21/05/2024 4:27 AM


Be life confident

China numbers; US cases top 1 million

This is CNBC’s live blog covering all the latest news on the coronavirus outbreak. This blog will be updated throughout the day as the news breaks.

  • Global cases: At least 3,113,447.
  • Global deaths: At least 216,930.
  • Most cases reported: United States (1,011,877), Spain (232,128), Italy (201,505), France (169,053), and United Kingdom (162,350). 

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University as of 8:30 a.m. Beijing time. 

All times below are in Beijing time.

Table of Contents

6:18 pm: Most of Spain has virus reproduction rate of below 1, health official says

Almost all areas of Spain have a coronavirus reproduction rate, known as the ‘R’ number, below 1, the head of health emergencies Fernando Simon said Wednesday, Reuters reported.

“Right now, almost all areas in the country have a reproduction number below 1,” Simon told reporters in an online briefing. The reproduction rate refers to the number of people that an infected individual goes on to infect.

If the reproduction number is not below 1 on average, he said, Spain cannot consider easing mobility restrictions. — Holly Ellyatt

5:44 pm: Russia nears 100,000 coronavirus cases

Russia’s crisis response center reported 99,939 cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, having reported an additional 5,841 cases in the last 24 hours.

The total number of reported fatalities remains relatively low, however, at 972 deaths. Russia says it has carried out 3.3 million tests. On Tuesday, President Vladimir Putin extended the national “non-working” month through to May 11. He also warned that Russia had not yet seen the peak of the virus. — Holly Ellyatt

Physicians Tatyana Lesnykh (L) and Denis Medvedev put on protective gear ahead of entering the Red Zone of the COVID-19 treatment facility at Vinogradov City Clinical Hospital No 64.

Valery Sharifulin

5:33 pm: Spain’s daily death toll rises again, with 325 fatalities reported

Spain’s daily death toll has risen again Wednesday with the health ministry reporting 325 deaths Wednesday, up from 301 reported the day before.

The overall death toll from the virus rose by 453 to 24,275, however, as additional data was added from previous days, Reuters reported.

The country now has 212, 917 cases of the virus, the ministry said, up 2,144 from the previous day. — Holly Ellyatt

4:30 pm: Malaysia reports 94 new coronavirus cases but no new deaths

Malaysia reported 94 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday with no new deaths, the health ministry said. The country has so far recorded a total of 5,945 infections, with 100 fatalities in all, Reuters reported. — Holly Ellyatt

3:50 pm: Sweden’s economy to shrink 7{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} in 2020, think tank says

Sweden’s economy is set to shrink 7{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} this year and unemployment rise to 10.2{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f}, a leading think tank has said Wednesday as the effects of the coronavirus outbreak start to impact the country.

“The global economy is developing worse than expected which is hitting Swedish export companies,” the National Institute for Economic Research (NIER) said in a statement.

“Developments in April indicate that the Covid-19 pandemic will hit the Swedish economy much harder than anticipated” in an economic report released by the think tank in early April. — Holly Ellyatt

3:30 pm: Italy’s credit rating downgraded to one notch above junk by Fitch

Italy’s credit rating has been downgraded to one notch above junk level by Fitch ratings agency as the coronavirus hurts Italy’s already fragile economy further.

Fitch downgraded Italy’s credit rating from ‘BBB’ to ‘BBB-‘, just one level above its junk rating, reflecting increasing doubts around Italy’s credit-worthiness as it tries to recover from the economic and societal damage inflicted by the coronavirus.

The ratings agency said the downgrade reflects “the significant impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic on Italy’s economy and the sovereign’s fiscal position.” — Holly Ellyatt

3:20 pm: Coronavirus pandemic shows that AI could be over-hyped 

The world is facing its biggest health crisis in decades but one of the world’s most promising technologies — artificial intelligence (AI) – isn’t playing the major role some may have hoped for.

Renowned AI labs at the likes of DeepMind, OpenAI, Facebook AI Research, and Microsoft have remained relatively quiet as the coronavirus has spread around the world.

In fact, AI’s role in this pandemic is likely to be more nuanced than some may have anticipated. Read more here. — Sam Shead

3:15 pm: Singapore preliminarily confirms 690 new cases

People wearing protective surgical masks walk along the Merlion Park, a major tourist attraction in Singapore.

Maverick Asio l SOPA Images l LightRocket via Getty Images

That takes the total number of infected people in the country to 15,641.

Most of the new cases have been linked to infection clusters in dormitories that house foreign workers, who are typically men from other Asian countries, carrying out labor-intensive jobs to support their families back home. 

Singapore has one of the highest number of coronavirus cases in Asia. — Huileng Tan

1:55 pm: Pandemic will likely end the strong profit growth in Singapore banks

After a strong run last year, the profitability of Singapore banks is expected to fall sharply in 2020.

That’s due to the coronavirus pandemic, as well as a crash in oil prices that brought down some of the major energy traders in the Asian financial center.

A glimpse of that earnings hit could come this week as DBS Group Holdings, the largest bank in Singapore and Southeast Asia, is scheduled to release its first-quarter financial report card on Thursday. DBS’ earnings release will be followed by United Overseas Bank next Wednesday, and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp next Friday.

Estimates by Refinitiv showed that net profit at all three banks could fall by more than 20{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} in the first quarter, and DBS is expected to take the largest hit of a 32{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} decline. — Yen Nee Lee

1:45 pm: Pakistan central bank governor says virus outbreak ‘interrupted’ economic turnaround

The Covid-19 outbreak has disrupted Pakistan’s efforts to turn its economy around, the country’s central bank governor said.

Policymakers were “in the midst of telling a story, a story to international stakeholders as well as to domestic stakeholders. The key message of the story was that our economic problems are … profoundly behind us,” Reza Baqir told CNBC’s Nancy Hungerford on “Street Signs.”

“When Covid struck, it has interrupted the story,” Baqir said, adding Pakistan’s aim in dealing with the outbreak is to “provide appropriate prudent policy responses.”  In April, the State Bank of Pakistan slashed its key policy rate by 200 basis points.

Last year, the International Monetary Fund had approved a three-year, $6 billion loan package to Pakistan as it faced mounting debt and a potential balance of payment crisis. In exchange, the government was expected to implement reforms and tough austerity measures.

In April, the IMF also approved $1.386 billion in emergency financing to Pakistan due to the economic impact from the pandemic, Reuters reported. — Saheli Roy Choudhury

1:40 pm: Thailand reports 9 new cases, no deaths

Thailand on Wednesday reported 9 new coronavirus cases, taking the total number of infected people to 2,947, Reuters reported, citing Taweesin Wisanuyothin, a spokesman of the government’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.

There were no additional deaths, and the toll stood at 54. It was the third day the country reported single-digit increases in infection numbers, Reuters reported, citing Taweesin.

On Tuesday, the Thai government extended the country’s state of emergency for another month till May 31. A 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. curfew was also extended.

Authorities are planning to allow some businesses in the capital of Bangkok to reopen in the next few days or weeks, Reuters reported, citing an official. — Huileng Tan

12:10 pm: Germany reports 1,304 new cases, 202 deaths

Germany reported 1,304 new coronavirus cases, taking the total number of infected people to 157,641.

There were 202 more deaths, taking the toll to 6,115, according to the Robert Koch Institute.

Germany’s coronavirus infection rate has reportedly edged up, prompting the head of the country’s infectious diseases institute to urge people to stay at home as much as possible amid a relaxation of lockdown measures.

Germany’s virus reproduction rate, called the “R” rate or value, is now at 1.0 in Germany, according to Lothar Wieler, the president of the Robert Koch Institute, having risen from 0.7 earlier this month. — Huileng Tan

10:40 am: China to hold annual meeting two months later than planned

China’s parliament will hold its annual meeting on May 22 — two months later than originally planned due to the pandemic, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

It said the 13th National People’s Congress to be held in Beijing can now go on as the coronavirus situation in the country has improved, according to the report. 

The National People’s Congress, with about 3,000 delegates, typically gathers for a session lasting at least 10 days in Beijing, to pass legislation and unveil key economic targets for the year. — Weizhen Tan

9:55 am: Australia to ramp up coronavirus testing

Australia is set to begin widespread testing after securing 10 million Covid-19 test kits, according to a Reuters report citing Health Minister Greg Hunt. The state of Victoria, for instance, said it would set up mobile centers for people to do testing in their homes, offices and while shopping.

The country plans to expand testing this week to those who are not showing symptoms, the report said. The government has said such testing is essential for lifting restrictions and lockdowns. Australia has already started to gradually reopen. — Weizhen Tan

9:10 am: UK start-ups raised $825 million during virus lockdown, but less deals are being made

New research suggests British start-ups have raised £663 million ($825 million) since the coronavirus lockdown began in the country, shrugging off the economic downturn in the process.

The study — carried out by workspace provider Plexal and start-up database Beauhurst — focused on funding rounds between March 23 and April 27, analyzing nearly 30,000 businesses.

It found that British start-ups raised 34{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} more this year than they did during the same period last year. The rise is thought to be a result of investors allocating additional funding to ensure the survival of start-ups in their portfolio. — Sam Shead

8:25 am: China reports 22 new cases, no deaths

China reported 22 new cases as of April 28, according to its National Health Commission (NHC). It attributed 21 cases to travelers coming from overseas. That takes the country’s total to 82,858 cases, according to government data.

There were no new deaths, with total fatalities remaining at 4,633, according to the NHC.

Separately, there were 26 new asymptomatic cases, where people tested positive for the virus but did not show any symptoms. That brings its number of asymptomatic cases currently under medical observation to 993, the NHC said. — Weizhen Tan

8:10 am: Mexico reports jump of 1,223 new cases

Mexico reported an increase of 1,223 new cases, taking its tally to 16,752, according to Reuters.

The country said there were 135 more deaths, to a total of 1,569 fatalities, the report said. According to Mexico’s government, the actual number of infections is significantly higher than confirmed cases. — Weizhen Tan

8:08 am: Samsung says it expects virus to hit demand for key products

Tech giant Samsung said it expects a likely decline in overall earnings for the three months ending in June compared to the previous quarter.

It said sales and profits of set products business, which includes smartphones and TVs, are “expected to decline significantly as COVID-19 affects demand and leads to store and plant closures globally.”

In fact, the tech giant said it expects smartphone demand to “drop sharply in most regions” due to the economic downturn caused by the pandemic and added that there’s a possibility it might delay or cut back its 5G investment in the second quarter.

Still, it expects robust demand for its main profit-making memory business as more people work from home. Samsung’s memory components are used in smartphones and data centers. — Saheli Roy Choudhury

All times below are in Eastern time.

7:07 pm: Trump says US will be able to run 5 million tests per day ‘very soon,’ despite shortages

President Donald Trump said the U.S. will “very soon” run 5 million coronavirus tests per day, even as the lack of testing remains an obstacle for many states anxious to reopen for business.

“We’ll increase it, and it’ll increase it by much more than that in the very near future,” Trump said when a reporter asked if he’s confident the U.S. will reach 5 million tests per day, as some health experts say would be required to “reopen” the country.

The U.S. is currently nowhere near conducting 5 million tests a day. In fact, the most tests the nation has run on a single day was 314,182 on April 22, according to data compiled by the Covid Tracking Project. The U.S. has run just 5.7 million total Covid-19 tests since the beginning of the pandemic, according to the volunteer project designed to track testing data launched last month by The Atlantic. 

That puts the nation woefully behind where its testing capacity needs to be. At the average rate of around 157,000 tests run a day in April, according to the project, it would take almost 6 years to test everyone in the U.S. — just once. Health-care workers and other first responders need to be tested often. New York state is requiring private companies that want to bring their employees back to work to test them frequently. —Will Feuer, Christina Wilkie, Kevin Breuninger

6:37 pm: The Academy changes rules for 2021 Oscars

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has altered its Oscar eligibility rules in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The board of governors approved a temporary change that would allow streamed films to be eligible for its coveted annual award ceremony. 

“The Academy firmly believes there is no greater way to experience the magic of movies than to see them in a theater,” David Rubin, Academy president, and Dawn Hudson, CEO of the Academy, said in a joint statement. “Our commitment to that is unchanged and unwavering.”

“Nonetheless, the historically tragic Covid-19 pandemic necessitates this temporary exception to our awards eligibility rules,” they said. —Sarah Whitten

6:15 pm: The US coronavirus death toll surpasses American casualties from the Vietnam War

U.S. officials and public health specialists have repeatedly compared the country’s coronavirus mitigation efforts to that of a war, and now Covid-19 has taken more U.S. lives than the Vietnam War. 

The U.S. National Archives says that 58,220 American soldiers died in the Vietnam conflict, which began in 1955 and ended in 1975. Covid-19 has now claimed more lives in the U.S. since it officially arrived in the country in January, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

 Covid-19 has killed 58,365 people so far in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins. —Will Feuer

2:07 pm: US coronavirus cases top 1 million

The coronavirus has now infected more than 1 million people in the United States as the nation grapples with roughly a third of all global cases — making it the worst outbreak in the world, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

A large portion of U.S. Covid-19 cases remain in New York state, where Gov. Andrew Cuomo is currently testing about 20,000 people a day for the virus and is working with President Donald Trump to double that number.

The virus has touched every state in the U.S., disrupting daily life for millions of Americans as state and local leaders have shuttered nonessential businesses to try to curb the pandemic, putting record numbers of people out of work. —Berkeley Lovelace Jr. 

Read CNBC’s coverage from the U.S. overnight: US coronavirus cases top 1 million, lawmakers urge airlines to make face masks mandatory

Source Article