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China’s Wuhan city revises death toll higher

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: More than 2.16 million 
  • Global deaths: At least 146,071 
  • Most cases reported: United States (671,425), Spain (184,948), Italy (168,941), France (147,091), and Germany (138,135). 

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University as of 7: p.m. Beijing time. 

All times below are in Beijing time.

Table of Contents

7 pm: Switzerland’s virus death toll reaches 1,059, confirmed infections surpass 27,000

Switzerland’s public health agency has recorded a further 42 fatalities as a result of the coronavirus over the last 24 hours, Reuters reported Friday, taking the country’s death to 1,059 up from 1,017. 

The number of people that have now tested positive nationwide increased to 27,078, it added, up from 26,732 on Thursday. — Sam Meredith

6 pm: Spain’s total number of coronavirus infections cross 188,000

Spain’s health ministry said on Friday that the total number of coronavirus cases in the country had jumped to 188,068, up from 182,816 on Thursday.

Second only to the U.S. worldwide, Spain has recorded the highest number of Covid-19 infections in Europe.

Earlier on Friday, Spain’s social security minister said the government would try to support roughly 1 million of the poorest households with a monthly basic wage. Speaking to COPE radio station, the minister said the policy was designed to help people weather the economic impact of the coronavirus crisis. — Sam Meredith

A woman wearing a sanitary mask as a preventive measure, leaving the train during the first day of work for non-essential sectors. Barcelona faces its 31st day of house confinement due to the contagion of Covid-19.

Paco Freire | SOPA Images | LightRocket via Getty Images

4:55 pm: Indonesia reports over 400 new cases of the virus, death toll climbs to 520

Indonesia’s health ministry confirmed an additional 407 coronavirus cases on Friday, taking the country’s total number of infections to 5,923. 

To date, the Southeast Asian nation has recorded 520 deaths as a result of Covid-19. — Sam Meredith

4:25 pm: Russia reports record daily jump in cases

Russia reported 4,069 new coronavirus cases over the last 24 hours — a record rise in new infections, reported Reuters, citing the Interfax news agency. 

That brings total cases in Russia to 32,007, according to the report. — Yen Nee Lee

A couple in face masks look at their mobile phone in a deserted Red Square during the pandemic of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Sergei Savostyanov

4:20 pm: China updates national tally for cases and deaths after Wuhan revision

China’s National Health Commission said that it has updated the death toll and total confirmed cases in the mainland after Wuhan city revised its tally. (See 3:26 pm update)

China’s national level death toll now stands at 4,632, up from the 3,342 that the NHC provided on Friday morning. Meanwhile, total confirmed cases have been revised from 82,367 to 82,692, the NHC said. — Yen Nee Lee

4:00 pm: Switzerland’s Roche joins race to make coronavirus antibody tests

Swiss drugmaker Roche said it aims to offer blood tests to identify those who had been infected with the coronavirus, reported Reuters. 

The tests could be available by early May in countries that accept European CE regulatory standards, according to the report. The Basel-based company is also seeking authorization from U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the report said. 

Before Roche’s announcement, other companies such as U.S.-based Abbott Laboratories and Becton Dickinson and Co, and Italy’s DiaSorin said they hope to sell tests that show people’s immune systems have developed antibodies in response to the coronavirus. — Yen Nee Lee

3:32 pm: China’s economic recovery is tied to how others fare in global recession, Australia’s ex-prime minister says

The synchronous nature of the global recession is affecting external demands for Chinese goods, Kevin Rudd told CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

“The compounding effect of other countries and economies in the world suppressing their own imports from China, for the simple reason that they themselves are experiencing demand-side crises as well,” is affecting the Chinese economy, according to Rudd, who’s currently the president at think tank, Asia Society Policy Institute.

A little over an hour after Rudd spoke to CNBC, China reported its economy shrank by 6.8{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} in the first quarter. (See 10:10 am update) — Saheli Roy Choudhury 

3:26 pm: China’s Wuhan raises death toll by 50{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} after city revises figures

Wuhan city, the center of the coronavirus outbreak in China, said that a local investigation found another 1,290 deaths from the disease.

That means the national death toll is at least 4632, with 3,869 in Wuhan.

The investigation combed through funeral and medical systems, among other data sets, and acknowledged initial figures were incomplete since the outbreak had overwhelmed the city and some patients died at home. — Lilian Wu

3:00 pm: Cases in Germany jump by 3,380 to 133,830 

Germany reported 3,380 more confirmed cases, bringing its tally to 133,830, according to the Robert Koch Institute, a federal government agency responsible for disease monitoring and prevention. 

The country also reported 299 additional deaths, with its total fatalities now standing at 3,868 since the outbreak, the institute said. — Yen Nee Lee

2:37 pm: Chinese driverless car firm launches autonomous deliveries in California as lockdown continues

Chinese driverless car start-up Pony.ai has launched a delivery service in Irvine, California using its autonomous vehicles as people remain stuck at home due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Last year, the company launched a robo-taxi service in Irvine in partnership with Hyundai using the South Korean automaker’s cars equipped with Pony.ai technology. That driverless taxi service was suspended after a “shelter-in-place” order was issued northern California in March. 

Pony.ai has repurposed its fleet of 10 vehicles for deliveries. It has teamed up with e-commerce site Yamibuy for the initiative. — Arjun Kharpal

1:52 pm: Global economy may not fully recover from the virus crisis by 2021, says IMF chief economist

Global economic activity, which has been hit by the coronavirus pandemic, may not fully recover even by the end of 2021, said Gita Gopinath, chief economist at the International Monetary Fund.

The fund this week downgraded its economic forecast. It now expects the global economy to shrink by 3{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} this year before growing 5.8{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} next year — a rebound that Gopinath described as a “partial recovery.”

“So even by the end of 2021, we’re expecting level of economic activity to be below what we had projected before the virus,” she told CNBC “Squawk Box Asia.” — Yen Nee Lee

12:11 pm: Brazilian president fired his health minister after they clashed over how to fight the coronavirus outbreak

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro fired his health minister after they clashed over how to fight the coronavirus outbreak, Reuters reported. 

Bolsonaro also called for states to end stay-at-home orders and said those measures were hurting the economy, according to the news wire. 

The leader previously played down the threat of the pandemic, describing the virus as “a little flu,” and criticized state governors for imposing restrictions that were supported by the outgoing health minister as well as other experts, Reuters said.

Brazil has more than 30,600 reported cases and at least 1,947 people have succumbed to the disease. — Saheli Roy Choudhury 

12:04 pm: Global cases more than 2.15 million, death toll over 144,000

Reported cases of coronavirus infection worldwide stood at more than 2.15 million and at least 144,243 people have died, data from Johns Hopkins University showed. 

The United States had the most number of reported cases at over 671,000.

Infections in Spain, Italy, France, and Germany trickled up, with each country reporting more than 135,000 cases⁠, according to Hopkins.

Total cases in the United Kingdom reached 104,147 infections and more than 13,700 people have died, the university’s data showed. ⁠— Saheli Roy Choudhury

11:44 am: New Zealand says it will decide on extending or easing current lockdown measures next week

Senior government ministers in the New Zealand cabinet will meet on Monday to discuss and decide if the country’s current restriction levels will be extended, or eased, Finance Minister Grant Robertson said at a press conference

New Zealand is currently at alert level 4, which means residents are required to stay indoors unless they’re providing essential services; all nonessential businesses and public gathering places, including bars and restaurants, are closed and social gatherings are not permitted. 

The country reported eight new confirmed and suspected cases of Covid-19 on Friday and two additional deaths. Speaking about the new deaths, Robertson said, “This also serves as a somber reminder that we need to continue to stay home to save lives and to break the chain of transmission.”

“We must make sure that we’re following the rules and guidance for level 4,” he added. 

There have been 1,409 cases in total and 11 people have died in the country. — Saheli Roy Choudhury

10:10 am: China says its economy shrank by 6.8{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} in the first quarter as the country battled coronavirus

A woman wears a medical mask during a snowfall in Beijing, China, February 2, 2020.

Artyom Ivanov | Tass | Getty Images

The contraction in the first quarter would also be the first decline since at least 1992, when official quarterly GDP records started, according to Reuters. The world’s second largest economy came to standstill earlier this year as Beijing implemented large-scale shutdowns and quarantines to limit human contact in order to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

In the first quarter, retail sales in China fell 19{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} from a year ago while industrial production fell 8.4{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} in the same period, data from the bureau showed. — Huileng Tan, Evelyn Cheng

9:30 am: Mainland China reports 26 new cases, no new deaths

China’s National Health Commission (NHC) said there were 26 new confirmed cases as of April 16, of which 15 were attributed to travelers coming from overseas. That brings the country’s total to 82,367 cases, the NHC said.

No new deaths were reported, and the total number of fatalities remained at 3,342, according to the NHC.

Separately, there were 66 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 1,038, the NHC said. — Weizhen Tan

9:05 am: Australia could keep coronavirus restrictions for another year, its prime minister says

Australia could keep imposing restrictions to curb the virus spread for another year, its Prime Minister Scott Morrison said, according to a Reuters report.

He said that some social distancing measures, such as requiring people to stand at least 1.5 meters apart, could be in place for several months more.

“Social distancing is something we should get very used to,” Morrison told radio station 3AW, according to the report. “It could be a year, but I’m not speculating about that.”

However, he pushed for the reopening of schools, citing medical advice that children are a low risk of transmission, said the report. — Weizhen Tan

8:35 am: Investors wait for China’s GDP data

China’s first-quarter GDP data, set to be released Friday morning, will be closely watched as economists assess the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. Efforts to contain the virus have hit China’s key manufacturing sectors and other parts of the economy badly. 

A Reuters poll showed China’s economy is forecast to have shrunk 6.5{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} in the first quarter from a year ago. That would reverse a 6{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} expansion in the previous quarter and mark the first decline since at least 1992, according to Reuters. — Weizhen Tan

8:10 am: Singapore reports another record for daily new cases

Singapore reported 728 new cases as of noon on April 16, yet another daily record high this week and drastically higher than the previous high of 447 reported for Wednesday. This week, the Southeast Asian country has reported a spike in the number of infections after managing to keep numbers low earlier in the outbreak.

Most of the new cases were foreign workers who are housed in dormitories, at which several infection clusters have been found. The men, typically from other Asian countries, work mostly in the construction sector.

The number of fatalities overall in the city-state remained at 10, with the total number of cases now at 4,427. — Weizhen Tan

All times below are in Eastern time.

6:58 pm: Dr. Deborah Birx outlines the White House’s plan to reopen the US economy

6:22 pm: Dow futures rip 700 points higher amid report Gilead drug showing effectiveness treating coronavirus

5:14 pm: Gilead stock surges after report says drug trial shows encouraging early results

Gilead Sciences shares surged  by more than 10{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} in after-hours trading after an industry publication said Covid-19 patients being treated with the company’s antiviral drug Remdesivir appear to have “rapid recoveries in fever and respiratory symptoms.” 

STAT News said a doctor running a Chicago-based hospital conducting a closely watched trial on the drug found that most of its patients had been discharged in less than a week. 

There are no proven therapies to treat Covid-19, which has infected more than 2 million worldwide as of Thursday night, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Some health authorities in the U.S. and China have been using  Remdesivir, which was tested as a possible treatment for the Ebola outbreak, in hopes that the drug can reduce the duration of the virus in patients. —Berkeley Lovelace Jr.

4:58 pm: Trump issues guidelines to open up parts of US where coronavirus cases are in decline, testing ramped up

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