Spain reports an increase in daily deaths; Australia plans to reopen in 3 stages

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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 3.8 million
  • Deaths worldwide: more than 269,000
  • Most cases reported: United States (1,256,972), Spain (221,447), Italy (215,858), United Kingdom (207,977) and Russia (177,160).

The above data was compiled by Johns Hopkins University at 2:32 p.m. Beijing Time.

All times below are in Beijing time.

6:48 p.m .: Spain reports slight increase in daily deaths

RT: Mortuary workers wearing protective gear are seen at the funeral home in San Juan de la Cruz, amid the epidemic of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Segovia, Spain, April 23, 2020.

Susana Vera | REUTERS

Spain has seen a slight increase in daily coronavirus deaths, according to a Reuters report.

The country experienced 229 new deaths linked to Covid-19, against 213 the day before. This brings the national death toll to 26,299, with a total of 222,857 confirmed virus cases. —Sara Salinas

5:40 p.m .: German spy agency doubts “Chinese laboratory” charges

4.30 p.m .: German exports plunge 11.8% in March

Exports from Germany fell 11.8% month-over-month in March – the largest drop since the data records began in 1990, Reuters reported.

Imports into Europe’s largest economy fell 5.1% in March from a month earlier, according to the report, which cited the country’s federal statistical office.

Economists polled by Reuters expected exports to fall by 5 percent and imports to fall by 4 percent, the report said.

The pandemic has reduced demand for goods globally, with businesses and consumers cutting back on spending. Trade-dependent countries such as Germany would be among the hardest hit, with the German government expecting the economy to contract by 6.3% this year, Reuters reported. – Yen Nee Lee

3:55 p.m. Russia reports more than 10,000 new cases for sixth consecutive day

The Russian coronavirus crisis center said there had been 10,699 new cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the country’s death toll to 187,859, Reuters reported.

This is the sixth consecutive day that the country has reported more than 10,000 new cases, the report said. Russia now has one of the highest numbers of coronavirus cases in the world.

The country has also reported 98 additional deaths from coronavirus disease, bringing the death toll to 1,723 since the epidemic, the report said. – Yen Nee Lee

A woman wearing a facial mask to protect herself from the coronavirus on Red Square in front of Saint Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow, Russia on March 25, 2020.

Alexander Nemenov | AFP | Getty Images

3.30 p.m .: South Korea investigates growing nightclub epidemic when country reopens

South Korean health officials are following a growing epidemic linked to a number of nightclubs, as the country began to reopen this week, according to Reuters.

Authorities said at least 15 cases have been traced to clubs in the Itaewon neighborhood and that they are following a list of 1,500 people who have visited the clubs, the report said.

On Wednesday, the country relaxed the rules of social distancing, with a gradual reopening of businesses. It also allowed rallies and events to take place as long as people followed the disinfection guidelines. – Weizhen Tan

3:10 p.m .: Singapore reports 768 new cases in advance

Coronavirus cases in Singapore increased by 768 to a total of 21,707, according to a preliminary update from its Ministry of Health.

Most of the new cases detected were migrant workers living in dormitories, the ministry said. These workers, mostly men from other Asian countries, have so far accounted for almost 90% of the total Covid-19 cases in Singapore, according to official data.

Singapore, which has experienced an increase in cases due to these infections among migrant workers, now has the highest number of cases in Southeast Asia. – Weizhen Tan

2:10 p.m .: Australia will ease restrictions in three-step process

Australia will ease restrictions in a three-step process, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said, according to Reuters.

In the first stage, restaurants and cafes will be allowed to reopen – with a maximum of 10 customers at a time. If no major epidemic occurs after that, the second stage can begin, where gyms and cinemas can reopen with up to 20 customers at a time, according to the report.

The third stage would bring together up to 100 people and would also allow employees to return to the office. Domestic travel would also be allowed, according to Reuters. – Weizhen Tan

Swimmers return to Bondi Beach on April 28, 2020 in Sydney, Australia.

Brook Mitchell | Getty Images

1:40 p.m .: Middle Eastern countries relax restrictions on coronaviruses. Here’s what the experts have to say

Covid-19 situation in the Middle East expected to remain under control despite easing of restrictions in recent weeks, as long as strict social distancing and sanitation measures continue to be applied, experts told CNBC .

The Gulf countries have lifted the bottlenecks and reopened businesses, a move that appears to be motivated both by the holy Muslim month of Ramadan and by the desire to restart economic activity.

“If the isolation of foreign workers works well and if the population respects social isolation and security measures, I do not think that the lifting of the restrictions will lead to an increase in cases,” said Cédomir Nestorvic, professor of geopolitics and of Islamic affairs at ESSEC Business School. . Migrant workers have been hit hard by the health crisis in the region. —Abigail Ng

12:30 p.m .: Germany reports 1,209 new cases and 147 additional deaths

The total number of coronavirus cases in Germany has jumped from 1,209 to 167,200, according to the latest data from the Robert Koch Institute, a federal government agency responsible for disease surveillance and prevention.

The death toll in the country increased by 147 to 7,266, according to the data. —Yen Nee Lee

12:05 pm: As the US-China rivalry intensifies, the pandemic could tip world power in favor of Beijing

The coronavirus pandemic will increase the already bad rivalry between the United States and China. Beijing should use the crisis as an opportunity to raise awareness and expand its influence, especially in countries hit hard by the pandemic, analysts said.

The two countries are arguing on several fronts, including the actual extent and origin of the coronavirus epidemic.
China has been blamed not only by the United States, but also by the United Kingdom and Australia for its initial response to the epidemic, which has been criticized as slow and non-transparent.

But that won’t stop the Asian giant from expanding globally. —Weizhen Tan

11:00 am: Singapore’s second bank reports a 43% drop in first quarter net profit

Singapore’s second-largest lender Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp announced a 43% year-over-year decline in first quarter net income to $ 698 million ($ 494.6 million) – well below from the average estimate of 941 million Singaporean dollars from Refinitiv (666.7 million) million).

The bank, like its Singaporean and foreign counterparts, has set aside money for possible loan losses that could arise as the coronavirus pandemic hit economies around the world. OCBC increased loan loss provisions to $ 657 million ($ 465.5 million) from $ 249 million ($ 176.4 million) a year ago.

Singapore, a wealthy Southeast Asian country, is expected to experience its worst economic recession in history this year. Its central bank warned last month that the trade-dependent economy could underperform official forecasts of an economic contraction of between 1% and 4%. —Yen Nee Lee

10:05 a.m .: International tourist arrivals could drop from 60% to 80% this year

The pandemic resulted in a 22% year-over-year drop in the total number of international tourist arrivals in the first quarter of this year, according to the latest forecasts from the United Nations World Tourism Organization. That number could accelerate from 60% to 80% for 2020 as a whole, the UNWTO said in a report released Thursday.

March was the most affected month in the first quarter, as tourist arrivals fell 57% as many countries began to implement measures – including border and airport closures – to contain the spread virus, according to the report.

The agency described three possible scenarios for how the pandemic would affect international travel in the coming months:

  • The gradual opening of international borders and the relaxation of travel restrictions in early July would result in a 58% drop in tourist arrivals in 2020 compared to a year ago;
  • If the opening of international borders and the lifting of travel restrictions begin in early September, the drop in tourism would reach 70%;
  • If border closings and travel restrictions are relaxed in early December, tourist arrivals would drop 78% year-over-year. —Yen Nee Lee

9:30 a.m .: Mexico registers the highest number of deaths per day at 257

Mexico reported 1,982 new coronavirus cases and 257 deaths on Thursday – the highest number of daily deaths in the country to date, Reuters reported.

This brings the total number of people infected to 29,616 and the number of dead to 2,961.

The Mexican government has said the actual number of infections is considerably higher than the reported cases. —Huileng Tan

9:10 a.m .: China reports new case, no deaths

China has reported a new coronavirus case and no deaths for Thursday. There have been no reports of imported travelers.

This brought the total number of people infected to 82,886, said the country’s National Health Commission. The death toll remained at 4,633.

The NHC also said there were 16 new asymptomatic cases on Thursday, where patients do not show symptoms of the disease. —Huileng Tan

8:55 a.m .: China revises measures limiting Labor Day holidays

The Chinese government is examining “proven effective practices” to contain the coronavirus and will issue directives to local governments to resume regular activities, according to a press release from the Foreign Ministry. It was made public after a Thursday meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang.

Measures taken during the Labor Day vacation from May 1 to 5 will be reviewed. During the break, China recorded 115 million tourist trips to the country.

A working group will publish revised guidelines for local governments. “Better targeted containment routines will in turn open more consumer service facilities to boost consumer spending and bring life and work back to normal more efficiently,” said the press release.

The authorities will also facilitate the reopening of schools and the reuse of production and consumer services, he added. —Huileng Tan

8:30 am: An escalation in US-China tensions is “the last thing” everyone needs, says JPMorgan

A resumption of trade tensions between the United States and China would be the “last thing” that everyone needs when the world is already in shock from the coronavirus pandemic, said Alexander Treves of JPMorgan Asset Management.

Treves’ comments came as Washington and Beijing have heightened rhetoric in recent days, with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo saying there was “a significant amount of evidence” suggesting that the virus came from a laboratory. ‘State of Wuhan, China, where cases first occurred. end of last year.

China has vehemently rejected claims that the virus had escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Most experts believe that the virus probably originated in a wet market in Wuhan and was then transmitted to humans via bats or pangolins. —Eustance Huang

7:45 a.m .: Record job losses in April in the United States are expected to exceed 20 million due to virus shutdown

The April employment report is expected to show that a record 21.5 million jobs were lost when the US closed to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

According to Dow Jones, the unemployment rate is expected to climb to 16%, the highest since 1939.

Economists predict that a high concentration of job losses will be concentrated in the leisure and hospitality and retail sectors, as these establishments have been completely closed. But they also see the losses spread more widely to manufacturing and construction.

“This is the biggest and sharpest shock we have seen in post-war history. It is a dramatic loss of production in a very short time, “said Michelle Meyer, director of US economics at Bank of America. —Patti Domm

Read CNBC coverage from the USA overnight: San Francisco plans May 18 for takeover of certain businesses as California releases reopening guidelines

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