Clorox sales jump, China’s Hubei province set to relax lockdown measures

Clorox sales jump, China’s Hubei province set to relax lockdown measures


Wall Street is closing out a painful week of earnings reports with one bright spot: Clorox reported higher profit off demand for cleaning products. As states struggle to find the balance between keeping their populations safe and allowing workplaces to restart their engines, the market is cheering news about possible Covid-19 vaccines and treatments. Gilead and Moderna continue to make headlines as drugmakers work furiously to end the pandemic.

This is CNBC’s live blog covering all the latest news on the coronavirus outbreak. All times below are in Eastern time. This blog will be updated throughout the day as the news breaks. 

  • Global cases: More than 3.2 million
  • Global deaths: At least 233,704
  • US cases: More than 1 million
  • US deaths: At least 63,019

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

7:25 am: Clorox sees 15% sales jump on strong demand

Clorox offered results for its fiscal third quarter this morning, reporting a 15% jump in sales as demand for its cleaning products skyrocketed. 

Reported net income and earnings per share also rose year over year, coming in at $241 million, or $1.89 per share. 

Read the full report on Clorox earnings from CNBC’s Amelia Lucas here. —Sara Salinas

7:15 am: China’s Hubei province, where Covid-19 was first detected, set to relax lockdown measures

Travelers walk to the exit of the Hankou Railway Station in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei province Wednesday, April 08, 2020, after 76 days of lockdown of the city due to Covid-19.

Barcroft Media | Getty Images

China’s central province of Hubei, where the coronavirus was first detected in late 2019, is reportedly poised to ease lockdown restrictions from Saturday.

Hubei’s health commission posted on its official WeChat account on Friday that it would move to lower its emergency response level to the second-highest grade from May 2, according to Reuters.

It marks a major milestone in China’s fight against the coronavirus outbreak. World health officials believe the coronavirus likely emerged from a seafood market in Wuhan, Hubei’s provincial capital, in December.

To date, more than 3.27 million people have contracted Covid-19 worldwide, with 233,704 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. —Sam Meredith

6:45 am: Iran reports 63 new deaths, death toll at 6,091

Iranian sanitary workers disinfect Qom’s Masumeh shrine on February 25, 2020 to prevent the spread of the coronavirus which reached Iran, where there were concerns the situation might be worse than officially acknowledged.

MEHDI MARIZAD | AFP | Getty Images

Iran reported the number of cases reached 95,646, a spokesperson for the health ministry said, according to Reuters. 

The health ministry also confirmed 63 new deaths over the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of Covid-19 deaths in the country up to 6,091. 

The Islamic Republic is one of the countries hardest hit by the pandemic in the Middle East. —Sam Meredith

6 am: Spain’s death toll climbs to 24,824

Two soldiers of the Military Emergency Unit are seen carrying material to disinfect the nursing and day centre ORPEA Sanchinarro for the second time to stop coronavirus infection on April 01, 2020 in Madrid, Spain.

Europa Press News

Spain reported 281 new fatalities over the last 24 hours, the health ministry said, taking the nationwide death toll up to 24,824. The previous day’s death toll was 268.

The number of total cases rose to 215,216 on Friday, up from 213,435 the day before. Spain has reported the second-highest number of Covid-19 infections worldwide. 

The U.S. has recorded the most coronavirus cases to date, accounting for roughly one-third the global total after surpassing the 1 million milestone earlier this week. —Sam Meredith

5:20 am: How the gas that gave the world Viagra could help treat coronavirus patients

Viagra pill

John Greim | LightRocket | Getty Images

A range of studies and clinical trials underway at Massachusetts General Hospital aims to find out whether inhaled nitric oxide could help treat patients with the coronavirus.

Nitric oxide is a colorless, tasteless and short-acting gas which widens blood vessels in the lungs when inhaled. 

Preliminary data has suggested that inhaled nitric oxide could have a virus-killing effect on the coronavirus, Massachusetts General Hospital says in an online statement. It is due to the genomic similarities between Covid-19 and those that caused the SARS and MERS outbreaks. Studies during the SARS outbreak in 2004 to 2005 demonstrated that nitric oxide was effective in killing that virus.

To be sure, the effectiveness of nitric oxide in treating the new coronavirus has not been studied before. There are no known vaccines or specific antiviral medicines against Covid-19. 

In the 90s, nitric oxide played a central role in the development of the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra. — Sam Meredith

Read CNBC’s coverage from CNBC’s Asia-Pacific and Europe teams overnight here: EU chief backs investigation into virus origin; Russia reports record spike in cases


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