March 24 coronavirus news

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9:29 a.m. ET, March 24, 2020

African jazz legend Manu Dibango died of coronavirus, according to his official Facebook

Manu Dibango performs on June 29, 2018 at the Ivory Hotel Abidjan
Manu Dibango performs on June 29, 2018 at the Ivory Hotel Abidjan Sia Kambou/AFP via Getty Images

World-renowned jazz musician Manu Dibango has died of coronavirus Tuesday, according to his official Facebook page.

"Dear family, dear friends, dear fans, a voice raises from far away…It is with deep sadness that we announce you the loss of Manu Dibango, our Papy Groove, who passed away on 24th of March 2020, at 86 years old, of covid 19,” the statement posted on Facebook said. 

The Cameroonian saxophone player achieved global fame in the 1970s for his style of mixing jazz with traditional music from his home country.

Dibango was also a big influence for many musicians around the globe for several decades and his music was often sampled; most famously in Michael Jackson’s hit "Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin." In it, Jackson used a catchy hook from Dibango's 1972 Soul Makossa.

Following Dibango’s death, Beninese Singer Angelique Kidjo posted a tribute for him via Twitter along with a video of them, singing and playing Soul Makossa earlier this year. 

“#ManuDibango, you’ve always been there for me from my beginnings in Paris to this rehearsal just 2 months ago! You re the original Giant of African Music and a beautiful human being. This coda of #SoulMakossa is for you!,” Kidjo posted. 

Dibango’s “funeral service will be held in strict privacy, and a tribute to his memory will be organized when possible,” according to his Facebook account.

9:29 a.m. ET, March 24, 2020

Coronavirus cases increasing at a slower rate in hardest hit part of Italy

A medical worker moves a patient from an Italian Red Cross ambulance into an intensive care unit set up in a sports center outside the San Raffaele hospital in Milan, in the hard hit Lombardy region of Italy, on Monday, March 23.
A medical worker moves a patient from an Italian Red Cross ambulance into an intensive care unit set up in a sports center outside the San Raffaele hospital in Milan, in the hard hit Lombardy region of Italy, on Monday, March 23. Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty Images

The number of coronavirus cases are rising but the increases are slower than compared to what happened in the last week, said Lombardy governor Attilio Fontana during a news conference today.

"It seems that a much more limited growth trend has stabilized " compared to a few days ago, Fontana added.

This could "hopefully mean that we are going towards a decrease (of cases) in the next few days", Fontana said.

Fontana also said that Guido Bertolaso, advisor of the Lombardy region for the coronavirus emergency, had tested positive for coronavirus and is self-isolating at home. "He gave me his availability to carry on working for the realization of the hospital remotely", Fontana said.

9:02 a.m. ET, March 24, 2020

Trump: "Congress must approve the deal, without all of the nonsense, today"

 

President Trump just tweeted that “Congress must approve” a stimulus deal, “without all of the nonsense.”

“The longer it takes, the harder it will be to start up our economy,” Trump wrote. “Our workers will be hurt!”

Where things stand now: Pressure has been intensifying for days on the Senate to pass a massive stimulus package to respond to the economic fallout of the coronavirus, but Monday came and went without much action.

After four straight days of marathon negotiations, the Trump administration and senators again failed to secure an agreement on a roughly $2 trillion plan to provide a jolt to the economy and give aid to hard-hit workers and industries.

But leaders emerged from late-night meetings in the Capitol optimistic that a deal could be struck today despite tweets from President Trump trashing the deal and baselessly accusing Democrats of siding with "the virus."

8:59 a.m. ET, March 24, 2020

London university launches app to track coronavirus symptoms

A view of the NHS Emergency Department entrance at Kings College hospital in London, on March 18.
A view of the NHS Emergency Department entrance at Kings College hospital in London, on March 18. Andy Rain/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

King's College London is launching a new app that allows users to track coronavirus symptoms, which it hopes will slow the outbreak.

About 5,000 twins and their families from across the UK have been recruited to test the app, which will help researchers identify:

  • How fast the virus is spreading in different areas
  • High-risk areas in the country
  • Which symptoms correspond to the coronavirus
  • Why some people are more at risk

Why twins? They "enable researchers to separate the effects of genes from environmental factors such as diet, lifestyle, previous illnesses and infections, and the microbes within the gut (microbiome)" the school said in a news release.

The twins will record information about their health on a daily basis, including temperature, tiredness and symptoms such as coughing, breathing problems or headaches. Any participants showing signs of Covid-19 will be sent a home testing kit.

The app will be available to the public without the home testing component, and to health professionals who want to contribute to the research.

8:48 a.m. ET, March 24, 2020

German army loses 6 million face masks at Nairobi airport

The German army has lost six million protective masks at the airport in Nairobi, Kenya, a spokesperson for the German Defense Ministry has told CNN.

The Defense Ministry — tasked by the country's Health Ministry with sourcing the masks — had ordered the masks from an unnamed commercial company. The German company had confirmed the order, with anticipated receipt by the Health Ministry in Germany, the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson did not know why the masks were lost in Nairobi and did not know where they were originally shipped from. No payment had yet been taken, as it was due on delivery.

Meanwhile, German company Qiagen, which produces diagnostic tests for Covid-19 that it says can give results in just one hour, began shipping tests on Tuesday to the US.

Thierry Bernard, Chief Executive Officer of Qiagen, said: “We are pleased to begin making QIAstat-Dx SARS-CoV-2 test kits available in the United States as the first syndromic test not only to detect SARS-CoV-2, but also a range of more than 20 other respiratory targets.

"This is an important step in our commitment to offer a range of solutions to support the public health fight against COVID-19 and dramatically ramp up production. Our teams have responded rapidly to the challenge, implementing 24/7 production of test components, adding staff and investing in expanding production capacity."

There have been 30,081 cases and 130 deaths recorded in Germany, according to Johns Hopkins University.

An employee of German biotech company Qiagen demonstrates the use of the Qiagen QIAstat-Dx testing device for infectious diseases at the Qiagen plant on March 11, in Hilden, Germany. Qiagen has modified the device for testing fluid samples for coronavirus infection.
An employee of German biotech company Qiagen demonstrates the use of the Qiagen QIAstat-Dx testing device for infectious diseases at the Qiagen plant on March 11, in Hilden, Germany. Qiagen has modified the device for testing fluid samples for coronavirus infection. Sascha Schuermann/Getty Image
8:49 a.m. ET, March 24, 2020

FEMA chief says they'll use the Defense Production Act today

Federal Emergency Management Agency’s administrator Peter Gaynor
Federal Emergency Management Agency’s administrator Peter Gaynor CNN

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s administrator Peter Gaynor says his team told him they are going to use the Defense Production Act for the first time today. 

Gaynor says FEMA will use it today for about 60,000 test kits.

“There’s some test kits we need to get our hands on," he said on CNN this morning. "We’re going to insert some language into these mass contracts that we have for the 500 million masks. [Defense Production Act] language will be in that today."

What this is about: President Trump said he would invoke the act, which grants him authority to direct private companies to ramp up production of needed medical supplies to fight the coronavirus pandemic in the US.

The law, passed in 1950 as a response to the Korean War, gives the government more control during emergencies to direct industrial production.

Shortly after Trump announced he would be invoking the Defense Production Act, the White House received pushback from business leaders, who expressed concern that the act could cause major unforeseen problems, including profit loss.

WATCH FEMA Administrator: 'Social distancing is working'

8:27 a.m. ET, March 24, 2020

Tokyo Summer Olympics postponed

A man wearing a mask passes the logo of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games displayed on the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building on March 19, in Tokyo, Japan.
A man wearing a mask passes the logo of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games displayed on the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building on March 19, in Tokyo, Japan. Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images

 

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says he has reached an agreement with International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach to postpone the Olympics for about one year.

Summer 2021 is the latest that these Olympics could be held, Abe said.

WATCH

8:09 a.m. ET, March 24, 2020

Spain close to 40,000 total cases with more than 2,500 deaths

Undertakers move a coffin of a coronavirus victim at the La Almudena cemetery in Madrid, Spain, on March 23.
Undertakers move a coffin of a coronavirus victim at the La Almudena cemetery in Madrid, Spain, on March 23. Bernat Armangu/AP

Deaths from Covid-19 in Spain have risen to 2,696 with 39,673 total cases, according to Health Ministry data released on Tuesday.

The rise in deaths of 514 (23.6%) and rise in cases of 6,584 (19.9%) over the past 24 hours are the largest numerical increases the country has recorded, but not the largest percentage increases.

Up to Monday, there had been 33,089 total recorded cases in Spain with 2,182 deaths.

Spain has the third largest number of coronavirus deaths of any country in the world, behind Italy and China.

On Monday, the Madrid city government’s funeral service announced they would stop collecting the bodies of those who die from coronavirus as they are “without sufficient protective material,” according to a statement sent to CNN.

Bodies of Covid-19 victims are now being delivered to an ice rink that is being used as a temporary morgue in Madrid.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced that he would seek to extend Spain's state of emergency for another 15 days as the number of Covid-19 deaths soared.

7:58 a.m. ET, March 24, 2020

Just joining us? Here's what you need to know

Workers spray disinfectant at Wuhan Railway Station in China's Hubei province on March 24. China has announced that lockdown measures would be lifted for many in the province from Wednesday, and in the provincial capital of Wuhan f April 8.
Workers spray disinfectant at Wuhan Railway Station in China's Hubei province on March 24. China has announced that lockdown measures would be lifted for many in the province from Wednesday, and in the provincial capital of Wuhan f April 8. Stringer/AFP/Getty Images

The global toll: There are 383,944 cases of novel coronavirus and 16,595 deaths globally, according to Johns Hopkins University, which is tracking figures from the World Health Organization and additional sources. 

Calls to postpone Olympics: Japan's Prime Minister is expected to propose a roughly one-year delay in a call with a top Olympics official today, NHK reports. New Zealand athletes became the latest to voice their support for postponing Tokyo 2020, joining the US Olympic committee and others.

Hubei ending restrictions: The central Chinese province at ground zero for the novel coronavirus pandemic plans to lift nearly all lockdown restrictions on Wednesday. Measures will remain in place in the provincial capital, Wuhan, until April 8.

More curfews and restrictions: India has expanded its mammoth lockdown to cover about two-thirds of the population. Pakistan is deploying its army to assist with the outbreak. Several Australian states are enacting border checkpoints. Albania has entered a strict 16-hour daily curfew. Countries in mainland Europe remain under lockdown, and the UK has banned people from leaving home except for "very limited" reasons. 

43% of US population told to stay at home: At least 16 states have issued stay-at-home orders, which, once in effect, will impact 142 million people, or 43% of the US population, according to data compiled by CNN using US Census population estimates. There are over 42,600 cases, including at least 540 deaths, with Hawaii reporting its first death. Patients at a nursing home in Washington at the centre of the state's outbreak were in "imminent danger" from early on because of several failures by the facility, according to regulators. 

Markets surge on hopes of US rescue plan: The promise of unlimited support for markets from the Federal Reserve and hope that Congress is moving towards a huge fiscal stimulus package boosted US futures overnight, as well as markets in Europe and Asia. 

Ice rink in Spain turned into morgue: The bodies of Covid-19 victims are being delivered to the Palacio de Hielo, which is being used as a temporary morgue in Madrid. The regional government said it was a “temporary" measure to ease pressure on hospitals in Spain, which has more deaths than any other country other than China and Italy.

Middle Eastern countries need support: A dozen countries in the Middle East and Central Asia have reached out to the International Monetary Fund requesting financial support due to the coronavirus outbreak. Iran has extended the temporary release of 85,000 prisoners.

The situation in Asia: Thailand reported three more deaths and 106 new cases today, taking the national tally to 827 confirmed cases. Thai officials are discussing imposing emergency measures. Singapore reported its biggest one-day surge in cases since the outbreak began. Tokyo's governor warned that Japan's capital could be placed under lockdown if the number of cases spike. Myanmar and Laos reported their first two cases. Beijing will quarantine and test all international arrivals and Macao will ban most non-residents from entering.