March 30 coronavirus news

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8:03 a.m. ET, March 30, 2020

Tokyo Olympics rescheduled for July 2021

Carl Court/Getty Images
Carl Court/Getty Images

The rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympics are set to open on July 23, 2021.

The Tokyo 2020 organization committee president Yoshiro Mori said he had a phone call with International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach today, where they agreed to hold the Tokyo Olympics from July 23 to August 8, 2021.  

7:57 a.m. ET, March 30, 2020

61 Italian doctors have died during coronavirus crisis

In Italy, 61 doctors who caught the coronavirus have died, the Italian Association of Doctors said Monday.

In all, 8,358 health workers have tested positive for coronavirus, according to the Italian National Institute of Health.

Out of the 61 deceased doctors, 40 were working in Lombardy, the Italian region worst-hit by coronavirus.

On the verge of 100,000 cases: 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.

Medical personnel transport a coronavirus patient to a field hospital in Cremona, Italy, on March 20.
Medical personnel transport a coronavirus patient to a field hospital in Cremona, Italy, on March 20. Emanuele Cremaschi/Getty Images

Why has Italy become such a hot spot? There is no clear answer yet as to why Italy has been so badly affected by the coronavirus. Some people have suggested it could be the climate or the high number of elderly citizens. Whatever the reason, Italy still has the highest death toll in the world at 10,779 fatalities, according to Johns Hopkins University.

8:07 a.m. ET, March 30, 2020

From Wednesday, it will be compulsory to wear face masks in Austrian supermarkets

A person pushes a shopping cart with groceries in Stockerau, Austria on March 13.
A person pushes a shopping cart with groceries in Stockerau, Austria on March 13. Herbert Pfarrhofer/APA/AFP/Getty Images

The wearing of face masks in supermarkets will become compulsory from Wednesday, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz announced.

''As of the moment these masks are handed out in front of the supermarkets and it will become compulsory to wear them in supermarkets'', Kurz said, adding that ''the goal is in the medium term to not only wear these masks in supermarkets but also more generally wherever people have contact with each other'' 

''It would be a mistake to think that such masks protect you - that is definitely not the case. But what can be ensured by this is that there is no risk of transmission in the air. By wearing the mask you can protect other people, '' Kurz added.

Hotel and restaurant ban for tourists: Austria's government also announced Monday it will ban the use of hotels and its restaurants ''for touristic use'' until after Easter to help slow the spread of coronavirus. 

8:06 a.m. ET, March 30, 2020

Fauci: "I wouldn't be surprised if we saw 100,000 deaths" from coronavirus

President Donald Trump listens as Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House on March 29.
President Donald Trump listens as Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House on March 29. Patrick Semansky/AP

The United States could see 100,000 people die of Covid-19 -- and that would not be "surprising," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. 

I don't want to see it - I would like to avoid it, but I wouldn't be surprised if we saw 100,000 deaths," Fauci told CNN's John Berman on "New Day" on Monday morning.

"If you look at seasonal flu, we had a bad season in 2017-18, we lost over 60,000 people just in the seasonal flu," Fauci said. "This is clearly worse than that."

On Sunday, President Trump said that, based on models, the coronavirus outbreak could bring 100,000 to 200,000 deaths in the United States. “If we can hold that number down...to 100,000, it’s a horrible number, maybe even less...we all, all together have done a very good job,” Trump said, citing worst-case scenario modeling that suggested over 2 million deaths.

Fauci, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, previously suggested Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” that, based on models, he thought 100,000 or more Americans could die from coronavirus.

Easing distancing guidelines the "wrong decision": Easing distancing guidelines at the end of the original 15-day period not only would have been the "wrong decision" but could have accelerated the coronavirus crisis in the United States, Fauci said.

"We felt that if we prematurely pulled back, we would only form an acceleration or a rebound of something, which would have put you behind where you were before -- and that's the reason why we argued strongly with the President that he not withdraw those guidelines after 15 days, but that he extend them, and he did listen," Fauci told CNN's John Berman.

Watch more:

7:16 a.m. ET, March 30, 2020

Slight decrease in Spain's daily coronavirus deaths, numbers show

Mortuary employees carry the coffin of a coronavirus victim during a burial at the Fuencarral cemetery in Madrid, on March 29.
Mortuary employees carry the coffin of a coronavirus victim during a burial at the Fuencarral cemetery in Madrid, on March 29. Baldesca Samper/AFP/Getty Images

There have been another 812 deaths in Spain from coronavirus, according to data from the past 24 hours. The numbers, released by the Spanish Health Ministry, show a smaller increase in daily fatalities than previously seen in the past two days. 

Spain has recorded a total of 7,340 deaths.

There are 61,075 active or current cases in the country -- an increase of 3,515 cases in the past 24 hours, with the number of active cases now well below what it was last week.

2,071 people recovered in the past 24 hours to make a total of 16,780, according to Health Ministry figures.

Officials warn ICUs near capacity: The number of new patients requiring ICU treatment, at 324 in the past 24 hours, was also slightly lower. However, Spanish Health Ministry officials have been warning that ICUs are near capacity, with the total number of patients requiring ICU treatment now at 5,231.

7:08 a.m. ET, March 30, 2020

Zaandam and Rotterdam cruise ships cross Panama Canal

Holland America's cruise ship Zaandam navigates through the Panama Canal on March 29.LUIS ACOSTA/AFP via Getty Images)
Holland America's cruise ship Zaandam navigates through the Panama Canal on March 29.LUIS ACOSTA/AFP via Getty Images) Luis Acosta/AFP/Getty Images

The Zaandam and Rotterdam cruise ships crossed the Panama Canal late Sunday, according to the Panama Canal Authority.

In a statement, the Canal Authority said the transit was done “under special humanitarian conditions, after receiving authorization from the Ministry of Health.”

Holland America's Zaandam boat and its occupants had been in limbo for weeks awaiting permission to disembark after several South American ports denied the ship's entry.

The Rotterdam, which was there to help transfer passengers without symptoms and provide supplies, also passed through the waterway.

The Canal Authority detailed that extreme sanitary measures were taken for the transit of both vessels, including the use of the new locks to minimize the number of workers involved in the operation.

Passengers with flu-like symptoms: Holland America's Zaandam cruise ship now has 179 people with flu-like symptoms and four deaths on board, according to a statement from Holland America Sunday. 

The company released a statement last week confirming two individuals on board have tested positive for coronavirus.  

6:47 a.m. ET, March 30, 2020

First coronavirus treatment test results due at end of week, says French minister

The first test results for various coronavirus treatments will be made available later this week, the French Minister of Research Frédérique Vidal said Monday.

The clinical trials of four possible treatments began a week ago, and involve more than 3,000 volunteers across Europe.

According to France’s National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM), the trials are analyzing the efficacy and tolerance of therapeutic options for patients within a controlled timeframe.

The four treatments being tested are:
Remdesivir, which was used to treat Ebola
Lopinavir-Ritonavir, known as an anti-HIV treatment
Hydroxychloroquine, known for treating malaria.
and interferon-beta
6:40 a.m. ET, March 30, 2020

Tokyo 2020 Olympic head expects decision for new dates later this week

Tokyo 2020 organization committee president Yoshiro Mori said he expects International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach to call with the new date for the postponed Olympics within the week.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Bach last week agreed to postpone the Olympics until 2021.

The IOC had been facing mounting pressure to delay the Games, which were originally scheduled to take place from July 24 to August 9, amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Mori made the remarks at the beginning of the first Executive Board meeting of Tokyo 2020 since the postponement was announced.

Tokyo 2020 organization committee president Yoshiro Mori, center, speaks during the Executive Board Meeting in Tokyo, Japan, on March 30.
Tokyo 2020 organization committee president Yoshiro Mori, center, speaks during the Executive Board Meeting in Tokyo, Japan, on March 30. Issei Kato/Pool/AP

Two possibilities for the games: Organizing committee CEO Toshiro Muto said that the Executive Board discussed two possibilities for the games - in spring or summer of 2021 - but denied there was any discussion on a specific starting date.

Muto said the postponement might mean the same locations are reserved twice, resulting in "considerable" amount of additional costs. He added Tokyo 2020 will continue discussions with the IOC on any final decisions.

7:19 a.m. ET, March 30, 2020

Hungarian parliament to vote on whether Orban can rule by decree

Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban gives a press conference with other leaders in Prague, Czech Republic, on March 4.
Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban gives a press conference with other leaders in Prague, Czech Republic, on March 4. Michal Cizek/AFP/Getty Images

The Hungarian parliament will Monday vote on whether to allow Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban to rule by decree because of the coronavirus. 

Parts of Monday's vote would include the possibility of a parliamentary suspension, punishing journalists for what the government deems to be inaccurate reporting and heavier punishment for violating quarantine regulations.

During the rule by decree, no elections or referendums could take place, the proposed legislation says.

“We cannot react quickly if there are debates and lengthy legislative and law-making procedures. And in times of crisis and epidemic, the ability to respond rapidly can save lives," Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Hungarian national Kossuth radio last week.

"The Government is not asking for anything extraordinary: it is asking for the ability to rapidly enact certain measures. We don’t want to enact measures that the government has no general right to enact: we simply want to do so swiftly,” he added.

Warnings from human rights group:

Amnesty International has warned against the move. 

David Vig, Amnesty International’s Hungary Director, said: “This bill would create an indefinite and uncontrolled state of emergency and give Viktor Orban and his government carte blanche to restrict human rights. This is not the way to address the very real crisis that has been caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The vote needs a two thirds majority of Hungarian parliamentarians present in the chamber. There are 199 MPs altogether, and the ruling block of Fidesz and the Christian Democrats KDNP have 133 MPs.

Here's when things could happen: The legislation would have to be signed by first the President of the Hungarian Parliament and then the President of Hungary, Janos Ander. This could happen as early as midnight Monday into Tuesday, a spokesman for the Hungarian parliament said.