Thailand’s foreign tourist arrivals dip 76.4%

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: 2,623,415
  • Global deaths: 183,027
  • Most cases reported: United States (839,675), Spain (208,389), Italy (187,327), France (157,125), and Germany (150,648). 

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University as of 8:39 a.m. Beijing time. 

All times below are in Beijing time.

11:20 am: Japan reports 14 more cases on Italian cruise ship docked in Nagasaki

Japan has confirmed 14 more coronavirus cases on the Italian cruise ship Costa Atlantica currently docked in the western Japanese city of Nagasaki for repairs, reported Reuters. 

At least 48 cases of infections have been identified on the ship, including cooks and staff members serving food to the crew on board, according to the report. The cruise ship is reportedly carrying 623 crew members and no passengers.

Nagasaki officials said they plan to test all on board the ship within the next few days, according to a report by Japanese broadcaster NHK. — Yen Nee Lee

10:45 am: South Korea posts worst quarterly economic contraction since 2008

South Korea’s gross domestic product fell by 1.4% in the first quarter compared to the previous three months, according to advance estimates by its central bank. That’s a slightly smaller contraction compared to the 1.5% decline projected by economists in a Reuters poll. 

Reuters reported that the quarterly decline in GDP was South Korea’s worst since the fourth quarter of 2008.

The economic contraction was led by declines in private consumption as well as trade of goods and services, data by the Bank of Korea showed. 

On a year-on-year basis, the South Korean economy grew by 1.3%, said the central bank. 

South Korea on Thursday reported eight new cases of the coronavirus disease, bringing its tally of confirmed infections to 10,702 since the outbreak, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The country’s death toll increase by two to a total of 240, said KCDC. — Yen Nee Lee

10:18 am: Why Singapore’s push to contain coronavirus among migrant workers is so difficult

Previously a poster child for its efficient handling of the coronavirus spread, Singapore is now back in the spotlight as it struggles to contain a new outbreak among a section of its population — migrant workers.

The number of Covid-19 cases in the city-state has spiked in the past month — from about 1,000 cumulative cases on April 1 to more than 10,000 today. Most of the newly infected patients are foreign migrant workers residing in dormitories, who hail from countries including India and Bangladesh.

There is “aggressive testing” underway inside migrant worker dormitories — even among migrant workers who are not sick, and who do not display any symptoms, which could explain the high numbers of cases being reported everyday, according to Lawrence Wong, Singapore’s minister for national development, at a virtual press conference. This could suggest the infections have been occurring for some time, he added. — Audrey Cher

9:50 am: Foreign tourist arrivals to Thailand dip 76.4% in March

Arrivals of foreign tourists into Thailand fell by 76.4% in March from a year earlier, reported Reuters, citing the latest data from the country’s tourism ministry. 

The report also said that Chinese visitors, Thailand’s largest source of foreign tourists, plunged 94.2% year over year last month.

Tourism is an important contributor of growth for the Thai economy. Last year, foreign tourist receipts accounted for 11% of the country’s gross domestic product, said Reuters.  

Globally, companies in the tourism and leisure industry have been among the hardest hit in the coronavirus pandemic as many countries restricted travel and closed borders to curb the spread of the virus. — Yen Nee Lee  

8:55 am: China reports 10 new cases, no deaths

China reported just 10 new cases as of April 22, according to its National Health Commission (NHC) — a decline from the 30 new cases reported the day before. Six were attributed to travelers coming from overseas. That takes the country’s total to 82,798 cases, according to govenrment data.

For the eighth straight day, there were no new deaths, with total fatalities remaining at 4,632, according to the NHC.

Separately, there were 27 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 984, the NHC said. — Weizhen Tan

8:30 am: New cases in Italy jump again

Even as recoveries rose and deaths dropped in Italy, the number of new cases in the country jumped again Wednesday. Italy reported 3,370 new cases, that’s more than the 2,729 new cases reported Tuesday.

The country also reported 437 additional deaths, less than the 534 deaths reported Tuesday, according to Reuters. There were also fewer people in intensive care, 2,384 as of Wednesday compared with the 2,471 on Tuesday.

A worker wearing protective garments sanitizes the Duomo square, during the coronavirus disease outbreak in central Milan, Italy.

Flavio Lo Scalzo | REUTERS

Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said this week that the country will start lifting lockdown measures from May 4, but that the re-opening will be cautious and gradual, according to Reuters. 

To date, Italy has reported a total of 187,327 cases, 54,543 recoveries and 25,085 deaths. — Weizhen Tan

8:10 am: Confirmed cases in Mexico top 10,000

The number of confirmed cases in Mexico soared past 10,000, according to its health ministry, a Reuters report said. The country has seen 970 fatalities, according to the report.

Mexico has unveiled $25.6 billion in increased spending on social programs and infrastructure, in a bid to boost the ailing economy which had been hit by the pandemic. — Weizhen Tan

All times below are in Eastern time.

7:01 pm: Trump says he ‘disagrees strongly’ with Georgia governor’s plan to reopen businesses

President Donald Trump on Wednesday said that he strongly disagrees with Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp’s “phase one” plans to allow non-essential businesses to re-open in his state at the end of the week.

The re-opening of businesses, which begins Friday, includes tattoo parlors, spas, hair salons or barbershops, movie theaters and bowling alleys. They will be allowed to open their doors to the public, as long as they, and their patrons, follow physical distancing orders and other OSHA  guidelines, Kemp announced on Monday.

Trump said he told the governor, “I disagree strongly,” adding that the governor “has to do what he thinks is right.” —Lora Kolodny

6:29 pm: Trump says CDC director’s coronavirus warning was ‘totally misquoted’

5:40 pm: Two pet cats in New York test positive for the coronavirus, CDC says

The coronavirus has infected two cats in New York state, making them the first pets to test positive for the virus in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday.

One of the cats was tested after it showed mild respiratory signs, although its owners were not confirmed to have Covid-19. The virus may have been transmitted to this cat by mildly ill or asymptomatic household members or through contact with an infected person outside its home, the CDC said.

The owner of the second cat had tested positive for the coronavirus and the animal was also tested after showing signs of respiratory illness. —Noah Higgins-Dunn

Read CNBC’s coverage from the U.S. overnight: Harvard will not accept stimulus funds, California to start scheduling certain surgeries again

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