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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10:38 a.m. ET, March 28, 2020

15 states have had disaster declarations approved by Trump

From CNN's Jason Hoffman

There are now 15 states and two territories with confirmed disaster declarations after Michigan and Massachusetts had theirs approved by President Trump.

The states include: Massachusetts, Michigan, South Carolina, Missouri, Maryland, Illinois, New Jersey, North Carolina, Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Iowa, California, Washington and New York. The two territories are Guam and Puerto Rico.

10:01 a.m. ET, March 28, 2020

UK prime minister: "We're going to beat it"

From CNN’s Nic Robertson

Peter Summers/Getty Images
Peter Summers/Getty Images

United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted words of encouragement Saturday, saying “we're going to beat it, and we’re going to beat it together," after he tested positive for coronavirus yesterday.

“Thank you to everybody who’s doing what I’m doing, working from home and stopping the virus spreading from household to household," Johnson added.

The UK has 14,754 confirmed coronavirus cases and 759 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Read Johnson's tweet:


9:20 a.m. ET, March 28, 2020

Trump approves Michigan’s disaster declaration

From CNN's Kevin Bohn

The White House announced Saturday that President Trump has approved Michigan’s request for a disaster declaration.

Yesterday, President Donald J. Trump declared that a major disaster exists in the State of Michigan and ordered federal assistance to supplement state, tribal, and local recovery efforts in the areas affected,” the White House said in a statement.

This approval comes as Trump and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer have exchanged attacks in recent days about the federal response to the coronavirus as well as the actions of both leaders.

The declaration means federal funding is available to state and eligible local governments as well as certain private nonprofit organizations for emergency protective measures, including direct federal assistance, for all areas in Michigan impacted by Covid-19.

9:02 a.m. ET, March 28, 2020

There are at least 102,702 coronavirus cases in the US

From CNN's Alta Spells

There are at least 102,702 cases of the novel coronavirus in the United States, according to CNN Health’s tally of US cases that are detected and tested in the country through public health systems,

So far, 1,590 people have died in total in the US from coronavirus.  

The total includes cases from all 50 states, Washington, DC, and other U.S. territories, as well as all repatriated cases.

8:52 a.m. ET, March 28, 2020

Trump opens the door to calling up former service members

From CNN's Ryan Browne

Alex Brandon/AP
Alex Brandon/AP

President Trump signed an executive order Friday afternoon which could potentially lead to former active duty military members being recalled into service.

This order grants the Defense Secretary the authority to order up members but as of now, there is no indication of anyone being called up.

 “Decisions about which individuals may be activated are still being reviewed. Generally, these members will be persons in headquarters units and persons with high demand medical capabilities whose call-up would not adversely affect their civilian communities,” Chief Pentagon Spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in a statement.”

“This is a dynamic situation, we do not currently have a projected number of expected activations, but the Department is now fully authorized to make activations as needed. We will provide updates as they become available,” Hoffman added.

In most cases, after concluding their military obligations, service members will enter into what is known as the Individual Ready Reserve.

Some context: That ready reserve status requires no active participation, leading the vast majority of service members to consider being in that status the same as being out of the military.

Most service members are in that designation for a period of years.

There have been a handful of cases in the past where members of this reserve have been called up for active duty — such as during the height of both Iraq wars.

Usually this is used when the military needs some specific skill sets.

8:42 a.m. ET, March 28, 2020

Iran's coronavirus cases surpass 35,000; death toll over 2,500

From CNN's Ramin Mostaghin in Tehran

People in protective clothing walk past rows of beds at a temporary 2,000-bed hospital set up by the Iranian army at an international exhibition center in Tehran, Iran, on March 26.
People in protective clothing walk past rows of beds at a temporary 2,000-bed hospital set up by the Iranian army at an international exhibition center in Tehran, Iran, on March 26. Ebrahim Noroozi/AP

Iran has reported 139 more coronavirus-related deaths, bringing the total to 2,517. 

At least 3,076 more cases were also recorded, bringing the total number of infected people to 35,409, Iranian Health Ministry Spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour announced on state television. 

The US believes the real numbers of cases and deaths in the country are higher than those being reported.

Here's some background: Iran declared an intercity travel ban starting Thursday for two weeks to help stop the spread of coronavirus

Iran lashes out at US: In a tweet on Monday, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the US is impeding the global fight against coronavirus with its sanctions on Iran.

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.