March 27 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, James Griffiths, Steve George, Amy Woodyatt, Mike Hayes and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 8:04 a.m. ET, March 28, 2020
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12:24 a.m. ET, March 27, 2020

Argentina closes all borders to foreign nationals

From CNN's Claudia Dominguez in Atlanta and Daniel Silva in Miami 

Argentina is closing its borders to all non-essential transportation, said the government in a statement.

Restrictions had already been in place for air transportation, meaning the measures are now being expanded to include a ban on land and sea transportation.

Argentinian citizens will still be allowed into the country. The border closures go into effect Friday at midnight.

12:21 a.m. ET, March 27, 2020

If you're just joining us now, here's the latest worldwide developments

An Air Force member exits a tent builded as makeshift morgue outside of Bellevue Hospital on March 25 in New York City.
An Air Force member exits a tent builded as makeshift morgue outside of Bellevue Hospital on March 25 in New York City. Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

The novel coronavirus pandemic continues to spread globally, with the US and Europe hit the hardest. Here's what you need to know:

  • The US becomes worst hit: The US now has the highest number of confirmed cases in the world, overtaking China and Italy. Today was the deadliest day in the US so far, with at least 233 new deaths reported nationwide. New York City has become the epicenter of the US outbreak.
  • Shifting restrictions in China: New local transmissions have fallen to near zero in mainland China, so it's beginning to lift lockdowns and citizens are returning to normal life. But the number of imported cases from overseas is rising. On Thursday, China announced it would ban entry to foreign nationals holding visas or residence permits.
  • Japan struggles: The country saw case numbers spike this week, and the Tokyo governor urged residents to stay at home this weekend. In response, crowds surged to panic buy at supermarkets, while others continued gathering in outdoor parks during the cherry blossom season.
  • Events canceled globally: With borders snapping shut and serious public health concerns globally, countless events have been rescheduled. The K-pop group BTS postponed part of their world tour. Art Basel, widely considered to be the world's biggest art fair, has been postponed. And of course, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are now being pushed to 2021.
12:02 a.m. ET, March 27, 2020

Hospital video reveals extensive lung damage in US coronavirus patient

A recently released video shows the lungs of a 59-year-old man who had been asymptomatic just a few days earlier.

Now, the patient has Covid-19 and his lungs are failing to function properly, said Dr. Keith Mortman, the chief of thoracic surgery at George Washington University Hospital in Washington, DC.

The hospital released a 3D video showing the patient's extensive lung damage.

"This is not a 70, 80-year-old immunosuppressed, diabetic patient," Mortman said.
"Other than high blood pressure, he has no other significant medical issues. This is a guy who's minding his own business and gets it ... If we were to repeat the 360VR images now, that is one week later, there is a chance that the infection and inflammatory process could be worse."

In the video, areas marked yellow represent infected and inflamed parts of the lung. The scan shows the damage covering massive swaths of both lungs, showing how rapidly and aggressively the infection can take hold, even in younger patients.

Watch the video:

11:43 p.m. ET, March 26, 2020

In Singapore, you can be fined and jailed if you don't stay 3 feet away from others

Countries worldwide are implementing movement restrictions and emergency measures to ensure people practice social distancing.

But few are as strict as Singapore, where new regulations went into force today.

People who fail to keep one meter (about 3.3 feet) of distance from others in public areas will be punishable by a fine of up to 10,000 Singapore dollars (about $7,004) or up to six months in prison, or both, according to a statement from the Singapore Ministry of Health.

The measures went into effect just before midnight. They are aimed at limiting non-essential gatherings to 10 people or fewer, said the statement.

11:43 p.m. ET, March 26, 2020

Los Angeles is closing all outdoor sports facilities

Police patrol Runyon Canyon park after it was closed to the public Wednesday, March 25, in Los Angeles.
Police patrol Runyon Canyon park after it was closed to the public Wednesday, March 25, in Los Angeles. Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

Los Angeles is closing all outdoor sports amenities to help people practice safe social distancing, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced today.

These include skate parks, tennis courts, baseball fields, basketball courts, golf courses, swimming pools, and popular hiking trails like Runyon Canyon and Bronson Canyon.

Most parks will still remain open for walking and running, but people must maintain a distance of at least six feet, Garcetti said.

“Our parks remain incredible resources for healthy activity — but we’ve seen too many people in unsafe crowds for outdoor activities during this emergency,” he said in a press release. “Angelenos are safer at home right now. When we go out for fresh air and exercise, it should be in our own neighborhoods and at a safe distance from other people.”

Some recreational public spaces are also being closed, like the Venice Pier, senior centers, playgrounds, and beach parking lots. Griffith Park as well as its amenities are also closed.

11:21 p.m. ET, March 26, 2020

“Nearly every school” in the US is considering early graduation for medical students

From CNN's Minali Nigam and Gina Yu

Home Shutterstock

Medical schools across the US are considering early graduation for their senior medical students to become doctors, as demand for health care providers rises due to the coronavirus pandemic.

On Tuesday, NYU became the first medical school in the country to offer this option.

“While the AAMC has not yet surveyed its member medical schools, the [Liaison Committee on Medical Education] has been working with several other schools that are considering or offering their students the option of graduating early. We are aware that nearly every school is considering early graduation as an option in our continued response to the pandemic,” said Dr. Alison Whelan, chief medical education officer for the Association of American Medical Colleges, in an email to CNN.

All four medical schools in Massachusetts -- Tufts University School of Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Boston University School of Medicine and Harvard Medical School -- are in discussions to have a fast-track option, said Massachusetts HHS Secretary Marylou Sudders on Thursday. 

"We've been working with the deans of the medical schools in Massachusetts to graduate students early,” she said. 

Cooper Medical School of Rowan University in New Jersey also sent an email to its senior medical students on Thursday gauging interest and offering early graduation.

11:20 p.m. ET, March 26, 2020

Panic buying hits Tokyo shops after governor’s stay-at-home request

From CNN's Emiko Jozuka in Tokyo

Empty shelves in a supermarket on Thursday in Tokyo, Japan.
Empty shelves in a supermarket on Thursday in Tokyo, Japan. Credit: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

Tokyo residents started panic buying basic goods Thursday soon after the capital’s governor urged people to stay at home over the weekend.

Bread, rice, pot noodles and meat sold out quickly across the Japanese capital, with shoppers stocking up on similar items in neighboring Chiba prefecture, too.

Rush for essentials: The latest shopping spree comes as Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike on Wednesday urged residents in the city to avoid making "non-essential outings" this weekend as the city reported an increase in its number of novel coronavirus cases.

Speaking at a news conference on Wednesday, Koike said Tokyo is now at a "critical moment" to stop the infection rate from spiking. She asked event organizers to refrain from holding large gatherings and urged Tokyo residents to work from home as much as possible and avoid social meetings and crowded places until April 12.

On Thursday, Koike worked with four other prefectural governors, who requested residents in Chiba, Saitama, Kanagawa and Yamanashi prefectures to refrain from visiting Tokyo over the weekend.

Koike’s latest remarks will be a test for the city of over 9 million people, which has been reluctant to impose a lockdown on its residents. While other countries have been quick to enforce restrictions on their citizens to contain the spread of the coronavirus, in Japan it’s largely been business as usual. 

Japanese authorities this week announced the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics to next year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

11:10 p.m. ET, March 26, 2020

K-pop group BTS postpones parts of world tour due to coronavirus

From CNN's Jake Kwon

BTS performs onstage during 102.7 KIIS FM's Jingle Ball 2019 Presented by Capital One at the Forum on December 6, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
BTS performs onstage during 102.7 KIIS FM's Jingle Ball 2019 Presented by Capital One at the Forum on December 6, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Rich Fury/Getty Images for iHeartMedia

K-pop group BTS, one of the world's biggest boy bands, has postponed part of their upcoming world tour due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The North American section of the tour was scheduled for April 26 to June 6, but will now be postponed to a later date, according to a statement from BTS' parent company Big Hit Entertainment.

New show dates have not yet been announced, but will be shared as soon as possible, said the statement.

Another statement posted on the official BTS Facebook page added that they were working to secure dates and venues in the South Korean capital Seoul "when the situation stabilizes."

"With the global spread of Covid-19, in some countries and cities, the level of unpredictability is becoming higher to prepare for the shows. As a result of the current global circumstances, we anticipate having to make changes to the current tour schedule," the BTS statement said.

"We will place the highest priority on the health and safety of our artists and fans and do our utmost to keep the promises we made to our fans."

11:06 p.m. ET, March 26, 2020

Designer Ralph Lauren donates $10 million to coronavirus relief efforts

From CNN's Amanda Jackson

Designer Ralph Lauren attends the Ralph Lauren fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall 2015 at Skylight Clarkson SQ.
Designer Ralph Lauren attends the Ralph Lauren fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall 2015 at Skylight Clarkson SQ. Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

Fashion designer Ralph Lauren is committing $10 million toward coronavirus relief efforts through the Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation, according to a letter from the Ralph Lauren Team.

The funds will go to employees facing special circumstances like medical needs, to the World Health Organization's global response fund, and to other institutions like the cancer care Pink Pony Fund and the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

The company is also looking to help produce equipment like medical-grade masks and isolation gowns, it said in the letter.

It added that Ralph Lauren stores have closed in virus-hit regions, and employees are working from home where possible or needed.