- Singapore's Ministry of Health said it has preliminarily confirmed another 1,016 cases of the coronavirus disease, taking the country's total to 10,141 since the outbreak.
- China's National Health Commission (NHC) said there were 30 new confirmed cases as of April 21, of which 23 were attributed to travelers coming from overseas. That brings the country's total to 82,788 cases, the NHC said.
- Americans should prepare to see more deaths from the coronavirus pandemic, particularly in cities, as the outbreak in the United States moves past its peak and infection rates decline, White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Deborah Birx warned.
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- Global cases: At least 2,561,044.
- Global deaths: At least 176,984.
- Most cases reported: United States (823,786), Spain (204,178), Italy (183,957), France (159,297), and Germany (148,291).
The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University as of 8:30 a.m. Beijing time.
All times below are in Beijing time.
Kiev has said it will extend quarantine measures until May 11, Prime Minister Denys Shmygal said on Wednesday, Reuters reported. It will then see if there has been a sufficient reduction in the number of new cases for it to consider lifting restrictions.
Ukraine has reported 6,592 confirmed cases, as of Wednesday, including 174 deaths. — Holly Ellyatt
6:30 pm: Sweden resisted a lockdown, now, its capital Stockholm is expected to reach 'herd immunity'
Its neighbors closed borders, schools, bars and businesses as the coronavirus pandemic swept through Europe, but Sweden went against the grain by keeping public life as unrestricted as possible.
The strategy — basically, one that aimed to slow the spread of the virus while allowing some exposure to it, aiming to build immunity among the general population while protecting high-risk groups like the elderly — has been controversial, with some health experts likening it to playing "Russian roulette" with public health.
But now, the country's chief epidemiologist has said that the strategy appears to be working and that "herd immunity" could be reached in the capital Stockholm in a matter of weeks. — Holly Ellyatt
The number of confirmed coronavirus infections has passed the 10,000-mark in Poland on Wednesday. The somber milestone comes as the country prepares for a presidential election on May 10. Poland was among the first countries in Europe to impose lockdown measures to try to contain the virus.
A deputy health minister said on Wednesday the rise of new infections "had been contained to a degree," Reuters reported.
"We are still seeing increases," Wojciech Andrusiewicz, the ministry's spokesman told reporters. "What we can achieve is to level them off. If it wasn't for the restrictions, we could be seeing 30,000-40,000 people infected." — Holly Ellyatt
Spain's death toll from the coronavirus has risen to 21,717 on Wednesday from 21,282 the previous day, a rise of 435 deaths, the country's health ministry said.
Spain reported 430 deaths on Tuesday, higher than the 399 deaths reported Monday. The total number of cases has reached 208,389, up 4,211 from the day before. — Holly Ellyatt
India has ordered a pause in testing for antibodies to the coronavirus because of concerns over the accuracy of the results, health officials said on Wednesday, Reuters reported.
Earlier in April, India's health authorities approved blood tests for coronavirus antibodies as a faster way to bolster the screening effort and they ordered more than a half-billion testing kits from China.
But the chief of epidemiology at the Indian Council of Medical Research said he had asked health authorities to temporarily stop the tests for antibodies because of conflicting results. India has almost 20,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19. — Holly Ellyatt
Russia and its leader President Vladimir Putin are facing an unprecedented challenge as the coronavirus outbreak accelerates in the country, the Kremlin's spokesman told CNBC.
"It's a huge challenge and a huge danger for every nation in the world. It's not only about Putin or about Russia, every country is facing this challenge and it's quite unprecedented, we have never faced it before," Dmitry Peskov, Putin's spokesman, told CNBC Tuesday.
He noted that it was the first major international pandemic situation that anyone — including Putin — had faced.
Russia confirmed 5,236 new cases on Wednesday, bringing the country's official tally to 57,999. Nonetheless, the death toll remains strikingly low, with 513 people having died so far. — Holly Ellyatt
Singapore's Ministry of Health said it has preliminarily confirmed another 1,016 cases of the coronavirus disease, taking the country's total to 10,141 since the outbreak.
That's the third consecutive day that Singapore has reported more than 1,000 new cases. The country now has the highest number of confirmed cases in Southeast Asia.
The ministry said the vast majority of the new cases involved migrant workers living in dormitories. Singapore relies on foreign migrant workers in its construction sector, which is made up largely of men from other Asian countries who carry out labor-intensive jobs.
On Tuesday, it said that partial lockdown measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus in the country will be extended by four weeks to June 1. –Huileng Tan
Taiwan on Wednesday reported its 28th case of infection among navy personnel who returned from a goodwill mission to the Pacific island state of Palau–one of Taipei's few diplomatic allies.
Cases have spiked since Saturday after the Taiwanese government reported zero new cases for three days last week. The uptick has spurred concerns over lapses in how the situation has been handled.
About 700 sailors on the Palau mission disembarked in Taiwan and authorities are now trying to trace thousands of Taiwanese who may have been in contract with these navy personnel before the coronavirus cases were detected.
Taiwan's Centres for Disease Control has reportedly sent some 200,000 mobile phone text alerts to those who might have been in contact with the sailors.
Taiwan has recorded 426 cases of Covid-19 since the outbreak despite its proximity to mainland China and has been praised internationally for its virus containment strategy.
On Tuesday, Taiwan's defence minister apologized and said he was willing to resign to take responsibility for the incident. –Huileng Tan
Gyms in China's capital city of Beijing were forced to close again over the weekend.
That was after some fitness centers — which have essentially shut down since late January — re-opened in the last few weeks.
But a new case of Covid-19 in Beijing last week increased concerns about a resurgence of the virus, turning a major business and residential district into the highest-risk region in the country.
Already, more than 200 fitness businesses shuttered in Beijing in the first quarter, according to analysis from Qichacha, which runs a Chinese business information database. —Evelyn Cheng
Two people in Santa Clara County, California died of coronavirus before what had previously been thought to be the United States' first death associated with Covid-19.
The county's Medical Examiner-Coroner conducted autopsies on two people who died at home on Feb. 6 and 17. Their samples were sent to the CDC, which confirmed they tested positive for the disease.
The first U.S. death from coronavirus was originally believed to be a man in his 50s in Washington state who died on Feb. 29.
The Santa Clara Medical Examiner-Coroner also identified another early Covid-19 death from March 6, days before what had initially been thought to be the county's first death.
It explained that all three people "died at home during a time when very limited testing was available only through the CDC." Santa Clara added it expects to identify additional deaths related to the pandemic. —Christine Wang
Germany reported 2,237 new confirmed cases, bringing the total to 145,694, according to the Robert Koch Institute, a federal government agency responsible for disease monitoring and prevention.
It also said there were 281 more deaths, with its total fatalities now at 4,879. — Weizhen Tan
A member of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics organizing committee has tested positive, according to a Reuters report. He is now under quarantine at home.
The games, which were scheduled to start July 24 in Tokyo, has been delayed for about a year, after Japan insisted for months that the Olympics would go ahead as planned. — Weizhen Tan
U.S.-China relations are at their "worst point in living memory," according to a professor, who said both countries engaged in a "grand exercise in blame-shifting" over the coronavirus pandemic.
U.S. President Donald Trump has blamed Beijing for a lack of transparency over the true extent of the Covid-19 outbreak in China – where cases were first reported. In response, Beijing has suggested that the U.S. might be the real source of the global pandemic.
"Neither side wants to be blamed for their own response, so the Chinese and Americans are blaming each other," said James Crabtree, an associate professor at Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. — Weizhen Tan
Japan reported 33 infections among crew members on an Italian cruise ship docked in the country for repairs, according to Reuters. The Costa Atlantica has 623 crew members and no passengers.
Further testing on the other crew members will be carried out, the report said. Those who tested positive with no symptoms will remain on board the ship, while others will be taken to medical institutions, it said. — Weizhen Tan
Singapore reported more than 1,000 cases for a second day running, as of Tuesday. That takes its total to 9,125, making it the country with the highest number of confirmed cases in Southeast Asia.
The vast majority of the new cases involved migrant workers living in dormitories, said its health ministry. Singapore relies on foreign migrant workers in its construction sector, which is made up largely of men from other Asian countries who carry out labor-intensive jobs.
It said on Tuesday that partial lockdown measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus in the country will be extended by four weeks to June 1. — Weizhen Tan, Yen Nee Lee
China's National Health Commission (NHC) said there were 30 new confirmed cases as of April 21, of which 23 were attributed to travelers coming from overseas. That brings the country's total to 82,788 cases, the NHC said.
No new deaths were reported for the seventh straight day, keeping the total number of fatalities at 4,632, according to the NHC.
Separately, there were 42 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 991, the NHC said. — Weizhen Tan
Mexico reported a jump of more than 700 new cases, reaching a total of 9,501 cases, according to a Reuters report citing health ministry officials.
It had 145 more deaths, bringing the country's death toll to 857 fatalities, the report said. — Weizhen Tan
All times below are in Eastern time.
7:02 pm: White House health advisor says Americans need to prepare for more deaths as outbreak moves past peak
Americans should prepare to see more deaths from the coronavirus pandemic, particularly in cities, as the outbreak in the United States moves past its peak and infection rates decline, White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Deborah Birx warned.
Deaths generally lag behind other aspects of the outbreak, she said at a White House press conference. "We really need to continue to unite and really, really support our health-care providers who are still on the frontline."
The coronavirus, which emerged in Wuhan, China almost 4 months ago, has sickened more than 820,000 people in the U.S. and killed at least 44,228 as of Tuesday night, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. U.S. officials and infectious disease experts have previously said that deaths fall behind new cases and hospitalization.
Birx said Tuesday that U.S. health officials are seeing improvements in several parts of the country, including in Rhode Island, Connecticut, Detroit, New Orleans, Chicago, Boston and Atlanta. "That was a great concern for us over the past several weeks. They appear to be flattening," she said. —Berkeley Lovelace Jr.
New Jersey-based Quest Diagnostics announced they are now conducting antibody testing for Covid-19 using blood samples, a practice known as serology testing. Quest Diagnostics can conduct about 70,000 tests per day, and is looking to expand that capacity to 150,000 tests daily by early next month.
The company is using serology testing platforms that were originally developed by Abbott and PerkinElmer's Euroimmun diagnostics division but independently validated by Quest. Antibody testing has the potential to help healthcare professionals identify people who were infected with, but then developed an immune response, to the novel coronavirus.
Quest Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Jay G. Wohlgemuth said in a statement that antibody testing can also help doctors identify people who could contribute plasma to help treat those who are seriously ill from the coronavirus. —Lora Kolodny
The battle between the states and the federal government is heating up about when to open the economy and start letting people go back to work due to the coronavirus.
Exactly when employees will be heading back to work is still an unknown, but what is certain is that when it does happen, things at the office will almost certainly be very different. Just as the pandemic is likely to have a lasting impact on our personal habits, it will also change the way we work. Among the key changes companies are already considering: more space, sanitation and flexibility, with more employees working from home on a semi-regular basis.
According to a number of office designers, companies will be installing more sensors to reduce touch points, such as on light and power switches and door handles, antimicrobial materials, more and better air filtration, temperature monitoring at entry points, desks that are spaced farther apart, plus subtle design features that remind people to keep their distance. —Ellen Sheng
Regulators at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the first coronavirus test that lets people collect a sample at home.
The authorization of the diagnostic — developed by testing giant LabCorp — marks the first time the agency has cleared an at-home Covid-19 test and caps weeks of back-and-forth between the agency and startups who sought to develop their own versions of the tests that would allow for at-home sample collection. LabCorp's test will initially be made available to health care workers and first responders who might have been exposed to the virus. Patients can collect samples at home if the test is recommended by a health care provider after they've completed a questionnaire about Covid-19. — STAT News
Read CNBC's coverage from the U.S. overnight: FDA greenlights first coronavirus test with at-home sample, Trump targets immigration