March 23 coronavirus news

By Julia Hollingsworth, James Griffiths, Adam Renton, Meg Wagner, Mike Hayes and Amy Woodyatt, CNN

Updated 9:46 p.m. ET, March 23, 2020
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12:09 p.m. ET, March 23, 2020

Global markets sink despite Fed's promise of unlimited support for the economy

From CNN's Clare Duffy, Laura He and Charles Riley

John Minchillo/AP/FILE
John Minchillo/AP/FILE

US stocks opened lower Monday and European markets stayed stuck in reverse even after the US Federal Reserve committed itself to creating an unlimited amount of money to prevent the world's largest economy from plunging into a deep recession.

The decision to buy unlimited amounts of government bonds was part of a much bigger package of extraordinary measures announced by the Fed, which also included a promise to launch a Main Street lending program.

US stocks were poised to open dramatically lower prior to the announcement from the central bank, which briefly lifted European stocks and oil prices. The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq pulled back some of their losses, but still started the trading session in negative territory.

"It has become clear that our economy will face severe disruptions," the Federal Reserve said in a statement. "Aggressive efforts must be taken across the public and private sectors to limit the losses to jobs and incomes and to promote a swift recovery once the disruptions abate."

Global stock markets were hammered earlier on Monday after US lawmakers failed to reach agreement on a massive stimulus package meant to help Americans handle the coronavirus pandemic and as authorities around the world took ever more draconian measures to restrict movement and public gatherings.

Read the full story here.

12:24 p.m. ET, March 23, 2020

This London pizzeria is delivering its pies to health care workers

From CNN's Lauren Kent

Employees of Crust Bros pizza drop off pizzas to NHS hospitals and the London Ambulance Service after receiving more than $2,000 for pizza donations in one day.
Employees of Crust Bros pizza drop off pizzas to NHS hospitals and the London Ambulance Service after receiving more than $2,000 for pizza donations in one day. Courtesy Crust Bros

As people across the globe worry about the well-being of health care workers and the ability of small businesses to survive during the coronavirus pandemic, one restaurant in the UK found a way to tackle both.

Crust Bros pizza in London has served up hundreds of pizzas to doctors, nurses and ambulance staff who are the frontlines of the fight against coronavirus. The best part? The pizzas are donated in part by customers hoping to keep the pizzeria open.

My best mate is a recently qualified doctor...I’ve been in constant communication with him hearing about the stress and strain on the hospitals,” said Crust Bros founder Joe Moore. “We thought if there's any way we can help out the hospital and ambulance staff and do anything to raise their spirits, it would be an honor to help them out.” 

After the restaurant donated the first pizzas, Moore realized he could use the restaurant's social media following to reach out to the local community and donate even more. He invited customers to “Pay it Forward” to Britain’s National Health Service and donate a pizza themselves. 

"This afternoon we’re going to be delivering about 300 more pizzas,” said Moore on Sunday. “And today we’re going to have seven people working for the restaurant who otherwise wouldn’t. So this has enabled us to carry on.”

It’s a bittersweet final day for the restaurant — Crust Bros closed Sunday night, but Moore hopes to reopen in 12 weeks depending on announcements from the British government. 

11:45 a.m. ET, March 23, 2020

India’s parliament adjourns in wake of coronavirus lockdown

From CNN’s Manveena Suri in New Delhi

A security guard wearing facemark sits at the Indian parliament house in New Delhi, India, Monday, March 23.
A security guard wearing facemark sits at the Indian parliament house in New Delhi, India, Monday, March 23. Manish Swarup/AP

India’s upper and lower houses of Parliament were adjourned sine die — which means “without day” or indefinitely — on Monday, as large parts of the country went into lockdown as part of the effort to curb the spread of coronavirus.

The second phase of the Budget Session began on March 2 and was due to continue until April 3.

States locked down: Twenty out of India’s total 28 states and nine union territories have now ordered a complete lockdown, with Kerala being the latest to announce restrictions.

Five states and union territories have issued a full lockdown only in certain districts, while three states/union territories have imposed partial restrictions to promote social distancing.

In states that have imposed a complete lockdown, only essential services will be operational. These include water, electricity, health services, fire services, groceries and municipal services.

As of Monday afternoon, India had 415 confirmed cases with 23 patients discharged and 7 deaths reported, according to Lav Agarwal, the country’s Junior Health Secretary.

11:42 a.m. ET, March 23, 2020

Zimbabwe confirms its first coronavirus death

From Columbus Mavhunga in Harare, Zimbabwe

Zimbabwean officials confirmed the country’s first novel coronavirus death on Monday. The 30-year-old victim has been identified as broadcast journalist Zororo Makamba.

"Today we recorded a death of COVID19. Zororo Makamba passed away midday today. According to his doctors were looking after him, (he) had other concurrent medical conditions which made him vulnerable. I wish to advise our nation not to panic because of this death as COVID19 is treatable if someone has all the precautionary measures in place," Minister of Health Obediah Moyo said.

Makamba tested positive for the virus on Saturday after returning to Harare from a trip to the US earlier in the month.

11:35 a.m. ET, March 23, 2020

More than 150 people have died from coronavirus in New York

As of Monday morning, at least 157 people who have tested positive for coronavirus have died, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a press conference.

More than 20,000 people across the state have tested positive, Cuomo said.

11:35 a.m. ET, March 23, 2020

Germany calls for summer Olympics to be postponed

Germany has asked the International Olympic Committee to postpone the Olympic Games to 2021, a German National Olympic Committee spokesperson told CNN.

The spokesperson said the German committee's president, Alfons Hörmann, made the decision to call for a delay to the Games due to the global health situation and the absence of training possibilities for athletes.

Germany follows in the footsteps of several nations around the world who have already called for the Games to be postponed till 2021.

Canada and Australia are so far the only two nations to confirm that they will not sending athletes to Tokyo this year because of the risks associated with the virus.

The latest call for postponement comes after the head of the Japan Olympic Committee, Yasuhiro Yamashita, said on Monday postponing this summer’s Games should now be considered among the options.

11:34 a.m. ET, March 23, 2020

New York governor says the state was able to get more masks for hospitals

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state was "successful in getting more" respirator masks for health care workers.

Cuomo said, "today, we can get masks to anyone who needs them."

He added that he can't promise that next week or the week after he'll be able to make the same claim about mask availability.

He reiterated his call for President Trump to invoke the Defense Production Act so that the federal government can help the state deal with the shortage of masks and other needed personal protective equipment for health care workers.

11:20 a.m. ET, March 23, 2020

New York has more than 20,000 positive cases

More than 20,000 people across the state of New York have tested positive for coronavirus, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced in a news conference Monday.

“In absolute terms, New York has by far the greatest need in the nation,” he said.

Here's a breakdown of the latest numbers in the state:

  • 20,875 positive cases, including 5,707 new cases.
  • 16,000 people were tested overnight.
  • To date, there have been around 78,000 people tested. About 25% of all testing nationwide is being done in New York.
  • 13% of positive cases are being hospitalized (has gone has high as 20, 21% previously). 24% of that 13% require hospital ICU beds.
11:18 a.m. ET, March 23, 2020

Michigan governor signs executive order telling people to stay home


Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is ordering people to stay home unless they are critical workers. The order goes in to effect at 12:01 a.m. local time tomorrow, according to a press release from her office. 

She signed a “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order which lasts for the next three weeks. 

“This is an unprecedented crisis that requires all of us working together to protect our families and our communities. The most effective way we can slow down the virus is to stay home. I know this will be hard, but it will be temporary. If we all come together, get serious, and do our part by staying home, we can stay safe and save lives,” Whitmer said in a news release.

The order allows people to leave their homes for exercise, but Whitmer is now banning gatherings, public and private, “of any number of people occurring.” This does not apply to single households where people may already live together.