South Korea reports 39 new cases

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  • Global cases: More than 1,511,104
  • Global deaths: At least 88,338
  • Most cases reported: United States (429,052), Spain (148,220), Italy (139,422), France (113,959), and Germany (113,296). 

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University as of 8:10 a.m. Beijing time. 

All times below are in Beijing time.

10:38 am: Australia’s households and businesses can handle economic shock, says central bank

Australian households and businesses will face increasing financial stress due to the coronavirus pandemic, but many of them are well placed to weather the economic shock, the country’s central bank said.  

“Most businesses and households entered this difficult period in good financial health, with large cash and/or equity buffers to help withstand a temporary fall in income,” the Reserve Bank of Australia said in its Financial Stability Review.

Australia has confirmed 6,052 cases and 50 deaths since the outbreak, according to the Department of Health. The government and the central bank have announced several measures to tide the economy through the pandemic, including cutting interest rates and subsidizing wages. — Yen Nee Lee

9:15 am: South Korea reports 39 new cases ⁠— the lowest since late February

South Korea on Thursday reported 39 new cases of infection  ⁠— the lowest number since late February. There were four deaths.

The country has been reporting fewer than or around 50 new cases since Monday this week.

Altogether, South Korea has reported 10,423 cases of infection and 204 people have succumbed to the illness caused by the virus, according to data from the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

South Korea is generally 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

8:15 am: China reports 63 new cases, 2 deaths

China’s National Health Commission (NHC) reported 63 new cases and two deaths as of April 8. Of the new cases, the NHC attributed 61 to travelers from overseas.

That brings the country’s total to 81,865 confirmed cases and 3,335 deaths, according to the NHC.

Passengers of the G4802 high-speed train wait to exit the Beijing West Railway Station in Beijing, capital of China, April 8, 2020. G4802, the first high-speed train departing from Wuhan since the city resumed outbound travel, arrived at Beijing West Railway Station on Wednesday.

Ju Huanzong | Xinhua | Getty Images

Separately, the NHC said there were 56 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 on April 1. — Huileng Tan

All times below are in Eastern time.

7:07 pm: Trump escalates tension with WHO over coronavirus pandemic, repeats threat to withhold funding

U.S. President Donald Trump escalated tension with the World Health Organization, once again criticizing the agency’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and threatening to withhold funding.

“So we’re going to do a study, an investigation, and we’re going to make a determination as to what we’re doing. In the meantime, we’re holding back,” Trump said at a White House press conference. It was not immediately clear from the president’s comment if he was “holding back” on the funding or probe of the WHO.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the administration is reevaluating the WHO’s funding, adding that the United Nation’s health organization hasn’t “achieved what it intended to do,” particularly in response to the coronavirus pandemic. 

“Organizations have to work. They have to deliver the outcomes for which they were intended,” Pompeo said. “We need to make sure that, not only the World Health Organization but every international organization that we take taxpayer money and give it to them for the benefit of America, we need to make sure it’s delivering on those taxpayer dollars.” —Noah Higgins-Dunn, Kevin Breuninger

6:51 pm: While parents Zoom, their kids are flocking to an app called Roblox to hang out and play 3D games

Millions of parents across the country are suddenly being forced to juggle full-time work, parenting and homeschooling, all while keeping their kids inside, away from their friends and hopefully sane. Extensive screen time is inevitable in many households, but Roblox has emerged as an alternative to the undesirable experience of letting kids watch endless YouTube videos and cartoons.

Roblox Chief Business Officer Craig Donato said usage surged 40% in March from February, and the app trails only YouTube in terms of the biggest money makers on iOS, according to AppAnnie. It’s the opposite story from what’s facing most of corporate America, including once high-flying start-ups like Airbnb, Toast, ClassPass and Bird, which are slashing costs and, in many cases, cutting jobs. 

Donato said Roblox now expects $1 billion in billings this year, largely from in-app purchases. The company, based in San Mateo, California, sends 25% of that money to developers, who use software called Roblox Studio to make games for the app. Roblox doesn’t disclose revenue, but data site SensorTower estimated in November that sales in 2019, up to that point, had climbed 30% from all of 2018 to $435 million. —Ari Levy

6:37 pm: Etsy CEO says 20,000 of its shops are now selling face masks following CDC recommendation

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