March 15 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Jenni Marsh, Ivana Kottasová and Amir Vera, CNN

Updated 10:22 PM ET, Sun March 15, 2020
14 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
11:39 p.m. ET, March 14, 2020

New Jersey city imposes strict curfew and bans restaurants from serving food

From CNN's Paul Murphy

The New Jersey city of Hoboken is implementing a city-wide curfew and new restrictions, starting Monday, in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Hoboken is located right next to New York City's Manhattan, just across the Hudson River.

Residents must stay home from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m., unless they have to work during those hours, according to a statement from Mayor Bhalla.

The statement also announced drastic new restrictions on the city's restaurants and bars, effectively banning them from serving food within their venues - meaning they can only serve food through delivery and takeout.

"All bars and restaurant establishments, with and without a liquor license, are no longer permitted to serve food within the restaurant or bar. If a bar does not currently offer food, they will no longer be permitted to operate and are no longer permitted to serve alcohol, effective March 15 at 11 a.m," said the statement.

"The time is now to enact proactive policies that will help save lives in the long run," said Bhalla in the statement. "We must all now do our part."

11:28 p.m. ET, March 14, 2020

"No one seems prepared" at US airports: Long lines, no hand sanitizer and communal pens

Courtesy Katherine Rogers
Courtesy Katherine Rogers

Even as the US government declares a national emergency and restricts travel from countries worldwide, there is confusion and apparently few preventative measures in place at airports nationwide.

Five hour lines in Chicago: Katherine Rogers arrived at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport after flying in from Paris and through London. At O'Hare, she has been in line for a mandatory coronavirus screening for five hours -- and is told there's an hour left to go.

Ann Lewis Schmidt says she flew into O'Hare from Iceland, and has been in line for an-hour-and-a-half.

"Very close quarters," Schmidt said. "So if we didn’t have the virus before, we have a great chance of getting it now!"

Rogers and Schmidt both say they've not seen any hand sanitizer stations.

"No one seems prepared," Rogers says. "To take us off planes from all over the world and put us together for hours seems counterproductive." 

CNN has reached out to O'Hare International Airport and Customs and Border Patrol but has not yet received a response.

Courtesy Ann Lewis Schmidt
Courtesy Ann Lewis Schmidt

Sharing pens in New York: Katelyn Deibler landed at New York's John F. Kennedy airport from Ukraine on Saturday. It took over 2.5 hours to go through passport control and customs.

Deibler says she was given forms about symptoms and travel history upon arrival -- but there weren't enough forms for all passengers, so they had to wait for more.

"They didn't have pens and told us to share," she says. "Which sounds like a great thing in the middle of the pandemic."

Nick Carlin, another passenger, confirmed that they were told to share pens. He also says there was no hand sanitizer at JFK. 

11:26 p.m. ET, March 14, 2020

Oregon reports its first coronavirus death

The Oregon Health Authority has reported the state's first death from the coronavirus.

The patient was a 70-year-old man in Multnomah County, who was hospitalized at the Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center and died Saturday.

There are currently 36 presumptive positive cases in Oregon.

11:15 p.m. ET, March 14, 2020

Trump and Boris Johnson discussed the UK travel restrictions earlier today

In this file photo, US President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speak during the annual NATO heads of government summit on December 4, 2019 in Watford, England. 
In this file photo, US President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speak during the annual NATO heads of government summit on December 4, 2019 in Watford, England.  Pool/Getty Images

US President Donald Trump spoke with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson earlier today, as the US announced new travel restrictions with the UK, according to the White House.

The two leaders discussed also discussed a video conference next week between G7 leaders on the pandemic, said White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere.

The UK government put out a statement confirming Trump and Johnson spoke about coronavirus, but it did not mention the new travel restrictions.

"They discussed the coronavirus pandemic and the action being taken to stop the spread of the virus. The Prime Minister set out the science-led approach the UK is taking. Ahead of a call with G7 leaders on the outbreak the Prime Minister and the President agreed on the importance of international coordination to accelerate progress on the development of a vaccine and to prevent economic disruption for our citizens," the UK statement said.
1:05 p.m. ET, March 15, 2020

Chile bans cruise ships from docking from Sunday

From CNN's Taylor Barnes in Atlanta

Cruise ships will be banned from docking in Chile starting Sunday morning local time, announced Chilean health minister Jaime Manalich on Twitter.

Earlier, he said that two cruise ships with about 1,300 people on board were quarantined off the coast of Chile, and one passenger had tested positive for coronavirus.

The passenger is an 83-year-old British man. He is being treated at hospital and is “in good condition," said Manalich.

The ship, the Silver Explorer, is now docked in the city of Castro. A second ship, the Azamara Pursuit, was not under quarantine.

Correction: This post has been updated to correct the status of an Azamara cruise. It is not under quarantine and there are plans to disembark, according to a company statement to CNN.

10:59 p.m. ET, March 14, 2020

The Philippines' capital region goes under partial lockdown today

From CNN's Jinky Juro in Manila and Isaac Yee in Hong Kong

Filipino army troops arrive in metropolitan Manila, Philippines on March 15 to assist with the partial lockdown.
Filipino army troops arrive in metropolitan Manila, Philippines on March 15 to assist with the partial lockdown. Aaron Favila/AP

Starting today, the Metro Manila region of the Philippines is going under partial lockdown to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

Metro Manila, known officially as the National Capital Region, is comprised of 16 cities, home to about 12.8 million people, according to the latest data from the Philippines Statistic Authority.

The entire country has 64 confirmed cases, according to the World Health Organization.

Here's what the lockdown will mean.

Movement restricted: The region has suspended all land, sea, and air transport effective today through April 14.

If the situation worsens in a specific community, all households will be isolated, transportation suspended, and health and food services regulated. And people who want to leave quarantined areas will need to be checked by health authorities for symptoms.

Border points: Tens of thousands of police officers and Armed Force members are stationed at more than 70 checkpoints, conducting checks on people coming in and out of the region.

Workers will need to provide proof of employment or business to cross the border. International travelers entering the region need to show a ticket for a flight scheduled 12 hours from entry into Metro Manila.

A travel ban is still in place for those entering the country from greater China, parts of Korea, while heightened checks are in place for those arriving from Italy and Iran.

Social distancing: The lockdown prohibits movie screenings, concerts, sporting events, and community assemblies. People attending essential work-related gatherings and religious events must keep one meter (about three feet) apart.

All schools are suspended until April 14, and the government is strongly urging companies to allow employees to work from home.

10:47 p.m. ET, March 14, 2020

China's decrease in death toll and new cases continues

From CNN’s Shanshan Wang in Beijing

Workers wear protective suits outside of the New China International Exhibition Centre, which is being used as a registration and screening center for travelers arriving to Beijing from coronavirus-affected countries, on March 13.
Workers wear protective suits outside of the New China International Exhibition Centre, which is being used as a registration and screening center for travelers arriving to Beijing from coronavirus-affected countries, on March 13. Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images

China confirmed 20 new cases and 10 deaths today -- a slight uptick from the previous few days, but still consistent with a general downward trend this week.

The new numbers bring the country's total to 80,844 cases and 3,199 deaths, according to the National Health Commission.

Of these total cases, 66,911 patients have recovered and been discharged from hospital, said the NHC.

The past few days have seen falling numbers of daily new cases -- down to a dozen or so, compared to just a few weeks ago, when country reported thousands of new cases a day.

10:21 p.m. ET, March 14, 2020

Golden Princess cruise ship held off New Zealand as some passengers are quarantined

From CNN's Taylor Barnes in Atlanta

Passengers on the Golden Princess cruise ship docked in a New Zealand harbor are not being allowed to disembark, as three people aboard have been quarantined by the ship's doctor, according to the Canterbury District Health Board.

One of the quarantined passengers has coronavirus symptoms and is being treated as a suspected case. The two others had been in contact with a confirmed case in the past two weeks, said the health board.

The ship departed Melbourne, Australia, on March 10. It had been on a 13-day New Zealand itinerary, and is now docked in Akaroa, in the Banks Peninsula, while it awaits "precautionary health testing," said the operator Princess Cruises in a statement to CNN.

Canterbury District Health Board Medical Officer of Health, Ramon Pink, said the local public health team is taking a precautionary approach.

“We realize this is disappointing news for other passengers and tourism/hospitality operators in Akaroa and Canterbury who were expecting to host the passengers today. We cannot risk the potential further spread if this person tests positive," Pink said, according to a release from the health board. 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Saturday announced that all cruise ships will be banned from coming to New Zealand until June 30.

10:10 p.m. ET, March 14, 2020

Japan sees largest daily spike of coronavirus cases

From Chie Kobayashi and Bex Wright in Tokyo

Kyoto city staffs sanitize metro trains at the Takeda Train Depot on March 4 in Kyoto, Japan. 
Kyoto city staffs sanitize metro trains at the Takeda Train Depot on March 4 in Kyoto, Japan.  The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images

Japan announced 64 new coronavirus cases, bringing the nationwide tally to 1,477, according to Japan’s Health Ministry.

It's the largest single-day increase the country has seen.

Of the 1,477 total cases, 697 are associated with the Diamond Princess cruise ship, and the remaining 780 are land cases.  

One Diamond Princess passenger tested positive after having seemingly recovered from the virus. The 70-year-old Japanese man tested positive on February 14, then was released from hospital after testing negative on March 2. Yesterday, he had a high temperature, was re-tested, and diagnosed positive again.

Spike in Japan: The spike in Japan's numbers come as the crisis appears to be stabilizing in other Asian countries. South Korea and mainland China, the two hardest hit countries in the region, have both a slowdown in infections and deaths this week.

But Japan has seen its numbers jump -- just earlier this week, health officials said the average rate of infection was 30 new cases per day.

The spike in numbers, and the broader global pandemic, have sparked calls to cancel the Tokyo 2020 Olympics -- but organizers say preparations are continuing.