March 15 coronavirus news

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10:55 a.m. ET, March 15, 2020

Morocco to suspend international flights

From CNN's Schams Elwazer

Moroccan health workers scan passengers arriving from Italy at Casablanca Mohammed V International Airport on March 3.
Moroccan health workers scan passengers arriving from Italy at Casablanca Mohammed V International Airport on March 3. Fadel Senna/AFP via Getty Images

Morocco has decided to suspend all international flights to and from its territory “until further notice” as part of measures to tackle the coronavirus, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement Sunday.

This announcement comes a day after the north African country said it was suspending all flights to and from Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal and Belgium.

10:43 a.m. ET, March 15, 2020

Louisiana reports second coronavirus-related death

From CNN's Artemis Moshtaghian

The state of Louisiana has confirmed its second death related to coronavirus, according to a statement released by Gov. John Bel Edwards.

The individual who died was a 53-year-old resident of Orleans Parish who was being treated at Touro Infirmary in New Orleans.

“As the number of positive cases continues to rise, we need every person to take the necessary actions to help reduce the spread of this virus,” Edwards said.

10:37 a.m. ET, March 15, 2020

Singapore announces further travel restrictions

From CNN's Chandler Thornton

Passengers' temperatures are checked as travelers pass through Changi Airport in Singapore on March 11.
Passengers' temperatures are checked as travelers pass through Changi Airport in Singapore on March 11. Hollie Adams/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Singapore's Ministry of Health announced they will implement stricter border measures for people traveling into the country, including imposing a 14-day mandatory self-quarantine for new visitors traveling from a bloc of East Asian countries, as well as Japan, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Beginning Monday, people "entering Singapore with recent travel history to ASEAN countries, Japan, Switzerland, or the United Kingdom within the last 14 days will be issued with a 14-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN)," according to a press release from the Health Ministry on Sunday. 

ASEAN is the Association of South East Asian Nations made up of 10 member nations from that region.

Travelers will also have to provide proof of where they stayed during the 14 days and may also be swabbed for coronavirus testing, "even if asymptomatic," the press release read.

The Ministry also announced any short-term visitors "who are nationals of any ASEAN country will have to submit requisite information on their health to the Singapore Overseas Mission in the country they are resident before their intended date of travel."

Finally, the Ministry asked all Singaporeans to "defer all non-essential travel abroad." 

Some context: These additional restrictions follow previous ones by the Singapore government including that starting March 15, all new visitors with recent travel history to France, Germany, Italy and Spain within the last 14 days would not be allowed entry or transit thru Singapore.

10:20 a.m. ET, March 15, 2020

US treasury secretary downplays recession possibility

From CNN's Sarah Westwood

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speaks on March 14.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speaks on March 14. Alex Brandon/AP

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin downplayed the likelihood of an economic recession as American economy takes a beating from coronavirus, saying “I don’t think so” when asked about the prospect.

“This is a unique situation,” he told ABC’s “This Week" this morning. “Later in the year, obviously, the economic activity will pick up as we confront this virus.”

In the interview, Mnuchin also defended President Trump’s Oval Office address this week despite its numerous inaccuracies.

“The President was very clear — he wanted to address a very important point, which was he made the move to shut down travel so that we shut down more cases coming in,” Mnuchin said. 

Pressed on Trump’s misleading presentation of restrictions on travel from Europe, Mnuchin said, “I don’t think in an Oval Office address you can address every issue.”

10:17 a.m. ET, March 15, 2020

Hungary reports first coronavirus death 

From Samantha Tapfumaneyi in London

A 75-year-old man has become Hungary’s first coronavirus death, government spokesperson Zoltan Kovacs said Sunday on Twitter.

“First Hungarian fatality from the #coronavirus. The victim was a 75 year-old male who was transported to the Dél-Pesti Central Hospital showing symptoms of the virus and pneumonia. He passed away shortly after arrival. May he RIP,” the tweet said. 

10:12 a.m. ET, March 15, 2020

Hong Kong urges citizens to avoid non-essential travel to Ireland, the US and UK

From CNN's Chandler Thornton

Passengers walk through the Hong Kong International Airport on March 10.
Passengers walk through the Hong Kong International Airport on March 10. Lui Siu Wai/Xinhua via Getty Images

Hong Kong has issued a "Red Outbound Travel Alert" on Ireland, United Kingdom and United States, urging its citizens to avoid all non-essential travel to these countries in response to the new cases of the novel coronavirus. 

"The Red OTA urges members of the public planning to travel to the aforementioned countries to adjust travel plans and avoid non-essential travel," according to a statement from Hong Kong's government on Sunday. 

The government statement also advised people to delay any non-essential travel in general outside of Hong Kong.

10:00 a.m. ET, March 15, 2020

Ohio governor thinks it's possible schools could be closed for the rest of the academic year

From CNN's Amanda Watts 

An empty classroom at Orange High School in Pepper Pike, Ohio, on March 12.
An empty classroom at Orange High School in Pepper Pike, Ohio, on March 12. Tony Dejak/AP

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine thinks it’s possible schools may be closed for the rest of the academic year, according to an interview he gave this morning on "State of the Union."

"Absolutely. Look, the projections — and again, this is all projections, I'm just going by what medical experts are telling us. You know, this may not peak until the latter part of April or May. So we've informed the superintendents, while we've closed schools for three weeks, that the odds are this is going to go on a lot longer and it would not surprise me at all if schools did not open again this year," DeWine said.
9:52 a.m. ET, March 15, 2020

Top US infectious disease doctor doesn't rule out supporting temporary national lockdown

From CNN's Alison Main

CNN
CNN

The top infectious disease expert in the US did not rule out support a temporary national lockdown in an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, would like to see a "dramatic diminution of personal interaction," including interactions in bars and restaurants, according to an interview he did this morning on CNN's “State of the Union." 

“I would like to see a dramatic diminution of the personal interaction that we see in restaurants and in bars. Whatever it takes to do that, that's what I'd like to see,” Fauci said.

 

9:22 a.m. ET, March 15, 2020

This pandemic risks bringing out the worst in humanity

Analysis from CNN's Angela Dewan

French police officers face demonstrators in Le Port on the Indian Ocean island of La Reunion on March 1.
French police officers face demonstrators in Le Port on the Indian Ocean island of La Reunion on March 1. Richard Bouhet/AFP via Getty Images

A woman at an Australian supermarket allegedly pulls a knife on a man in a confrontation over toilet paper. A Singaporean student of Chinese ethnicity is beaten up on the streets of London and left with a fractured face. Protesters on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion welcome cruise passengers by hurling abuse and rocks at them.

The coronavirus risks bringing out the worst in humanity.

Never mind that Australia's toilet paper supply is plentiful, that the Singaporean has no links to the virus and that not a single passenger on the Princess cruise ship that docked in Reunion was infected.

Irrational and selfish incidents like these are likely the exception, not the rule, but an everyone-for-themselves mentality -- or each family, even each country -- appears to be growing, putting into question the world's ability to unite and slow the coronavirus' spread.