Angela Merkel quarantined, Rand Paul tests positive, Ohio on lockdown

Here are the latest updates from around the world.
Image: The nearly empty 42nd Street in New York on March 22, 2020.
The nearly empty 42nd Street in New York on March 22, 2020.Spencer Platt / Getty Images

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The number of global coronavirus cases surged past 300,000 on Sunday, with more than 13,000 deaths worldwide, according to John Hopkins University, which reported that China, Italy and the U.S. had the most people diagnosed with the respiratory illness.

The news came as the number of Americans under virtual lockdown grew to over 80 million on Saturday, and Ohio issued new shelter-in-place orders.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is herself in quarantine after a doctor who treated her tested positive for coronavirus, her press office announced Sunday.

And Sen. Rand Paul became the first known U.S. Senator to test positive for coronavirus.

“He is feeling fine and is in quarantine. He is asymptomatic and was tested out of an abundance of caution due to his extensive travel and events,“ the senator’s Twitter account said on Sunday.

Elsewhere, China ended a three-day streak of reporting no new coronavirus cases after 46 people tested positive positive for COVID-19. On the same day, China's National Health Commission also reported six new deaths. Five of the deaths occurred in Wuhan in Hubei province, where the outbreak originated late last year.

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China reports 46 new COVID-19 cases, ending 3-day streak

China ended a three-day streak of reporting no new coronavirus cases on Saturday after 46 people tested positive positive for COVID-19. 

On the same day, China's National Health Commission also reported six new deaths. Five of the deaths occurred in Wuhan in Hubei province, where the outbreak originated late last year.

China said 45 of the new cases were imported. 

Colombia reports first COVID-19 death

Colombia reported on Saturday the country's first death from COVID-19.

The patient was a 58-year-old taxi driver from the coastal city of Cartagena, health minister Fernando Ruiz said in a tweet.

The driver had recently transported Italian tourists and developed symptoms two days later on March 16, Ruiz said. He was first tested on March 13 but two tests came back negative.

Multiple people who came into contact with the taxi driver, including his sister, a doctor and a passenger, also tested positive for coronavirus, according to Martha Ospina, director of Colombia's National Institute of Health.

More than 200 people have tested positive for the virus in Colombia, according to the health ministry.

L.A. police could start 12-hour shifts, raising COVID-19 fears among rank and file

LOS ANGELES — As residents settle in for weeks of isolation, police Chief Michel Moore has told officers he hopes the city’s stay-at-home initiative designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus can be gently enforced.

He said most residents were following the "Safer at Home" order, which allows essential businesses to remain open and critical public functions to continue but directs most other people to stay home and avoid gatherings.

“Enforcement of it is through awareness, through education, through outreach,” Moore said in a video message and an internal memo to Los Angeles Police Department officers, which also directed the rank-and-file to begin providing security at emergency shelters for the homeless.

He told officers the city is entering a new phase in its response to the pandemic and could begin to move officers to 12-hour shifts with fewer days off as soon as Monday.

Read the full story here.

New Jersey issues stay-at-home order

New Yorkers tie the knot at park after marriage bureau closes

The New York City marriage bureau shut down Friday as part of the city's efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus. But that didn't stop some New Yorkers from finding a way to tie the knot anyway. 

Alex Brook Lynn and her husband, Adam Levy, planned to have a normal wedding. But as COVID-19 cases rose and the illness was declared a pandemic, they decided to speed up the process to get Lynn on Levy's insurance. Upon hearing the news of the marriage bureau's closure, the pair knew they had to figure out a plan B. So, they went to the Manhattan Criminal Courthouse and found a judge to marry them in Collect Pond Park, right across the street. 

"There's no one I would rather go through dystopia with," Lynn told NBC News.

A few friends were there to witness them say their vows, Lynn said. And following the ceremony, the judge ended up marrying another couple that was in the park. 

"There's this constant hustle in the city and when it's working for good, it can be really good and it can feel safe in the city," Lynn added.