Coronavirus live updates: Russia’s cases pass 250,000

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 4.3 million
  • Global deaths: More than 296,600
  • Most cases reported: United States (over 1.38 million), Russia (over 242,200), United Kingdom (over 230,900), Spain (over 228,600), Italy (over 222,100)

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University as of 8:30 a.m. Beijing time. 

All times below are in Beijing time.

5:20 pm: Coronavirus vaccine possible in about a year, EU agency says

A coronavirus vaccine could be approved in about a year in an “optimistic” scenario, the European Union’s Medicines Agency said on Thursday.

The European Medicines Agency (the EMA) is in communication with 33 developers and was doing all it could to speed up the approval process, the EMA’s head of vaccines said Thursday, Reuters reported, but a vaccine is unlikely to be ready for September.

“For vaccines, since the development has to start from scratch … we might look from an optimistic side in a year from now, so beginning of 2021,” he told journalists.

He ruled out the possibility of skipping the third phase of a vaccine trial, which he said would be needed to be sure a vaccine was safe and effective.  The EMA is reportedly also looking at 115 different treatments for the coronavirus. — Holly Ellyatt

5:00 pm: EU reveals what summer vacations could look like

4:40 pm: South Korea to boost coronavirus tracing privacy

South Korean health authorities are to revise their practice of publicizing the travel routes of coronavirus patients, due to fears of a backlash against people who attended nightclubs that are now at the center of a new outbreak, Reuters reported.

After weeks of nearly no new domestic coronavirus cases, South Korea saw a new spike in infections centered around nightclubs and bars in Seoul. — Holly Ellyatt

4:00 pm: Russia’s coronavirus cases pass 250,000

Russia reported 9,974 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, its lowest daily increase since May 2, Reuters noted. The country’s total case tally now stands at 252,245, according to Russia’s coronavirus response center. The official death toll stands at 2,305. — Holly Ellyatt

Ticket inspectors seen while checking passengers’ digital passcodes for traveling across Moscow.

Alexander Shcherbak

3:25 pm: Singapore preliminarily reports 752 new cases

Singapore’s coronavirus cases increased by 752, taking its total to 26,098 cases, according a preliminary update by its health ministry.

Most of the new cases detected were migrant workers living in dormitories, said the ministry. Those workers, mostly men from other Asian countries, have accounted for the majority of Singapore’s total Covid-19 cases so far. — Weizhen Tan

3:10 pm: Second wave of coronavirus could make the Fed rethink negative interest rates, says Goldman Sachs

Zach Pandl, Goldman Sachs’ co-head of global foreign exchange, rates and emerging markets strategy, raised the possibility of a second wave of coronavirus cases that could derail the upcoming economic recovery that many analysts and investors have expected.

“If the economy has another big setback … where you have a second wave of infections and it would really take the recovery off course, then I do think that that opens up a possibility of a range of additional actions,” he told CNBC.

That big setback in the U.S. economy could then prompt the Federal Reserve to consider cutting interest rates into negative territory — but such a monetary policy wouldn’t be “very helpful,” he said. — Yen Nee Lee

1:50 pm: Germany reports 933 new cases

Germany’s total cases jumped by 933 to 172,239, according to the latest data by Robert Koch Institute, a federal government agency responsible for disease monitoring and prevention. 

The country’s death toll increased by 89 to 7,723, the data showed. The country said Wednesday that it would start to relax some border controls from Saturday, with the aim of allowing travel within Europe from mid-June, according to Reuters.— Weizhen Tan

12:45 pm: South Korea reports 29 new cases

South Korea reported 29 additional cases of infection and one new death, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The country was one of the first major centers of outbreak outside China. Mass testing and strict social distancing measures had brought the daily reported cases down.

But, there are growing concerns over a potential resurgence following an infection cluster tied to clubs and bars in Seoul’s Itaewon district. Yonhap News reported as many 131 cases as of Thursday are tied to the Itaewon cluster, citing KCDC and the Seoul city government.

Cumulatively, South Korea has reported 10,991 cases and 260 deaths, according to KCDC. — Saheli Roy Choudhury

12:32 pm: Dubai Airport’s passenger numbers plunged 20% between January to March

Number of passengers going through Dubai International Airport, one of the largest travel hubs, fell by a fifth in the first three months of 2020. 

The pandemic has dealt a heavy blow to international travel as countries around the world imposed strict lockdown measures and some of them shut off their borders to non-resident visitors. 

Aircraft movements through Dubai dropped 18.7% from a year ago due to flight suspensions from select hotspots that began in February before the United Arab Emirates announced the complete halting of passenger flights in late March. Only emergency repatriation flights allowing people to return to their home countries have permission to operate. — Natasha Turak

11:40 am: Australia posts a surge in April job losses

As many as 594,300 jobs in Australia were lost in April and a large number of people left the labor force, according to the country’s statistics bureau. 

The unemployment rate jumped by one percentage point — from 5.2% in March to 6.2% in April — as 823,300 people were left without jobs. It was still better than a Reuters poll where economists predicted the unemployment rate at 8.3%.

Labor participation rate fell by 2.4 percentage points to 63.5%.

A general view of a quiet Bourke Street Mall as a tram arrives on May 13, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia, where Covid-19 restrictions have eased slightly.

Asanka Ratnayake | Getty Images

Australia implemented strict social distancing measures to contain the virus, where people were told to stay at home while businesses and shops closed temporarily.

The country has reported fewer than 7,000 total cases so far. As the infection rate appears to have slowed down, Australia is starting to ease the restrictions in phases. — Saheli Roy Choudhury

10:35 am: ‘Superbugs’ are a hidden danger in the fight against coronavirus

A former director for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told CNBC that authorities should be prepared to retrace their steps if easing social distancing measures doesn’t work.

Julie Gerberding, who was director from 2002 to 2009, said another concern is the emergence of “superbug” infections that are resistant to antibiotics and could lead to more deaths. — Audrey Cher

10:27 am: China reports 3 new cases, no deaths

China’s National Health Commission said there were 3 new confirmed cases of infection and 12 asymptomatic cases. No additional deaths were reported.

Cumulatively, China reported 82,929 cases and 4,633 deaths. — Saheli Roy Choudhury

9:29 am: Global funds are investing more in China

In the midst of uncertainties around the pandemic, foreign fund managers are “reshuffling” their holdings and putting more money into China stocks.

“Allocations to China are something people are looking to increase,” Todd Willits, head of flow tracking firm EPFR, told CNBC.

As U.S. equities fell sharply in March, allocation to Chinese stocks among more than 800 funds reached almost a quarter of their near $2 trillion in assets under management — or up from about 20% a year ago, according to fund flow data from EPFR. — Evelyn Cheng

9:07 am: Moody’s cuts sales forecast for global automakers again

Global auto unit sales are predicted to fall 20% this year, widening from an earlier forecast of a 14% drop, Moody’s Investors Service said.

Auto sales in Europe and the United States face steep declines in 2020. They are expected to drop 30% and 25%, respectively, Moody’s said.

Moody’s forecast in China, on the other hand, remains unchanged. The ratings agency said it expects auto unit sales in the world’s second-largest economy to contract 10% this year.

“Global auto sales growth is likely to rebound 11.5% in 2021, although off a diminished base, on expectations of a 4.8% rise in G-20 GDP growth next year,” Falk Frey, a senior vice president at Moody’s, said in a statement. — Saheli Roy Choudhury

8:57 am: LA Mayor Eric Garcetti says retail businesses can start to re-open with restrictions

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said all of the city’s retail businesses can reopen for pick up and delivery starting Wednesday night.

The reopening of retail is part of a new order that eases restrictions on activities in Los Angeles while still requiring that people wear masks and practice social distancing. There is no specific end date for the order, Garcetti said.

As part of the order, manufacturing businesses that support retail will also be allowed to reopen at reduced capacities, Garcetti said. 

Additionally, Garcetti dismissed news reports this week that said Los Angeles County would remain locked down for the next three months.

“No,” Garcetti said. “We won’t be shut down for three more months.” — Sal Rodriguez

8:21 am: Japan’s Takeda says treatment trial using recovered patients’ blood could start in July

Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical said it could begin a clinical trial for a potential treatment as early as July, Reuters reported. The treatment would be based on antibodies from people who have recovered, the news agency said, citing Takeda executives.

If the trial, which would include hundreds of patients, succeeds, then Takeda could file for approval by U.S. authorities later this year, according to Reuters. Still, Takeda said the treatment’s availability beyond the clinical study remains “a bit unclear.” — Saheli Roy Choudhury

8:10 am: NYC City Council votes to cap app delivery fees at 15% during state of emergency

New York City lawmakers passed a new 15% delivery fee cap Wednesday that would apply to third party services like GrubHub and Uber Eats during states of emergency, where restaurants can’t serve food on premises.

The caps would extend 90 days after the emergency state lifted. The fee would be capped at 5% for other types of services.

People queue to collect food distribution at Harlem’s Community Kitchen and Food Pantry service by the Food Bank for New York City during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the Manhattan borough of New York City, May 9, 2020.

Andrew Kelly | Reuters

The law, which still needs to be signed into effect by Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio, would be a blow to delivery services that have seen surging demand during the pandemic, but are still not profitable.

But it could help restaurants maintain some profits as they have had the most lucrative part of their business shut down. Restauranteurs have complained for years of delivery fees on third party apps and their calls have been elevated during the crisis. — Lauren Feiner

8:02 am: Global cases top 4.3 million, death toll exceeds 296,000

More than 4.3 million people around the globe have now been infected with the coronavirus since an outbreak was first reported in China’s Hubei province late last year. At least 296,690 people have died from Covid-19, the respiratory disease caused by the virus, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. 

The United States has the highest number of reported infection cases, topping 1.38 million, and more than 84,000 people have died. Outside the U.S., countries like Russia, the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, and Brazil remain some of the worst-affected places. — Saheli Roy Choudhury

Read CNBC’s coverage from the U.S. overnight: Records show Tesla furloughed more than 11,000 in California, Maryland lifting stay-at-home order on Friday

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