Australia outbreak on cruise ship; US cases 1 million

This is CNBC’s live blog covering all the latest news on the coronavirus outbreak. This blog will be updated throughout the day as the news breaks.

  • Global cases: More than 3.1 million
  • Global deaths: Over 227,000
  • Most cases reported: United States (over 1 million), Spain (236,899), Italy (203,591), France (166,541), and United Kingdom (166,441).

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University as of 8:23 a.m. Beijing time. 

All times below are in Beijing time.

10:00 am: South Korea reports no new domestic cases for first time since February peak

South Korea reported no locally transmitted cases for the first time since its Feb. 29 peak, according to Reuters. There were still four new infections, all attributed to travelers from overseas, according to the Korea Centers for Disease control and Prevention.

That took the country’s total to 10,765. The death toll rose by one, with the total number of fatalities at 247. South Korea has been widely praised for its efforts successfully containing the outbreak, after it instituted widespread testing and intensive contact tracing. — Weizhen Tan

9:25 am: China says its manufacturing activity expanded slightly in April as lockdowns ease

China said manufacturing activity in the country expanded slightly in April as lockdowns and movement restrictions to contain the coronavirus began to ease.

The official manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index came in at 50.8 for the month of April, as compared to 52.0 in March. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected official manufacturing PMI to come in at 51.0 in April. PMI readings above 50 indicate expansion, while those below that level signal contraction.

In February, the official PMI hit a record low of 35.7 as China was hit by the coronavirus outbreak. — Huileng Tan

9:20 am: China reports 4 new cases, no deaths

China reported four new cases as of April 29, according to its National Health Commission (NHC). All 4 cases were attributed to travelers coming from overseas. That takes the country’s total to 82,862 cases, according to government data.

There were no new deaths, with total fatalities remaining at 4,633, according to the NHC.

Separately, there were 33 new asymptomatic cases, where people tested positive for the virus but did not show any symptoms. That brings its number of asymptomatic cases currently under medical observation to 998, the NHC said. — Weizhen Tan

9:05 am: Los Angeles becomes first major US city to offer free coronavirus testing for all residents

Los Angeles is the first city in the United States to offer coronavirus testing for anyone regardless of whether they have symptoms, Mayor Eric Garcetti said at a press conference on Wednesday. But those with symptoms will have the first priority, he added. 

Los Angeles has the capacity to conduct roughly 9% of all tests in America, he told reporters. 

Across the country, states say that Covid-19 testing is increasing but there still aren’t sufficient tests available. As the United States starts to re-open, medical experts say that testing will need to pickup speed, alongside contact tracing and other efforts to quickly isolate those who might be contagious before they can spread the virus to others. — Christina Farr

8:19 am: Singapore’s DBS bank posts 29% fall in first-quarter net profit

Southeast Asia’s largest bank, DBS, said it set aside 1.09 billion Singapore dollars ($772.5 million) to cover potential losses from the coronavirus pandemic — which resulted in a 29% year-over-year fall in net profit in the first quarter.

DBS said two-thirds of the money it set aside — around 703 million Singapore dollars ($498.2 million) — were for “general allowances to anticipate a deeper and more prolonged economic impact from the pandemic.”

The remaining amount of 383 million Singapore dollars ($271.4 million) was mainly “for new exposures recognised as non-performing during the quarter.”

The Singaporean bank’s net profit fell to 1.17 billion Singapore dollars ($829.2 million) in January-March this year, down from 1.65 billion Singapore dollars ($1.17 billion) in the same period last year.  Yen Nee Lee

8:08 am: Australia says outbreak in Tasmania linked to cruise ship

Australia said a coronavirus outbreak in the state of Tasmania likely originated from the Ruby Princess cruise ship, according to a government report published Thursday, Reuters reported. 

The Ruby Princess cruise, which is owned by a unit of Carnival Corp, is Australia’s largest source of infections as some 2,700 people were allowed to leave the ship when in docked in Sydney last month, according to Reuters. That was despite some people showing symptoms of Covid-19. 

Shoppers are seen observing social distancing at Khan’s SUPA IGA on April 17, 2020 in Cobar, Australia.

Jenny Evans | Getty Images

Tasmania recorded 12 deaths from the virus and all but two were linked to the cruise ship, Reuters reported. 

The health ministry said as of 6 a.m. local time on Thursday, there have been 6,746 confirmed cases and 90 people have died in Australia. Tasmania has 220 confirmed cases.  Saheli Roy Choudhury

7:40 am: US cases top 1 million, global death toll above 227,000

More than 3.1 million people have been infected by the coronavirus around the world and over 227,000 people have died from the respiratory disease Covid-19, data from Johns Hopkins University showed.

The United States reported the most number of cases, with over 1 million people infected and more than 60,800 have died, according to Hopkins data. 

Spain has more than 236,800 cases while Italy has over 203,500 cases. Both France and the United Kingdom reported more than 166,000 cases each and Germany had over 161,000 cases. 

The virus outbreak was reported in China’s Hubei province late last year before it spread rapidly to all parts of the world in just four months.  Saheli Roy Choudhury

All times below are in Eastern time.

6:17 pm: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg warns against reopening public spaces too soon

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has warned that reopening public spaces too soon “almost guarantees” continued coronavirus outbreaks and economic fallout.

“While there are massive societal costs from the current shelter-in-place restrictions, I worry that reopening certain places too quickly before inaction rates have been reduced to very minimal levels will almost guarantee future outbreaks and worsen longer-term health and economic outcomes,” Zuckerberg said on the company’s first quarter earnings call.

“The impact on our business has been significant, and I remain very concerned that this health emergency and therefore the economic fallout will last longer than people are currently anticipating,” Zuckerberg added.

Zuckerberg’s comments come as some states mull whether to reopen businesses that the Covid-19 pandemic forced shut. —Jessica Bursztynsky

5:54 pm: Trump wants FDA to move ‘as quickly as they can’ on remdesivir approval

President Donald Trump said he wants the Food and Drug Administration to move “as quickly as they can” to approve Gilead Sciences’ antiviral drug remdesivir as a treatment for the coronavirus.

“We would like to see very quick approvals, especially with things that work,” he said at a roundtable at the White House with business executives Wednesday evening.

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards (D-LA) in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC on April 29, 2020.

Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images

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