March 30 coronavirus news

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6:24 a.m. ET, March 30, 2020

Boris Johnson's advisor self isolates after showing coronavirus symptoms

From CNN's Luke McGee in London

Dominic Cummings arrives at Downing Street on Friday, March 27.
Dominic Cummings arrives at Downing Street on Friday, March 27. Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty Images

A top advisor to the British Prime Minister is self-isolating after showing symptoms of the coronavirus, an official spokesperson for the prime minister told CNN.

Dominic Cummings was seen running out of 10 Downing Street on Friday after Boris Johnson tested positive for the virus.

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

6:08 a.m. ET, March 30, 2020

It's just gone 6 a.m. in New York. Here's the latest from around the world

Time Square is pictured in New York on March 29.
Time Square is pictured in New York on March 29. Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

There are at least 139,733 cases of coronavirus in the U.S. as of 6 am ET Monday, according to CNN's tally of US cases that are detected and tested through US public health systems. At least 2,429 people have died in total in the US from coronavirus. 

New York approaches grim milestone: The state of New York is approaching 1,000 deaths, while the states of Hawaii and Wyoming have yet to report any deaths. 

Trump extends federal social distancing guidelines to April 30: Americans will be encouraged to avoid leaving their houses and keep working from home, as infections rise across the country. "The better you do, the faster this whole nightmare will end," President Donald Trump said Sunday.

Up to 100,000 people could die of virus, expert says: The coronavirus could infect more than a million Americans and kill up to 100,000 people in the country, Dr Anthony Fauci, a leading member of the US coronavirus taskforce, told reporters Sunday. "What we’re trying to do is not to let that happen," he said.

A message of 'Keep Calm And Work From Home' by artist Mike Dicks is projected onto a wall of a church in Brighton & Hove, England, on March 29.
A message of 'Keep Calm And Work From Home' by artist Mike Dicks is projected onto a wall of a church in Brighton & Hove, England, on March 29. Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

And from around the world:

Italy is on the verge of 100,000 cases: The coronavirus is spreading rapidly across Europe, with the worst affected countries still Italy, Spain and Germany. With more than 97,000 cases of the virus, Italy is likely to soon become the second country in the world to break the 100,000 mark after the United States.

First royal coronavirus death: Spain’s María Teresa of Bourbon-Parma has become the first royal to die from coronavirus, according to a statement from her brother Prince Sixto Enrique. The Princess, a distant cousin of Spain's King Felipe, was 86 and died in Paris on Thursday, her brother said.

Moscow goes into quarantine: From Monday, the Russian capital will impose a citywide quarantine on all residents regardless of age. People will not be able to leave their homes except to get groceries or medical help.

UK coronavirus outbreak showing signs of slowing, according to an epidemiologist: The coronavirus outbreak in the UK is showing early signs of slowing, according to Neil Ferguson, a professor of mathematical biology at Imperial College London, who said the development of an antibody test will be “critical” to getting more accurate data on the extent of the outbreak.

7:18 a.m. ET, March 30, 2020

Germany has twice as many vacant ICU beds as Italy has ICU beds in total

From CNN's Fred Pleitgen in Berlin

Hospital beds are pictured in a newly opened intensive care unit at the Vivantes Humboldt Clinic in Berlin, Germany, on March 26.
Hospital beds are pictured in a newly opened intensive care unit at the Vivantes Humboldt Clinic in Berlin, Germany, on March 26. Kay Nietfeld/picture alliance/Getty Images

Germany has almost twice as many vacant intensive care (ICU) beds as Italy‘s entire number of ICU beds, the country's health minister Jens Spahn said in an interview with Germany‘s public broadcaster ZDF.  

Germany has the highest number of ICU beds in Europe and is looking to double that number, Spahn said.

“Around half of Germany’s intensive care beds are vacant over the whole of Germany. We are preparing ourselves as best we can for what might happen next,“ Spahn said.
“And if I may add this: In Germany there are almost twice as many intensive care beds vacant as Italy has intensive care beds in total.”

Germany has among the highest number of coronavirus cases worldwide, but a fairly low death toll so far. German virologists believe that is the result of early and extensive testing as well as the widespread availability of intensive care capacities. Patients from hard hit European countries are being flown to Germany for treatment.

5:40 a.m. ET, March 30, 2020

A Spanish princess has become the first royal to die from coronavirus

From CNN's Max Ramsay in London and Tim Lister in Spain

Princess María Teresa of Bourbon-Parma attends a presentation of her book "Les bourbon Parme, une famille engagée dans l'histoire" in Parma, Italy, on September 27, 2014.
Princess María Teresa of Bourbon-Parma attends a presentation of her book "Les bourbon Parme, une famille engagée dans l'histoire" in Parma, Italy, on September 27, 2014. Albert Nieboer/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

Spain’s María Teresa of Bourbon-Parma has become the first royal to die from coronavirus, according to a statement from her brother Prince Sixto Enrique.

The Princess, a distant cousin of Spain's King Felipe, was 86 and died in Paris on Thursday, her brother said.

A funeral was held in Madrid on Friday.

Other royals with coronavirus: Prince Charles, the Queen's son and the first in line to the British throne, has also tested positive for coronavirus and is now self-isolating in Scotland.

According to a statement last week from Clarence House, he was displaying mild symptoms but was otherwise in good health.

7:18 a.m. ET, March 30, 2020

UK coronavirus outbreak showing signs of slowing - epidemiologist

From CNN's Simon Cullen in London

A member of the ambulance service transports a patient into an ambulance at St Thomas' Hospital in London on March 24.
A member of the ambulance service transports a patient into an ambulance at St Thomas' Hospital in London on March 24. Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

The coronavirus outbreak in the UK is showing early signs of slowing, according to Neil Ferguson, a professor of mathematical biology at Imperial College London.

“We think the epidemic is just about slowing in the UK right now,” he told BBC Radio on Monday. “It is the result of the actions people have taken and governments have taken.”

However he cautioned that the outbreak is in different stages in different parts of the country.

In central London, Professor Ferguson says it’s possible 3-5% of the population has been infected. However the figure is more likely 2-3% in the UK as a whole.

The UK had more than 19,500 positive cases as of Sunday, according to figures from the department of health and social care. At least 1,228 of those hospitalized have died.

Need for antibody test: He says the development of an antibody test will be “critical” to getting more accurate data on the extent of the outbreak.

The tests are in the final stages of validation right now,” Professor Ferguson said, adding that it could be available in “days rather than weeks.”

Junior Health Minister Helen Whately told BBC Radio that she is aware of work being undertaken to develop the test, but would not confirm when it would be available.

She also defended the UK’s record on testing for coronavirus, while conceding there are a “handful” of countries that are doing more testing.

First UK doctor dies of coronavirus: An ear, nose and throat consultant has become the first UK medical practitioner to die of the coronavirus. Health authorities wouldn't confirm his age, but said he died Saturday at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester, England.

5:24 a.m. ET, March 30, 2020

Zimbabwe starts 21-day lockdown 

From Columbus Mavhunga in Harare, Zimbabwe

People wait in a queue to have their temperatures taken by health workers before entering a public hospital, in Harare, Zimbabwe, Saturday, March 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)
People wait in a queue to have their temperatures taken by health workers before entering a public hospital, in Harare, Zimbabwe, Saturday, March 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi) Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/AP

Zimbabwe started a three-week lockdown on Monday as part of the government’s efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19, but critics are calling for more action.

Police are driving around using loudspeakers asking people in Harare to stay indoors. Their message: “Please do not force the police to show you the way to your homes. Kindly go back now.”

On Friday President Emmerson Mnangagwa said he said he feared the situation would worsen with winter around the corner, despite Zimbabwe having few cases of Covid-19. The country had seven confirmed cases, including one death, as of Monday

Most supermarkets are open, Monday. The country’s largest brewing company, Delta Corporation, was given an essential services letter by the government, allowing it to continue to operate during the three-week lockdown.

Concern over lockdown impact: Meanwhile, workers are concerned about how the lockdown will affect Zimbabweans and their livelihoods.

“The lockdown on its own is not the panacea to solving Covid-19. It has to be supplemented by extra measures such as increased case detection, increased community surveillance and expansion of testing centers across the country. During the lockdown, let’s test more people – not just about 200 as of today to harness the impact of the lockdown. Medical personnel are still demotivated because of lack of PPEs (Personal Protective Equipment),” said Dr Fortune Nyamande a public health specialist and a spokesman for Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights.
“Zimbabwe is largely an informal economy -- what mechanisms are being put in place for those who lose their entire livelihood because of the lockdown? Where do they get money for rent and food? That may force some to get back on the streets during the lockdown.”

Mnangagwa is expected to meet business leaders Monday.

“I hope they find a way to help us. I have no other way to get money if I remain at home,” said Shadrick Muhovo a vegetable vendor. “I will comply with the directive though to stay home.”

5:06 a.m. ET, March 30, 2020

In Malaysia, shops selling daily necessities can now only operate for 12 hours a day

From journalist Eric Cheung in Hong Kong

A security guard checks the temperature of a customer arriving at a supermarket in Penang, Malaysia on March 27.
A security guard checks the temperature of a customer arriving at a supermarket in Penang, Malaysia on March 27. Goh Chai Hin/AFP/Getty Images

Malaysia will only allow shops selling daily necessities to operate between 8am and 8pm, as the country steps up its measures to combat the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The measures apply to outlets such as supermarkets and petrol stations.

Speaking during a press conference Monday, Minister of Defence Ismail Sabri said all restaurants and food delivery services will also be restricted to the same business hours, according to state-run news agency Bernama. The new measures will be implemented on April 1.

Sabri also announced a ceiling price for face masks. Masks cannot be sold for more than US$0.34 (RM1.5) per piece starting from April 1, Bernama reported.

Since March 18, Malaysia has been under a nationwide lockdown, although essential services such as healthcare, transportation and the food industry can still operate.

The country has at least 2,470 cases of coronavirus.

4:54 a.m. ET, March 30, 2020

A man who tried to evade mandatory self-isolation has been jailed for 3 months in Hong Kong

From CNN journalist Karina Tsui in Hong Kong

A man has been sentenced to three months in prison for falsifying his name and home address in an attempt to evade Hong Kong's mandatory home self-isolation measures, according to the city's Department of Justice. 

The 31-year-old arrived in Hong Kong through the Shenzhen Bay port on the evening of March 8.

He was sentenced two weeks later for giving false information to an authorized officer, according to a charge sheet seen by CNN.

Travelers arriving in Hong Kong must self-isolate in a place assigned by or agreed upon by an authorized officer.

According to the charge sheet, the man knowingly gave false information regarding the address of the place he was going to self-isolate in. 

The sentencing comes after the Hong Kong's government announced last week that it would be stepping up enforcement against breaches of quarantine orders and appealed to the public to report breaches.

Hong Kong currently has 641 confirmed cases of coronavirus including four deaths.

4:34 a.m. ET, March 30, 2020

UK researchers develop breathing machine to help coronavirus patients

A volunteer "patient" with the newly developed CPAP device.
A volunteer "patient" with the newly developed CPAP device. James Tye/UCL

British researchers have redesigned a breathing aid so that it can be used to treat people with coronavirus-related breathing problems -- and keep them out of intensive care beds.

The machines are normally used to treat patients with sleep apnea.

According to University College London, the design process took less than two weeks and has been approved for use by the UK’s National Health Service (NHS).

“One hundred devices are to be delivered to UCLH for clinical trials, with rapid roll-out to hospitals around the country ahead of the predicted surge in Covid-19 hospital admissions,” UCL said in a statement.

The university says the redesigned CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machines will help relieve pressure on hospital ventilator capacity by treating patients who need less intensive support.

The machines were designed in collaboration with clinicians, along with engineering support from UK-based Formula 1 teams.

The newly developed CPAP device.
The newly developed CPAP device. James Tye/UCL

Professor Tim Baker from UCL’s Mechanical Engineering department said this in a statement:

“Given the urgent need, we are thankful that we were able to reduce a process that could take years down to a matter of days.
“From being given the brief, we worked all hours of the day, disassembling and analysing an off-patent device. Using computer simulations, we improved the device further to create a state-of-the-art version suited to mass production.”

Health-care workers in many parts of the world are having trouble getting enough critical supplies, such as masks, gloves and ventilators, to deal with the influx of patients suffering from the highly contagious virus.