Health and Science

Spain's daily death toll rises again; EU to see sharp economic decline

Key Points
  • Johns Hopkins University data showed over 3.65 million people have now been infected with the coronavirus and more than 256,800 have died.
  • President Donald Trump has said that reopening parts of the U.S. would inevitably cost some people their lives. 
  • Germany reported 947 new coronavirus infections, taking its tally of confirmed cases to 164,807, according to the latest data by the Robert Koch Institute
  • The IHS Markit India Services Business Activity Index recorded "an extreme decline" last month following a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

In this article

Vaccine expert files whistleblower complaint
Vaccine expert files whistleblower complaint

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  • Global cases: More than 3.66 million
  • Global deaths: More than 257,800
  • Most cases reported: United States (over 1.2 million), Spain (over 219,300), Italy (over 213,000), United Kingdom (over 196,200), France (over 170,600)

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University as of 2:32 p.m. Beijing time. 

All times below are in Beijing time.

5:50 pm: Study finds coronavirus spread swiftly in late 2019

A genetic mutation study carried out by scientists in London has suggested that the coronavirus spread swiftly in late 2019 and is adapting to its human hosts.

The study, carried out by University College London's (UCL) Genetics Institute, found almost 200 recurrent genetic mutations of Covid-19, which the researchers said showed how it may be evolving as it spreads in people, Reuters reported.

UCL professor Francois Balloux, who co-led the research, said the results showed that a large proportion of the global genetic diversity of the virus is found in all of the worse-affected countries. That suggests that the virus was already being transmitted extensively around the globe from early on in the epidemic. — Holly Ellyatt

5:30 pm: Spain sees daily death toll increase again

Spain's daily death toll has ticked upward with 244 fatalities reported on Wednesday by the health ministry. This comes after three straight days of less than 200 reported deaths per day.

The total number of deaths has reached 25,817, up from 25,613 the previous day. Spain has now reported 220,325 confirmed cases of the virus, with 685 new cases recorded in the last 24 hours. — Holly Ellyatt


5:15 pm: UK's health minister says elderly care homes were a priority, as well as hospitals

The U.K.'s Health Minister Matt Hancock refuted the accusation that the government had left many elderly people in care homes vulnerable to coronavirus by prioritizing hospitals.

"I feel like we put a huge amount of effort and resources behind supporting care homes from the start," Hancock told Sky News Wednesday although he conceded that testing could have been ramped up earlier in the country's outbreak. — Holly Ellyatt

4:50 pm: EU economy expected to contract 7.5% in 2020

The EU economy is expected to contract 7.5% in 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic brings the worst economic shock since the Great Depression in the 1930s, the European Commission said Wednesday.

The executive arm of the EU has released its latest economic forecasts — the first estimates since European countries introduced lockdown measures to stop the spread of the virus. In February, the European Commission estimated a 1.4% rise in GDP for the EU this year. — Silvia Amaro

A Covid-19 patient is carried by a nurse into the Jimenez Díaz Hospital, in Madrid.
Cesar Luis de Luca | picture alliance | Getty Images

4:30 pm: UK has reportedly drawn up 3-stage plan for easing coronavirus lockdown

The U.K. has drawn up a three-stage plan to ease the coronavirus lockdown, The Times newspaper said Tuesday.

The newspaper, as reported by Reuters, has said that the first phase will involve small shops reopening alongside outdoor workplaces and the second will involve large shopping centers reopening, with more people encouraged to go into work, The Times said. Pubs, restaurants, hotels and leisure centers will be among the last to open, it said.

The government must review the lockdown by Thursday, May 7 and Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to outline the government's strategy on lifting restrictions on Sunday. — Holly Ellyatt

4:10 pm: US needs to 'deliver proof' as it accuses China over coronavirus outbreak, Russia says

Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman told CNBC that the U.S. is wrong to accuse China of being responsible for the coronavirus outbreak without providing proof.

As the controversy over the origins of Covid-19 continues, with the U.S. pointing the finger of blame at China, the Kremlin's Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told CNBC Tuesday that Russia couldn't "show any solidarity" with China-bashing by the U.S., and stressed the importance of Moscow's relationship with Beijing.

"We consider it not a proper time, being somewhere in the middle of a severe crisis, an unprecedented crisis, to try to blame everything on the international health organization (the World Health Organization) or, the next day, on China," Peskov said Tuesday. — Holly Ellyatt

3:35 pm: Singapore's cases surpass 20,000 

Singapore reported another 788 cases of the coronavirus disease, according to a preliminary update by the health ministry. That brings the country's total number of infections to 20,198 since the outbreak.

The vast majority of new cases were migrant workers living in dormitories, the ministry said. Those workers have accounted for close to 90% of confirmed cases in Singapore, official data showed. 

The country's Minister for National Development, Lawrence Wong, told CNBC earlier that Singapore is not yet halfway through its outbreak. (See 2:14 pm update) — Yen Nee Lee

3:16 pm: Indonesia's finance minister warns of shrinking household consumption

Indonesia's household consumption, a major contributor to economic growth, may shrink in the second and third quarters due to restrictions put in place to contain the coronavirus oubtreak, Reuters reported, citing Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati. 

The warning came after the largest economy in Southeast Asia grew at its weakest pace since 2001. The country missed estimates and posted a 2.97% year-over-year growth in the first quarter. Lackluster consumption contributed to the decline in growth, and analysts warned that Indonesia could fall into a recession. 

Consumption accounts for around 57% of Indonesia's gross domestic product, according to the Reuters report.

The country has reported 12,701 coronavirus cases and 872 deaths as of Tuesday, according to health ministry. The capital of Jakarta and several neighboring cities implemented social-distancing measures that include closing schools and offices. — Yen Nee Lee

2:14 pm: 'This is still the first half of the marathon,' Singapore minister says of the country's outbreak

Singapore, where the number of coronavirus infections have surged in recent weeks, could still report high numbers of new cases for some time, said Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong.

The country is carrying out "extensive testing" among migrant workers living in dormitories, said Wong, who co-heads a task force to manage the outbreak in Singapore. Cases found there were behind the jump in new infections over the last one month. 

The minister acknowledged that some safeguards in those dormitories "were not sufficient." — Yen Nee Lee

Singapore minister says safeguards in migrant dormitories were 'not sufficient' during outbreak
Singapore minister: safeguards in migrant dormitories were 'not sufficient'

1:24 pm: India's services activity collapses following nationwide lockdown 

A private survey that tracks India's services activity recorded "an extreme decline" last month following a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The IHS Markit India Services Business Activity Index came in at 5.4 in April — markedly lower than a Reuters poll forecast of 40, and the previous month's 49.3, according to a statement by IHS Markit. A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while below 50 represents contraction.

"According to panellists, activity fell severely as a result of the nationwide lockdown, leading businesses to shut down their operations as demand collapsed," the statement read. — Yen Nee Lee

12:45 pm: Germany's cases jump by 947 to surpass 164,000

Germany reported 947 new coronavirus infections, taking its tally of confirmed cases to 164,807, according to the latest data by the Robert Koch Institute, a federal government agency responsible for disease monitoring and prevention. 

The country's death toll from Covid-19 rose by 165 to 6,996, while the total number of recoveries were around 137,400, the data showed. — Yen Nee Lee

11:46 am: Spending during China's Labor Day holiday drops nearly 60%

China has recorded 115 million tourist trips domestically from May 1 to May 5 that brought 47.56 billion yuan (around $6.7 billion) in revenue, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism said. Revenue fell nearly 60% from last year's Labor Day holiday in China, which was one day shorter.

China's Forbidden City in Beijing reopened to visitors at the start of this month after being closed since January due to the virus outbreak. The museum received about 5,000 visitors a day during the holiday, according to state media. Activities have resumed in the world's second-largest economy where the number of daily reported cases has dwindled. — Evelyn Cheng

10:38 am: New Zealand reported 2 new cases, one additional death

New Zealand's health ministry said as of 9 a.m. local time on Wednesday, one person was confirmed to have Covid-19 and another person was a probable case. The country also reported its 21st death. 

Cumulatively, New Zealand reported 1,488 confirmed and probable cases. The country eased some restrictions in recent weeks as the number of new infections slowed. 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, along with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, announced on Tuesday a "trans-Tasman COVID-safe travel zone" between the two countries will be introduced once it is safe to do so. Under the agreement, Australia and New Zealand will ease travel restrictions for visitors traveling between the two countries. — Saheli Roy Choudhury

10:08 am: The pandemic has pummeled global travel – 5 charts show how

While all sectors are feeling the effects of a drastic slowdown in global economic activities, the travel and tourism industries are struggling with a multitude of challenges. Lockdown measures have kept people at home during some of the peak seasons for traveling, shelving travel plans globally.

Since the outbreak, more than 200 countries and territories have enacted measures to restrict and deter travel in an attempt to limit the spread of the virus, according to a report by the United Nations World Tourism Organization.

Those measures include border closures, flight suspensions, and mandatory quarantine requirements. That has caused some airlines and hotels to run into financial difficulties, and millions of people to lose their jobs.

See the rest of the charts here. — Yen Nee Lee, Saheli Roy Choudhury

9:16 am: China reports 2 new cases, no additional deaths

China's National Health Commission attributed the two new confirmed cases to travelers from overseas and said another 20 people were asymptomatic. No new deaths were reported. 

In total, China reported 82,883 confirmed cases and 4,633 deaths. The virus was first reported in Wuhan, a city in the Hubei province, late last year before it spread rapidly. — Saheli Roy Choudhury

8:20 am: Trump says 'there'll be more death' from coronavirus

U.S. President Donald Trump acknowledged that reopening parts of the country would inevitably cost some Americans their lives. But he argued that the benefits outweighed the costs.

"It's possible there will be some [deaths] because you won't be locked into an apartment or house or whatever it is," Trump told ABC's David Muir in a rare network news interview. "But at the same time, we're going to practice social distancing, we're going to be washing hands, we're going to be doing a lot of the things that we've learned to do over the last period of time."

Donald Trump speaks as he departs the White House, on May 5, 2020, in Washington, DC en route to Arizona, where he will tour a mask factory and hold a roundtable on Native American issues.
Jim Watson | AFP | Getty Images

As of Tuesday, U.S. deaths had climbed above 70,000, with total cases over 1.2 million.

"There'll be more death, that the virus will pass, with or without a vaccine. And I think we're doing very well on the vaccines but, with or without a vaccine, it's going to pass, and we're going to be back to normal," Trump said. — Christina Wilkie

8:18 am: Argentina secures $4 billion loan from the Development Bank of Latin America

Argentina has secured $4 billion from the Development Bank of Latin America to finance efforts tackling the economic impact of the disease outbreak, Reuters reported. 

The funds will be distributed over four years, Reuters said, adding that the bank expects to invest $900 million in Argentina this year. 

Hopkins data showed infection cases in the South American country are above 4,800 and at least 262 people are dead. — Saheli Roy Choudhury

8:11 am: Indian banks are anticipating more bad loans and that could delay economy recovery

India has been in a national lockdown since late-March that has now been extended twice. With economic activity drastically lowered, there is a growing fear that daily wage earners and small business owners may not have the financial strength to weather the lockdown — there's anticipation that they may default on their loans

One expert told CNBC that banks and non-bank lenders are going to be more cautious from now on about whom they lend money to. If people who need loans are unable to get them, it could potentially delay India's economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis. — Saheli Roy Choudhury

8:04 am: Global infection cases over 3.6 million

More than 3.65 million people across the globe have now been infected and over 256,800 people have lost their lives, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. In fact, some countries are saying their daily case numbers are not slowing down

The United States is the worst-affected nation where the death toll has crossed 71,000 with over 1.2 million confirmed cases thus far, Hopkins data showed. 

Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Russia have also reported high case numbers. More people in the U.K. have died now than compared with Italy and Spain, making it the highest in Europe. — Saheli Roy Choudhury

Read CNBC's coverage from the U.S. overnight: Trump says 'bailouts' for blue states are unfair to Republicans, Airbnb to lay off 25% of staff