New cases surge in Spain; Olympics organizers agree to a delay

New cases surge in Spain; Olympics organizers agree to a delay


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 387,382
  • Global deaths: At least 16,767
  • US cases: At least 46,450
  • US deaths: At least 593

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University. 

8:29 am: Japan PM Abe agreed with IOC’s Bach on idea of delaying Olympics 1 year

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Tuesday he and the head of the International Olympic Committee agreed on the idea of delaying the Tokyo Olympics by about one year.

Abe was speaking to reporters after a phone call with IOC President Thomas Bach on postponing the Games amid growing concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

Tokyo had completed preparations when the virus started spreading across the world. Despite insisting for months the Games would go ahead as planned, Abe this week said a delay may be unavoidable if the events could not be held in a complete form. —Reuters

7:53 am: Dow futures surge 900 points

7:12 am: Gilead’s potential treatment gets FDA’s orphan drug label

Gilead Sciences’ experimental drug remdesivir, seen as one of the more promising potential treatments for the coronavirus, on Monday received the orphan drug designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The announcement comes days after President Donald Trump called on the FDA to streamline its approval process for treatments such as remdesivir, which is currently being tested in clinical trials, with results expected as early as next month. The orphan drug status provides a seven-year market exclusivity period, as well as tax and other incentives for drug companies developing treatments for rare diseases that affect fewer than 200,000 people. —Reuters

7:08 am: China to lift lockdown on Wuhan city, the epicenter

Two months after Chinese authorities locked down the city at the center of the original outbreak, the end is in sight. Hubei province said that travel restrictions on the capital city of Wuhan will be removed starting Apr. 8, which would end a lockdown that began on Jan. 23. New confirmed virus cases in China have dwindled in the last several days, with all or the majority now attributed to travelers returning from overseas. —Evelyn Cheng

7:04 am: Deaths slow in Italy, while trade unions vow to strike

A woman wearing a protective mask walks outside Castel Sant’Angelo, as Italy tightens measures to try and contain the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Rome, Italy March 23, 2020.

Remo Casilli | Reuters

Italy’s death toll rose by 602, the smallest increase in four days, according to Reuters. The number of new confirmed cases also slowed. These figures have raised expectations that the worse could be over for the country with the highest number of deaths from the virus worldwide. However, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said that Italy had not yet reached the “most acute phase” of the infection.

Conte stepped up the national lockdown measures over the weekend, ordering the closure of all industrial production and almost all private and public offices. However, metalworkers and bank unions vowed to strike this week. They are demanding more stringent measures for the factories that are still open and for bank employees, who they say do not have enough masks, gloves or disinfectant. —Silvia Amaro

6:59 am: Spain reports 6,600 new cases, over 500 dead

A military team enters the Abando Indalecio Prieto Renfe station in Bilbao during disinfection tasks due to the coronavirus crisis on March 23, 2020 in Bilbao, Spain.

H. Bilbao | Europa Press News | Getty Images

The number of new cases in Spain jumped on Tuesday to 39,673 from 33,089 cases registered on Monday, the health ministry reported on Tuesday. The number of fatalities rose to 2,696 overnight from 2,182, the ministry said. —Reuters

5:41 am: Euro zone business activity suffers largest collapse ever recorded

The euro zone economy suffered “an unprecedented collapse” in business activity in March as the coronavirus outbreak intensified, according to provisional purchasing manager’s index (PMI) survey data from IHS Markit. The data showed that the “flash” euro zone composite PMI collapsed from 51.6 in February to 31.4 in March. The survey measures business activity in the services and manufacturing sector in the 19-member euro zone.  A reading below 50 indicates a contraction. This is the largest monthly fall in business activity since comparable data were first collected in July 1998. The prior low was seen in February 2009, when the index hit 36.2. —Holly Ellyatt

5:20 am: Indonesia reports sharpest daily spike of cases yet

Indonesia reported an additional 107 cases, according to the country’s health ministry, marking the biggest daily increase for the Southeast Asian nation. It takes the country’s total number of COVID-19 infections to 686. Seven further deaths from the virus in the last 24 hours means the nationwide death toll now stands at 55. —Sam Meredith

5:00 am: UK wakes up to life under lockdown

Military vehicles cross Westminster Bridge after members of the 101 Logistic Brigade delivered a consignment of medical masks to St Thomas’ hospital on March 24, 2020 in London, England.

Leon Neal | Getty Images

The U.K. government has tightened restrictions on the British public. As of Tuesday morning, all nonessential public buildings and places are closed, ranging from libraries to churches, outdoor gyms and playgrounds, and all social events including weddings and baptisms have been stopped. The public has been told to stay at home and can now only leave home for essential trips to buy food or medicines, to provide essential care, travel to work if absolutely necessary or to exercise once a day. —Holly Ellyatt

Read CNBC’s coverage from CNBC’s Asia-Pacific and Europe teams overnight here: Britain goes into lockdown; global cases surpass 382,000


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