March 24 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Helen Regan, Adam Renton, Emma Reynolds, Mike Hayes and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 1:09 p.m. ET, March 25, 2020
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10:20 a.m. ET, March 24, 2020

1 in 4 people across the world are under coronavirus restrictions

From CNN’s Niamh Kennedy, Chandler Thornton, Manveena Suri, Victoria Eastwood and Joe Sutton

NASA/FILE
NASA/FILE

About two billion people worldwide are affected by a partial or total lockdown, curfew or some restrictions on their movement due to the coronavirus pandemic, CNN calculates.

That represents just over a quarter of the world’s population.

9:56 a.m. ET, March 24, 2020

US Treasury Secretary: "We're looking forward to closing a bipartisan bill today"

From CNN's Kristin Wilson and Manu Raju

U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin walks in a hallway at the U.S. Capitol Monday, March 23.
U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin walks in a hallway at the U.S. Capitol Monday, March 23. Alex Wong/Getty Images/FILE

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was spotted heading into Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's office today.

He said he's in contact Rep. Mark Meadows, who is Trump's incoming chief of staff, and he's "looking forward" to getting a coronavirus stimulus deal done today.

“Mark Meadows and I have already spoken to the President twice this morning. We’re going to have conference calls with a bunch of Republicans to update them on where we are. And we’re on our way to Mitch McConnell’s office, we’re looking forward to closing a bipartisan bill today. The President wants us to get this done today. We’re down to a small number of issues and we look forward to a successful vote," he said.

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."

9:37 a.m. ET, March 24, 2020

US stocks open higher today

From CNN’s Anneken Tappe

US stocks kicked the day off higher on Tuesday, erasing losses from the prior day’s session.

Investors are hopeful that the Washington gridlock over the economic relief plans in response to the coronavirus pandemic will come to an end.

Here's where things opened:

  • The Dow opened 6.2%, or 1,140 points, higher.
  • The S&P 500 rose more than 5%.
  • The Nasdaq Composite opened up 4.9%.

 Follow live updates on the markets here.

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

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

From CNN's Pierre Mielhan

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

From CNN's Nicola Ruotolo in Rome and Sharon Braithwaite in London

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"

From CNN's Nikki Carvajal

 

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

From CNN's Stephanie Halasz and Nadine Schmidt in Berlin

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

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

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.

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