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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12:21 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.

10:55 p.m. ET, March 29, 2020

It's approaching midday in Tokyo and it's evening in Washington. Here's the latest on the pandemic

  • Cases grow rapidly worldwide: There are now more than 721,800 cases of the novel coronavirus globally, according to Johns Hopkins University, which is tracking figures from the World Health Organization and additional sources. The death toll from the pandemic is approaching 34,000.
  • Only two US states without deaths: More than 2,400 people have died from Covid-19 in the US, according to CNN's count, with more than 139,000 cases countrywide. To date, only Hawaii and Wyoming are yet to see a death from the virus, with West Virginia reporting its first fatality today.
  • President Trump extends social distancing: US residents will be encouraged to remain in their homes and avoid contact with others until April 30. Trump said that he hopes the country can be back to normal by June 1.
  • Stock trades under scrutiny: The US Justice Department has started to probe a series of stock transactions made by lawmakers ahead of the sharp market downturn that stemmed from the spread of coronavirus, according to two people familiar with the matter.
  • Tokyo cases spike: Japan's health ministry recorded 173 new cases on Sunday -- 68 in Tokyo. This is the biggest single day spike for the capital and comes a week after the 2020 Olympics scheduled to be held in the city were postponed until next year. 
  • Cruise ship concerns grow: A total of 179 people have been diagnosed with flu-like symptoms on board the Zaandam cruise ship, which is on its way to Florida. Four "older" guests have died. However, only two people onboard have officially been diagnosed with Covid-19.
  • Italy records slight downward trend in deaths: There were 756 new deaths related to the coronavirus in 24 hours in Italy, the country announced Sunday. But it was a slight drop on the 889 new deaths reported on Saturday, and 969 on Friday.
  • Citywide quarantine in Moscow: All residents will be required to stay at home unless they are leaving to get urgent medical help, get groceries or walk their pets in the proximity of 100 meters (328 feet) from their residence, the city's mayor Sergey Sobyanin announced Sunday night. Only essential workers will be allowed out.
  • Nigeria orders 14-day "cessation of movement": Citizens in parts of the country's largest city, Lagos, and the capital, Abuja, are being ordered to stay at home, while businesses and offices must close, as the virus begins to spread in the African country. The order will stay in place until mid-April.