 63,927 cases. US state health officials reported more than 100 coronavirus-related deaths in a single day for the first time during the outbreak. There are at least 42,663 cases of the coronavirus in the US, and 541 people have died.

Sports: There is a growing chorus of voices calling for the 2020 Summer Olympics to be postponed. The IOC said it has given itself a deadline of four weeks to make a decision on the Games. Meanwhile, all UEFA club soccer finals, including the Champions League Final, have been postponed indefinitely. 

Hospitals running out of supplies: Hospitals in Oklahoma have just 9.3 days worth of personal protective equipment on hand, on average, and California is calling for 50,000 more hospital beds. Meanwhile, some of Brazil’s soccer stadiums, arenas and convention centers will be converted into field hospitals to treat patients infected with the virus. The US military is also looking into deploying field hospitals and personnel this week to areas in need like Seattle and New York City.

11:05 p.m. ET, March 23, 2020

Myanmar reports first two cases of the coronavirus

Staff members of the Yangon City Development Committee rest after disinfecting the Pazontaung market in Yangon, Myanmar on March 21.
Staff members of the Yangon City Development Committee rest after disinfecting the Pazontaung market in Yangon, Myanmar on March 21. Ye Aung Thu/AFP/Getty Images

Myanmar has reported its first two cases of the coronavirus, according to a report in the state-run newspaper Global New Light of Myanmar.

The patients are a 26-year-old man and a 36-year-old man, both of whom reported recent travel history, the report said. 

Neither have shown symptoms of fever or cough, and both are currently in isolation.

10:57 p.m. ET, March 23, 2020

At least 16 US states have issued stay-at-home orders

People walks along Zuma Beach, March 23, in Malibu, California.
People walks along Zuma Beach, March 23, in Malibu, California. Mark J. Terrill/AP

At least 16 states across the US have issued stay-at-home orders in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

More than 100.5 million people -- about 31% of the national population -- are currently under restrictions, according to US Census population estimates. 

But not all orders have been activated yet -- when all 16 state orders go into effect, more than 142 million people will be affected, or 43% of the country.

Apart from statewide orders, several individual cities and counties like Atlanta, Georgia, have also issued their own stay-at-home orders.

These states have issued stay-at-home orders:

  • California: started Thursday
  • Illinois: started Saturday
  • New Jersey: started Saturday
  • New York: started Sunday
  • Louisiana: started Monday
  • Connecticut: started Monday  
  • Washington: started Monday 
  • Ohio: started Monday
  • Oregon: started Monday 
  • New Mexico: effective Tuesday 
  • Massachusetts: effective Tuesday 
  • Delaware: effective Tuesday
  • Michigan: effective Tuesday  
  • West Virginia: effective Tuesday 
  • Indiana: effective Tuesday  
  • Hawaii: effective Wednesday

UPDATE: This post was updated to reflect that at least 16 states have issued stay-at-home orders.

10:47 p.m. ET, March 23, 2020

Calls to postpone Olympics grow as coronavirus pandemic spreads

A boat passes by the Olympic rings in Tokyo's Odaiba district on March 23.
A boat passes by the Olympic rings in Tokyo's Odaiba district on March 23. Behrouz Mehri/AFP/Getty Images

Calls to postpone the Summer Olympics are growing as the coronavirus pandemic accelerates around the world. 

The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) said that the organization has heard the concerns from Team USA athletes regarding the upcoming 2020 Games, and that the “path toward postponement is the most promising,” in a statement released Monday.

“We are thankful to the 1,780 Team USA athletes for sharing their voice and honest input with us as we address the issues related to COVID-19 and the Tokyo Games, and make good on our promise to put athletes first,” the USOPC said.
“We encourage the IOC to take all needed steps to ensure the Games can be conducted under safe and fair conditions for all competitors,” the statement continued.

The Olympic Games are scheduled to start on July 24. Current options include a postponement or a scaled-down version. Cancellation is “not on the agenda,” the IOC said on Sunday. 

But countries are taking a stand. In recent days, a growing number of countries and athletes have called for the games to be postponed. Canada and Australia said they would not send any teams on Monday. 

Speaking to lawmakers on the same day, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said postponing the Games is a possibility. This was the first time Abe has wavered from his staunch public position that the Olympics will start July 24 as scheduled. 

Abe is scheduled to speak with IOC chief Thomas Bach over the telephone later Tuesday. 

10:39 p.m. ET, March 23, 2020

Beijing will quarantine and test all international arrivals

All international travelers arriving in Beijing, regardless of their final destinations, will be quarantined and tested for the coronavirus at designated government facilities at their own expense, Chinese authorities announced today.

The procedures will also apply to people arriving in Beijing after entering China through a different port of entry within the past 14 days.

The new rules will take effect Wednesday, amid continued concerns over the rising number of imported cases coming to China from overseas.

The government reported 78 new cases nationwide on Monday, of which 74 were imported.

Previous measures: Authorities have previously ordered all Beijing-bound international flights diverted to 12 other Chinese cities for health screenings, as well as immigration and customs clearance. Only passengers deemed healthy and low-risk are allowed to continue their travel to Beijing.

With a few exceptions, travelers arriving from abroad whose final destination is Beijing are already required to undergo a 14-day quarantine at government-designated facilities at their own expense.

10:44 p.m. ET, March 23, 2020

Atlanta issues stay-at-home order

A man leaves a restaurant with a take-out order on March 19 in Atlanta.
A man leaves a restaurant with a take-out order on March 19 in Atlanta. John Bazemore/AP

In an effort to contain the coronavirus pandemic, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said on Monday she has signed a 14-day stay-at-home order.

“As of now it does not include essential businesses, parks, the Atlanta Beltline and restaurants serving takeout,” the mayor said in a Twitter post.

She also posted a photo of the stay-at-home order, which will prohibit nonessential gatherings and require residents to stay at their homes unless there are essential reasons to go out.

10:29 p.m. ET, March 23, 2020

China reports first coronavirus case in Hubei province for 6 days

For the first time in six days, China has reported a new case of coronavirus in Hubei province, according to the country's National Health Commission.

The new case was among 78 reported across the country on Monday, of which 74 were imported from overseas.

That brings mainland China's total to 81,171 confirmed cases. Of this total, 73,159 patients have recovered and been discharged from the hospital, according to the NHC.

China also reported seven new deaths, bringing the national death toll to 3,277. Hubei -- ground zero for the pandemic -- has been hit the hardest, with 3,160 deaths.

In recent weeks, the number of locally-transmitted cases has fallen in China as the number of imported cases has risen. Mainland China's total number of imported cases is now 427.

10:02 p.m. ET, March 23, 2020

Belize confirms its first case of coronavirus

Belize has confirmed its case of novel coronavirus, said the country's Ministry of Health in a statement on Monday.

The patient is a 38-year-old female citizen of Belize who arrived on March 19 “from Los Angeles, California and transited through Texas,” the statement said.