Health and Science

Spain's confirmed coronavirus cases surpass 200,000, health ministry says

Key Points
  • The number of coronavirus infections in Southeast Asia has risen quickly in recent weeks, with mounting worries among experts that the region could turn into a hot spot for the fast-spreading disease.
  • Singapore's health ministry preliminarily confirmed that another 1,426 people tested positive for Covid-19 as of noon local time on Monday.
  • The U.K. government has announced a £1.25 billion ($1.6 billion) support package to help tech start-ups survive the pandemic. 

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 2.4 million
  • Global deaths: More than 165,200 
  • Most cases reported: United States (759,696), Spain (198,674), Italy (178,972), France (154,098), and Germany (145,742). 

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University as of 3:40 p.m. Beijing time. 

All times below are in Beijing time.

6:07 pm: Putin is distancing himself from Russia's virus outbreak. But it could still damage him politically

Russia's handling of the coronavirus epidemic is coming under increasing scrutiny and could potentially damage the credibility and legitimacy of President Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin, experts say.

Russia was arguably slow to recognize that the coronavirus epidemic was coming to the country, while it was spreading rapidly among its neighbors and the well-established outbreaks in Italy, Spain, Germany and France.

On Sunday, Russia saw its largest daily rise in new confirmed cases, with its coronavirus crisis response center reporting 6,060 new cases, bringing the total number of cases to 42,853. The number of reported deaths remains low, however, with total fatalities at 361. — Holly Ellyatt

5:37 pm: Spain's confirmed coronavirus cases surpass 200,000, health ministry says

The number of people diagnosed with the coronavirus in Spain has now surpassed 200,000, the country's health ministry said on Monday.

The ministry said the number of cases rose to 200,210 from 195,944 cases on Sunday. Meanwhile, the total number of deaths has now reached 20,852, up from 20,453 the previous day.

Spain has overtaken Italy (that has 178,972 confirmed cases) as the worst-hit country in Europe, and second worst-hit country in the world after the U.S. (with almost 800,000 confirmed cases), according to data from Johns Hopkins University. — Holly Ellyatt

Health workers wearing protective face masks react during a tribute for their co-worker Esteban, a male nurse that died of the coronavirus disease, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, outside the Severo Ochoa Hospital in Leganes, Spain, April 13, 2020.
Susana Vera | Reuters

4:30 pm: Austria calls for suspension of EU rules on state aid amid coronavirus crisis

Austria has called for EU rules on state aid to be suspended for countries that have shown solidarity with hard-hit member states like Italy during the coronavirus pandemic, Austrian Finance Minister Gernot Bluemel said on Monday.

"This solidarity cannot be a one-way street. We also want to be able to show solidarity with our own companies, and we therefore demand that this crisis be used for solidarity in that we suspend the EU state aid regime for the duration of the crisis," Bluemel told a news conference, Reuters reported. — Holly Ellyatt

4:15 pm: Germany is vastly outspending other countries with its coronavirus stimulus

Germany is spending much more than countries like the United States, on a relative basis, to mitigate the economic impact from the coronavirus, a data study has shown. 

The largest European economy has pledged a package which is worth more than half of its gross domestic product last year, and includes immediate fiscal stimulus, deferrals and other liquidity measures. In comparison, the fiscal plan in the United States is, so far, less than 15% of its GDP from 2019.

Germany is going to need "as much support as possible" and it has "the fiscal space" to do it, Zsolt Darvas, a senior fellow at the Brussels-based think tank Bruegel and one of the authors of the data study, told CNBC Friday. — Silvia Amaro

4:10 pm: Ex-Trump campaign aide Gates asks to serve sentence at home due to coronavirus concerns

U.S. President Donald Trump's former deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates has asked to serve his remaining 45-day "intermittent" prison sentence from his home over concerns that he could contract the coronavirus, a court filing reported by Reuters showed.

Gates is urging a modification to his probation condition as he fears that he could carry the virus home from the prison, posing a heightened risk to his wife, who is getting treated for cancer.

"The gravity of the virus and its potential impact on Mrs. Gates are substantial," Thomas Green, lawyer for Gates said in a filing made on Sunday. — Holly Ellyatt

3:30 pm: Coronavirus could push Americans to lobby for a social safety net like Europe's, experts say

The coronavirus crisis could be the historical event that sparks a socially-conscious shift in Americans' political priorities, experts told CNBC.

The United States has confirmed 759,696 cases of Covid-19 and over 40,000 deaths from the virus to date, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. New York state, which has had 238,831 cases of the coronavirus, now has a higher number of confirmed cases than any country in the world. — Chloe Taylor

3:16 pm: Singapore reports more than 1,400 new cases in preliminary update

Singapore's health ministry preliminarily confirmed that another 1,426 people tested positive for Covid-19 as of noon local time on Monday. Most of them are linked to infection clusters in dormitories that house foreign workers — who are usually men from other Asian countries who carry out labor-intensive construction jobs. 

More details on the cases would be shared later in the day, according to the health ministry. 

A day earlier, the city-state had reported 596 new cases, which brought the total number of infections to over 6,000. (see 7:30 a.m. update)

If Monday's preliminary numbers hold, Singapore's total cases would exceed 8,000.  Saheli Roy Choudhury

2:46 pm: UK announced a $1.6 billion support package to help tech start-ups survive

The U.K. government has announced a £1.25 billion ($1.6 billion) support package to help tech start-ups survive the pandemic. 

Start-ups across the country have been crying out for more financial support after rivals in France and Germany were given access to funds of 4 billion euros ($4.4 billion) and 2 billion euros respectively.

Many young tech firms say they haven't been able to access emergency funds set aside for small businesses as the criteria for applying shuts off companies without a history of consistent profits. It's normal for venture capital-backed tech companies to prioritize growth over profitability, with a plan to make money further down the road.

Visibly quiet at Piccadilly Circus during the Coronavirus outbreak on 12th March 2020 in London, United Kingdom.
Claire Doherty | Getty Images

The rescue plan, unveiled by British Finance Minister Rishi Sunak on Monday, is made up of two initiatives. The first is a £500 million "Future Fund" loan scheme for high-growth start-ups, which is aimed primarily at the nation's early-stage start-ups. The remaining £750 million is for small-and-medium-sized firms focusing on research and development. It will be issued as loans and grants by U.K. innovation agency Innovate UK.  Sam Shead, Ryan Browne

2:07 pm: Tens of thousands of tulips razed at a Japanese park to prevent crowds

Tens of thousands of tulips in full bloom were razed at the Sakura Furusato Square east of Tokyo to prevent crowds from gathering in the middle of the pandemic, the Associated Press reported. 

The 800,000 tulips have long been a centerpiece for an annual festival at the park in April that attracts about 100,000 people every year, the AP said. It was canceled when Japan declared a state of emergency earlier this month. 

Tulips were chopped down between April 14 and April 15, according to a city official overseeing the park, who described it as a "heart-wrenching decision," the AP reported. 

Japan has more than 10,700 confirmed cases of infection and at least 236 people have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.  Saheli Roy Choudhury

1:29 pm: New Zealand set to ease lockdown restrictions next week

New Zealand will move out of its level 4 lockdown at 11:59 p.m. local time on Monday, April 27, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. 

An alert level 4 means residents are required to stay indoors unless they're providing essential services; all nonessential businesses and public gathering places, including bars and restaurants, are closed and social gatherings are not permitted. 

The country will stay at alert level 3 for two additional weeks starting April 28 before the government reviews the infection's spread and further decisions to either ease or tighten restrictions are set to come on May 11. In alert level 3, most businesses can start to open but they have to take additional health precautions to keep workers safe. 

"Those two weeks gives us another cycle of transmission to assess how we are doing. From there, we will move if we can and if we're ready. But only when we're ready, and only when it's safe," Ardern said. 

New Zealand has 1,440 confirmed and probable cases as of  9 a.m. local time on April 20, and 12 people have died so far, according to the health ministry Saheli Roy Choudhury

12:50pm: Germany reports 1,775 new infections and 110 deaths

Germany on Monday reported 1,775 new cases of the coronavirus, according to the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases.

That brought the total of confirmed cases in the country to 141,672.

There were 110 deaths, bringing the total number of fatalities to 4,404. — Huileng Tan

12:30 pm: Southeast Asia could be the next coronavirus hot spot

The number of coronavirus infections in Southeast Asia has risen quickly in recent weeks, with mounting worries among experts that the region could turn into a hot spot for the fast-spreading disease.

The region as a whole has reported more than 28,000 cases as of Sunday, according to data by Johns Hopkins University. Collectively, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore account for 87.9% of total cases reported in Southeast Asia, the data showed.

While the region's tally is still far off the hundreds of thousands seen in the U.S. and some European nations, several studies suggest that tens of thousands more infections could be undetected due to the low testing rate in countries such as Indonesia and the Philippines.

Meanwhile, in Singapore, cases have spiked dramatically in the last two weeks, with new clusters of infections found among migrant workers living in packed dormitories. — Yen Nee Lee

11.45 am: South Korea reports fewer than 20 cases for the third straight day

South Korea on Monday reported 13 new cases of the coronavirus — the third straight day the country posted fewer than 20 cases of new infections.

That brings the country's total infections to 10,674, said the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

On Sunday, South Korea reported eight new cases of the coronavirus — the first time in two months that the country reported single-digit figures.

South Korea is one of the hardest hit Asian countries in the pandemic, but has been praised for its efforts to reduce the spread of infection by mass testing its people and adopting strict measures to quarantine and track those who affected. — Huileng Tan

10:40 am: Jobs lost to coronavirus could be slow to return, says S&P

Unemployment rates in Asia-Pacific could surge by well over 3 percentage points — more than twice in an average recession — as social distancing measures hit job creation, says S&P Global Ratings in a report published on Monday.

"Surging unemployment in Asia-Pacific would mean a shallower recovery once the pandemic is contained and, in some economies, credit stress for leveraged households," said Shaun Roache, Asia-Pacific chief economist at S&P Global Ratings. "Historical data show that jobs lost are not easily won back."

The service sector is the most important employer in Asia-Pacific, accounting for 55 in 100 jobs, according to S&P. Many of the new service sector jobs have been created by small- and mid-sized enterprises and they usually have fewer resources to draw on to weather a sudden economic stop, said S&P. Access to finance in particular, is a constant challenge and likely to worsen due to economic uncertainty.

"As revenues collapse, to stay alive, these firms will be forced to cut whatever expenses they can. In many cases, their largest expense will be the wage bill," said S&P. 

Even if workers do hang onto their jobs, they may suffer a cut in their hours and wages, added the ratings agency. — Huileng Tan

10:15 am: Farmers could be winners as coffee prices spike and countries hoard during the pandemic

Fears over disruptions to supply chains amid the pandemic have led to some degree of hoarding among countries and consumers — that's given coffee prices a much-needed boost.

A farmer picks coffee beans during harvest time at Karo in North Sumatra, Indonesia, on March 29, 2020.
Jefta Images | Barcroft Media via Getty Images

It's good news for farmers in key coffee-producing regions, who have been struggling as coffee prices have been slumping in recent years. Since 2016, prices have dropped 30% below the average for the past decade, according to the International Coffee Organization.

But prices of Arabica, the world's most commonly produced coffee, rose last month due to concerns over its availability, said the ICO. — Weizhen Tan

9:29 am: European CDC says continent has more than 1 million cases

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said there were more than a million confirmed cases of infection in continental Europe as of April 19, with Spain being the worst affected country. That data also included the United Kingdom. 

The death toll in Europe surpassed 100,000 after the U.K. reported an additional 596 fatalities as of 5 p.m. local time on April 18.— Saheli Roy Choudhury

9:03 am: French prime minister warns people need to 'learn to live with the virus'

France's Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Sunday that people will need to "learn to live with the virus" after the country lifts its lockdown on May 11, the Associated Press reported.

People would likely be required to wear face masks when taking public transport, while those who can work from home should continue to do so, according to Philippe, the AP said, adding that the prime minister warned the economic crisis "will be brutal." 

France is one of several European countries that has been hit hard by the pandemic, with the total number of cases at more than 154,000 and over 19,700 people have died, data from Johns Hopkins University shows. — Saheli Roy Choudhury

8:39 am: China reports 12 new cases, says no additional deaths

China's National Health Commission said there were 12 new cases of infection, with eight of them attributed to travelers from overseas. No new deaths were reported but there were 49 additional cases of asymptomatic infection, where a person tested positive for the virus but did not show any of the usual symptoms associated with the illness. 

There were at least 82,747 cases of infection on the Chinese mainland since the outbreak was first reported in the Hubei province late last year. While China says most of them have been cured, around 4,632 people have died. The death toll climbed last week after Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, revised its figures that raised the death toll by 50%. — Saheli Roy Choudhury

7:30 am: Singapore reports 596 new cases, pushing total numbers to over 6,000

Singapore reported 596 new cases of Covid-19 as of noon local time on April 19. Most of them are linked to infection clusters in dormitories that house foreign workers — typically men from other Asian countries who carry out labor-intensive construction jobs to support their families back home. 

General view of the Toh Guan Dormitory, a purpose-built migrant workers dormitory that has been gazetted as an isolation area on April 19, 2020 in Singapore.
Ore Huiying | Getty Images

Sunday's numbers brought the total cases in the city-state to 6,588, a sharp spike in infections from early March as more people, particularly those living in dormitories, have been tested in recent weeks. Almost all nonessential services in Singapore are temporarily closed while residents have been told to venture outside only for essential tasks, such as buying groceries. 

The health ministry said 768 people have fully recovered from the infection and have been discharged from hospitals and community isolation facilities while 11 patients have died to-date. — Saheli Roy Choudhury

7:24 am: Global reported cases over 2.39 million, death toll rises to more than 164,000

The total number of infections worldwide has risen to 2,394,291 and at least 164,938 people have died from the disease, according to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University.

The United States has most number of reported infections, with 755,533 cases in the country, Hopkins data showed.

Spain, Italy, France, and Germany have each reported more than 145,000 cases each. Cases in the United Kingdom climbed to over 121,000 according to Hopkins, and more than 16,000 people there have died. 

India, which is in an extended period of lockdown until May 3, has reported more than 17,600 cases and 559 deaths, Hopkins data showed. — Saheli Roy Choudhury

All times below are in Eastern time.

6:31 pm: US tops more than 750,000 cases as Trump says he will use DPA to increase medical swabs

The total number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. is currently at 755,533, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The virus has now killed more than 40,000 people in the U.S., nearly a quarter of all deaths from Covid-19 across the globe, according to JHU data.

New York, the current epicenter of the outbreak in the U.S., is recording over 500 deaths a day. President Donald Trump said at a press conference that his administration is looking at helping rural hospitals which have been hurt very badly. He also said he was going to use the Defense Production Act to increase swab production at one facility amid coronavirus testing shortage. The president's announcement comes after governors demanded federal help to ramp up testing across the U.S. — Riya Bhattacharjee, Noah Higgins-Dunn

4:24 pm: United selling and leasing back 22 planes in bid to conserve cash during coronavirus pandemic

United Airlines has struck a deal with an Asian aircraft leasing firm to sell and then lease back 22 aircraft. Neither United nor the Bank of China Aviation revealed the financial terms of the deal announced Sunday morning.

The move will help United conserve cash and give its balance sheet greater flexibility as it faces mounting losses due to coronavirus causing a global plunge in airline travel.

Earlier this week, United CEO Oscar Munoz said business has essentially dropped to zero. "We expect to fly fewer people during the entire month of May than we did on a single day in May 2019," Munoz wrote in a note to employees outlining plans to cut its schedule by 90% in May. — Phil LeBeau

Read CNBC's coverage from the U.S. overnight: US death toll surpasses 40,000 as cases hit 750,000