March 21 coronavirus news

By Joshua Berlinger, Brett McKeehan, Jack Guy, Fernando Alfonso III and Amir Vera, CNN

Updated 0215 GMT (1015 HKT) March 22, 2020
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7:49 p.m. ET, March 21, 2020

There are more than 23,000 coronavirus cases in the US and 295 deaths

From CNN’s Jamiel Lynch

Health care workers put on personal protective equipment at a drive-through testing site in Arlington, Virginia, on March 20, 2020.
Health care workers put on personal protective equipment at a drive-through testing site in Arlington, Virginia, on March 20, 2020. Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images

There are at least 23,572 cases of the novel coronavirus in the United States, according to CNN Health’s tally of cases that are detected and tested in the United States through US public health systems.

At least 295 people have died. The total includes cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, plus all repatriated cases.

7:30 p.m. ET, March 21, 2020

Former Italian soccer star Paolo Maldini and his son test positive for coronavirus, AC Milan says

From CNN’s Jill Martin

Italian soccer club AC Milan announced on its website Saturday that former player Paolo Maldini and his son, Daniel, have tested positive for coronavirus.

Maldini, 51, a former Italian national team star, is considered one of the greatest defenders to come out of Italy. He is currently the technical director with AC Milan.

Read AC Milan's full statement below:

AC Milan confirms that Paolo Maldini, the club's Technical Director, became aware of contact with a person who subsequently tested positive for Coronavirus and began to display symptoms of the virus himself. He was administered with a swab test yesterday, the result of which was positive. His son Daniel, a forward in AC Milan's youth team who had previously been training with the First Team, also tested positive.
Paolo and Daniel are both well and have already completed two weeks at home without contact with others. They will now remain in quarantine until clinically recovered, as per the medical protocols outlined by the health authorities.
7:34 p.m. ET, March 21, 2020

Spanish PM calls for unity as he predicts 'hard days ahead'

From CNN's Tatiana Arias, Laura Perez Maestro and Ingrid Formanek 

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez asked Spaniards on Saturday to remain strong, as new cases and the number of deaths due to novel coronavirus are expected to increase in the coming days and weeks.

Speaking from the Presidential Palace La Moncloa in Madrid, Sanchez said the worst is to yet come.

Spain is among the most affected countries in Europe and in the world," Sanchez said. "There are hard days ahead. We have to get ready from a physiological and emotional standpoint. We have to get to the end of next week strong, very strong. The risk is everywhere."

To strengthen Spain's response to the crisis, Sanchez announced national production of masks, ventilators and tests will begin. Meanwhile, the government has bought 640,000 reliable ratified fast tests, and within the next few hours, Sanchez said 1.3 million masks will be handed to health personnel and patients.

Earlier on Saturday, the Spanish government said approximately 15,000 tests were being administered daily, and that the government is working to acquire four robots to increase testing capacity to almost 80,000 tests a day.

The statement said that it's important to note that the number of tests do not equal the number of patients; sometimes a single patient may require multiple testing for a proper diagnosis.

7:35 p.m. ET, March 21, 2020

Bolivia announces 14-day 'total quarantine'

From CNN’s Taylor Barnes

A view of an empty street in La Paz, Bolivia, on March 18.
A view of an empty street in La Paz, Bolivia, on March 18. Aizar Raldes/AFP/Getty Images

Jeanine Áñez, Bolivia’s interim president, announced a nationwide, 14-day "total quarantine" starting Sunday to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, according to Bolivian state media agency ABI.

Áñez said that Bolivians should "be at home 24 hours a day" and that only one person per family can leave at a time to go shopping. 

Pharmacies, hospitals and health centers will remain open as normal, she said, adding that public and private transport will be suspended and that permits will be given to employees in sectors that remain open.

6:28 p.m. ET, March 21, 2020

More than 22,000 coronavirus cases in the US

From CNN's Jamiel Lynch

There are 22,782 cases of the novel coronavirus in the United States, according to CNN Health’s tally of cases that are detected and tested in the United States through US public health systems.

At least 281 people have died. The total includes cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as all repatriated cases.

6:17 p.m. ET, March 21, 2020

Despite federal guidelines, President Donald Trump suggests 'sanitizing' and reusing medical masks

From CNN’s Matthew Hilk

Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images
Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Despite federal guidelines, President Trump Saturday suggested health care workers sanitize and reuse masks when treating coronavirus patients, rather than "throwing away" masks that are in short supply.

Suggesting that health care workers instead clean and reuse the masks, the President said:

We have very good liquids for doing this, sanitizing the masks, and that that's something they're starting to do more and more. They're sanitizing the masks."

It is unclear which type of mask the President was describing, but FDA guidelines for the common N95 respirator masks state they "should not be shared or reused."

Neither the FDA nor CDC guidelines suggest the possibility of sanitizing masks for safe reuse.

 

6:31 p.m. ET, March 21, 2020

St. Louis to begin 30-day mandatory 'stay at home' order Monday, mayor says

From CNN’s Deanna Hackney

Jeff Roberson/AP
Jeff Roberson/AP

St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson has issued a mandatory "stay at home order" for city residents beginning 6 p.m. Monday "to prevent further spread" of coronavirus.

The new restrictions will last for 30 days, Krewson said at a press conference Saturday. Thirty days was chosen because it spans the approximate length of two Covid-19 incubation cycles.

Residents are allowed to go to the grocery store, doctor's office, pharmacies and other preapproved types of businesses as long as a six-foot distance is kept between one another. 

6:18 p.m. ET, March 21, 2020

Chile reports first coronavirus death

From CNN’s Taylor Barnes 

An 82-year-old woman in Chile died from coronavirus, making her the nation's first death, according to the country's health ministry Saturday.

The woman had other conditions, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the health ministry said.

The woman attended a family gathering of approximately 20 people on March 4 and that four people in the family "cluster" have tested positive for coronavirus, the health ministry said.

6:19 p.m. ET, March 21, 2020

Uganda announces first coronavirus case

From CNN’s Taylor Barnes 

The Ugandan Ministry of Health announced the country's first case of coronavirus Saturday on the ministry’s Twitter account.

The ministry said the patient is a 36-year-old Ugandan man who arrived in the country on Saturday after taking an Ethiopian Airlines flight from Dubai. The patient showed symptoms that included high fever and poor appetite.

Ugandan Health Minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng said the passenger was identified by a temperature check in the airport.

"The passenger manifest has been retrieved and all contacts are known as we are in position of the passports of all the travelers that came on that plane," Aceng said.