Trump comments ‘dangerous’; Spain reports lowest new deaths in a month

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As the number of U.S. deaths swiftly approaches 50,000, attention has turned to states that are attempting to reopen to spur economic growth. Some U.S. governors have begun easing restrictions despite warnings from world health officials that it may be too soon to do so without sparking a second wave of Covid-19 infections.

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 2,721,354
  • Global deaths: At least 191,231
  • US cases: More than 869,172
  • US deaths: At least 49,963

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

7:25 am: Trump’s coronavirus disinfectant comments ‘dangerous,’ doctors say

Doctors and health experts urged people not to drink or inject disinfectant after U.S. President Donald Trump suggested scientists should investigate inserting the cleaning agent into the body as a way to cure Covid-19.

“(This is an) absolutely dangerous crazy suggestion,” said Paul Hunter, a professor of medicine at Britain’s University of East Anglia. “You may not die of Covid-19 after injecting disinfectant, but only because you may already be dead from the injection.”

Trump said at his daily media briefing on Thursday that scientists should explore whether inserting light or disinfectant into the bodies of people infected with the new coronavirus might help them clear the disease. “Is there a way we can do something like that by injection, inside, or almost a cleaning?” he said. “It would be interesting to check that.”

Lysol and Dettol maker Reckitt Benckiser warned people against using disinfectants to treat the coronavirus.

“Under no circumstance should our disinfectant products be administered into the human body (through injection, ingestion or any other route),” the company said in a statement.—Reuters

7:01 am: Spain reports lowest daily deaths in over a month

Health workers at Hospital Clinic applaud at 8p.m. during the coronavirus pandemic on April 22, 2020 in Barcelona, Spain.

Xavi Torrent

Spain said the number of daily fatalities fell to its lowest level in more than a month, with 367 deaths in the previous 24 hours.

That took total fatalities to 22,524 from 22,157 the day before, the health ministry said. The overall number of coronavirus cases rose to 219,764 from 213,024 the day before. –Reuters

6:49 am: Transport for London to furlough 7,000 staff, access job retention scheme

General view of an empty platform at Chancery Lane Station, London on March 19, 2020.

Alberto Pezzali | NurPhoto | Getty Images

Transport for London said it would place 7,000 staff on furlough and access the British government’s job retention scheme, saving nearly 16 million pounds ($19.72 million) a month in the face of the pandemic.

“TfL is to place 7,000 staff whose work has been reduced or paused as a result of the coronavirus pandemic on furlough from Monday. This will allow TfL to access funding from the Government’s Job Retention Scheme, saving the organization an estimated 15.8 million pounds every four weeks,” TfL, which runs the city’s underground subway system and bus network, said in a statement.

“This will partly reduce the huge financial impact of coronavirus whilst constructive discussions continue with Government on the wider revenue support that TfL will need to continue the effective operation of London’s transport network.” –Reuters

5:40 am: Indonesia reports biggest daily jump in new cases

A man walks past a mural depicting the COVID-19 coronavirus in Bangkalan, east Java on April 6, 2020.

Juni Kriswanto | AFP | Getty Images

Indonesia reported its biggest daily increase of Covid-19 infections, Reuters reported, citing a health ministry official. 

The Southeast Asian country identified 436 new cases of the coronavirus, taking the total number of those infected nationwide to 8,211. Indonesia also reported an additional 42 fatalities on Friday, Reuters reported, bringing the coronavirus death toll up to 689. –Sam Meredith

4:33 am: India’s SpiceJet is seeking government funds to tide over crisis

Indian low-cost carrier SpiceJet has asked the government for relief that will ease the strain on its cash flow, chairman and managing director Ajay Singh said.

SpiceJet is one of the largest airlines in India, based on the number of domestic passengers it carries. Singh said the company is talking to lessors, who lease out planes used by SpiceJet, about payment deferrals on those leases.

More than 50% of the airline’s employees will be on leave without pay in April and the carrier is running a cargo business that’s generating some cash flow, he added.

Like other countries, India’s airlines are in crisis as the country’s extended lockdown measures to reduce the spread of the coronavirus has left all passenger planes grounded till at least May 3, leading to a depletion of cash reserves for the airlines. –Saheli Roy Choudhury

3:50 am: Growing outrage over Beijing’s handling of pandemic

Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, chairs a symposium at the School of Medicine at Tsinghua University in Beijing, capital of China, March 2, 2020.

Yan Yan | Xinhua News Agency | Getty Images

A growing chorus of voices around the world is calling for China to compensate for the damages incurred due to the global coronavirus pandemic. The virus was first reported late last year in China’s Hubei province.

Just this week, the U.S. state of Missouri filed a civil lawsuit against the Chinese government over its handling of the outbreak, saying China’s response led to devastating economic losses for the state.

“The Chinese government lied to the world about the danger and contagious nature of COVID-19, silenced whistleblowers, and did little to stop the spread of the disease,” Schmitt, a Republican, said in a statement. “They must be held accountable for their actions.”

Other lawsuits have also been filed in American courts on behalf of business owners. China has refuted those claims. –Evelyn Cheng

Read CNBC’s coverage from CNBC’s Asia-Pacific and Europe teams overnight here: Indonesia reports biggest daily jump in cases; Airlines in ‘survival mode’

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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