March 25 coronavirus news

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6:47 a.m. ET, March 25, 2020

China to resume domestic flights to and from Wuhan

The Wuhan Tianhe airport in Wuhan has been closed to passenger flights since the city was locked down on January 23 due to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.
The Wuhan Tianhe airport in Wuhan has been closed to passenger flights since the city was locked down on January 23 due to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. Stringer/AFP/Getty Images

China will resume domestic passenger flights to and from Wuhan starting April 8, when travel restrictions placed on the original epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak are to be lifted, according to the Hubei provincial transportation authority.

Speaking on Wednesday, the authority's deputy head Wang Benju said that while most domestic flights will resume, all flights from Wuhan to Beijing and international destinations will remain suspended.

On Tuesday, the Hubei provincial government announced that travel restrictions on Wuhan will be lifted on April 8, and residents that have been issued green health QR codes will be able to leave the city and move about.

5:52 a.m. ET, March 25, 2020

Head of German diseases control and prevention agency says “we are at the beginning of the epidemic"

Lothar Wieler, President of Germany's Robert Koch Institute, gives a press conference on the spread of the novel coronavirus in Germany on March 23, in Berlin.
Lothar Wieler, President of Germany's Robert Koch Institute, gives a press conference on the spread of the novel coronavirus in Germany on March 23, in Berlin. Bernd von Jutrczenka/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

The President of Germany's Robert Koch Institute, the national agency for disease control and prevention, has warned that the coronavirus epidemic is just starting in the country.

“We are at the beginning of the epidemic and the number is growing,” Lothar Wieler said.

Addressing the comparatively low death rate in Germany, Wieler said “We don’t know why this is the case but there are several factors playing into it.”

There was widespread testing in Germany and many mildly ill people were detected, he said. And there hasn't been a large number of old people who have fallen sick so far.

But Wieler warned that it is completely "open ended how this epidemic will develop," and added that the death death toll will rise in Germany.

5:50 a.m. ET, March 25, 2020

Germany's parliament debates coronavirus aid package

Members of the Bundestag rise to applaud medical and emergency workers on the front line of the nationwide struggle against the coronavirus prior to debates and the likely passing of a massive federal financial aid package to shore Germany up against the effects of the virus on March 25 in Berlin.
Members of the Bundestag rise to applaud medical and emergency workers on the front line of the nationwide struggle against the coronavirus prior to debates and the likely passing of a massive federal financial aid package to shore Germany up against the effects of the virus on March 25 in Berlin. Sean Gallup/Getty Images

The German Parliament is debating a financial aid package to help combat the coronavirus.

The package would be around 750 billion euros ($812 billion) and is expected to be ratified quickly, German chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday.

Senior German conservative Ralph Brinkhaus, who is parliamentary leader in Merkel's CDU party, said on Wednesday that, ''this will probably not be the last aid package we agree upon here."

Earlier this week, Merkel hailed the emergency aid package as ''unprecedented."

Germany's Bundesrat -- the federal council representing the country's 16 federal states -- is set to approve the emergency aid package on Friday.

5:09 a.m. ET, March 25, 2020

Every hotspot has "its own curve": How coronavirus cases are growing around the US

March came in with a sickness and will go out with a surge.

An analysis of CNN's daily state coronavirus case numbers not only reveals where the numbers are rising, but also suggests that the rate of new cases could be stabilizing in the state with the earliest outbreak.

According to CNN's tally of US cases, there were at least 53,204 cases of the novel coronavirus in the United States as of Tuesday night and more than 700 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. CNN's coronavirus tally is based on numbers of confirmed cases provided by state and local health departments.

CNN's tally of total confirmed cases has increased by at least 23% each day since March 4 -- in some cases, much more steeply. From March 18 to March 19, confirmed US cases rose 51% in just one day, from 8,760 to 13,229, the largest one-day increase in recent weeks.

Read more:

5:49 a.m. ET, March 25, 2020

How to strengthen your immunity to coronavirus. Part 1: Diet

For a dose of immune-boosting vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, fill half of your plate with vegetables and fruits.
For a dose of immune-boosting vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, fill half of your plate with vegetables and fruits. Shutterstock

There's no magic food or pill that is guaranteed to boost your immune system and protect you against coronavirus. But there are ways to keep your immune system functioning optimally, which can help to keep you healthy and give you a sense of control in an uncertain time.

One of the best ways to stay healthy is to eat a nutritious diet. That's because our immune system relies on a steady supply of nutrients to do its job. For a starter dose of immune-boosting vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, fill half of your plate with vegetables and fruits. 

Here are some key nutrients that play a role in immunity, and food sources of them:

  • Carrots, kale and apricots for beta carotene
  • Oranges, strawberries and broccoli for Vitamin C
  • Eggs, cheese, tofu and mushrooms for Vitamin D
  • Beans, nuts, cereal and seafood for zinc
  • Milk, eggs, nuts and more for protein
  • Bananas, beans and more for prebiotics
  • Water, fruit, soup and more for hydration

read the full story here.

4:59 a.m. ET, March 25, 2020

They held a coronavirus party, ignoring advice to socially distance. Now one of them has the virus

At least one person in Kentucky is infected after taking part at a "coronavirus party" with a group of young adults, Gov. Andy Beshear said Tuesday.

The partygoers intentionally got together "thinking they were invincible" and purposely defying state guidance to practice social distancing, Bashear said.

"This is one that makes me mad," the governor said. "We have to be much better than that."

Covid-19 has been more deadly and severe for people older than 60 and those with underlying health issues in data from China.

However, health officials and leaders around the United States have been imploring millennials and other young people to practice social distancing, because even those who are infected but asymptomatic can transmit it to others.

Read more here

5:14 a.m. ET, March 25, 2020

US cases rise past 53,200 with 709 deaths

Firefighters screen people that are waiting in line to get a COVID-19 test at a free public testing station in Hayward, California, on March 24.
Firefighters screen people that are waiting in line to get a COVID-19 test at a free public testing station in Hayward, California, on March 24. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

There are at least 53,204 cases of the novel coronavirus in the United States and 709 people have died, according to CNN Health’s tally of US cases that are detected and tested through US public health systems.

Twelve states are reporting no deaths.  

The total includes cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as all repatriated cases.

4:33 a.m. ET, March 25, 2020

Italy threatens jail for coronavirus sufferers violating quarantine

A man walks his dog across a deserted Piazza Campo dei Fiori in central Rome on March 24 during Italy's lockdown aimed at stopping the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
A man walks his dog across a deserted Piazza Campo dei Fiori in central Rome on March 24 during Italy's lockdown aimed at stopping the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty Images

Italy has announced strict new punishments to try and clamp down on the spread of the coronavirus in the country, including possible jail time for people who have the virus and violate quarantine.

The new orders, published late Tuesday night, include:

  • Those who have tested positive and do not stay home could face one to five years in prison.
  • Fines for violating quarantine rise from 400 euros ($430) to 3,000 euros ($3,245).
  • Businesses that break rules designed to keep the virus from spreading could be closed from five to 30 days.
  • The regulations will be reviewed each month until July 31, and could be made stricter, the government decree says.

The decree does not extend the length of the current restrictions, which are due to end on April 3.

Italy, the new epicenter of the virus, has recorded nearly 70,000 cases and almost 7,000 deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

4:23 a.m. ET, March 25, 2020

China's premier warns local officials not to hide new coronavirus infections

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has warned local officials not to hide new coronavirus cases, after the country reported several days of no locally transmitted infections in a major turnaround in its fight against the deadly pandemic.

Li, the country's second-in-command, urged local governments Monday to "seek truth from facts" and be "open and transparent" in releasing information on the epidemic.

"Being open and transparent means a new case must be reported once it's discovered. It is what it is. There must be no concealing or underreporting," he told senior officials tasked with battling Covid-19 during a meeting he chaired, according to an official government statement posted online Tuesday.

The Chinese premier was appointed the head of a central government task force -- or a "central leading group" as it is called -- to fight the coronavirus in January. He visited the city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, back in late January, more than a month earlier than the tour by China's top leader Xi Jinping in March.

Li's warning appears to be part of a concerted effort to rebuild public trust amid persistent accusations that local officials deliberately downplayed the reality of the situation during the early stages of the outbreak.

It also comes as China faces increased scrutiny from overseas over its initial efforts to prevent the virus from spreading beyond its borders after it was first identified in Wuhan in December.

Read more here