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 infections 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 since the beginning of the outbreak 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 travellers from overseas.
There were five new deaths in Wuhan, the city that was once at the epicentre of China’s 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.
Mainland China has recorded 81,439 confirmed cases and a total of 3,300 deaths throughout the outbreak.
03:40 GMT – Canadian PM’s wife recovers from COVID-19
Sophie Gregoire Trudeau said she has received a “clean 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 states 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.
New Zealand 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 throughout the outbreak in the country to 9,583.
A total of 5,033 people have fully recovered, while the death toll was 152, 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 on the states of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, but would instead issue a “strong travel advisory” for the region.
In a Twitter post, Trump said he made the decision after consulting with the White House taskforce 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.”
….Federal Government. A quarantine will not be necessary. Full details will be released by CDC tonight. Thank you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 29, 2020
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.
The state of Rhode Island announced its first two deaths from the coronavirus, leaving just three states with zero reported deaths: Hawaii, West Virginia and Wyoming.
00:33 GMT – New York governor slams quarantine idea as ‘anti-American’
Andrew Cuomo slammed Trump’s suggestion of a quarantine in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, saying such a lockdown 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.
Cuomo added 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.