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 800,000
- Global deaths: At least 38,714
- US cases: At least 164,610
- US deaths: At least 3,170
The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
7:49 am: Walmart will start taking employees’ temperatures before shifts
Walmart said it will soon start taking temperatures and doing basic health screenings of employees to detect workers who may be sick with COVID-19.
The retailer also said it’s ordering masks for employees and will offer masks and gloves for them to wear, if they choose.
In a post on Walmart’s website, John Furner, president and CEO of Walmart U.S., and Kath McLay, president and CEO of Sam’s Club, said the additional steps are new ways the retailer is trying to keep employees safe during the coronavirus pandemic. —Melissa Repko
7:47 am: Ford postpones reopening ‘key’ plants
Less than a week after Ford Motor said it would restart production at “key” plants in North America beginning in early-April, the company has postponed those plans as the coronavirus continues to spread throughout the U.S.
Ford said it is delaying the restart of a car plant in Mexico as well as four truck, SUV and van plants in the U.S. ” to help protect its workers.” The company declined to provide a new timeline for reopening the plants.
“The health and safety of our workforce, dealers, customers, partners and communities remains our highest priority,” said Kumar Galhotra, Ford president of North America, in a press release. “We are working very closely with union leaders – especially at the UAW – to develop additional health and safety procedures aimed at helping keep our workforce safe and healthy.” —Michael Wayland
7:33 am: EU executive warns emergency laws cannot flout democracy
Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, delivers a speech during a special address on day two of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020.
The European Union’s executive warned member states that emergency measures adopted by governments to fight the coronavirus crisis cannot undercut democracy.
“It is of utmost importance that emergency measures are not at the expense of our fundamental principles and values … Democracy cannot work without free and independent media,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement. “Any emergency measures must be limited to what is necessary and strictly proportionate. They must not last indefinitely … governments must make sure that such measures are subject to regular scrutiny,” she added after Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban secured the indefinite right to rule by decree. —Reuters
6:59 am: Spirit cancels New York area flights after CDC warning
Low-cost U.S. carrier Spirit Airlines said it will cancel all flights to and from New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey after U.S. officials warned against travel to the area because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Spirit, which appeared to be the first major U.S. carrier to cancel all flights to the so-called tri-state region, said it was responding to this weekend’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory warning against all non-essential travel to and from the area.Spirit said it will suspend service to the airports it serves in the region, New York LaGuardia, Newark, Hartford, Niagara Falls, and Plattsburgh, through at least May 4. —Reuters
6:23 am: Spain’s daily death toll hits 849, highest level since since epidemic started
A man wearing a face mask is wheeled into La Paz hospital on March 23, 2020 in Madrid, Spain.
Denis Doyle | Getty Images
Spain’s death toll reached 8,189, up from 7,340 the day before, the country’s health ministry said.
The 849 deaths in 24 hours is the highest daily death toll since the epidemic started in Spain, Reuters noted. The total number of coronavirus infections rose to 94,417, up from 85,195 on Monday. —Holly Ellyatt
5:51 am: Iran’s death toll from coronavirus climbs to 2,898, health official says
Iran’s death toll from coronavirus has reached 2,898, with 141 deaths in the past 24 hours, the country’s health ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur told state TV, Reuters reported. The total number of infected cases has jumped to 44,606.
“In the past 24 hours, there have been 3,111 new cases of infected people. Unfortunately, 3,703 of the infected people are in a critical condition,” Jahanpur said. —Holly Ellyatt
4:43 am: China to start reporting asymptomatic cases from April 1
An official from China’s National Health Commission has said that the country is to start testing asymptomatic cases starting tomorrow, Reuters reported. It has 1,541 asymptomatic coronavirus patients under observation as of end of March 30.
The commission said 205 of the patients under observation are from overseas. —Holly Ellyatt
4:17 am: Germany’s RKI optimistic about flattening of coronavirus infection curve
The head of Germany’s Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases said his optimism about the flattening of the coronavirus infection curve was justified, adding that this would be clearer after Easter, Reuters reported.
However, Lothar Wieler, president of the Robert Koch Institute, told a news conference that the current mortality rate of 0.8% in Germany would rise further. —Reuters
4:10 am: European markets climb as sentiment buoyed by China data
European markets advanced, following a positive lead set in Asia after Chinese manufacturing data rebounded in March, despite the coronavirus pandemic. The pan-European Stoxx 600 climbed 1.7% in early trade, with travel and leisure stocks jumping 4.7% to lead gains as all sectors and major bourses entered positive territory.
European stocks reacted positively to data showing that China’s official manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for March came in better than some analysts expected. —Holly Ellyatt and Elliot Smith
Read CNBC’s coverage from CNBC’s Asia-Pacific and Europe teams overnight here: China to test asymptomatic cases; Iran’s new infections jump by 3,000