The Latest on the coronavirus pandemic, which has infected more than 278,000 people and killed more than 11,500. The COVID-19 illness causes mild or moderate symptoms in most people, but severe symptoms are more likely in the elderly or those with existing health problems. More than 89,200 people have recovered so far, mostly in China.

Hawaii’s governor has instituted a mandatory 14-day quarantine starting Thursday of all people traveling to the state as part of efforts to fight the spread of the coronavirus, Hawaii News Now reported.

The order applies to returning residents as well as visitors.

“We need to come together as a community to fight this virus,” Gov. David Ige said at a news conference in the state Capitol. “This mandate is the first of its kind in the nation. We want this action to send the message to visitors and residents alike that we appreciate their love for Hawaii but we are asking them to postpone their visit.”

The state announced 11 new cases of people with the coronavirus, bringing Hawaii’s total to 48, according to Hawaii News Now. Three of them are hospitalized.

The U.S. Army announced a soldier with the 25th Infantry Battalion based in Hawaii tested positive for the coronavirus, the first case linked to the Army community in the state, Hawaii News Now reported. The soldier is in isolation.


WASHINGTON — Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, have tested negative for the coronavirus.

The vice president’s press secretary, Katie Miller, tweeted the results of the tests Saturday night.

Pence had announced earlier Saturday that, out of an abundance of caution, he and his wife would be tested for the virus. A member of the vice president’s staff had tested positive for the virus.

The vice president had said the staffer, who did not have close contact with either the president or vice president, was doing well. Still, Pence stood just a few feet from President Donald Trump at the podium during their press conference.


SEATTLE — Target Corp. has apologized for selling face masks in Seattle stores while hospitals face a dire shortage.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said his office intervened when it received reports Saturday that the much-needed N95 masks were on Target shelves.

Target said on Twitter that the masks were being sold in error and that it was removing them from shelves and donating them to the Washington Department of Health. The company said it would also search its inventory for additional masks to donate.


BRASILIA, Brazil — The U.S. Embassy in Brazil says it is making “final arrangements” to return home 103 American citizens and two permanent residents.

They are currently stranded aboard the Silver Shadow cruise ship off the northeastern Brazilian city of Recife. The vessel has been in isolation and its passengers not allowed to disembark since a 78-year-old Canadian passenger tested positive for the coronavirus.

The embassy’s Saturday statement says a special charter flight will be sent out “as soon as possible.”


NEW YORK — Columbia University’s chief surgeon, Dr. Craig Smith, has been raising alarms about the rapid surge of patients and dwindling supplies in daily letters to colleagues that are being posted to the Columbia surgery department’s Twitter account.

Smith warned that new projections estimate the number of coronavirus patients will continue to grow over the next 22 to 32 days, overwhelming the New York-Presbyterian system’s emergency rooms and intensive care units, even with measures taken to build new capacity.

The projections show the system’s hospitals needing 700 to 934 ICU beds when the outbreak reaches its peak.

Just Friday, Smith wrote, the system saw a 50% increase in coronavirus patients, making for a total of 300 being treated and another 200 awaiting test results. He said hospitals in the system are burning through about 40,000 masks a day — about 10 times the normal amount.

“Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to apologize profusely in a few weeks for having overestimated the threat,” Smith wrote. “That would mean we never exceeded capacity, and that mortalities and morbidities rarely seen in non-pandemic circumstances were avoided. The next month or two is a horror to imagine if we’re underestimating the threat.”

At NYU Langone Health, another hospital operator in New York City, the “ERs are extremely busy” and some patients are being treated in space retrofitted to expand capacity, spokesman Jim Mandler said Saturday.


BEIJING — The Chinese city of Wuhan, where the global pandemic was first detected, went a fourth consecutive day on Sunday without reporting any new or suspected cases of the virus.

Elsewhere, the country reported 46 new cases over the previous 24 hours, 45 of them coming from overseas. The health ministry did not say where the domestic case was found. Another six deaths were also reported, one in Wuhan, four in the surrounding province of Hubei and one elsewhere.

China now recorded a total of 81,054 cases and 3,261 deaths. A total of 72,244 people have been declared cured and released from hospital.

Wuhan must go 14 straight days without a new case in order for draconian travel restrictions to be lifted and the city remains isolated from the rest of the province, which is itself closed off to the rest of the country. Even while social distancing and quarantines for new arrivals remain the norm, China is striving to restore activity in the world’s second-largest economy.

Wuhan is a center of China’s crucial auto industry and a special train carrying more than 1,000 employees of Dongfeng Motor Corporation arrived Saturday afternoon in the city for the first time since the outbreak. All were sent directly by bus to factories or residential communities.


WASHINGTON — An inmate at a federal jail in New York City has tested positive for the new coronavirus, marking the first confirmed case in the federal prison system.

The federal Bureau of Prisons says the man is housed at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn and complained of chest pains on Thursday, a few days after he arrived at the facility.

Officials say he was taken to a hospital and tested for COVID-19. The inmate was discharged from the hospital on Friday and returned to the jail, where he was immediately placed in isolation.

The Bureau of Prisons learned Saturday he had tested positive for COVID-19.


The British government is heightening its response to the new coronavirus, telling up to 1.5 million sick and vulnerable people to stay home and avoid contact with others for at least 12 weeks.

The government says people with certain health conditions — including recipients of organ transplants, people with cystic fibrosis, patients with blood or bone marrow cancer and some people on immune-suppressing drugs — should “shield themselves” from the spreading pandemic by living in isolation.

Special deliveries of groceries and medicine will be arranged by an alliance of public agencies, the military, food retailers and volunteers.

The move came as Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned the spread of the virus was accelerating. He said Britain’s health system would be “completely overwhelmed” without a “heroic and collective national effort” of social isolation to slow it.

Britain has 5,018 confirmed cases of the virus, and 233 deaths, an increase of more than 50 deaths from a day earlier.


WASHINGTON — President Trump said negotiators in Congress and his administration are “very close” to agreement on a coronavirus economic-relief plan that his economic adviser said will aim to boost the U.S. economy by about $2 trillion.

The economic measure is intended to to “keep companies together, keep workers paid, so they can live and sustain,” Trump said at a White House briefing. “We’re asking people not to work because we have to stay away from each other,” he said, adding that the hope is to “win with as few lives lost as possible.”

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told reporters as he arrived for talks that the spending bill itself is expected to total $1.3 trillion to $1.4 trillion, plus additional loans that would eventually be paid back, for a total economic impact of about $2 trillion.

“The package is coming in at about 10% of GDP. It’s very large,” Kudlow said.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, also at the Capitol for negotiations, and Senate Democrats have been pushing to expand the GOP’s economic rescue plan.

“We’re getting very close” to a bill, Trump said at the White House press briefing.

At the White House briefing, Vice President Mike Pence said “they’re making progress by all accounts on a bipartisan bill” and “we’re working to pass that legislation on Monday in both the House and the Senate.” Trump said he wouldn’t attend the talks in person.

The package is designed to address a pandemic that continues to rapidly unfold. The pandemic has sent markets plunging, eliminating gains in U.S. stocks made during the first three years of Trump’s term, and constricted much of the world’s economy.

“We are making progress on a bipartisan basis” on the plan, which would be Congress’s third-phase response to the virus, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor. He scheduled a procedural vote for 3 p.m. Sunday, and is aiming for a final vote on the measure Monday.

Read the full story here.


The Federal Aviation Administration has lifted a brief suspension of flights to New York City-area airports because of coronavirus-related staffing issues at a regional air-traffic control center.

In an alert posted online Saturday, the agency advised air traffic controllers to “stop all departures” to Kennedy, LaGuardia, Newark and other airports in the region.

The directive also affected Philadelphia International Airport.

The halt was lifted after about 30 minutes. Initially air traffic controllers were warned it could last several hours.

Read the full story here.


ROME — Italy’s grim tally of coronavirus cases and deaths has continued to soar, with officials announcing new day-to-day highs: 793 dead and 6,557 cases.

The country, the heart of western Europe’s rampaging outbreak, now counts 53,578 known cases. More than 60 percent of the latest deaths occurred in the northern region of Lombardy, whose hospitals have been reeling under a staggering case load that has left intensive care beds hard to find and respirators in dire supply. The new increases come nearly two weeks into a national lock-down in a desperate bid to contain the spread of the virus.

Read the full story here.


WASHINGTON — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first rapid coronavirus test, which produces results in about 45 minutes.

An FDA spokeswoman confirmed the approval after an announcement from Cepheid, a Silicon Valley molecular diagnostics company.

It can take at least a few days to get results from current coronavirus tests, which typically are sent in batches to reference labs, said Dr. David Persing, the company’s chief medical and technology officer.

“What’s really needed is a test that can rapidly determine status of infection on site when patients are being seen,” he said on a company video.

Cepheid said it will begin shipping its tests next week.


New Hampshire’s largest hospital is encouraging volunteers to sew face masks for patients, visitors and staff so that medical-grade protective equipment can be conserved for front-line health care workers.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center is preparing kits with fabric and elastic for pickup and has set up a website with directions on how to sew the masks based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Kristin Roth, the hospital’s director of volunteer services, says the nearly 500 people who typically volunteer at the facility have been eager to step up. “We were being inundated with questions about, ‘How can I help?’” she said.


Lockdowns have begun in Africa in the latest rushed measures to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.

Rwanda’s prime minister announced that all unnecessary movements outside the home are banned as of midnight except for essential services such as health care and shopping.

The East African nation has 17 cases. It has told all public and private employees to work from home. Shops and markets not selling food, fuel or health or cleaning items are closed. All bars are closed and restaurants can only provide takeaway. The measures will last for two weeks.

Tunisia earlier imposed a lockdown.

Read more here.


TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy tweeted he has ordered residents to stay home and nonessential retail businesses to close by 9 p.m. Saturday.

He also said all gatherings are canceled. He ordered all residents to stay at home with some exceptions, such as obtaining essential goods or services, seeking medical attention, visiting family or close friends, reporting to work, or engaging in outdoor activities. He says gatherings such as weddings, in-person services and parties are banned.


CLEVELAND — Officials are taking steps to reduce jail populations in Ohio’s most populous counties as they work to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Those efforts in the past week have been most notable at the Cuyahoga County jail in Cleveland, where the population fell from nearly 2,000 inmates last week to just under 1,300 on Friday. Officers are being told to issue citations for nonviolent crimes.

In Hamilton County, which includes Cincinnati, the jail population recently fell to just over 1,000 inmates from around 1,600 inmates on Monday. In Franklin County, which includes Columbus, officials said Saturday the jail population has been reduced to about 1,600 inmates, down from 1,900 on Monday.

Ohio in recent weeks has gained attention for its proactive steps to stem the spread of the virus.


NEW YORK — Gov. Andrew Cuomo says New York is scouring the globe for desperately needed medical supplies and scouting field hospital locations in New York City and its suburbs as confirmed coronavirus cases soar above 10,000 statewide.

Cuomo says the goal is to quickly boost the state’s hospital capacity from around 50,000 beds to 75,000. The state has already hospitalized 1,600 people. The governor says the state will see if Manhattan’s Javits Center could house 1,000 beds.

The state also will immediately conduct trials of an experimental treatment. Cuomo says the Food and Drug Administration is sending 10,000 doses.


SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Puerto Rico is reporting its first COVID-19 death.

The Health Department says the victim is an elderly Italian woman who was aboard the Costa Luminosa cruise ship that stopped in the U.S. territory earlier this month.

Officials say 21 people have tested positive and another 71 are awaiting test results. Among those infected are people without a history of travel. Police also have cited more than 120 people for violating a curfew imposed earlier this week to help curb coronavirus cases.


OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma’s largest health system, Integris Health, is turning to the public and asking for donations of masks, hand sanitizers, disposable gloves known as nitrile gloves, touchless thermometers, impermeable gowns, eye protection and bleach and disinfectant wipes.

“It’s just the perfect storm of a worldwide pandemic, health care systems around the country and around the world are needing the same things at the same time,” Integris spokeswoman Brooke Cayot says.

Donations are being collected Saturday and Monday afternoons in a parking lot of Integris Baptist hospital in northwest Oklahoma City.

The virus was slower in coming to Oklahoma, Cayot said, but there are now 53 confirmed cases, the Oklahoma State Department of Health reported Saturday, and one death.


MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Department of Health has confirmed the state’s first death due to COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

Officials say a Ramsey County resident in their 80s died on Thursday.

Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm says the death underscores the importance of protecting the most vulnerable residents in the state, especially those over 65 and those with underlying health conditions.


WASHINGTON — A Transportation Security Administration officer at the airport on St. Thomas in U.S. Virgin Islands has tested positive for the new coronavirus.

The TSA says the officer who works at the Cyril E. King International Airport is quarantined at home.

TSA reports that a total of 19 officers at eight U.S. airports have now tested positive since Feb. 21.

The other airports are in New York City; Newark, New Jersey; Atlanta; Cleveland; Orlando and Fort Lauderdale, Florida; and San Jose, California.

TSA also reports the lowest number of airport travelers in the history of an organization that has been around since November 2001. On Friday, the agency counted just under 600,000 outbound passengers. That’s down from 2.5 million at the same point in 2019.


TORONTO — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his government is working with airlines and foreign governments to bring Canadians home but says they will not be able to bring back everyone.

Trudeau says the government is offering to lend up to $3,480 in assistance for flights or for unexpected costs for extended time outside of the country. Canada chartered a plane for Morocco this weekend and expects to have planes for Peru and Spain soon.

Foreign Minister François-Philippe Champagne says many countries have closed their borders or airports and it will be impossible to return for some. Champagne says Canadian snowbirds living in the U.S. should come home now and the border will remain open for them. Canada and the U.S. have closed the border for all nonessential travel but returning citizens can get through.


LONDON — The British government says panic-buying of groceries because of the coronavirus pandemic is leaving front-line medics unable to get the food supplies they need.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Minister George Eustice says “buying more than you need may mean that others are left without.”

With Britons told to stay mostly at home and restaurants closed to slow the spread of the virus, some supermarkets are having runs on daily of staples including rice, pasta, fruit and vegetables.

Eustice urged restraint, saying “there is more than enough food to go around.” The government has loosened the limit on deliver drivers’ hours and lifted nighttime delivery curfews so stores can restock more quickly.


TAMPA, Fla. — A Navy sailor assigned to United States Central Command headquarters in Florida has tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

CENTCOM spokesman Capt. Bill Urban made the announcement. Urban says the sailor returned to the U.S. from overseas travel on March 15 and went into precautionary quarantine at his home. He didn’t stop at CENTCOM or at Macdill Air Force base, where the command is located in Tampa.

The sailor started developing symptoms on Wednesday, called ahead to Macdill health officials, and was met outside the base by doctors. Officials say his test returned positive on Friday.


ROME — Italy’s health minister is pleading with people to follow the rules. Minister Roberto Speranza is concerned that too many citizens are flouting lock-down restrictions imposed nearly two weeks ago to contain Italy’s relentless increase in coronavirus cases.

Speranza called for a “great alliance” between citizens and institutions, saying “what counts more is the behavior of every individual.” He warned that until the virus is defeated, Italy’s economy – nearly stagnant for years before the outbreak – won’t get going again.

After local officials clamored for days for stronger measures, Speranza on Friday night ordered the closures of all parks and playgrounds and forbade people to travel to weekend homes from Friday through Monday.

Giuseppe Sala is the mayor of Milan, the capital of Lombardy and Italy’s hardest-stricken region. He tried to rally Milan’s 1.4 million citizens, tweeting “by now, we have understood, this is a marathon, not a sprint.”

People currently can go to work, food shop or exercise near their homes. Sala says he’s consulting with other mayors and the regional governor about imposing their own additional measures if the national government won’t.


The number of confirmed cases of the new coronavirus in Germany rose above 20,000, with 70 deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

Germany’s official Robert Koch Institute listed 16,662 case and 47 deaths, but officials have acknowledged that their count lags behind figures provided by regional health authorities.

Some German states, such as Bavaria, have stepped up measures to contain the outbreak by further restricting the reasons people can leave their homes. That’s prompted some criticism about stricter curfew measures.


LONDON — The London tourist sites were eerily empty on Saturday, a day after the government ordered the closure of all bars, restaurants, movie theaters and other places where people congregate. Pigeons outnumbered people in the usually bustling Trafalgar Square and Leicester Square.

Parks filled with people strolling and jogging on a cool, sunny spring day, and business continued at the outdoor Portobello Road market — though produce-sellers and some shoppers wore masks and gloves.

There were long lines outside some supermarkets. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is meeting with supermarket executives over the weekend about how to keep the shelves filled.


JOHANNESBURG — A few African heads of state have defied coronavirus-related travel restrictions to attend Namibian President Hage Geingob’s inauguration.

Angola closed its air, land and sea borders this week, but Namibian media showed President Joao Lourenco at Saturday’s ceremony. Also in attendance was President Mokgweetsi Masisi of neighboring Botswana, which this week suspended international travel by all government employees.

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa was there. He announced a national disaster even before his country confirmed its first virus case on Friday.

Confirmed cases in Africa have totaled more than 1,000.


NICOSIA, Cyprus — A Cyprus police spokesman says authorities have turned away a boat carrying around 100 migrants, citing government directives banning the entry of foreign nationals to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Christos Andreou told state-run Cyprus News Agency on Saturday that police patrol vessels approached the boat as it was nearing the country’s southeastern coast late Friday and told passengers that they couldn’t disembark because of the ban. Andreou said the passengers, who were offered food, water and fuel, initially refused to change course, but eventually sailed away.

The spokesman said the chief of police has ordered stepped-up patrols around Cyprus’ coastline as well as along the 120-mile-long United Nations-controlled buffer zone that separates a breakaway Turkish Cypriot north from the internationally recognized Greek Cypriot south.

Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot police said a boat carrying 175 Syrians that included 69 minors and 30 women landed on the shores of the Karpas peninsula in the pre-dawn hours Saturday. They were taken to a sports hall for a medical check-up. The Cypriot government accuses Turkey of channeling migrants to Cyprus, especially through the north.


MADRID — Spain has recorded almost 5,000 new coronavirus infections in 24 hours as it climbed into third place in the global ranking of infections behind China and Italy.

Health authorities said Saturday that virus infections have reached 24,926, up from 19,980 the day before. Total deaths were 1,326, up from 1,002 on Friday. Over 1,600 patients are in intensive care units that authorities admit are at their limits. Madrid is the hardest hit region with almost 9,000 infections.

Spain is approaching one week of tight restrictions on free movement and the closure of most shops as hospitals and nursing homes buckle under the burden of the virus outbreak. But authorities admit that they expect infections to continue to rise before the measures can hopefully reverse the trend.


MOSCOW — A deputy mayor of the Russian capital says workers are laboring around-the-clock to build a center that can treat hundreds of coronavirus victims, and that completion is expected within a month.

Placards in the style of Soviet propaganda posters have been placed at the site, about 25 miles outside Moscow’s center, exhorting builders to work at maximum speed; one shows Mayor Sergei Sobyanin pointing at the viewer and the slogan “Builders — Minutes count!”

Deputy Mayor Andrei Bochkarev said Saturday that the new facility will be able to accommodate up to 500 patients. Russia so far has recorded 253 cases of coronavirus infection.


BERLIN — Germany’s southwestern state of Baden-Wuerttemberg is opening its hospitals to patients from the neighboring region of eastern France that’s struggling with a surge of infections with the new coronavirus.

A spokesman for the state’s health ministry confirmed a report Saturday by the daily Schwaebische Zeitung that governor Winfried Kretschmann has offered assistance to France amid a growing shortage of ICU beds there.

Markus Jox said authorities have asked all hospital in Baden-Wuerttemberg with free capacity to take in French patients requiring ventilators.

Jox said that while the state’s own capacity is limited and there are already some bottlenecks, “we will naturally try to help our French neighbors.”


LONDON — Britain lags behind Italy, Spain and France in the spread of the new coronavirus, but already the country’s overstretched health system is creaking.

The U.K.’s state-funded National Health Service has about 4,000 critical-care beds and some 5,000 ventilators, and officials say that’s far fewer than will be needed as the number of cases spikes in the coming weeks.

On Thursday, a London hospital temporarily declared a “critical incident,” meaning it could take no more critically ill patients. Unpublished NHS figures seen by The Guardian say the number of confirmed of suspected COVID-19 patients in intensive care in south London rose from seven on March 6 to 93 on March 17.

Engineering firms and automakers are stepping in to manufacture ventilators, and the government says it is shipping large supplies of protective equipment to hospitals. But some medics say they do not have confidence that they will receive the equipment they need to treat patients and keep themselves safe.


BANGKOK — The governor of Bangkok has ordered the city’s popular shopping malls to shut down except for their supermarkets and pharmacies to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

The malls’ restaurant outlets are also allowed to operate, but only for takeout and delivery orders. Convenience stores, as well as food stalls and traditional standalone markets selling fresh food, can keep operating.

Other venues in the Thai capital now ordered closed from Sunday until April 22 include swimming pools, golf courses, tattoo parlors and cockfighting rings. Public and private schools and colleges, movie theaters, gyms and bars were already ordered closed.

The latest restrictions come as Thailand announced 89 new confirmed coronavirus cases, bringing its total to 411.


THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The Dutch military is stepping in to help transfer coronavirus patients from the hardest-hit region in the Netherlands to hospitals elsewhere in the country.

Defense Minister Ank Bijleveld tweeted that military logistics specialists will be deployed Saturday to help with transfers between hospital intensive care units.

The decision to deploy the military came after hospitals in the hard-hit Brabant region of the southern Netherlands said they are struggling to cope with all the cases.

The head of infection prevention at the Amphia Hospital in the city of Breda Jan Kluytmans told national broadcaster NOS that “hospitals in Brabant can’t handle on their own the stream of patients we expect in the short term.”

The Netherlands has confirmed around 3,000 coronavirus cases, including 106 deaths.


ATHENS, Greece — China has sent 18 tons of medical supplies to Greece, including hundreds of thousands of surgical and protection masks.

An Air China flight landed in Athens on Saturday morning bringing in the supplies. They include 8 tons of equipment donated by the Chinese government, among them the 550,000 masks, and 10 tons donated by Chinese businesses and organizations.

China’s ambassador to Greece, Zhang Qiyue, said her country will do anything it can “to help our friends in Greece.” She also commended Greece for the “timely and strong” measures it has taken to limit the spread of the new virus.

Greece has confirmed at least 495 coronavirus cases, including 10 deaths.


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