March 28 coronavirus news

By James Griffiths, Brett McKeehan, Veronica Rocha, Amy Woodyatt and Amir Vera, CNN

Updated 3:33 p.m. ET, March 29, 2020
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8:25 a.m. ET, March 28, 2020

Domestic violence "very likely" to increase during lockdowns, UN warns

From CNN's Radina Gigova in Atlanta

Restrictive measures and lockdowns adopted by a number of countries for extended periods of time intensify the risk of domestic violence, the United Nations has warned.

“It is very likely that rates of widespread domestic violence will increase, as already suggested by initial police and hotline reports," UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, Dubravka Simonovic, said in a statement Friday. 

"For too many women and children, home can be a place of fear and abuse. That situation worsens considerably in cases of isolation such as the lockdowns imposed during the Covid-19 pandemic,” she said, adding that this could also lead to increased number of "intimate partner femicides."  

Simonovic said the risk is "aggravated" at a time when there are fewer or no shelters and help services available for victims. Less community support, fewer police interventions and less access to justice as many courts are closed are also contributing factors, she said. 

Furthermore, the emergency measures needed to fight the pandemic have increased women's burden regarding domestic work and the care of children, elderly relatives and sick family members, Simonovic said. 

To make matters worse, restrictions of movement, financial constraints and generalized uncertainty embolden perpetrators and provide them with additional power and control,” she said. 

Simonovic expressed particular concerns about women at higher risk of domestic violence, such as women with disabilities, undocumented migrant women and victims of trafficking.

As making phone calls might be dangerous in a context of home confinement, helplines can facilitate access by providing online chats and texting services for victims, States should also come up with new and creative solutions to support them,” she said. “Governments must not allow the extraordinary circumstances and restrictive measures against Covid-19 to lead to the violation of women’s right to a life free from violence.”

READ MORE: Domestic violence victims, stuck at home, are at risk during coronavirus pandemic

8:00 a.m. ET, March 28, 2020

Spanish coronavirus death toll rises to 5,690

From CNN’s Tim Lister and Al Goodman in Spain

A priest wearing gloves waits in front of a cemetery chapel in Madrid on March 27.
A priest wearing gloves waits in front of a cemetery chapel in Madrid on March 27. Bernat Armangue/AP

Spain's death toll from the coronavirus outbreak has risen to 5,690, an increase of 832 -- or 17% -- since the last set of figures were reported Friday, according to the Spanish Ministry of Health.

The rate of increase is slightly lower than in the past two days (19%). 

Spain is one of countries worst affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Severe limits on people's movements here have been extended for a further two weeks and the authorities are trying to source sufficient protective equipment for a health service that is already very stretched.

The ministry’s latest figures show that the number of active cases rose by 8.8% -- from 49,844 to 54,273 -- with the figures excluding those who have died or recovered.

Some 12,285 individuals had recovered, a 31% increase on the tally of 9,357 reported Friday. Meanwhile, 40,630 people remain hospitalized.

READ MORE: Spain is battling the black marketeers and price gougers of the coronavirus crisis

4:02 p.m. ET, March 28, 2020

South Korea says three Korean coronavirus test kit makers obtain US FDA preapproval

From CNN's Sophie Jeong in Seoul 

Three South Korean coronavirus kit manufacturers have obtained preapproval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), South Korea's foreign ministry said in a press release on Saturday.

“By obtaining this FDA pre-approval, these domestic products can be sold in the US market,” the release said. The ministry did not name the manufacturers in its release.

Earlier this week, South Korean President Moon Jae-in spoke to US President Donald Trump. During the call, Trump asked Moon if South Korea would be able to provide support with medical equipment for the United States, South Korea's Presidential Office, the Blue House, said in a statement Tuesday.

7:00 a.m. ET, March 28, 2020

These Italian care workers decided to self quarantine with their elderly patients

From Valentina Di Donato in Rome

Thirteen workers in an Italian retirement home have taken an unusual decision and decided to self-quarantine with the 60 elderly people they assist.

The number of coronavirus cases in Italy has reached 86,498, according to a tally by researchers at Johns Hopkins University. That puts the European country ahead of China, where 81,946 infections have been confirmed.

“We decided to self isolate ourselves because the Covid-19 situation here in Italy was getting worse," Ermanno Struzzeri, Vice President of the Onlus foundation San Riccardo Pampuri which runs the senior citizen care service on the outskirts of Milan told CNN.

"None of our guests are positive, thankfully.”

Thirteen retirement care home workers decided to self-quarantine at a senior citizen care service on the outskirts of Milan along with the 60 elderly guests they care for.
Thirteen retirement care home workers decided to self-quarantine at a senior citizen care service on the outskirts of Milan along with the 60 elderly guests they care for. Ermanno Struzzeri

“Our guests are very calm, they realize the situation, they appreciate what we have decided to do,” Struzzeri said.

We all eat our meals together, we are more than just colleagues,” Struzzeri said.

The workers started their quarantine on March 19, but told CNN they don't know how long it will last.

“Families haven’t been able to come to the home for a while so little has changed for them,” Struzzeri explained.

“We have a great relationship with our guests but in this situation there is more work, our work has become constant, but for them little has changed,” Struzzeri said.

8:21 a.m. ET, March 28, 2020

Germany coronavirus cases rise by nearly 15% in 24 hours 

From CNN's Fred Pleitgen and Nadine Schmidt in Berlin  

A woman wearing a protective mask walks stairs down to train platforms at nearly-deserted Hauptbahnhof main railway station on March 27 in Berlin, Germany. Public life has been restricted in an effort by authorities to slow the spread of infections. 
A woman wearing a protective mask walks stairs down to train platforms at nearly-deserted Hauptbahnhof main railway station on March 27 in Berlin, Germany. Public life has been restricted in an effort by authorities to slow the spread of infections.  Sean Gallup/Getty Images

The number of coronavirus cases in Germany rose by nearly 15% in the last 24 hours after 6,294 new cases were reported, according to official numbers released Saturday by the Robert Koch Institute, the country’s infectious disease and control center.  

Germany now has a total of 48,582 confirmed coronavirus cases and 325 deaths. 

Merkel calls for patience: From her home quarantine, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the current social distancing measures will remain in place for a while longer and appealed to Germans to be patient. 

“I want to assure you that I know how difficult the restrictions on personal contacts are, which are currently in place for everyone,” Merkel said in an audio message released on Saturday morning. “Each and everyone is a key piece in the battle against the virus,” Merkel added, acknowledging that a scaling back of the measures is not in sight.

Merkel said the number of infections is doubling about every 5.5 days at the moment, which is an improvement compared to a doubling every two days at the beginning. But that period must be closer to every 10 days if the health care system is not to be overwhelmed. 

The Chancellor said she understands anxiety about Germany’s economic situation. “No one can say with certainty how long this difficult time will last. I have to ask you to be patient,” she said.

4:52 a.m. ET, March 28, 2020

UK coronavirus response "a national scandal"

Two people waring masks stand at the top of a bank of escalators in London's Waterloo Station in London on Tuesday, March 24.
Two people waring masks stand at the top of a bank of escalators in London's Waterloo Station in London on Tuesday, March 24. Matt Dunham/AP

Richard Horton, the editor-in-chief of The Lancet medical journal on Saturday slammed the UK government's response to the coronavirus pandemic, saying it had "failed."

"The UK Government's Contain–Delay–Mitigate–Research strategy failed. It failed, in part, because ministers didn't follow WHO's advice to “test, test, test” every suspected case. They didn't isolate and quarantine. They didn't contact trace. These basic principles of public health and infectious disease control were ignored, for reasons that remain opaque," Horton wrote in an article published to the medical journal on Saturday.

"The UK now has a new plan—Suppress–Shield–Treat–Palliate. But this plan, agreed far too late in the course of the outbreak, has left the NHS wholly unprepared for the surge of severely and critically ill patients that will soon come," he added.

An increase in cases: British health authorities announced another 181 fatalities on Friday, bringing the death toll to 759. More than 14,500 infections have been recorded, but as the UK is not testing widely, true infection numbers are likely to be much higher.

How is the UK handling the outbreak? The British government, criticized for its less aggressive start in responding to the pandemic, has been attempting new measures to flatten the curve of new Covid-19 infections after a high-profile study found that coronavirus could overwhelm the number of intensive care beds and lead to 250,000 deaths in the UK.

Officials infected: The UK's response to the coronavirus pandemic was upended on Friday when the Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his top health minister tested positive for the infection, and his chief medical adviser self-isolated after displaying symptoms.

READ MORE: How can Johnson run the UK while suffering from coronavirus?

4:33 a.m. ET, March 28, 2020

New York may be weeks away from reaching a peak in coronavirus cases. Now other states are preparing for a surge

From CNN's Christina Maxouris

Patients wearing face masks and personal protective equipment wait on line for Covid-19 testing outside Elmhurst Hospital Center, Friday, March 27, in New York.
Patients wearing face masks and personal protective equipment wait on line for Covid-19 testing outside Elmhurst Hospital Center, Friday, March 27, in New York. John Minchillo/AP

Several states across the US are reporting a spike in coronavirus cases, raising fears more hotspots will emerge after New York as soon as next week.

The US surpassed Italy and China this week to become the country with the most coronavirus cases in the world --- with more than 101,240 known cases, according to CNN's tally. At least 1,588 Americans have died, including 402 reported Friday alone.

More than a third of the country's cases are in New York -- which has been in a partial lockdown for a week as officials try to slow the spread of the virus and hospitals scramble to keep up with the patients streaming in.

The rate of new cases appears to be slowing in New York, but the governor says it may take 21 days for the state to hit its peak -- the highest point of reported cases before that number begins going down.

Meanwhile, officials in other states are warning they could be next. In Los Angeles County, cases more than tripled in six days and one official says numbers will keep going up. Health Director Barbara Ferrer says she expects to see case counts in Los Angeles double every four days for the next two to three weeks.

"No matter where you are, this is coming to you," Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Thursday. "Take all the measures you can now to make sure people are home."

Read more here.

3:15 a.m. ET, March 28, 2020

Sports commentator makes up for coronavirus-canceled games by doing a play-by-play of his dogs' dinner time

On lockdown like much of the UK, Scottish commentator Andrew Cotter is feeling the boredom -- especially given there is no sport on at the moment due to the coronavirus pandemic.

However Cotter -- whose voice is instantly familiar to British viewers of Wimbledon, the Olympics or international rugby -- hasn't let his skills go to waste. Without a sport to commentate on, he turned to his two dogs, Olive and Mabel.

Watch the epic chow down:

2:35 a.m. ET, March 28, 2020

Italy now has more coronavirus cases than China

Medical staff in the intensive care unit of the Casalpalocco Covid-19 Clinic on the outskirts of Rome on March 25.
Medical staff in the intensive care unit of the Casalpalocco Covid-19 Clinic on the outskirts of Rome on March 25. Domenico Stinellis/AP

The number of coronavirus cases in Italy has reached 86,498, according to a tally by researchers at Johns Hopkins University. That puts the European country ahead of China, where 81,946 infections have been confirmed.

Both are short of the over 104,000 cases reported in the United States. However not all countries report or measure cases in the same manner, so the true figures could be higher in Italy and China.

More than 9,000 people have died from the coronavirus in Italy, more than anywhere else in the world, followed by Spain at 5,138 deaths, and China at 3,295. In the US, there have been about 1,700 deaths so far, according to the Johns Hopkins tally.

Italy had 969 deaths on Friday -- the biggest single-day jump since the crisis began.

The country's health system has been pushed to the brink by the outbreak, especially in the north, which has seen the highest concentration of cases.