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Global death toll tops 30,000 as CDC issues travel advisory for 3 states

Here are the latest coronavirus updates from around the world.
Image: A health public information officer looks at beds at a temporary hospital set up by the California National Guard in Indio on March 29, 2020.
A health public information officer looks at beds at a temporary hospital set up by the California National Guard in Indio on Sunday.Apu Gomes / AFP - Getty Images

The global death toll from COVID-19 has surpassed 30,000, according to John Hopkins University, as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention issued a travel advisory for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, where the coronavirus outbreak has hit the U.S. hardest.

Elsewhere, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote residents urging them to stay home during the country's weeks-long lockdown. Johnson, who recently tested positive for coronavirus, said "things will get worse before they get better." The U.K. has surpassed 1,000 known deaths.

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Italy’s churches filling up with coffins

China claims domestic spread basically blocked, but warns of imported cases

China’s National Health Commission spokesperson Mi Feng said in a briefing that on March 28 the number of confirmed cases had dropped to less than 3,000, and the spread of the local coronavirus cases had been basically blocked.

A total of 693 overseas imported confirmed cases from 42 countries have been reported, of which seven countries have a larger number of cases than China, accounted for 83.4% of the total. Officials warned these imported cases are still likely to cause a new round of spread within China.

Officials previously claimed on March 23 to have mostly halted domestic cases. The National Health Commission reiterated this on March 29 as China's existing confirmed cases dropped to a new low, but warned the country should stay on high alert.

Coronavirus could kill over 100,000 Americans, White House expert warns

Dr. Anthony Fauci pauses during an interview at the White House on March 12, 2020.Brendan Smialowski / AFP - Getty Images file

Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday that he anticipates the coronavirus could kill between 100,000 and 200,000 Americans while infecting "millions."

Speaking with CNN's "State of the Union," the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said however he does not want to be "held" to that prediction because the COVID-19 outbreak is "such a moving target."

Read the full story here. 

'Like sitting ducks': Amid coronavirus, families, attorney sound alarm over ICE detainees

Detainees talk on the phones at the Adelanto ICE Processing Center in Adelanto, Calif. on Aug. 28, 2019.Chris Carlson / AP file

Americans with family members in immigration detention facilities, as well as their lawyers, are sounding the alarm and urging the release of non-violent detainees with underlying health conditions amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

On March 24, Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in a person held in an immigrant detention center.

“This is what public health experts have assured us would happen: People in detention centers are sitting ducks for the spread of this virus. The same experts have also predicted that once outbreaks in detention centers begin, they will spread rapidly,” Andrea Flores, deputy director of policy at the ACLU said in a statement.

Read the full story here. 

VA opens its hospital beds to non-veterans to assist New York City

The Department of Veterans Affairs said Sunday that it would be opening up 50 beds in two of its hospitals to help New York City in its efforts to combat the coronavirus. 

Non-veteran patients who need treatment for ailments other than COVID-19, the disease associated with the virus, will be eligible for 35 acute care and 15 intensive care unit hospital beds. The transfer of five non-COVID patients from community hospitals to VA campuses in Manhattan and Brooklyn is already underway, the department said. 

“VA is proud to assist the City of New York while continuing its primary mission of caring for our Nation’s Veterans,” VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said in the Sunday press release.

Governors warn shortages will put their states in 'dire straits' as early as this week

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards appear on "Meet the Press" on March 29, 2020.NBC News

WASHINGTON — Two governors of states seeing a surge in coronavirus cases sounded the alarm Sunday about the lack of resources to respond to the crisis and warned that shortages of ventilators and protective equipment could overwhelm hospitals as soon as this week.

Appearing on NBC's "Meet the Press," Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said that some hospitals in her state are “already at capacity,” and that even despite receiving new shipments of protective equipment as recently as Saturday, her state is “going to be in dire straits again in a matter of days.”

Read the full story here.

Photo: Shopping in Madrid

People practice social distancing while waiting to enter a supermarket in Madrid on Sunday.Susana Vera / Reuters

Owner of the New York Knicks and Rangers tests positive

Madison Square Garden Company Executive Chairman and CEO Jim Dolan has tested positive for coronavirus.

Dolan is the owner both the New York Knicks and New York Rangers sports teams. He also operates the famed Manhattan arena, Madison Square Garden.

The 64-year-old has been in self-isolation and is experiencing little to no symptoms, according to a tweet from the Knicks Saturday night.

Social distancing halved rate of spread in Australia, PM says as lockdown measures increase

The rate of spread of the novel coronavirus in Australia has halved in recent days, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Sunday as he announced an additional 1.1 billion Australian dollars (about $680 million) to expand telemedicine care and other health services.

The daily increase in cases in recent days was at about 13 percent-15 percent, down from 25 percent-30 percent seen a week ago, showing social distancing measures were working, Morrison said. He acknowledged, however, that these were still strong rates of increase.

As such, Morrison said that public gatherings should not exceed two people, and stressed Australians should go out only when necessary. There are nearly 4,000 confirmed cases in Australia on Sunday and 16 deaths, health officials said.

Also on Sunday, neighboring New Zealand saw its first death related to the virus, with cases rising to 514 confirmed infections.

Spain reports record daily death toll as lockdown is extended

The temporary hospital set up at a pavilion in Ifema convention and exhibition center in Madrid, Spain last week.Comunidad de Madrid / AFP - Getty Images

Spain has reached a daily record for virus deaths with 838 fatalities in the last 24 hours, according to the country's Ministry of Health. This brings the total number to 6,528, the world’s second-highest country behind Italy.

Sunday’s number is slightly up from Saturday when 832 people were reported to have died from the virus. The number of confirmed infections rose by more than 6,500 from Saturday to 78,797 cases on Sunday, the Ministry of Health said.  

Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said in a press conference on Saturday that all non-essential workers in Spain are ordered to stay home for two additional weeks of lockdown from Monday until April 9. He added that workers will receive their usual salaries but would have to make up lost hours at a later date.

Sánchez also said the Spanish Ministry of Health has bought healthcare supplies from China, including 659 million face masks. He called the outbreak, “the worst crisis in Europe since World War II.”

Reporter's notebook: The virus renders Rome silent

ROME — “Chiuso.” Italy is closed.

Usually a trip to Rome is a dream assignment. But not when your flight lands and you learn that the prime minister has just declared all of Italy a “Zona Rosa,” or a red zone.

The minute we touched down last week, camera operator Angela Neil and I received alerts on our phones announcing that the rules that had been in place for northern Italy were now the law of the entire land: Only leave your house for essential business; restaurants must close at 6 p.m.; all public gatherings are canceled.

An airport security agent stands guard in a deserted Terminal T1 of Rome's Fiumicino international airport on March 17, 2020, as the T1 is closing and all operations taking place at Terminal T3.Andreas Solaro / AFP - Getty Images

The first sign that things were going to be different on this trip came when we passed through a completely empty customs hall after having our body temperatures checked by security staff wearing masks and gloves.

Read the rest here.