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Trump drops idea of coronavirus lockdowns: Live updates

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US President Donald Trump has backed away from imposing a quarantine in the New York area, instead directing that a “strong travel advisory” be issued for the area.

The announcement on Twitter came late on Saturday as criticism grew over Trump’s earlier call to prohibit travel in and out of virus hotspots in the states of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

The US now accounts for the highest number of coronavirus infections of any nation, recording more than 122,000 confirmed cases on Saturday. The death toll in the country surged past 2,000, more than double the figure two days ago.

In Spain, the number of deaths from COVID-19, the illness caused by the new virus, rose to 5,690, and in hard-hit Italy, the death toll jumped above 10,000.

Worldwide, the number of cases has reached more than 660,000. Some 139,000 people have recovered, while more than 30,000 have died.

Here are the latest updates:

Sunday, March 29

05:15 GMT – Thailand reports 143 new cases and one death

Thailand recorded 143 new coronavirus cases and one death on Sunday, Reuters news agency said, citing a spokesman for the Thai government.

The latest victim was a 68-year-old man from Nonthaburi province who had attended a crowded boxing match in Bangkok where there had been a cluster of infections, according to Taweesin Wisanuyothin.

The new figures bring the total number of cases and deaths in Thailand to 1,338 and seven, respectively.

04:00 GMT – As cases continue to slow in China, Wuhan reopens rail stations

China’s National Health Commission reported 45 new COVID-19 cases on the mainland, of which all but one were imported by travelers from overseas.

There were five new deaths in Wuhan, the city that was once at the epicentre of China’s coronavirus outbreak. Life is gradually returning to normal in the city, which has only reported one new case in the last 10 days, according to state media.

Wuhan’s subway and railway stations reopened on Saturday after two months of suspension, and a China- Europe cargo train departed Wuhan for Germany carrying medical supplies.

There are now 81,439 confirmed cases and a total of 3,300 deaths in mainland China.

03:40 GMT – Canadian PM’s wife recovers from COVID-19

Sophie Gregoire Trudeau said she has received a “clear bill of health” two weeks after testing positive for COVID-19.

“It’s all good for me now,” she said in a video posted on Instagram. “We are going through some really rough times, and we are going to stick through it together.”

03:25 GMT – CDC issues travel advisory for New York area

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urged residents of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to “refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days effective immediately”.

The travel warning did not apply to employees of critical infrastructure industries, including trucking, public health professionals, financial services, and food supply, the agency said on its website.

02:45 GMT – New Zealand confirms first coronavirus death

New Zealand reported its first death from COVID-19, prompting Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to renew calls on the public to “stay at home, break the chain, and save lives”.

The woman who died was a 70-year-old who had initially been diagnosed with influenza. Some 21 staff who were involved in the patient’s care were now in self isolation, according to a statement by the health ministry.

The Asia Pacific country recorded 60 new infections in the past 24 hours, bringing the total confirmed cases to 476.

01:15 GMT – South Korea reports 105 new cases, total at 9,583

Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 105 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total infections in the country to 9,583.

The death toll rose to 152, while a total of 5,033 people have fully recovered, the public health agency said.

00:50 GMT – Trump to issue ‘strong travel advisory’ for New York region

Trump said he will not impose a quarantine in the New York area, but would instead issue a “strong Travel Advisory” for the region.

In a Twitter post, Trump said made the decision after consulting with the White House task force leading the federal response and the governors of the three affected states.

He wrote: “I have asked the @CDCgov to issue a strong Travel Advisory, to be administered by the Governors, in consultation with the Federal Government. A quarantine will not be necessary.

00:40 GMT – Coronavirus deaths surge past 2,000 in US

The death toll from coronavirus infections in the US doubled in two days, surging past 2,000, according to a tally by the Johns Hopkins University.

The US now ranks sixth in deaths, after Italy, Spain, China, Iran and France.

Rhode Island announced its first two deaths from the coronavirus, leaving just three states with zero reported deaths: Hawaii, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Andrew Cuomo slammed Trump’s suggestion of a quarantine in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, saying a lockdown in the states would amount to “a federal declaration of war”.

“If you start walling off areas all across the country, it would be totally bizarre, counterproductive, anti-American, anti-social,” the governor of New York told CNN, calling the idea “preposterous” and illegal.

“It would be chaos and mayhem,” Cuomo said, adding that roping off the nation’s financial capital could “paralyse the economy” at a time Trump has called for measures to get the economy back on track.

Hello, I’m Zaheena Rasheed in Male, Maldives, with Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.

Read all the updates from yesterday, March 28, here.


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