Health and Science

Coronavirus: Spain's services industry records 'unprecedented' decline, survey shows

Key Points
  • The death toll from the fast-spreading coronavirus rose and at least 52,863 people have lost their lives to COVID-19, according to the latest numbers from Johns Hopkins University.
  • South Korea reported 86 new coronavirus cases, taking the country's tally to 10,062 so far, according to the latest data by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Germany's death toll crossed 1,000 after the country reported another 145 fatalities relating to the coronavirus, latest data by the Robert Koch Institute showed.

The coverage on this live blog has ended — but for up-to-the-minute coverage on the coronavirus, visit the live blog from CNBC's U.S. team.

  • Global cases: More than 1,026,000. 
  • Global deaths: At least 53,975. 
  • Top 5 countries: United States (245,573), Spain (117,710), Italy (115,242), Germany (84,794), and China (82,465). 

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University as of 7:35 p.m. Beijing time.

All times below are in Beijing time.

7:30 pm: UK health minister suggests nationwide coronavirus peak could be Easter Sunday

U.K. Health Minister Matt Hancock reportedly said on Friday that the deadliest peak of Britain's coronavirus outbreak could be on Easter Sunday. 

In an interview with Sky News, Hancock said he "would defer to the scientists on exact predictions," but the peak of the U.K. outbreak falling on April 12 was "one perfectly possible outcome." 

To date, the U.K. has reported more than 34,000 cases of the COVID-19 infection, with 2,926 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. — Sam Meredith

A jogger wears a mask as he runs along Millenium Bridge in London on the morning on March 24, 2020 after Britain ordered a lockdown to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.
DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS | AFP via Getty Images

6:00 pm: Spain's daily death toll falls for first time since March 26

The amount of people that have died from the coronavirus in Spain has seen its first daily fall since March 26.

A total of 932 people died in the last 24 hours, down from 950 people the previous day, according to Reuters who cited the country's health ministry. Spain's death toll now stands at 10,935. —Clinch

5:33 pm: China's central bank announces new stimulus measures

The People's Bank of China said Friday it was reducing the amount of cash that small and mid-sized banks need to hold in reserve.

It will reportedly free up around 400 billion yuan ($56.38 billion) in liquidity and aid the country's economy which has been badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic. —Clinch

4:50 pm: Singapore shuts schools, closes most workplaces temporarily

Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced stricter social distancing measures in the city state, joining a chorus of countries globally that have done so to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

The measures include closing most workplaces, except those offering "essential services" such as food establishments, hospitals and transport, said Lee. All schools will also be closed temporarily, he said.

The prime minister also said his government is rethinking its advice that only those who are ill need to wear masks. — Yen Nee Lee

3:35 pm: Spain's services activity suffers record decline in March, private survey shows

Spain's services industry recorded "unprecedented contractions" in activity following strict lockdown measures implemented to curb the spread of the coronavirus, a private survey showed.

The IHS Markit Spain Services Purchasing Managers' Index — which measures activity in the industry — sank to a record low of 23.0 in March from 52.1 in February. 

A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while below that signal contraction. The IHS Markit PMI reading for Spanish services activity has been in expansion territory for more than six years.

"The March survey laid bare the scale of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated effort to contain the outbreak, with services companies registering unprecedented falls in activity, new work and confidence," said Paul Smith, economics director at IHS Markit. — Yen Nee Lee

A worker in an establishment receives the protective methacrylate screens that the Paterna Town Hall has supplied to make them safer against the virus, during the third week of confinement in Spain on April 1, 2020 in Paterna, Valencia, Spain.
Ivan Terron | Europa Press via Getty Images

3:04 pm: New Google site shows where people in a community are taking social distancing seriously — and where they're not

Google has launched a new website that uses anonymous location data collected from users of Google products and services to show the level of social distancing taking place in various locations.

The COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports web site will show population data trends of six categories: Retail and recreation, grocery and pharmacy, parks, transit stations, workplaces, and residential. The data will track changes over the course of several weeks, and as recent as 48-to-72 hours prior, and will initially cover 131 countries as well as individual counties within certain states. — Jennifer Elias

2:47 pm: Germany is using a familiar weapon to prevent massive layoffs

Almost half a million companies in Germany have sent their staff on short-term working schemes — known as "Kurzarbeit" — to trim their payroll costs with immediate effect. 

Never before, not even in the financial crisis of 2008, has the number of these applications jumped so rapidly.

Short-term working worked well as a tool to prevent massive layoffs during the last crisis. It sends people home or slashes their hours substantially, but keeps them officially employed with the state funding around two-thirds of their salary.

Essentially, workers get as much as two-thirds of their pay even if they don't work. And the company is not burdened by staff costs in times of severe economic stress. — Annette Weisbach

2:32 pm: Europe's health services struggle to cope with the coronavirus

A lack of beds, protective equipment and doctors are just some of the issues being faced in Europe, as the coronavirus crisis exposes the weaknesses of the region's national health systems. 

After deep austerity measures over the last decade, the health systems of countries like Italy, Spain, the U.K. and Portugal are struggling to keep on top of the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19. There are some common issues, such as a lack of testing kits to monitor the virus, and not enough protective clothing and equipment.

"Overloaded," a junior doctor in the north of Portugal, and who didn't want to be named due to the sensitivity of the issue, told CNBC. "There are no personal resources nor (enough) equipment for everything." — Silvia Amaro

2:15 pm: Malaysia's economy could shrink in 2020, warns its central bank

Malaysia's central bank has warned that the country's economy could shrink this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Bank Negara Malaysia said in an economic review report that the annual change in the country's gross domestic product is projected to be between -2.0% and 0.5%.

"2020 is an exceptionally challenging year for the global economy. Confronted with an unprecedented health crisis, global growth is expected to contract," the report read.

Malaysia has reported 3,116 confirmed cases of the coronavirus as of Thursday — the highest in Southeast Asia. The country had 50 deaths so far, according to its Ministry of Health. — Yen Nee Lee

1:53 pm: Thailand reports more than 100 new cases, four additional deaths

Thailand reported another 103 cases of the coronavirus and four additional deaths, reported Reuters, citing the government's Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration.

That brought Thailand's tally to 1,978 cases and 19 fatalities, the report said. — Yen Nee Lee

1:40 pm: Chinese EV maker XPeng Motors says it's seeing a 'healthy rebound' in demand

Consumer demand for XPeng Motors' electric vehicles is seeing a "healthy rebound" in China after its retail stores were closed for several weeks due to the coronavirus outbreak, according to Brian Gu, vice chairman and president at the company.

"We're trying different ways to touch the customers and we are seeing great results," Gu told CNBC's "Street Signs," referring to the company's ability to deliver test drives right to the doorsteps of prospective buyers.

Gu explained that the outbreak in China had an impact on XPeng's business, particularly in February when offices and factories were shut due to quarantine measures undertaken by Beijing. All of XPeng's retail outlets, except for two in Wuhan, have resumed operations, but traffic in the stores is slowly returning to normal.

He added that delivery numbers for February and March are expected to fall but are set to pick up in April and May. Broadly, China's auto sales plunged 79% in February. — Saheli Roy Choudhury

1:29 pm: Japan asks its worst-hit regions to save hospital beds for the severely ill

The Japanese government has asked its worst-hit regions to save hospital beds for severely ill patients, and keep those with milder or no symptoms at home or in hotels, reported Reuters. 

Japan has been hospitalizing all coronavirus patients, even those with no or mild symptoms — a move that is contributing to a scramble for hospital beds in several regions, said the report.

As of Thursday noon local time, Japan has confirmed 2,381 cases and 60 deaths, according to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. — Yen Nee Lee

1:22 pm: Sales of video games soar as pandemic leaves millions trapped in their homes

Sales of the latest video games have smashed records as millions are stuck at home after governments around the world locked down entire cities and pushed for social distancing measures to stop the coronavirus from spreading.

Nintendo's latest installment of its Animal Crossing franchise, titled New Horizon, was released on March 20 and sold more than 1.8 million copies in its first three days in Japan, according to video game publication Famitsu. In the U.K., the title sold more copies in its first week on the shelves than the launch sales of all previous entries in the series combined, gaming publication gamesindustry.biz reported. 

Piers Harding-Rolls, research director for games at Ampere Analysis, told CNBC in an email that the early sales figures were "an outperformance on prior expectations." — Eustance Huang

12:54 pm: Fatalities in Germany cross 1,000 as country reports over 6,000 new cases

Germany reported 6,174 new cases of the coronavirus and 145 additional deaths, latest data by the Robert Koch Institute showed. The institute is a federal government agency responsible for disease monitoring and prevention.

That brought the total number of cases in Germany to 79,696, with 1,017 deaths, said the institute. — Yen Nee Lee

12:26 pm: Prime Minister Modi addresses India as it remains under lockdown

Nine days into a total countrywide lockdown, India Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation.

He urged people to light candles, torches or mobile flashlights for nine minutes at 9 p.m. local time on Sunday, April 5 as a moment of national solidarity. "Let us resolve in our minds that we are not alone, that no one is alone," he said to India's 1.3 billion people.

He added that no one should gather anywhere while participating in the movement on Sunday.

"Please do not go out on to the roads, lanes or your localities, do it at the doorstep or balconies of your own homes," he said. — Saheli Roy Choudhury

12:14 pm: Containment should be the 'first priority' of Indonesia's government, says former finance minister

Getting the coronavirus outbreak under control should be the top priority the Indonesian government, says the country's former finance minister. 

Indonesia has recorded 170 deaths related to COVID-19, the highest toll in Southeast Asia, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Confirmed cases in the country stand at 1,790 — fewer than Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand, the data showed.

"It's quite clear that getting outbreak under control should be the first priority of the government because containment of the virus will be the key of the recovery," Muhamad Chatib Basri, chairman of think tank Mandiri Institute, told CNBC's "Squawk Box Asia."

"That's the reason why the government needs to act urgently, immediately," said Basri, who was Indonesia's finance minister from 2013 to 2014 under President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. — Yen Nee Lee

11:33 am: Cases in South Korea top 10,000

South Korea reported 86 new coronavirus cases, taking the country's tally to 10,062 so far, according to the latest data by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The country had five more deaths, with total fatalities now standing at 174, said KCDC. — Yen Nee Lee

10:59 am: Singapore reports fifth death

Singapore's health ministry said a fifth person has died from COVID-19 on April 3 at 1:55 a.m. local time. The patient was an 86-year-old woman who had no recent travel history to affected countries and regions.

She was admitted to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases on March 31 and tested positive on the same day, the health ministry said. It wasn't clear if the patient had any underlying conditions but the ministry said she "eventually succumbed to the infection."

As of April 2, noon, Singapore reported 1,049 cases. Friday's death brings the total number of fatalities to five in the city-state. — Saheli Roy Choudhury

10:07 am: Boeing to temporarily suspend Philadelphia area operations

Boeing said it is temporarily suspending production operations at its facilities in Ridley Township, Pennsylvania, because of the coronavirus outbreak in the region.

The site includes manufacturing and production facilities for military rotorcraft such as the H-47 Chinook and V-22 Osprey for defense customers, Boeing said.

Operations will stop at end of day on Friday, April 3, and resume on April 20. — Saheli Roy Choudhury

10:01 am: China reports 31 new cases, most of them attributed to travelers from abroad

China's National Health Commission said there were 31 new cases of infection in the country and 29 of them were attributed to travelers from abroad.

Separately, there were 60 new asymptomatic cases, where people tested positive for the virus but did not show any symptoms. China started including asymptomatic cases in its daily reports starting April 1. 

Four people died in Hubei province, where the outbreak was first reported. Altogether, China said it has had 81,620 cases and 3,322 deaths. About 1,027 cases of asymptomatic infections are still under medical observation, according to the NHC. — Saheli Roy Choudhury

9:29 am: Miami mayor asks Trump to suspend flights from COVID-19 hotspots to Miami International Airport

Miami mayor Francis Suarez asked President Trump in a letter on Thursday to suspend flights to Miami International Airport from COVID-19 hotspots.

The letter didn't specify what countries or states would qualify as hotspots, but the hardest-hit states include New York, New Jersey, California and Washington. 

In Florida, 9,008 people have tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus, 1,167 have been hospitalized and 144 have died, according to the state's department of health. — Kif Leswing

9:18 am: China says it will hold a national day of mourning for coronavirus victims

China's state council said the country will hold a national day of mourning for coronavirus victims on April 4.

Flags in the country and at Chinese foreign embassies and consulates will be at half-mast and from 10 a.m. local time, people will observe a 3-minute silence to remember those who died from COVID-19, the state council announced Friday.

To date, more than 3,300 people have died from the virus in China. — Saheli Roy Choudhury, Lilian Wu

8:49 am: The White House is watching these next coronavirus 'hot spots'

Some 35% of all coronavirus tests administered in New York and New Jersey have been positive, indicating a serious outbreak in both states, White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Deborah Birx said Thursday.

As states ramp up testing, U.S. officials are keeping a close watch on which areas of the country might follow New York — where 38% of the country's more than 242,100 cases are concentrated. 

Birx said Louisiana concerns U.S. health officials as 26% of all tests come back positive. Michigan, Connecticut, Indiana, Georgia and Illinois all test positive about 15% of the time. — Berkeley Lovelace Jr., Dawn Kopecki

8:40 am: NYC Mayor de Blasio urges New Yorkers to cover face with scarves or bandanas while outside

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told New Yorkers to cover their faces when they go outside, even if it's a homemade mask, reversing previous guidance advising only those who are sick to wear face masks.

"We're advising New Yorkers to wear a face covering when you go outside and near other people," de Blasio said at a press conference Thursday. "It can be a scarf, it can be something you create at home it can be a bandana."

De Blasio cautioned residents against wearing surgical masks or other medical-grade masks, worrying that it would make the shortage for personal protective equipment in hospitals even worse. — Noah Higgins-Dunn, Kevin Breuninger

7:46 am: Germany overtakes China in reported number of cases 

The number of infections in Germany rose to 84,788, making it the fourth worst-affected country behind the U.S., Italy and Spain. Germany has overtaken China's reported 82,432 cases.

At least 1,100 people have died in Germany but around 22,440 people have recovered from the disease, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Still, a greater percentage of people in the country have recovered compared to the U.S., Italy and Spain. 

China on Thursday denied that it hid the true number of its people who have been infected and killed by the virus outbreak. The country's reported numbers have been under scrutiny, with some suggesting that the situation was more dire than Beijing was letting on. China described the accusations of concealment as a "despicable attempt to put political interests above human life." — Saheli Roy Choudhury, Kevin Breuninger

7:30 am: More than 52,800 people worldwide have now died from COVID-19

The death toll from the fast-spreading coronavirus rose and at least 52,863 people have lost their lives to the disease, according to the latest numbers from Johns Hopkins University.

Italy accounted for the largest number of fatalities, with 13,915 dead. In Spain, 10,348 have died while France reported 5,398 deceased. 

The total number of infection cases around the world crossed 1 million overnight as the virus outbreak rapidly spread to Europe and the United States in March and is beginning to take a foothold among African countries. JHU data showed there were at least 1,011,490 reported instances of infection. — Saheli Roy Choudhury

All times below are in Eastern time.

6:48 pm: Job losses in March could be the worst in a decade, and that's just the beginning

March's employment report could show the most monthly job losses in a decade, but it's only a fraction of the real hit to the workforce that came when many states issued stay-at-home orders late in the month.

Economists expect a consensus decline of 100,000 nonfarm payrolls, according to Refinitiv. But the survey for the report was done before many states began telling residents to stay home. For the final two weeks of the month, 10 million people sought unemployment benefits as businesses and schools closed to stop the spread of the coronavirus. 

A sad and tired healthcare worker is seen by the Brooklyn Hospital Center in New York, United States on April 1, 2020.
Tayfun Coskun | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

"The main message is the labor market conditions started to slip in March, but obviously with the last two initial claims reports we've seen, we know April will be a disaster for labor markets," said Michael Gapen, chief U.S. economist at Barclays. "We still have two more weeks, and we're probably looking at an unemployment rate of more than 10% in April."

"The suddenness with which it all slipped off a cliff in two weeks is shocking," Gapen said. "We now have stay-at-home orders in states that account for 82% of GDP." — Patti Domm

6:24 pm: Paper stimulus checks could be delayed by up to 5 months

If you're counting the days until you receive your stimulus money from the government, hold tight: It could take up to five months.

A House Ways and Means Committee memo obtained by NBC News outlined a potential timeline for how soon the money could go out.

For individuals who receive the funds via direct deposit, that money will start moving to them as soon as the week of April 13, according to the memo.

But for Americans who get paper checks by mail, the wait could be a lot longer – up to five months. — Lorie Konish

Read CNBC's coverage from the U.S. overnight: Trump says new mask guidelines will be out soon, global cases top 1 million