Global cases exceed 3 million, farmers throw fruit and flowers

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

  • Global cases: more than 3.2 million
  • Deaths worldwide: over 233,000

The above data was compiled by Johns Hopkins University at 8:04 am Beijing time.

All times below are in Beijing time.

9:37 am: China reports 12 new cases, half of them “imported”

The National Health Commission of China said there were 12 new confirmed cases of infection and that six of them had been attributed to overseas travelers. No new deaths have been reported, but there have been 25 additional asymptomatic cases.

A total of 82,874 confirmed cases of infection have been reported on the continent and 4,633 people have died.

The cumulative death toll rose considerably on April 17 after an investigation in Wuhan city, where the epidemic was first reported, left 1,290 people dead. Saheli Roy Choudhury

9:14 a.m .: California will allow adults to obtain marriage licenses by videoconference

Adults in California could obtain marriage licenses by videoconference for the next 60 days, Governor Gavin Newsom tweeted.

The state has 48,917 confirmed cases of Covid-19, of which 3,497 people are hospitalized, Newsom tweeted. Saheli Roy Choudhury

9:03 a.m .: Walmart announced a new two-hour delivery service

Walmart said its new express delivery service will deliver to customers in less than two hours.

The service is already available in 100 Walmart stores since mid-April. It will be expanded to nearly 1,000 stores in early May, according to Walmart. In the weeks that follow, the service will be deployed in nearly 2,000 stores in total.

Customers can order more than 160,000 items that Walmart carries, including food, groceries, and everyday essentials.

The service will cost $ 10 in addition to existing delivery charges, but Walmart’s Delivery Unlimited customers will pay a flat fee of $ 10 per express delivery. Saheli Roy Choudhury

8:47 a.m .: Australia plans to resume sports

The Australian government will meet on Friday to discuss how sports activities can resume now that daily cases in the country are declining, Reuters reported, citing two sources close to the details.

“The agenda includes the principles of sport and other recreational activities,” a source told the news agency.

The Australian National Rugby League has announced that it will resume 20-round competition on May 28, but that it still requires government approval to restart, Reuters said.

At 6 a.m. local time on Friday, the health ministry said there were 16 new cases. Australia has a total of 6,762 cases and 92 people have died. Saheli Roy Choudhury

8:26 a.m .: Smartphone deliveries drop the most year-over-year, says IDC

Global smartphone shipments fell 11.7% year on year in the first three months of 2020, preliminary data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) revealed. Phone manufacturers shipped 275.8 million smartphones in the quarter.

IDC said that while the first quarter generally experiences “sequential (quarter-over-quarter) drop in shipments”, it is the largest year-over-year decline.

China experienced the largest regional decline in the quarter, as shipments fell 20.3% from a year ago. Most of China was closed in February for an extended period as part of the country’s efforts to contain the epidemic. “The global dependence on China for its smartphone supply chain also caused major problems during the quarter,” said IDC.

Research firm Counterpoint said its analysis showed the global smartphone market fell 13% year-over-year during the quarter. Saheli Roy Choudhury

7:42 a.m .: Tons of fruit and flowers are likely to spoil as the virus disrupts supply chains

Farmers around the world are struggling with an oversupply of their products because their crops cannot reach their target customers due to disruption due to blockages and movement restrictions.

Some have turned to creative ways to get rid of excess supplies. The Belgians were asked to eat more fries because more than 750,000 tonnes of potatoes are at risk of being thrown away; Indian farmers feed their cows on strawberries, which are normally intended for tourists and ice cream producers; in the Netherlands, companies buy flowers to offer to their employees.

“The closings we all know around the world cause work disruption, so we don’t encourage people to farm in the fields,” said Michael Strano, senior principal researcher for disruptive and sustainable technologies in agriculture. to the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology.

“It is a disruption of global transportation and supply chains that is causing this unusual phenomenon of shortages in some regions and excess in others,” he added. Huileng Tan

7:30 a.m .: the number of cases worldwide exceeds 3.2 million and the number of deaths exceeds 233,000

More than 3.2 million people have been infected with the coronavirus worldwide and more than 233,000 people have died from Covid-19 respiratory disease, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

A man in a mask tries to catch a taxi in Times Square amid the Covid-19 pandemic on April 30, 2020 in New York City.

Johannes Eisele | AFP | Getty Images

The United States has reported the highest number of cases, with more than one million infections and more than 62,000 deaths, according to Hopkins data. Earlier this week, the death toll surpassed the number of American casualties in the Vietnam War.

Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom, France and Germany remain among the most affected countries after the United States.

The virus epidemic was reported in China’s Hubei province late last year before spreading rapidly to the rest of the world in just four months. Saheli Roy Choudhury

All times below are Eastern Time.

6:39 p.m .: Former TARP watchdog says Washington is to blame for big companies receiving small business loans

The big companies that received money from the small business loan program are not to blame, according to former TARP watchdog Neil Barofsky.

“You have to go back to the design of the program itself,” Barofsky told CNBC.

“I mean, Congress has done everything it can to carve out companies that have more than 500 employees but that are restaurants, restaurant chains,” he said on “Closing Bell.” “They wanted the money to go to the restaurant chains. “

Barofsky, a lawyer, was previously inspector general of the controversial Troubled Asset Relief program, which Congress adopted to stabilize the financial system in the midst of the 2008 crisis.

Publicly traded companies such as Shake Shack, Potbelly and Ruth’s Hospitality Group have all received loans under the paycheck protection program, but have since announced that they are repaying the money.

“They participated because they qualified and then there is a huge political reaction,” said Barofsky, specifically referring to Shake Shack as an example. –Kevin Stankiewicz

6:23 p.m. Trump suspects coronavirus outbreak came from Chinese laboratory, cites no evidence

President Donald Trump said – without providing any evidence – that he had reason to believe that the coronavirus epidemic came from a laboratory in China.

” I can not tell you. I have no right to tell you, “said Trump when asked what evidence he had seen to make him believe that the virus had emerged from the Wuhan Virology Institute in China.

Trump was originally interviewed by a reporter at a White House event on Thursday about the origins of the virus, and replied, “You have heard all kinds of things. Three or four different concepts on how it came out. “

“We should have the answer to this in the not-too-distant future and it will greatly determine how I feel about China,” said the president.

But later a reporter asked him if he had “seen anything that gives you a high degree of confidence, at this point, that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was the source of this virus?” “

Trump replied, “Yes, I did,” and then repeated that statement. –Dan Mangan

Read CNBC coverage from the USA overnight: Trump feeds theory that virus comes from Chinese laboratory, Big Tech profits suffer

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