March 30 coronavirus news

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2:13 a.m. ET, March 30, 2020

Fresh out of medical school, young Italian doctors are being fast-tracked to the coronavirus frontline

From CNN's Valentina Di Donato and Sheena McKenzie

Medical student Chiara Bonini, 26, had barely finished her final exam, before the young doctor was headed for the front line of Italy's coronavirus pandemic.

"I want to give a hand to my city that is living in this dramatic moment, and has a real need for doctors," she said of her hometown Bergamo, one of Italy's hardest-hit northern cities.

Bonini is one of thousands of Italian graduates taking up the government's call for urgent help tackling the deadliest outbreak of the virus in the world.

The European country hit the grim milestone over the weekend of 10,000 deaths, accounting for roughly a third of the 30,000-plus deaths worldwide.

With hospitals under extraordinary strain, Italy has expedited the procedure for medical school graduates entering the workforce -- cutting the hospital exam and increasing the number of doctors being recruited.

For many graduates, it will be their first professional job in an industry facing its biggest crisis in a generation. It comes amid the deaths of 50 doctors, according to Italy's national federation of doctors.

As the country enters its sixth week of lockdown, young Italian doctors are being catapulted to the health emergency's forefront.

Read the whole story here:

1:59 a.m. ET, March 30, 2020

Indian celebrities are donating millions of dollars to help with the coronavirus crisis

From CNN's Manveena Suri in New Delhi

Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar said on Twitter that he had made a donation equivalent to $3.3 million to the PM CARES fund.
Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar said on Twitter that he had made a donation equivalent to $3.3 million to the PM CARES fund. Sujit Jaiswal/AFP/Getty Images

Some of India’s most prominent personalities are reaching deep into their pockets to contribute to the country’s coronavirus relief fund.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the creation of PM CARES, a dedicated national fund to deal with emergency and distress situations -- including the Covid-19 pandemic. That's in addition to the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund, a pre-existing nationwide endowment that was already set up for emergencies.

"This will go a long way in creating a healthier India,” Modi tweeted Saturday alongside details on how donations could be made to PM CARES.

Within days of the announcement, millions of dollars have been donated to PM CARES by actors, sports stars and business leaders.

Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar said on Twitter that he had made a donation equivalent to $3.3 million.

Indian cricketer Suresh Raina donated just over $40,000 to the fund and another $28,000 to the Disaster Relief Fund for the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.  

PayTM, India’s biggest digital payments company, is aiming to contribute over $65 million to the fund.

But some people are still donating to the pre-existing Prime Minister's National Relief Fund. The country’s Vice President and Chairman of the Upper House of Parliament, M. Venkaiah Naidu, donated a month’s salary. Other politicians have also followed his example.

The Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund was set up in 1948 under former Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

1:44 a.m. ET, March 30, 2020

14 million South Korean households will receive cash under the government's disaster support fund

From CNN's Sophie Jeong in Seoul

South Korean Presidential Blue House via Getty Images
South Korean Presidential Blue House via Getty Images

Around 14 million South Korean households will qualify for financial assistance under the government's newly announced disaster support fund.

On Monday, the country's President Moon Jae-in announced that the government would provide funding to households in the bottom 70% of incomes.

According to Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki, there are 14 million households in that income bracket.

The level of support depends on the number of people in the household, with one person households qualifying for 400,000 won ($327), while households with four or more people will receive 1 million won ($817) in support.

South Korea's cases: The East Asian country has confirmed 78 new coronavirus cases, bringing its total to 9,661, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The national death toll is 158.

1:31 a.m. ET, March 30, 2020

Trump concedes US coronavirus death toll could be 100,000 or more

From CNN's Kevin Bohn

Patrick Semansky/AP
Patrick Semansky/AP

President Donald Trump acknowledged Sunday for the first time that deaths in the United States from coronavirus could reach 100,000 or more, adding that if the death toll stays at or below 100,000, "we all together have done a very good job."

Trump's assertion came after he was asked about comments the nation's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, made earlier Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union" that based on models, 100,000 Americans or more could die from the virus.

On Sunday, Trump said during an evening news conference at the White House that he'd decided to extend the nationwide social distancing guidelines -- which include suggested limits on large gatherings -- for another 30 days to April 30.

During his news conference, Trump said he received what he called the "most accurate" or "most comprehensive" study today about the potential death toll from Covid-19.

He said there could be up to more than 2 million cases if "we did nothing" but he did not give more details on the exact number. Fauci told CNN earlier Sunday that the US could see millions of cases of coronavirus.

Read more here:

2:42 a.m. ET, March 30, 2020

Civil liberties in the time of coronavirus

From CNN's Joan Biskupic

A member of the Rhode Island National Guard Military Police directs a motorist with New York license plates at a checkpoint on the border of Connecticut and Hope Valley, Rhode Island on March 28. New Yorkers had to pull over and provide contact information and were told to self-quarantine for two weeks.
A member of the Rhode Island National Guard Military Police directs a motorist with New York license plates at a checkpoint on the border of Connecticut and Hope Valley, Rhode Island on March 28. New Yorkers had to pull over and provide contact information and were told to self-quarantine for two weeks. David Goldman/AP

The coronavirus crisis is posing new civil liberties dilemmas for governments which need to balance protecting public health without unconstitutionally limiting individual rights.

That's already created controversy in the United States, including over President Donald Trump's threat to create state quarantines.

Civil libertarians say governments have the power to take extraordinary measures to stop the pandemic, but the power is not without limits.

So what can government do in times like these? Civil libertarians say steps to prevent the spread of the deadly virus should be weighed in terms of whether effective -- and lawful.

Legal experts say that broad measures that are reasonable and apply to everyone, for example "shelter in place" requirements, are generally lawful. But if government begins to target certain individuals or businesses, there should be ways to ensure a hearing and due process of law. Quarantines have been imposed over the centuries, but longstanding case law dictates that they not be unreasonable or arbitrary.

Is there any way to push back on government decisions? Since the early 1800s, federal and state courts have granted governments broad latitude to impose quarantines for public health. But government actions are beginning to be tested.

For instance, federal judges in recent days ordered the release of certain immigrants at high-risk of illness held in detention facilities.

Abortion-rights advocates have sued state officials that have tried to shut down clinics, as in Ohio and Texas, categorizing them as nonessential services in coronavirus orders. Gun rights activists have similarly challenged state laws that would close firearms stores. The National Rifle Association on Friday sued California over such a policy.

Read the whole story here.

2:43 a.m. ET, March 30, 2020

It's 10:30 a.m. in New Delhi and 4 p.m. in Sydney. Here's the latest on the pandemic in Asia-Pacific

A worker sprays disinfectant along a street in San Juan, Metro Manila, Philippines on March 23.
A worker sprays disinfectant along a street in San Juan, Metro Manila, Philippines on March 23. Ezra Acayan/Getty Images

Indian PM Modi apologizes for lockdown hardships as cases pass 1,000: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has apologized for the hardships caused by India's nationwide lockdown as the number of coronavirus cases in the country crossed the 1,000 mark.

"I apologize for taking the harsh steps which have caused difficulties in your lives, especially the poor people," Modi said.
"I know some of you would be angry with me also. But these tough measures were needed to win this battle."

China's local epidemic "blocked": China's National Health Commission spokesman Mi Feng said a news conference Sunday that local transmission in the country was now "blocked," as the daily number of new cases remains in the low double digits. But Mi warned that the chance for a second wave of infections imported from other countries remains high.

Tokyo cases spike: Japan's health ministry announced Tokyo's largest jump in cases yet on Sunday, with 68 new infections confirmed. Countrywide, there were 173 new cases. The spike comes a week after the 2020 Olympics scheduled to be held in the city were postponed until next year.  

Australia closes playgrounds and outdoor areas: Prime Minister Scott Morrison has strengthened already tough social distancing laws in Australia, limiting all gatherings in public spaces to two people and shutting playgrounds and skate parks. Morrison urged all residents to "stay home."

Philippines reports its single largest daily rise in cases: There were 343 new cases of the coronavirus recorded in the Philippines on Sunday, a massive jump which brought the country's total to 1,418. The Department of Health also reported three additional fatalities due to the coronavirus, bringing the death toll in the Philippines to 71. 

Plane with medical supplies crashes in Manila: A plane which was heading from the Philippine capital to Tokyo with medical supplies and personnel exploded shortly after takeoff on Sunday. All eight people onboard were killed, including a flight medic, a doctor and a nurse.

2:44 a.m. ET, March 30, 2020

Indian PM Narendra Modi apologizes for lockdown hardships as cases pass 1,000

From CNN's Manveena Suri and Vedika Sud in New Delhi

Members of a volunteer organization wear protective gear before distributing food to people in Mumbai, India, on March 29.
Members of a volunteer organization wear protective gear before distributing food to people in Mumbai, India, on March 29. Rafiq Maqbool/AP

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi has apologized for the hardships caused by a nationwide lockdown as the number of coronavirus cases in the country crossed the 1,000 mark.

There are now 1,024 confirmed cases in India, according to data from the country's health ministry. They include 27 deaths, and 95 patients who have been discharged from hospital.

Modi apologizes for lockdown: India -- the second most populous country in the world -- has gone into complete lockdown in a bid to control the spread of coronavirus.

In a radio address on Sunday -- the fifth day of the nationwide lockdown -- Modi said he was sorry for the hardships caused by the decision to shut down non-essential services.

"I apologize for taking the harsh steps which have caused difficulties in your lives, especially the poor people," he said.
"I know some of you would be angry with me also. But these tough measures were needed to win this battle."

The 21-day lockdown has prompted thousands of migrant workers to attempt to leave India's major cities as they were left without jobs or pay. Experts have questioned the viability and sustainability of a nationwide lockdown, which is scheduled to end on April 14.

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."