US coronavirus cases top 100,000; Italy deaths rise: Live updates | News

The number of people infected with the novel coronavirus in the United States hit almost 104,000 early on Saturday, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally, with the number of fatalities close to 1,700, pushing the global death toll up to 27,324.

Italy, meanwhile, announced 919 new deaths from coronavirus, the highest number of fatalities any country has reported in the space of 24 hours since the outbreak began late last year.

The total number of people who have died as a result of COVID-19 in Italy now stands at 9,134. The number of cases also continue to rise, hitting more than 86,000.

Further dashing hopes that Europe is containing the pandemic, Spain recorded 769 new deaths in a daily, bringing the total number to 4,858. As of early Saturday, the death toll has surpassed 5,000.


Worldwide, the cases have reached more than 595,800 of which about 131,000 have recovered.

Here are the latest updates:

Saturday, March 28

02:08 GMT – South Korea reports 146 more cases of new coronavirus

South Korea has reported 146 more cases of new coronavirus in the country, bringing the total now at 9,478.

As of Friday, there were at least 139 deaths reported in the country.

02:02 GMT – Haiti hospital chief kidnapped amid coronavirus emergency

The director of one of Haiti’s top hospitals has been kidnapped, prompting staff to refuse to take in new patients in protest as the impoverished country battles an outbreak of the novel coronavirus amid a spike in gang violence.

Dr Jerry Bitar, a surgeon, was kidnapped shortly after leaving for work at Hospital Bernard Mevs from his home in an upmarket neighborhood of the capital, hospital staff told Reuters on Friday.

01:42 GMT – Brunei reports first coronavirus death 

Brunei reported its first coronavirus death on Saturday, that of a 64-year-old man.

Brunei has reported 115 cases of the virus so far, some of which were linked to a religious gathering in Malaysia that authorities said had been attended by about 16,000 people.

The man who died had not attended the gathering but had a history of travel to Malaysia and Cambodia.

01:42 GMT – More than 9,000 health workers infected in Spain 

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 infections in Spain has increased by almost 8,000 in one day, pushing the total cases to 65,700, among whom 9,444 are health workers, according to official data and the Johns Hopkins online monitor.

The Spanish Health Ministry said that the number of infected health workers in the country currently ranks the first in the world. There are now more than 5,000 fatalities in Spain.

01:35 GMT – Mexico reports 717 cases, 12 deaths 

Mexico’s health ministry has announced that it had registered 717 cases of coronavirus in the country, up from 585 the day before.

The ministry also said there had been 12 deaths overall from the virus in Mexico, up from eight a day earlier.

01:25 GMT – China reports 54 new cases – all imported

China’s National Health Commission said on Saturday that 54 new coronavirus cases were reported on the mainland on Friday, all involving so-called imported cases. There were 55 new cases a day earlier, one of which was transmitted locally.

The total number of infections for mainland China now stands at 81,394, with the death toll rising by three to 3,295, the commission said.

00:45 GMT – US FDA clears new coronavirus rapid test

The US Food and Drug Administration has cleared a new rapid test from Abbott Laboratories, which the company says can detect the coronavirus in about five minutes.

Medical device maker Abbott announced the emergency clearance of its cartridge-based test in a release Friday night. The company says that its test delivers a negative result in 13 minutes when the virus is not detected.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks during a news conference at the Javits Center in New York

Improvised hospital rooms are seen at a convention centre, which has been partially converted into a hospital, in New York [Jeenah Moon/Reuters]

00:25 GMT – Jordan reports first COVID-19 death

Jordan’s state-run news agency, Petra, has reported that a woman in her 80s died from COVID-19 – the first fatality in the country. Jordan TV reported the woman had underlying medical conditions.

There have been 235 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Arab kingdom. On March 21, Jordan imposed an indefinite full lockdown after it had shut down its airspace and other border crossings.

00:15 GMT – US doctors decry scarcity of drugs and equipment

Doctors and nurses on the front lines of the US coronavirus crisis has pleaded for more protective gear and equipment to treat waves of patients expected to overwhelm hospitals as the number of known US infections surpassed 100,000, with more than 1,600 dead.

“We are scared,” Dr. Arabia Mollette of Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center in Brooklyn told Reuters news agency. “We’re trying to fight for everyone else’s life, but we also fight for our lives as well, because we’re also at the highest risk of exposure

Physicians have called particular attention to a desperate need for additional ventilators, machines that help patients breathe and are widely needed for those suffering from COVID-19, the respiratory ailment caused by the highly contagious and deadly virus.

Cruise ship with coronavirus outbreak blocked from transiting Panama Canal

Panamanian health officials have blocked Holland America Line’s MS Zaandam from transiting the Panama Canal, citing sanitary conditions after a coronavirus outbreak on board the cruise ship. 

00:01 GMT – Cruise ship with coronavirus outbreak blocked from transiting Panama Canal

Panamanian health officials have blocked Holland America Line’s MS Zaandam from transiting the Panama Canal, citing sanitary conditions after a coronavirus outbreak on board the cruise ship. 

Four passengers have died aboard with over 130 others suffering from influenza-like symptoms, at least two of whom have coronavirus, the vessel’s operator said.

The ship has 1,243 guests and 586 crew on board, as well as four doctors and four nurses, the cruise operator said in statement.

22:30 GMT Friday – Trump says US will make 100,000 ventilators in 100 days

US President Donald Trump said on Friday the United States would produce 100,000 ventilators in 100 days and said he had named White House aide Peter Navarro as the coordinator of the Defense Production Act.

“We’re going to make a lot of ventilators,” Trump said, pledging to take care of US needs while also helping other countries.

Trump said there was a great chance the United States would not need so many ventilators to fight the coronavirus outbreak, and would then help other countries in need.

I’m Ted Regencia in Kuala Lumpur with Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.

Read all the updates from yesterday (March 27) here.

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