March 29 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Jenni Marsh, Amy Woodyatt and Amir Vera, CNN

Updated 9:57 p.m. ET, March 29, 2020
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1:39 p.m. ET, March 29, 2020

Travelers entering Florida should expect to be stopped and screened

From CNN's Melissa Alonso

Vehicle checkpoint on eastbound I-10 near the Florida-Alabama state line.
Vehicle checkpoint on eastbound I-10 near the Florida-Alabama state line. Florida Highway Patrol

Motorists entering Florida will be directed to weigh stations by law enforcement officers who will allow travelers to either return to the interstate or to pull aside for further screening, according to a release from Florida Department of Transportation.

The measure is part of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis's order to limit community spread by requiring travelers on I-10 and I-95 coming from Louisiana, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to isolate for a period of 14 days.

Travelers entering Florida will be required to complete a form, including each traveler’s contact information and trip details, the release said.

"Failure to complete the form and failure to follow any isolation or quarantine order from DOH are a violation of Florida law," according to the release.

Florida Highway Patrol "will staff the checkpoint at I-10 at the Alabama/Florida line, 24 hours a day with approximately 16 troopers in 12-hour shifts," FDOT said.

Travelers will be provided with a traveler card, "which has contact information and guidance in the event the traveler exhibits symptoms while in isolation that are attributed to" coronavirus, the release said.

4:35 p.m. ET, March 29, 2020

New York governor on federal bill: 'The help we were waiting for from Washington never came'

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia


New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the bill that just passed by the federal government gives New York 1.9% of its budget to to use for coronavirus — which translates to about $5 billion.

Cuomo said other states got up 20% “that don’t even have coronavirus cases."

“We have more cases than anyone else, we got the lowest level of reimbursement in the bill," he said during his daily press conference Sunday.

He said the federal bill had no funding to help with the state's lost revenue.

Cuomo said Congress has to come back to Capitol Hill and pass another bill.

“We were all waiting for this last federal piece of legislation because we all believed it was gonna have money to help us with our revenue shortfall, and then it didn't," he said.

He said the state has $5 billion in the bill for health care and hospitals, adding “ironically our last problem is the health care budget.”

“The help we were waiting for from Washington never came,” he said.

The big problem is how do to fund the schools, and that’s where the state has “zero dollars,” he said.

8:38 p.m. ET, March 29, 2020

India's Modi apologizes for 'necessary' national lockdown

From CNN's Mitchell McCluskey

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2019
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2019 Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi apologized for a nationwide lockdown during his monthly radio address to the nation on Sunday morning.

"Let me seek forgiveness from all the countrymen. My conscience tells me that you will definitely forgive me as I had to take certain decisions which have put you in a lot of difficulty," Modi said.

Modi ordered the 21-day complete lockdown on March 24 in an effort to fight the coronavirus from spreading. All nonessential establishments, including shops, factories, and places of worship, are required to remain closed throughout the lockdown.

The decision left tens of thousands of India's migrant laborers scrambling to return to their hometowns, as they no longer had a means of income in India.

In his radio address, Modi asked poor Indians for their forgiveness. 

"Especially when I look at my poor brothers and sisters, I definitely feel that they must be thinking, what kind of prime minister is this who has placed us in this difficulty? I especially seek their forgiveness," Modi said. 

"I understand your troubles but there was no other way to wage a war against corona for a country like India with a population of 1.3 billion. It is a battle of life and death and we have to win it, therefore, such strong measures were absolutely necessary. Nobody likes to take such strong measures, however, looking at the situation all over the world, it seems this is the only option," Modi said.

7:12 p.m. ET, March 29, 2020

There are at least 130,156 coronavirus cases in the US

From CNN Health

According to CNN Health’s tally of US cases that are detected and tested through US public health systems, there are at least 130,156 cases of the novel coronavirus in the US. 

CNN Health also reports 2,298 people have died in total in the US from coronavirus. 

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

1:05 p.m. ET, March 29, 2020

Italy records slight downward trend in coronavirus deaths with 756 in past 24 hours

From CNN's Nicola Ruotolo

Italy recorded 756 new deaths related to coronavirus in the past 24 hours — a slight decline, bringing the total number of fatalities to 10,779, the Civil Protection Agency said on Sunday.

The number of new cases also pointed to a downward trend with 3,815 confirmed active cases. The total number of active cases is 7,880.

In all, the total number of cases including those who have recovered is 97,689.

3:19 p.m. ET, March 29, 2020

At least 8,503 people are in the hospital for coronavirus across New York

From CNN's Sheena Jones

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said during his daily press conference at least 8,503 people are in the hospital for coronavirus.

At least 965 people have died from coronavirus across New York, he said. That number is up from 728 previously reported.

He also said at least 282 people are in intensive care across New York and about 165 people have been intubated.

There are 59,313 confirmed Covid-19 cases across New York, Cuomo said. At least 172,360 people have been tested.

12:44 p.m. ET, March 29, 2020

Cuomo says Javits Center will come online this week

From CNN's Sheena Jones

Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images
Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images

The Javits Convention Center in New York City, which has been converted into a 1,000-bed makeshift field hospital to help alleviate the burden the coronavirus is placing on civilian hospital infrastructure, will come online this week, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said during a press conference.

12:35 p.m. ET, March 29, 2020

Syrian Arab Republic announces first coronavirus death

From CNN's Jomana Karadsheh and Eyad Kourdi

The Syrian Arab Republic confirmed its first death related to coronavirus on Sunday, according to state news channel Al-Ikhbariye.

The patient was a woman who died after admission to the emergency room and tested positive for coronavirus, the Syrian health ministry said.

8:39 p.m. ET, March 29, 2020

Trauma physician at Florida's biggest hospital: 'We are slowly descending into chaos'

From CNN’s Paul Murphy

Jackson Memorial Hospital in 2011.
Jackson Memorial Hospital in 2011. David Rojas/FilmMagic/Getty Images

A trauma physician at Miami's Jackson Memorial Hospital told CNN the hospital's ICU is beginning to fill up just as they are being told there's a supply shortage to treat coronavirus.

"We are slowly descending into chaos," the physician said. "We keep on drilling and preparing but it’s already taking a toll on our staff. Both emotionally and psychologically."

The trauma physician said the presence of coronavirus created a thick layer of fog they have to operate in as they try and treat patients.

"It’s not like in the ICU," the physician said. "Everybody knows the patient has COVID and has time to don the equipment before going into the room."

Normally they rely on literature, research and training in the trauma center, developed over years of study and practice. But the physician says they are "flying blind" in a storm without instruments right now.

"With COVID and trauma there is nothing," the physician said. "So, we had to build guidelines from the ground up in record time and start training our teams on those guidelines not really knowing if they are best practices or not."

Jackson Memorial Hospital is one of the largest hospitals in the US with 1,550 licensed beds. It's the biggest hospital in the state of Florida and holds the Ryder Trauma Center, Miami-Dade County's only adult and pediatric Level 1 trauma center.