March 30 coronavirus news

By Amy Woodyatt, Julia Hollingsworth, Ben Westcott, Adam Renton, Meg Wagner and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 11:41 p.m. ET, March 30, 2020
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12:51 a.m. ET, March 30, 2020

There is a shortage of oxygen tanks in this New York City hospital

From CNN’s Paul Murphy

New York City's Brookdale University Medical Center says that the massive number of patients they are seeing during the Covid-19 crisis is causing a strain on the number of oxygen tanks available.

Brookdale's vice president of external affairs Khari Edwards confirmed to CNN they are short but could not say how short they are. 

A respiratory therapist at the hospital in Brooklyn tells CNN that the number of patients requiring oxygen has increased so dramatically that they have used nearly all their oxygen tanks, including about 50% of the emergency reserves. 

The respiratory therapist says that they are expecting a shipment on Monday morning to fully replenish their supply and the reserves. 

Now, instead of having nearly 130 tanks delivered twice a week, the respiratory therapist says the hospital is trying to get oxygen tank deliveries daily. They say they'll also be increasing the size of the deliveries until the crisis is over. 

The amount of time an oxygen tank lasts depends on its size and the oxygen concentration a patient needs, according to the respiratory therapist.  

New York state has the highest number of confirmed cases of any state in the US, with at least 59,513 infections and 965 deaths, according to CNN's tally.

12:21 a.m. ET, March 30, 2020

Trump says the Secret Service stopped him from going to New York City

From CNN’s Sarah Westwood and Greg Clary

The interior of the Javits Center in New York City, which has been transformed into a temporary hospital.
The interior of the Javits Center in New York City, which has been transformed into a temporary hospital. Angus Mordant/Bloomberg/Getty Images

President Donald Trump said he pushed to attend the opening of a field hospital at Javits Center in New York City -- but was told by the Secret Service that he would not be permitted to go.

The temporary hospital space at the Javits Center is expected to house roughly 2,900 beds to deal with an overflow of patients due to coronavirus. 

“They’re opening it tomorrow,” Trump said at the coronavirus task force briefing. “I wanted to be there so badly, but Secret Service and all of the people involved won’t let me. They won’t let me. I would love to be there but they won’t let me, for obvious reasons.”

Trump also gave more detail about the hospital.

“In New York, we built 2,900 hospital rooms, beds,” Trump said. “This was done by the federal government, not by state government,” Trump said.

The Army Corps of Engineers was involved in converting the space.

A US Secret Service spokesperson said that, for operational security reasons, "the Secret Service does not discuss our protectees, protective means, methods and or protective responsibilities."

12:09 a.m. ET, March 30, 2020

New York state physician: "There's not enough of anything"

From CNN’s Jessica Moskowitz

An attending physician in the anesthesiology department of a hospital in Long Island, New York state told CNN over the weekend that there are not enough supplies in the current battle against Covid-19.

"There is not enough of anything," the doctor, who wished to remain anonymous, wrote in a Facebook message. 
"I don't think it's the hospital's fault, they are trying to get supplies and aren't getting them." 

The doctor described wiping down and reusing protective equipment meant for single use and also mentioned a short supply of bleach wipes. They also said the hospital has no more ventilators and that they are using anesthesia machines as ventilators. 

"There are just so many patients who are so sick it seems impossible to keep up with the demand," they told CNN.  

The bigger picture: The doctor's comments tally with other reports that hospitals are lacking in medical supplies.

New York state Gov. Andrew Cuomo has repeatedly said the state needs at least 30,000 ventilators to treat coronavirus patients, but it has only a fraction of that. 

Across the country, front-line health-care workers have described a grim scene of rationed personal protective equipment -- widely known as PPE -- and a lack of testing.

New York state has the most coronavirus cases in the US, with at least 59,513 people infected and 965 deaths, according to CNN's tally.

2:45 a.m. ET, March 30, 2020

In just one week, coronavirus cases have quadrupled in the United States

An ambulance attendant adjusts his face mask before transferring a patient to the emergency department of Elmhurst Hospital Center in New York on March 28.
An ambulance attendant adjusts his face mask before transferring a patient to the emergency department of Elmhurst Hospital Center in New York on March 28. Kathy Willens/AP

The number of novel coronavirus infections in the US has risen rapidly in the past week, surpassing both China and Italy to become the country with the most confirmed cases.

The US figures have more than quadrupled over the past seven days.

As of early Monday morning on March 23, the US had at least 34,000 cases of the virus, according to CNN's figures. There were only 414 deaths registered from Covid-19 across the country and many states still hadn't reported a fatality.

One week later, and there are more than 139,000 confirmed cases, according to CNN's figures -- over four times the number reported just a week ago.

Deaths has risen even faster. There have now been over 2,400 fatalities from the coronavirus, with Wyoming and Hawaii the only states yet to report a fatality.

Dr Anthony Fauci, a member of the White House's coronavirus task force, said Sunday it was "entirely conceivable" that the number of infections could rise to one million.

President Donald Trump said Sunday that if the numbers of deaths could be contained to 100,000 or less, "we would have done a very good job."

11:42 p.m. ET, March 29, 2020

Country folk singer John Prine is in a critical condition with coronavirus symptoms

From CNN's Susannah Cullinane

Rich Fury/Getty Images
Rich Fury/Getty Images

Musician John Prine is in a critical condition in hospital after a "sudden onset" of coronavirus symptoms, his family says.

Prine, 73, was hospitalized on Thursday and intubated Saturday night, and continues to receive care but "his situation is critical," according to a family statement posted on his verified Twitter account.

"This is hard news for us to share," the statement continued. "But so many of you have loved and supported John over the years, we wanted to let you know, and give you the chance to send on more of that love and support now. And know that we love you, and John loves you."

The news prompted tributes and supportive posts on social media.

Bette Midler, who has covered Prine's song, "Hello in There," tweeted: "One of the loveliest people I was ever lucky enough to know. He is a genius and a huge soul. Pray for him."

Musician Keb' Mo' dedicated an online performance of "I'm telling You Now" to Prine on Twitter.

Read more here:

11:33 p.m. ET, March 29, 2020

Mass infection at facility for people with disabilities in Japan

From CNN’s Emiko Jozuka in Chiba

At least 86 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus at a facility for people with disabilities in Chiba prefecture, east of Tokyo. 

Chiba prefecture officials announced Sunday that 28 people had tested positive for the virus, following their announcement a day before that 58 people had tested positive at the facility in Tonosho town, officials told CNN.

The outbreak comes after a woman employee in her 40s, who works as a cook at the facility, tested positive for the coronavirus, according to Japan's state broadcaster NHK.

Local officials announced they would work with the central government to tackle the mass infection at a news conference on Sunday, NHK reported.

11:24 p.m. ET, March 29, 2020

Argentina extends stay-at-home rule until end of Holy Week

From CNN's Marlon Sorto and Jackie Castillo in Atlanta

Argentina is extending its stay-at-home rule until April 12 to control the spread of coronavirus.

The country's President Alberto Fernandez announced the decision to extend the rule until the end of Holy Week during a televised news conference on Sunday. 

In Christianity, Holy Week is the period between Palm Sunday and Easter.

In his remarks, the President assured Argentinians that the move made sense and will allow for a favorable outcome.  

Fernandez also said he was “happy” with the results of the quarantine period so far, with 90% of Argentinians complying with the measure and doing their part to protect the country’s children and elderly.

Earlier this month, the president declared that all Argentinians must stay in their homes unless they need to go out for groceries or doctor's appointments.

Argentina has at least 820 confirmed coronavirus cases, according to data collated by Johns Hopkins University.  

11:15 p.m. ET, March 29, 2020

Without providing evidence, Trump raises questions about large demand for masks and “hoarding” of ventilators

From CNN's Nicky Robertson and Jason Hoffman

Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images
Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

President Trump raised questions on Sunday about why there is such a large demand for masks in hospitals and again charged there is some “hoarding” of ventilators, without providing any evidence or examples. 

“You know, there's a question as to hoarding of ventilators, some hospitals, and independent hospitals, and some hospital chains as we like to call them, they are holding ventilators they don't wanna let them up," Trump said.
"We need them for certain areas where there’s big problems. They can't hold them if they think there might be a problem weeks down the road,” Trump said.

Trump also questioned how New York hospitals are using masks so quickly, saying “something is going on and you ought to look into it as reporters.” He suggested that masks might be “going out the back door” of New York hospitals.

What New York and hospitals say: New York state Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Friday that there was a stockpile being built of ventilators because the state needed to be ready for what he thought was a larger outbreak yet to come.

The American Hospital Association responded to the President’s charges, saying they have to make sure they are prepared for various future needs. 

Dr Celine Gounder, an infectious disease and global health expert, told CNN that the need for hundreds of thousands of masks was understandable.

11:07 p.m. ET, March 29, 2020

Japanese comedian Ken Shimura dies from coronavirus complications

From CNN's Will Ripley in Tokyo

Japanese comedian Ken Shimura poses for a photo in Tokyo.
Japanese comedian Ken Shimura poses for a photo in Tokyo. Credit: The Yomiuri Shimbun via AP Images

Japanese comedian Ken Shimura died of pneumonia caused by novel coronavirus on Sunday night, his talent agency Izawa Office tells CNN.

Shimura, who was 70 years old, reported symptoms including fatigue on March 17. He was hospitalized on March 20 with severe pneumonia and tested positive for coronavirus on March 23.

Shimura, who has been described as "Japan’s Robin Williams," was one of the country's best-known comedians with a career that dates back to the 1970s.