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Market cheers ‘positive’ vaccine news; WHO chief says ‘long road to travel’

World leaders are meeting virtually Monday at the World Health Organization’s 73rd World Health Assembly to discuss and set priorities for the next year. Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered remarks earlier this morning in which he announced $2 billion in funds to support other countries’ response to the pandemic. South Korean President Moon Jae-in called for greater authority to be vested in the WHO as emerging diseases present an increasingly serious threat to humanity.

Biotech company Moderna released data on its closely watched phase 1 human trial for its coronavirus vaccine candidate. The data appears to be positive and investors sent shares of the company soaring in premarket trading and lifted the overall market. 

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 4.7 million
  • Global deaths: At least 315,496
  • U.S. cases: More than 1.4 million 
  • U.S. deaths: At least 89,564

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

WHO chief says ‘long road to travel’ 

8:17 am ET — Director-General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said there is still a “long road to travel” in terms of a Covid-19 response, with most countries showing a large portion of their population still unaffected. 

“The risk remains high and we have a long road to travel,” Tedros said, according to a Reuters report. Early serological tests in some countries show that no more than 20{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} of populations have contracted the virus, and “in most places less than 10{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f},” he said.

Tedros also vowed to commission an independent and transparent review of the agency’s handling of the Covid-19 crisis at the “earliest possible moment,” Reuters reported. 

“We all have lessons to learn from the pandemic. Every country and every organization must examine its response and learn from its experience,” Tedros said. —Sara Salinas

Daily new cases, by region

Moderna vaccine candidate shows early signs of progress

7:58 am ET — Data from Moderna’s phase 1 human trial of its coronavirus vaccine shows early signs of progress as it produced antibodies in all 45 participants, the company announced.

The company said the vaccine was generally safe and well tolerated, CNBC’s Berkeley Lovelace reports. Moderna’s vaccine candidate is among the furthest along in the world. The company has been working with the National Institutes of Health, an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services, to fast-track development of the potential vaccine.

Shares of Moderna surged more than 30{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} in premarket trading on the news. —Will Feuer

Spain’s economy will see further hit in second quarter, Bank of Spain warns

7:34 am ET — The economic impact from the coronavirus crisis in Spain will last longer than first expected, the Bank of Spain’s governor warned, saying he foresees a “significant deterioration” in the second quarter.

The central bank’s Governor Pablo Hernandez de Cos told Spain’s parliament that “what has been confirmed in the last few weeks is that the recovery will not be without difficulties, and, besides, more unfavorable scenarios cannot be ruled out,” Reuters reported. 

De Cos said that scenarios envisaging a fall in Spain’s GDP of between 9.5{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} and 12.4{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} in 2020 now look realistic. —Holly Ellyatt

South Korea calls for an empowered WHO

In this photo illustration the World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is seen on a screen of pc and a coronavirus image displayed on a screen of a smartphone in Kiev, Ukraine.

Pavlo Gonchar | SOPA Images | Getty Images

7:26 am ET — The WHO needs more legally defined power to combat emerging disease in the future, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said, Reuters reported.

“We must update the WHO International Health Regulations and other relevant norms and augment them with binding legal force,” he said at the World Health Assembly, according to Reuters.

The WHO’s 194 member states have agreed to inform the United Nations agency quickly of new public health threats, but the organization lacks legal enforcement mechanisms. For example, representatives of the agency cannot enter a country to investigate without permission.

“Infection-related data should be shared among countries in a more transparent manner and an early warning system and a cooperation mechanism must be jointly established,” Moon said, according to Reuters. —Will Feuer

Xi says China supports WHO-led review

Tedros Adhanom, Director General of the World Health Organization, (L) shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping before a meeting at the Great Hall of the People, on January 28, 2020 in Beijing, China.

Naohiko Hatta – Pool | Getty Images

7:05 am ET — China will support a review of the global response to Covid-19 led by the World Health Organization once the virus is under control, Chinese President Xi Jinping said.

“China supports the idea of a comprehensive review of the global response to Covid-19 after it is brought under control, to sum up our experience and address deficiencies,” he said at the 73rd World Health Assembly. “This work should be led by science and professionalism, led by the WHO and conducted in an objective and impartial manner.”

China has faced criticism for censoring doctors early to alert the public of the new virus, which emerged in Wuhan, China in late 2019, and of allegedly failing to share the magnitude of the outbreak in the country. China has pushed back against calls for an international investigation into the origins of the virus.

Xi added that China will contribute $2 billion over two years to support other countries and their response to the pandemic, CNBC’s Evelyn Cheng reports. —Will Feuer, Evelyn Cheng

Read CNBC’s coverage from CNBC’s Asia-Pacific and Europe teams overnight here: France’s Macron and Germany’s Merkel to present joint initiative

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