US President Donald Trump has extended the federal guidelines on social distancing until April 30 after a senior US health official warned that more than 100,000 people could die from the corona virus.
The announcement came on Sunday evening when the death toll in the severely affected state of New York exceeded 1,000.
“The modeling estimates that the peak mortality rate is expected to be reached in two weeks,” Trump told White House reporters. “So, in the next two weeks and at this time, it is very important that everyone follows the guidelines closely … We will extend our guidelines until April 30th to slow the spread.”
The initial 15 day period should expire on Monday.
The United States has 139,000 confirmed coronavirus infections, more than any other country in the world, while more than 2,400 people have died from the respiratory disease caused by the pathogen.
The number of cases worldwide has reached more than 718,000. Around 149,000 people have recovered and more than 33,000 have died.
Here are the latest updates:
Monday, March 30th
05:50 GMT – Nepal extends the suspension until April 7th
The government of Nepal extended a nationwide ban introduced on March 23 by another week. International flights are also prohibited until April 15th.
The Himalayan country has registered a total of five infections with the new corona virus.
05:35 GMT – Japan bans “all travelers from the US, China and Europe”
According to the Asahi newspaper, all visitors from the United States, China, South Korea and most of Europe are denied entry to Japan according to new rules to curb coronavirus infections.
Asahi cited government sources and said the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs is also expected to advise Japanese nationals not to travel to these countries.
05:00 GMT – India Lockdown hits chronic patients hard
Severe restrictions on movement in India have made access to health care difficult for people with chronic diseases such as HIV, kidney and autoimmune diseases.
The parents of a 15-year-old HIV patient walked 20 miles to get their medication in New Delhi.
“We could quickly face a non-COVID humanitarian crisis if the government is unable to restore health services, especially for those with critical conditions who require sustained medication / treatment,” said Malini Aisola, an activist for public health and co-organizer of the All India Drug Action Network.
Read more here.
Qatar Airways Launches Campaign to Bring Stranded Travelers Home (6:15)
04:51 GMT – Australia is tightening the curbs at public gatherings
New rules that limit public gatherings to just two people in Australia come into effect on Monday at midnight. The states of New South Wales and Victoria impose heavy fines on people who violate these restrictions.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said members of the public should only leave their homes to buy groceries, attend medical appointments, and do sports.
Skate parks, outdoor gyms, and public playgrounds across the country, he said.
04:20 GMT – fear of a second wave of infections in China
According to Katrina Yu from Al Jazeera, concerns about a second wave of infection in China are growing under official pressure to resume normal life.
“In Wuhan, the epicenter of the Chinese Corona virus outbreak, some stores are open and after two months, shopping centers are opening their doors. People working in key industries like cement, steel and auto are also starting to go back to work “said Yu from Beijing.
Our correspondent said officials were “under tremendous pressure to resume normal life” as President Xi Jinping traveled to a port and industrial park in eastern Zhejiang province on Sunday to review the resumption of work and production there.
“He wants to bring the economy to a standstill after two months. And because of the urgency to get things going, there are concerns that it could be too early and lead to a second wave of infections,” she said. “Officials are also under pressure to keep the numbers low and this leads to concerns that they may not be transparent when reporting new cases.”
03:15 GMT – Lockdown leaves migrant workers stranded in Thailand
When the Thai government started closing the country’s capital, Bangkok, last week, tens of thousands of migrant workers who were suddenly unemployed tried to return to Myanmar.
But for Ma Moe Moe, returning home is not an option. The 44-year-old worker was recently fired from her job in a silk clothing factory, but she crouches with her husband in Bangkok and says she fears she won’t be able to return to Thailand if she leaves.
“Because I’m fired from the factory, I’m worried about bills because there’s only one source of income for my husband,” she said to Al Jazeera. “Now that I don’t have a job, I feel depressed.”
Read more about the plight of migrant workers in Thailand here.
02:45 GMT – Twitter removes Bolsonaro tweets in the virus quarantine
Twitter removed two tweets from Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro after raising doubts about quarantine measures to curb the new corona virus.
The far-right leader had posted several videos on Twitter on Sunday, mingling with supporters in the streets of the Brazilian capital, Brasilia, who defended their right to work and called for a “return to normal”.
In one of the deleted videos, Bolsonaro also criticized health authorities’ isolation measures, saying, “The country is immune when 60 to 70 percent are infected.” He also said that treatment for the coronavirus had been found without providing evidence to support the allegation, the Globo news website said.
Twitter said the posts violated its rules.
02:00 GMT – Argentina extends quarantine
Argentine President Alberto Fernandez extended a nationwide quarantine to mid-April to curb the spread of the new corona virus.
“We will extend the quarantine until the end of Easter. What do we want to achieve? To keep the transmission of the virus under control,” he said in a television announcement.
The mandatory measures should expire at the end of March. The block will be lifted on April 12th.
Argentina has 820 confirmed cases and 20 deaths from COVID-19.
01:40 GMT – South Korea reports 78 new cases; a total of 9,661
Korean disease control and prevention centers reported 78 new cases in South Korea on Monday, compared to 105 confirmed infections the day before.
The number brings South Korea’s total infections to 9,661.
The KCDC said the new cases marked the 18th day in a row that new infections had about 100 or fewer additional cases.
01:30 GMT – Japanese comedian dies
Ken Shimura, one of Japan’s best-known comedians, died of COVID-19 in a Tokyo hospital, according to the NHK public broadcaster.
He was 70 years old. Many fans used social media to pay tribute.
Japanese comedian Ken Shimura dies after being infected with the corona virus. Http://t.co/epcnM9gnkk
– The Mainichi (Japan) (@themainichi) March 30, 2020
The famous comedian Ken Shimura died after being infected with the corona virus. This is a well-known case for the Japanese as for the American Tom Hanks – only Hanks recovered 😕 https://t.co/UU57nB3LV1
– James Riney🤿Coral Capital (@james_riney) March 30, 2020
It’s hard to overestimate the importance of Ken Shimura to someone who grew up with Japanese television in the 80s and 90s.
The only advantage is that maybe more Japanese are now taking the corona virus more seriously.
– Spoons & Tamago (@Johnny_suputama) March 30, 2020
00:50 GMT – The death toll in New York State exceeds 1,000
According to a report by The Associated Press (AP), more than 1,000 people in New York State have died from the outbreak of the coronavirus.
New York City announced on Sunday evening that the death toll had increased to 776. The total number of deaths across the country is expected to be released on Monday. As of Sunday morning, however, at least 250 more deaths outside the city were recorded, at least 1,026, said AP.
00:30 GMT – China reports 31 new mainland cases
The number of COVID-19 infections in China continues to decrease. Health authorities in Beijing reported 31 new cases at the end of Sunday.
The figure shows a locally transmitted infection and marks a decrease compared to the 45 cases reported the day before. There were no new cases at headquarters for a sixth day in a row Hubei Province, where the coronavirus outbreak was first detected in December last year.
In mainland China, the total number of mainland cases increased to 81,470, while the cumulative death toll increased to 3,304.
Hello, I’m Zaheena Rasheed in Male, Maldives, and Al Jazeera is still reporting on the coronavirus pandemic.
Read all updates from yesterday March 29th here.