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Coronavirus: US expecting up to 200,000 deaths

March 29, 2020

One of the lead members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force is predicting millions of infections. Spain has set another grim daily record for the number deaths. Follow DW for the latest.

A patient is transferred to Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn of New York, the United States, March 28, 2020.
Image: picture-alliance/Photoshot/M. Nagle
  • COVID-19 deaths in the US rose past 2,000 with cases topping 120,000
  • The US can expect up to 200,000 deaths, its leading expert has warned
  • US President Donald Trump issued a "strong travel advisory" for hard-hit New York and surrounding states
  • Spain has reported 838 new deaths — a record over 24 hours — taking the overall death toll to 6,528
  • Mexico has urged everyone in the country to stay home for a month in a bid to slow the spread of the virus

Updates in Universal Coordinated Time (UTC/GMT)

This live updates article has now closed. Click here for the latest March 30 updates.

23:30  A hospital in the northern German city of Wolfsburg has said it cannot admit any more coronavirus patients as it is full. The city is struggling with the pandemic, especially since 15 people were infected and subsequently died having been housed in an old people's home. Any new patients will be transferred to surrounding hospitals, authorities said.

23:20 US country singer Joe Diffie, who had hits such as "Home" and "Pickup Man" in the 1990s, has died after testing positive for COVID-19. The 61-year-old was the first country star to go public with his diagnosis, which he revealed on Friday.

22:25 US President Donald Trump has extended the country's national "social distancing" guidelines to April 30 as the number of cases continues to rise in the country. The US leader said he expects the country "will be well on our way to recovery" by June 1 — abandoning his earlier goal of relaxing measures by Easter.

During a White House press conference, Trump said data indicates that the US death rate will likely peak in two weeks. He also remarked that limiting the number of deaths to 100,000 would constitute a "good job," and that his administration has lowered the number of potential deaths from earlier estimates of more than 2 million.

"If we could hold that down as we're saying to 100,000, that's a horrible number, maybe even less ... So we have between 100,000 and 200,000, we all together have done a very good job."

He added that he had been in close communication with Italy and Spain, while highlighting Germany's low mortality rate due to its high levels of testing.

21:50 Two more countries in Latin America have reported their first coronavirus-related deaths. Bolivia's health minister said that a 78-year old woman had died of respiratory distress after she contracted COVID-19 from a relative. Bolivia currently has 81 cases.

Uruguay, which has over 300 cases, also confirmed its first virus-related death. A 71-year old former electoral court minister, Rodolfo Gonzalez Rissotto, passed away after contracting the virus, the Health Ministry said. Earlier this month, an 82-year old woman who was diagnosed with the virus also died, but her death was attributed to terminal cancer.

21:30 British people could be subjected to confinement measures for up to six months, England's Deputy Medical Officer has revealed. The government’s initial review of the situation is set to take place in two weeks, but it is likely to be too soon to know if the lockdown measures have had the desired effect, Dr Jenny Harries said.

"If we are successful, we will have squashed the top of that curve, which is brilliant, but we must not then suddenly revert to our normal way of living," Harries said. "That would be quite dangerous. If we stop, then all of our efforts will be wasted and we could potentially see a second peak." The UK has reported almost 20,000 cases, with over 1,200 deaths.

A near-empty Westminster Bridge as people avoid central London during a coronavirus lockdown in the UK
A three-week nationwide lockdown went into effect in the UK this weekImage: picture-alliance/R. Pinney

20:15 Italy's government said the country is in for a "very long" lockdown which would only be lifted gradually. While the mortality rate was slowing following a record 919 deaths on Friday, the government's medical adviser Luca Richeldi said indication's of the pandemic slowing down was "a reason for us to be even stricter."

"We are in a very long battle," said Richeldi. "Through our behavior, we save lives."

Separately, Regional Affairs Minister Francesco Boccia told Italy's Sky TG24 that talking about lifting restrictions was inappropriate and irresponsible. "The measures expiring on April 3 will inevitably be extended," he told the broadcaster. "We all want to go back to normal. But we will have to do it by turning on one switch at a time."

18:35 Nigerian President Muhammedu Buhari imposed a lockdown in the capital Abuja and the country's most populous city, Lagos, as well as Ogun State, which borders Lagos.

"All citizens in these areas are to stay in their homes," he was quoted as saying by Nigerian daily The Punch. "Travel to or from other states should be postponed," Buhari added. "All businesses and offices within these locations should be fully closed during this period."

Authorities in Nigeria have so far confirmed 97 cases of coronavirus infection, with one person dying. With some 191 million residents, Nigeria is the most populous African country.

17:38 Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin has ordered all residents of the Russian capital to self-isolate from Monday.

"It is allowed to leave the apartment only in the following cases: to seek external (urgent) medical assistance or due to other direct threat to life and health; to go to work if you are required to work, to go shopping in the nearest working supermarket or a pharmacy," he announced on his website.

Muscovites will also be allowed to take their pets for a walk, but only at a distance of up to 100 meters (109 yards) from their homes.

"In the coming days — after implementing technical and organizational measures — it will only be possible to go outside with a special ID, issued in accordance with the procedure made by Moscow authorities." he wrote on his website.

Within the next week, "a smart control system will be deployed to monitor home isolation and the established rules of citizens' movements," the 61-year-old mayor said.

17:22 Asylum seekers in Germany could provide labor needed to bring this year's harvest, said Germany's Minister of Agriculture Julia Klöckner.

Germany, along with many other European countries, closed its borders. With travel restrictions and nationwide lockdown in place, seasonal workers from other countries are unable to travel to Germany and start working in the fields.

"You can't postpone harvest and sowing as you would a concert or a sports event," Klöckner told Germany's Funke Media Group on Sunday.

Klöckner said that she and the country's interior minister, Horst Seehofer, were considering a plan to hire asylum seekers.

"Many of them come from safe countries of origin such as Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, or Montenegro and want to help out, get involved," Klöckner said.

The minister also praised a new internet platform which allows people to apply for agricultural jobs in Germany and fill for the missing labor force. The portal daslandhilft.de was launched on Tuesday with the support of the Ministry of Agriculture.

"There is a huge rush — there were over 30,000 applications in just the first five days," she said.

16:28 The state of New York registered 7,195 new coronavirus infections in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to over 59,500, the state's Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Sunday. He said 237 people died of the virus in the previous 24 hours, for a total death toll of 965. Another 1,175 were hospitalized. New York City, the most populous city in the US, is one of the hotspots of the new virus. 

Previously, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city would run out of masks, gowns, and other basic hospital supplies by next Sunday, and that more ventilators would be needed even sooner.
De Blasio asked for help and said the city also needed more doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel.

"We need to get them relief," de Blasio told CNN. "They can't keep up at this pace for weeks and weeks and weeks ahead and expect to save lives the way we need them to."

16:19 Turkey reported a sudden jump in fatalities, bringing the total death toll from 23 to 131 on Sunday. The number of infections also skyrocketed by 1,815 to 9,217, according to the country's health minister. Former national goalkeeper Rustu Recber tested positive for the coronavirus and has been hospitalized, his wife said on social media. Recber, now 46, played for teams such as Barcelona, Fenerbahce, and Besiktas before his retirement in 2012.

16:16 Italy has now registered 97,689 infections, up from 92,472 on Saturday, officials said. With another 756 people dying in the previous 24 hours, the latest coronavirus death toll stands at 10,779, according to authorities.

The latest day-to-day jump was smaller than the one announced yesterday,  889 deaths, as well as the record 919 deaths on Friday.

15:50 Here is the latest from across the Middle East

Israel: As a surge in infections has gripped Israel, just 1% of confirmed COVID-19 cases have been found in Arab cities and towns, Haaretz newspaper reported. Health Ministry data showed that not nearly enough epidemiological studies are being conducted in Arab communities in Israel, the paper said. 

The Palestinian Authority, which governs parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank, has so far reported 84 cases, while authorities in the Gaza Strip have said nine people are infected there. There are fears that a major outbreak in Gaza, home to more than 2 million Palestinians, could be extremely difficult to contain. Matthias Schmale, Director of UNRWA operations in Gaza told DW that Gaza has just 60 intensive care unit beds, far short of what is required if the disease spreads. 

"Our worry is, and our appeal to Israel, but also Egypt, as another neighboring country,  and the international community, is not to forget Gaza," Schmale said. "An outbreak in Gaza will also effect Israel and Egypt and the last thing we would want is a complete shutting of the borders," he added. Latest figures: 3,865 infected, 14 deaths, 89 recovered. 

UNRWA: 'An outbreak in Gaza will also affect Israel and Egypt'

Jordan: Following King Abdallah II's emergency decree, which gave the government exceptional powers, hundreds of people have been arrested for breaking curfew laws. Only essential shops are allowed to operate in the kingdom, while the densely populated northern city of Irbid, about 60 miles from the capital Amman, has been put under full quarantine. Jordan's government has insisted that it is using these powers in the "narrowest extent," but Human Rights Watch has urged Amman not to use the coronavirus crisis to violate fundamental human rights. Latest figures: 246 infected, 1 death, 18 recovered. 

Iran: President Hassan Rouhani rejected criticism of his government's handling of the coronavirus outbreak, which has been the worst in the Middle East by most accounts. Rouhani said authorities must begin to consider the effect of mass quarantine efforts on Iran's beleaguered economy, which was already suffering under heavy US sanctions. ''Health is a principle for us, but the production and security of society is also a principle for us," Rouhani told a Cabinet meeting. ''We must put these principles together to reach a final decision," he added. Latest figures: 38,309 infected, 2640 deaths, 12,391 recovered. 

Qatar: Qatar has reported its first death from COVID-19 late Saturday. The tiny, energy-rich nation, has recently joined its neighbors in imposing lockdowns and is scrambling to repatriate its citizens. Qatar Airways said it would continue to operate flights as long as necessary, to get stranded travelers home. But Chief Executive Akbar al-Baker warned that the carrier could soon run out of money. Latest figures: 590 infected, 1 death, 95 recovered. 

Egypt: Several hospitals have been shuttered and villages quarantined, as Egypt attempts to halt the rising infection rate of coronavirus in the most populous Arab state. Health ministry spokesperson Khaled Megahed said villages in up to 10 governorates have been quarantined. Authorities have imposed restrictions on cash deposits and withdrawals to prevent crowding at banks, as payrolls and pensions are disbursed.  President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's  imposed movement restrictions and threatened heavy fines and prison sentences for non-compliance. British newspaper The Guardian accused the Egyptian government of forcing its correspondent out of the country, over an article that suggested authorities were underreporting cases. Latest figures: 576 infected, 36 death, 121 recovered 

Yemen: Authorities in Yemen's southern city of Aden have banned the popular qat markets, where a large number of Yemeni men gather to buy the plant and socialize. But vendors are reportedly attempting to get around the ban and continue selling their product.  In the Houthi-controlled north, authorities said they plan to move crowded qat markets to open areas and ban gatherings of more than eight people. Aid groups have warned that the toll could be devastating in Yemen, where the civil war has left the healthcare system in tatters. Latest figures: no confirmed cases.

Syria: The country's Health Ministry reported its first coronavirus death. The victim was a woman who died immediately after being admitted to a hospital for treatment. Syria's government has banned movement between provinces until April 16, as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of the virus. Latest figures: 5 infected, 1 death, 0 recovered.

15:30 Germany's Economy Minister Peter Altmaier urged a "thorough fitness regiment" for the German economy to recover from the coronavirus crisis. "Rescue packages alone will not be enough," he told the Sunday edition of the Frankfurter Algemeine Zeitung.

Altmaier called for structural changes that would make German businesses more competitive. Specifically, he said Germany and Europe should catch up on the issue of digitization and make sure than new jobs in the future are not just created in Asia and America. The authorities should also work to keep pharmaceutical and biotech companies from going abroad, Altmaier added.

15:15 The first plane carrying German nationals — previously stuck on a cruise ship off Australia — has started its journey to Frankfurt, a source told Germany's DPA news agency. Dozens of coronavirus cases were confirmed on the the Artania cruise moored in Fremantle, outside of the southwestern city of Perth.

Originally, the ship carried over 800 passengers, most of them Germans. The number of passengers on the first repatriation flight out of Perth was not immediately clear, but three more planes were expected to take off within hours, according to DPA.  On Saturday, Germany's Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said that over 160,000 Germans have already been brought back to the country amid the pandemic.

15:03 In Poland, Catholic nuns in several monasteries have started sewing face masks. "The smallest gesture of love counts at this moment," said sister Augustiana Kunicka from the south Polish city of Oswiecim. The demand for face masks has skyrocketed and authorities in Poland and around the world are struggling to keep doctors and nurses supplied.

15:06 France started evacuating coronavirus patients in modified high-speed TGV trains on Sunday. A total of 36 people, all requiring intensive care, are  set to be moved from the heavily hit east of the country to western France.

The trains have been converted into ambulances,with nurses and doctors attending to them during the trip.

"We have more space, more personnel inside, more equipment" than in a normal ambulance or a helicopter, said Francois Braun, head of the local emergency service told the France Inter radio.

14:32 We have updated our overview of lockdown measures across Europe. Read more here: Coronavirus: What are the lockdown measures across Europe?

14:15 Between 100,000 and 200,000 US nationals will die in the pandemic with millions infected, the most senior infectious disease expert in the US, Anthony Fauci, told CNN on Sunday.

Fauci leads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and is one of the lead members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

Talking to CNN on Sunday, Fauci estimated there would be "millions" of coronavirus cases and up to 200,000 deaths, but qualified his response. "I don't want to be held to that ... It's such a moving target that you can so easily be wrong and mislead people," he added.

With the increased testing in the US, he said that current movement and business restrictions could be lifted "in a matter of weeks."

"It's not going to be tomorrow and it's certainly not going to be next week," Fauci said. "It's going to be a little bit more than that."

The US currently has over 124,00 infections and 2,190 people have already lost their lives.

13:57 As Poland nears the presidential election set for 10 of May, the main opposition candidate has called for a boycott of the vote. The ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party has so far refused to delay the polls. On Saturday, the government changed the election rules to allow people aged 60 and over, those in quarantine, and those in self-isolation to vote via post.

"If ... those in power persist in this stubbornness, they must know that they bear full responsibility for the terrible effects on the lives and health of citizens," opposition candidate Malgorzata Kidawa-Blonska wrote in an open letter on Sunday.

Incumbent President Andrzej Duda, who allied with the PiS party, is considered a favorite to win the vote.

12:00 Global deaths have surpassed 30,000, according to figures collated by Johns Hopkins University. At midday on Sunday they reported the following:

  • 678,720 global confirmed cases
  • 31,700 global deaths
  • 145,609 global recoveries
  • Italy has the largest number of deaths at 10,023
  • The US has the largest number of cases at 124,686
  • Germany has 58,257 confirmed cases and 455 deaths, with 8,481 recoveries

11:29 According to Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, the number of confirmed coronavirus infections in the Russian capital has exceeded 1,000. The mayor also admonished Moscovites for being outside, despite the city government shutting down all business and social establishments on Saturday. "No one is safe," he wrote on his homepage.

Russia currently has recorded 1,534 cases of infection nationwide, with 8 deaths. President Vladimir Putin called for all workers to stay home and receive two weeks of paid holiday starting Monday. 

Read more: Will Germans trade privacy for coronavirus protection?

11:20 Norway says it will begin performing random coronavirus tests, following a similar experiment in Iceland.

Norwegian public broadcaster NRK said the tests would answer two key questions: how many of those who appear to be infected actually have the virus and how wide the spread of the virus is.

Norway, a nation of 5.4 million, has so far reported 4,054 cases with 25 deaths.

11:05 India's prime minister, Narendra Modi, publicly apologized on Sunday for a three-week nation lockdown aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus, but said he had "no choice."

"I apologize for taking these harsh steps that have caused difficulties in your lives, especially the poor people,'' Modi said in his monthly radio broadcast. "I know some of you will be angry with me. But these tough measures were needed to win this battle.''

The lockdown, which has been in place since Wednesday, prohibits Indians from going out except to conduct essential trips, such as buying food or medicine. The measures are a strain on the nation's 1.3 billion inhabitants and have put millions of daily laborers out of work with no savings to buy food.

There have been 987 confirmed virus cases in India so far. Health officials fear that dense populations and lack of sanitary conditions will inevitably lead to transmission, which could, in turn, overwhelm the already strained health care system.

10:35 About an hour ago, Spain announced a new daily high for deaths from COVID-19. The health ministry said 838 people had died in the previous 24 hours, taking the overall death toll to 6,528. A sweep of local media has revealed a bit more about the health emergency engulfing the country.

As of the latest statistics available Friday, some 9,444 health workers had contracted coronavirus, representing 14% of total cases, Spanish daily El Pais reported. It is double the amount in Italy. Workers have complained about lacking necessary protective gear such as masks. Many are afraid of infecting their families and those whom they live with.

Pharmacies, which are still open and dispensing medicine, are also complaining about material shortfalls. "There are no masks, no gloves, no disinfectants, no alcohol, no thermometers," Vicente J. Baixauli, the vice president of a national pharmacy agency, told El Pais.

Spanish Finance Minister Maria Jesus Montero said the government is facing the same material shortfalls as any other country because demand simply outstrips production, La Vanguardia reported.

Madrid government officials are preparing temporary morgues to alleviate already saturated funeral homes, reported La Vanguardia. More than 3,082 — or 47% — of Spain's 6,528 deaths have been in the capital.

Read more: German churches overcoming coronavirus isolation

10:25 The German army will withdraw some of its soldiers from Iraq as the COVID-19 pandemic spreads in Middle Eastern countries.

Soldiers who are not essential for ongoing missions on the ground will return to Germany, Bundeswehr commanders confirmed on Sunday. Some troops already landed in Germany on Sunday morning, according to Germany's DPA news agency.

German soldiers are present in Iraq as part of the US-led international coalition to fight the so-called Islamic State.

Iraq has 506 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 42 deaths.

10:10 Iran's death count has risen to 2,640 on Sunday, with the number of confirmed cases surpassing 38,000.

"In the past 24 hours we had 123 deaths and 2,901 people have been infected, bringing the total number of infected people to 38,309, Alireza Vahabzadeh, an adviser to Iran's health minister, wrote on Twitter.

He also confirmed that over 12,000 people in Iran have recovered from COVID-19.

Iran's Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur told state TV that "some 3,467 of those infected are in critical condition."

10:00 Here's a summary of the main developments over the past 12 hours:

Europe: French Politician Patrick Devedjian has become the first European politician to die from COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Meanwhile, the overall death toll in Europe has continued to rise. Italy had reported just over 10,023 deaths as of Sunday morning, while in Spain the total stood at 6,528. The two countries — the hard-hit in Europe — have instituted harsh lockdown measures. Spanish officials said the number of infection cases had jumped to 78,797 on Sunday from 72,248 the previous day.

Germany: Infections in Germany are currently doubling at a rate of three to five days, with a nationwide total of 57,695. There have been 433 deaths from COVID-19. Meanwhile, a potential successor to Angela Merkel, state premier Armin Laschet, has said the country should start thinking about an "exit strategy" on restrictive measures, something Merkel has said the country will not do until mid-April at the earliest.

Asia: South Korea has said that all overseas arrivals will be required to undergo a two-week quarantine starting April 1. The country has been hailed for "flattening the curve" through vigilant testing and social distancing, but it fears new importation of the diseases from returning travelers. On Sunday, the country announced 105 new coronavirus cases bringing the country's total to 9,583.

Japanese media reported that the Olympic Games originally scheduled from this summer in Tokyo would most likely now take place in July of next year.

China reported 45 new cases of the virus on its mainland on Sunday, all but one of which involved travelers entering from outside the country.

Oceana: New Zealand has reported its first death from COVID-19, a 75-year-old woman. The country, which has 514 confirmed cases of infection so far, is in a four-week lockdown.

Australia also announced it would lower the number of people allowed to gather publicly from 10 to two.

Americas: Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who is challenging President Nicolas Maduro, called for the country to institute a government of national emergency to fight the health crisis caused by the coronavirus outbreak, but said Maduro could not be part of it. So far, there have only been 119 cases of the coronavirus with two deaths, but the country's health care system has been decimated by political and economic instability.

United States: President Donald Trump backtracked from yesterday's controversial statement calling for a quarantine of the New York metropolitan area and instead issued a "strong travel advisory." New York Mayor Andrew Cuomo also announced the democratic primary scheduled for April would be pushed back to June. New York City has recorded a total of 30,765 infection cases, with 672 deaths. The US nationwide infection total stands at 124,686 with 2,191 deaths.

How are young people reacting to COVID-19?

09:40 Spain's coronavirus death toll rose by 838 overnight to 6,528 the health ministry said on Sunday, marking the highest daily rise in fatalities.

The total number of those infected rose to 78,797 from 72,248 on Saturday.

Along with Italy, Spain is one of the nations with the greatest number of infections and deaths from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. 

09:00 More than 100,000 jobs could be lost from Germany's automotive sector due to the coronavirus pandemic, a leading industry expert has warned.

Ferdinand Dudenhöffer, who heads the Centre of Automotive Research at the
University of Duisburg-Essen, sees demand for vehicles slumping by 15% this year.

Writing in a paper seen by the news agency DPA, Dudenhöffer thinks German factories will have an overcapacity of 1.3 to 1.7 million vehicles. 

Germany already saw domestic production drop from 5.1 to 4.7 million vehicles last year.

08:45 The German government will put aside strict procurement procedures to speed up the process of accessing masks and protection wear needed in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, German newspaper Welt am Sonntag has reported.

Firms usually face a lengthy and bureaucratic process to bid for government contracts, but under so-called "open-house" rules, the process will be simplified and opened for more companies to participate.

08:18 French politician Patrick Devedjian has died of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, French media reported on Sunday morning.

Devedjian was a close adviser to former President of France Nicolas Sarkozy and managed France's recovery from the 2008 financial crisis.

08:21 Saudi Arabia shut down entry and exit into the Jeddah governorate and brought forward the start of a curfew to 3 p.m. local time (1200 UTC).

The government applied the same measures to Riyadh, Mecca and Medina last week.

Read more: Coronavirus: Practicing Islam amid pandemic

08:00 One of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's possible successors has challenged her position on the restrictive measures instituted to stem the viral spread.

"It's wrong to say that it's too early to think about an exit strategy," Armin Laschet, the state premier of North Rhine-Westphalia, wrote in a guest column for German newspaper Welt am Sonntag. "We already need to be considering the time when the rigid measures are showing initial results."

Merkel had said Thursday that is was too early to think about loosening the restrictions on commerce and public life, arguing that Germany would only be able to tell in a few weeks whether the measures were working in slowing transmission. Her government has said they will remain in effect through at least April 20.

Coronavirus infections are currently doubling in Germany at a rate of three to five days. Merkel's government has said it would like to see the rate slowed to 10 to 12 days.

Both Merkel and Laschet are members of the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU). Laschet is seen as a possible contender to succeed Merkel as the party's chancellor candidate in the next federal elections. 

07:40 Vietnam has locked down one of its largest hospitals after the nation's biggest
cluster of cases was linked to the facility.

The government says Hanoi's Bach Mai Hospital, which has been the main treatment center for Covid-19, has been officially isolated.

As of Sunday morning, 16 virus cases have been linked to the facility, with both patients and staff among those infected, according to a government statement.

Read more: Corona stimulus plans overlook 'historic' chance for climate crisis

07:35 Hundreds of cruise ship passengers are due to board flights for Germany on Sunday evening, after spending days stranded at sea off the West Australian coast.

The owners of Artania have been locked in a stand-off with Australian authorities, who initially refused the ship permission to dock due to several COVID-19 cases onboard.

The ban has since been reversed and three passengers were taken onshore to intensive care wards.

Some 800 people will board planes in Perth bound for Frankfurt, a spokeswoman for Germany's Condor Airlines told AFP.

Ask Derrick

07:15 South Korea says all overseas arrivals will be required to undergo two weeks of quarantine. The measure will begin on April 1.

On Sunday, the country announced 105 new coronavirus cases bringing the country's total to 9,583. Of the new cases, 41 were travelers arriving from overseas, including 40 South Korean citizens and one foreigner, officials said.

06:45 German mail distributor Deutsche Post has laid out an "emergency plan" in case many of its workers fall sick from the novel coronavirus.

German newspaper Welt am Sonntag reports that in a worst-case scenario, only certain individuals and organizations would enjoy so-called postal privileges, including government agencies, the judiciary, the army and health facilities.

If the COVID-19 pandemic meant that more restrictions were put in place, the world’s largest courier company would only deliver to quarantined "closed areas" in exceptional circumstances.

06:40 Pakistan says confirmed cases of coronavirus have increased by 87, taking the country's tally to 1,495. The death of a man in the commercial hub, Karachi, increased the death toll to 12.

Punjab province has the most infections at 557, followed by southern Sindh province with 469.

Pakistan controlled Kashmir has two confirmed cases.

Meanwhile, neighboring India has advised state governments to curtail a huge movement of migrant workers following the ordering of a 21-day lockdown.

06:17 New Zealand has reported its first death from COVID-19. A 75-year-old woman, hospitalized with suspected influenza, tested positive for coronavirus before dying. This means 21 health workers now will be quarantined as they had close contact with her.

New Zealand has 514 confirmed cases of COVID-19, a rise of 63 on Sunday.

06:23 The Olympic Games will now likely take place in July 2021, Japanese media have reported. The Games were postponed as the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the world, with authorities saying that they would take place at some point during the following year.

The most likely start date will now be July 23, 2021, according to Japanese broadcaster NHK, citing sources within the organizing panel. A final decision is expected within a week.

05:59 Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaido has called for an emergency government to be formed in order to fight the health crisis posed by the coronavirus in the politically unstable country.

"Given the situation in Venezuela, which is going to worsen with the pandemic, today I present to the country the need to form a National Emergency Government," Guaido said Saturday.

Since January 2019, Guaido has been leading a campaign against President Nicolas Maduro. Guaido maintains the long-ruling president has held onto power through fraudulent and anti-constitutional means. Guaido said Maduro could not be part of the national emergency government.

Venezuela is currently mired in an economic and humanitarian crisis, with massive medicine shortages and non-existent health care. So far, there have only been 119 cases of the coronavirus and two deaths, but the country is in a complete lockdown.

05:41 New York City Mayor Andrew Cuomo announced late Saturday that the presidential primary election is being delayed due to coronavirus. Instead of taking place on April 28, it will now take place on June 23.

"Public health is our number one priority and we will carry out this vital democratic process at a safer date," he wrote on Twitter.

New York City has become the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, with more than 30,700 confirmed cases of infection and 672 deaths.

More than a dozen states have delayed elections, including the primaries to determine whether Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders will run as the democratic candidate against Donald Trump in November.

05:23 Chinese health officials on Sunday reported 45 new cases of coronavirus infection on the mainland, a drop from the previous' days 54. All but one involved travelers entering the country from abroad. Five people also died from the infection.

In the last week, China has had only six confirmed cases of domestic transmission of the virus, leading some to wonder whether the spread within the country has been stopped.

Lockdown restrictions that had been in place since late January in Wuhan, the city at the center of the virus' outbreak in December, were eased on Saturday. However, international travel restrictions were instituted on the same day.

05:00 The first US federal prison inmate has died from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Patrick Jones, a 49-year-old jailed on drug charges, died in the southern state of Louisiana, the federal Bureau of Prisons reported.

There are more than 2.2 million people behind bars in the US – the highest number in the world. Health officials and criminal justice activists fear the virus could spread rampantly in the US prison system, thanks to dense living conditions, poor sanitation and restricted access to health services.

Many prisoners fall into the high-risk category due to age or underlying health conditions. Prison workers, who travel in and out of the facilities daily, are also at risk of contracting and spreading the disease.

There have been at least 350 confirmed cases of infection in prisons at the state level. Some states have started releasing low-level offenders who are high-risk.

Read more: Coronavirus: Countries scramble to retrieve tourists stranded in Asia

04:46 Germany's public health institute, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), said cases of coronavirus infection had climbed by 3,965 by Saturday, reaching a nationwide total of 52,547. The number of related fatalities grew by 64 to 389.

According to the coronavirus research center run by Johns Hopkins University, in the US, the total number of infections in Germany is 57,695.

The difference in numbers can be traced to different information sourcing. The RKI waits to receive its numbers from local and regional authorities, which means there can sometimes be a delay in communication, especially over the weekend, and then a sudden jump in cases. In contrast, Johns Hopkins actively sources its numbers from official public updates and continually updates its totals.

Read more: Coronavirus: Why are the death rates different?

04:34 South Korea has 105 new cases of coronavirus infections as of midnight Saturday, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. The country's new total is 9,583.

South Korea has been hailed as a model for having instituted widespread testing and social distancing early in the outbreak, measures which have been cited as helping to slow the virus' spread. It has not instituted a lockdown, which many hard-hit European nations including Italy and Spain have done.

However, it has strengthened its controls in recent weeks as travelers have returned from other parts of the world, raising fears of a second wave of infections.

Coronavirus tests in South Korea

03:45 British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is self-isolating after testing positive for COVID-19, will write a letter to every household in the UK, urging people to stay home and take precautions against the spread of coronavirus.

"We know things will get worse before they get better," reads a copy of the text sent to British media. "But we are making the right preparations, and the more we all follow the rules, the fewer lives will be lost and the sooner life can return to normal."

There are currently over 17,000 COVID-19 cases and 1,019 deaths in the UK. 

03:15 Canadian Premier Justin Trudeau said in a press conference outside his home that anyone displaying symptoms of COVID-19 will not be permitted to board domestic flights or intercity passenger trains in Canada. The restrictions will take effect on Monday.

Sophie Trudeau also announced on social media that she has recovered from COVID-19 after being diagnosed in mid-March. Her husband self-isolated and has been working from home, despite having not contracted the illness.  

02:45 Here is the latest from New York, the COVID-19 epicenter in the US:

The US Center for Disease Control (CDC) issued a travel warning urging residents of New York, Connecticut and New Jersey to refrain from "non-essential domestic travel for 14 days effective immediately." The CDC said the warning does not apply to "critical industries" like trucking or public health professionals.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told a news conference data projections indicate the coronavirus outbreak in New York will peak in "14 to 21 days."

Other states have expressed concern over people arriving from hard-hit New York, with the state of Rhode Island checking license plates and telling New Yorkers that they must self-quarantine for 14 days. Texas and Florida have also issued self-quarantine orders for people traveling from New York.

02:00 Mexico's deputy health minister, Hugo Lopez-Gatell, called on the country's residents to stay home for a month, saying it's the only way to stop the spread of coronavirus. Mexico's government has gone from downplaying the threat to stepping up calls for social distancing after COVID-19 cases doubled in a week. Mexico currently has over 700 cases.

01:30 German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said Germany would not ease restrictions on public life prematurely for economic reasons. In an interview with the Bild am Sonntag newspaper, Scholz said he rejected the idea that "we have to accept people dying for the economy to run."

Easing of restrictions like opening closed businesses and restaurants must be based solely on medical criteria, Scholz said. In the US, President Trump was criticized last week for saying he wanted the nation "opened up and raring to go" by Easter. 

00:55 An infant diagnosed with COVID-19 died Saturday in Chicago in the US state of Illinois. The state's health department said that "there has never before been a death associated with COVID-19 in an infant."

00:45 After facing backlash from state leaders, US President Donald Trump announced that he decided against imposing a sweeping lockdown on New York City and surrounding areas, instead opting for a "strong travel advisory."

"A quarantine will not be necessary," he wrote on Twitter. He added that more concrete guidelines will be issued shortly.

00:20  The coronavirus death toll shot past 20,000 in Europe on Saturday, with Italy and Spain each reporting more than 800 dead in one day. The global death toll of COVID-19 is currently at over 30,000, with more than half of those fatalities in Italy and Spain alone. Germany currently has over 57,000 COVID-19 cases and 400 fatalities, according to Johns Hopkins University. 

00:10 US President Donald Trump said he was considering an "enforceable quarantine" for New York City and areas in the neighboring states of New Jersey and Connecticut. 

"We might not have to do it but there's a possibility that sometime today we'll do a quarantine, short term, two weeks, on New York. Probably New Jersey, certain parts of Connecticut," Trump told reporters outside the White House on Saturday.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told CNN he doesn't know how a quarantine could be "legally enforceable," saying it would amount to "a federal declaration of war." He added that the president hadn't yet raised the issue with him.

"I didn't speak to him about any quarantine," Cuomo said. "I don't even know what that means."

00:02 Coronavirus deaths in the United States have doubled since Wednesday, with the number of fatalities topping 2,000 on Saturday.

According to data compiled by the Johns Hopkins University, over 500 of the COVID-19 fatalities were in New York City, which has the most cases in the US at nearly 30,000. The US currently has 121,117 COVID-19 cases according to Saturday's numbers, adding more than 20,000 cases in 24 hours.

00:00 Catch up on yesterday's news here: More than 10,000 dead from coronavirus in Italy

am, jsi, dj, wmr/rs (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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