With many states reopening for business, sobering estimates about the potential spread of Covid-19 in the U.S. are emerging. Former FDA chief Dr. Scott Gottlieb said the U.S. will see an increase of Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations in May as business restrictions across the country are lifted. “We don’t know how much, but they’re not going to go down,” Gottlieb said.
This is CNBC’s live blog covering all the latest news on the coronavirus outbreak. All times below are in Eastern time. This blog will be updated throughout the day as the news breaks.
- Global cases: More than 3.6 million
- Global deaths: At least 254,430
- US cases: More than 1.1 million
- US deaths: At least 70,115
The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
8 pm: United Airlines service workers’ union sues over schedule cuts
A United Airlines plane sits on the tarmac at San Francisco International Airport.
Justin Sullivan | Getty Images
The baggage handlers’ union that represents United Airlines sued the airline over schedule cuts, claiming it violated the terms of billions in federal coronavirus aid.
At least two U.S. senators criticized airlines for cutting workers hours after they received federal coronavirus aid.
“The assistance provided to air carriers in the CARES Act was conditioned on protecting airline workers from layoffs and furloughs,” Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) told CNBC in a statement. “The Administration needs to do more to make sure airlines are using the payroll support funding as intended, and not to cut workers hours and benefits.” —Leslie Josephs
7:30 pm: U.S. hospitals are losing millions of dollars per day in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic
Medical workers wearing masks walk past a ‘Thank You’ sign outside of Mount Sinai Hospital amid the coronavirus pandemic on May 3, 2020 in New York City.
Alexi Rosenfeld | Getty Images
U.S. hospitals have seen revenues flatline during the pandemic after they had to delay non-emergency medical procedures during the spring. Conservative estimates indicate that hospitals in the U.S. are losing more than a billion dollars per day by complying with the guidance.
According to the American Hospital Association, hospitals are bleeding more than $50 billion per month. Private equity investor and public policy professor Meghan Fitzgerald, estimates through her own research that it’s about $1 to $1.2 billion per day. “Many of these procedures were medically necessary, and — yes — profitable, enabling these institutions to serve all patients,” she said. —Christina Farr
6:58 pm: President Trump tours respirator facility without wearing protective mask that workers are required to wear
U.S. President Donald Trump looks at a protective face mask being shown to him by Honeywell’s Vice President of Integrated Supply Chain Tony Stallings as he watches workers on the assembly line with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows while touring Honeywell’s facility manufacturing masks for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Phoenix, Arizona, May 5, 2020.
Tom Brenner | Reuters
He got a mask, but didn’t wear one.
President Donald Trump didn’t put on a mask to tour an Arizona factory that makes N95 respirator masks for the government’s coronavirus response, and where workers are reminded by a sign that they need to wear protective facial covering during their shifts.
The White House said officials at factory operator Honeywell told them that Trump and other guests would not have to wear masks during their tour Tuesday of the Phoenix facility.
Trump, who earlier said he would wear a mask if they were required, walked around the factory floor as the song “Live and Let Die” played from speakers.
He was later presented with a gift, an N95 mask mounted on a plaque. —Dan Mangan
6 pm: Texas to allow hair, nail salons to reopen Friday, gyms to follow
Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced the US Army Corps of Engineers and the state are putting up a 250-bed field hospital at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in downtown Dallas during a press conference at the Texas State Capitol in Austin, Sunday, March 29, 2020.
Tom Fox | Getty Images
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced that the state’s hair and nail salons, barber shops and tanning salons will be allowed to reopen starting this Friday while adhering to health guidelines set forth by the state. He said that customers at these businesses must maintain six feet distance and will be required to wear a face mask, among other modifications the state plans to set forth.
Abbott said that on May 18, gyms will also be allowed to reopen at 25% occupancy as long as showers and locker rooms remain closed. He said that equipment will need to be sanitized after every use and gym-goers will be required to wear gloves, and any outside equipment must be sanitized before and after entrance. The Texas governor previously allowed some businesses, like retail stores and movie theaters, to reopen on Friday as long as they maintained 25% capacity as part of the state’s phase one reopening plan. —Noah Higgins-Dunn
5:35 pm: Theme park and cruise shut down cost Disney $1 billion
The closure of parks, cruises and Disney-branded stores cost Disney around $1 billion during the second quarter, the company said. The Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products segment includes all of Disney’s theme parks, as well as its cruise lines, hotels and merchandise. In fiscal second-quarter ended March 28, Disney reported a 10% drop in this segment, with revenue falling to $5.54 billion. —Sarah Whitten
5:18 pm: Shanghai Disneyland will reopen on May 11
Tourists at Disney town on May 05, 2020 in Shanghai, China.
Hu Chengwei | Getty Images
The Shanghai Disneyland will reopen its doors on May 11. It has been closed since January 25 due to the global Covid-19 outbreak.
Already open in Shanghai is the shopping center Disneytown, Wishing Star Park and the Disneyland Hotel. The company will take a phased approach in reopening this park. It will limit attendance, implement new social distancing practices and integrate more sanitation stations throughout the park. It is currently unclear when the rest of Disney’s parks, resorts, cruise ships and Disney-branded stores will be able to reopen. —Sarah Whitten
5 pm: Trump says coronavirus ‘bailouts’ for blue states are unfair to Republicans
Using federal funds to help states recover from coronavirus is unfair to Republicans, said President Donald Trump, “because all the states that need help — they’re run by Democrats in every case.”
In an interview with The New York Post, Trump said that Illinois, New York and California are examples of states with “tremendous debt,” while Florida and Texas are both “doing phenomenal” and the Midwest is, “fantastic — very little debt.”
As Congress prepares to hammer out a fourth coronavirus aid package, and governors in both parties clamor for more funds, the question of what requirements will be placed on additional federal money for states is emerging as a key fault line.
On Tuesday, Trump tweeted that “Sanctuary Cities, Payroll Taxes, and perhaps Capital Gains Taxes, must be put on the table.” —Christina Wilkie
4:35 pm: More Orange County beaches to begin phased reopening after temporary ban, governor says
Lifeguards patrol an empty beach in front of the Huntington Beach Pier on May 3, 2020 in Huntington Beach, California.
Michael Heiman | Getty Images
California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that the cities of Huntington Beach, Dana Point and Seal Beach are allowed to begin a phased reopening of their beaches after the cities submitted plans to allow safe public access to beachgoers.
The plans include a range of measures to avoid overcrowding and enable safe physical distancing on the beach, according to a press release from the California Natural Resources Agency.
Newsom said he would allow Laguna and San Clemente beaches to reopen on Monday.Newsom ordered the beaches in Orange County to close on Thursday after the crowds of people congregated on the state’s coasts over the weekend. Newsom said beaches in the southern part of California, including those in Orange, Los Angeles, and San Diego counties, have raised alarm bells, saying beachgoers have failed to follow physical distancing guidelines. Officials in Orange County criticized Newsom’s order, however, for unfairly targeting the county. —
4 pm: Stocks rise for a second day with Dow up 100 points as investors bet on the economy reopening
3:40 pm: Airbnb to lay off nearly 1,900 people
Martin Bureau | Getty Images
Airbnb on Tuesday announced layoffs of 1,900 employees which represent about 25% of the company’s staff.
Prior to the cuts, the company had 7,500 employees, according to a note published by Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky.
Along with the cuts, Airbnb will halt projects related to transportation, hotels and luxury stays, Chesky wrote. —Salvador Rodriguez
3:19 pm: White House could phase out coronavirus task force by early June
The White House coronavirus task force could soon be history.
Vice President Mike Pence, who oversees the task force, confirmed in a meeting with reporters, that the administration is considering phasing out the group, possibly as soon as early June,
The slow phase-out would involve transitioning the country’s Covid-19 response to other federal agencies, and would coincide with the easing of lockdown restrictions in several states.
Response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci had been stars of the task force’s near-daily press briefings, but have already moved somewhat out of the spotlight. The on-camera briefings haven’t been held since April 24. Read more on the possible transition from CNBC’s Kayla Tausche and Kevin Breuninger. —Sara Salinas, Valerie Block
3:11 pm: Here’s how much of the US is set to reopen
More and more states are loosening lockdown restrictions and easing forced business closures, a trend many on Wall Street see as a sign that the worst of the economic pullback is over.
The chart above shows how many Americans will soon see Covid-19 restrictions lift. Some states, such as New York and California, have suggested they may reopen certain businesses soon, but have made no definitive statement on when that will occur.
The movement toward restarting commerce has boosted stocks after a violent March. The S&P 500 is up more than 30% from its March low. Oil prices settled up 20%, and have nearly doubled in the last five days. —Thomas Franck
1:59 pm: Cuomo rebukes Trump over partisan comments
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-N.Y., rebuked President Donald Trump after the president said in a New York Post interview that it’s “unfair” for Republicans to “bail out” the states hardest-hit by Covid-19, claiming they are “run by Democrats in every case.”
Cuomo said New York and other Democratic-led states have paid more in federal taxes than they’ve received, and sharply criticized what he called partisan rhetoric coming from Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in a time of crisis.
“This coronavirus doesn’t pick Democrats or Republicans. It doesn’t kill Democrats or Republicans, it kills Americans,” Cuomo said at his daily press briefing. —Kevin Breuninger
1:55 pm: Researchers say the virus has mutated and looks more contagious
The coronavirus has mutated and the new strain spreading across the United States and other parts of the world appears to be even more contagious, according to new research published by scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
The Los Alamos researchers were able to analyze thousands of coronavirus sequences collected by the Global Initiative for Sharing All Influenza. They said the new strain began spreading in Europe in early February before migrating to other parts of the world, becoming the dominant form of the virus across the globe by the end of March.
If the virus doesn’t subside in the summer like the seasonal flu, it could mutate further and potentially limit the effectiveness of the vaccines currently being developed by scientists around the world, the researchers warned. —Berkeley Lovelace Jr.
1:36 pm: Five European countries still not seeing drops in the number of new cases
Most European countries are reporting decreases in the daily number of new Covid-19 cases, but the United Kingdom, Sweden, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria are not seeing a decline, CNBC’s Holly Ellyatt reports.
The number of new cases was increasing in Bulgaria, and in the other four countries, there was “no substantial change” in a key measure of the prevalence of active coronavirus cases in the population, according to the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC).
Sweden, notably, did not impose a full lockdown but encouraged people to work from home and limit contact with vulnerable groups. Sweden has confirmed 23,216 cases and 2,854 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. —Chris Eudaily
1:07 pm: President Trump says he will wear a mask on factory tour, if required
President Donald Trump, who has for weeks refused to wear a mask as a coronavirus precaution despite federal guidance urging Americans to do so, might wear one during a visit to a mask-production factory in Arizona — but only if he’s required to do so.
Trump is set to tour the Honeywell facility in Phoenix, which is making N95 masks for the federal government.
“I think it’s a masked facility,” Trump told reporters. “If it’s a masked facility, I will” wear a mask, he said.
Vice President Mike Pence ignited a furor last week by not wearing a mask at the Mayo Clinic, which requires masks for all visitors, patients and staff. Pence wore a mask two days later during a tour of a General Motors plant in Indiana. —Dan Mangan
12:52 pm: Here’s what to expect as Nordstrom gets set to reopen stores
Pedestrians pass in front of a Nordstrom Inc. store in the Midtown neighborhood of New York, on Friday, March 20, 2020.
Gabby Jones | Bloomberg via Getty Images
Nordstrom is preparing to reopen its department stores amid the coronavirus pandemic. Its locations across the country have been temporarily shut since March 17.
The retailer has a number of precautionary measures it will be taking, including adding plexiglass dividers at cash registers to protect workers, handing out masks to visitors, leaving some of its restaurants closed and limiting services such as alterations.
Nordstrom said it will be opening its stores in phases. It remains unclear exactly which shops will open first, and on which dates. The retailer’s plans follow those that Macy’s laid out last week as it prepared to open 68 locations Monday. —Lauren Thomas
12:33 pm: Trump says Dr. Fauci was blocked from testifying at Covid-19 hearing ‘because the House is a set up’
Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci, flanked by US President Donald Trump, speaks during the daily briefing on the novel coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House on April 22, 2020, in Washington, DC.
Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images
The White House stopped Dr. Anthony Fauci from testifying at a House hearing on the U.S. coronavirus response because the Democratic-held chamber is full of “haters,” President Donald Trump said.
The president’s explanation, which indicates political motivations behind blocking the key health official from appearing Wednesday, contradicts one the White House offered on Friday. Administration spokesman Judd Deere said it would be “counter-productive” for the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to testify while he works on the government pandemic response.
Trump offered a different reason Tuesday.
“Because the House is a set up,” he told reporters when asked why the White House blocked Fauci from appearing Wednesday. “The House is a bunch of Trump haters. They put every Trump hater on the committee, the same old stuff.”
The White House declined to comment on the contradiction between its explanation and the one Trump outlined. —Jacob Pramuk
12:19 pm: Italy tallies lowest number of daily new cases for past two months
Commuters emerge from the San Giovanni Metro station in Rome, Italy, on Monday, May 4, 2020.
Italy reported 236 more deaths from Covid-19, an increase over the day before, and 1,075 new cases, which is the lowest daily number for the past two months, according to Reuters.
The country has one of the highest death tolls from coronavirus in the world, with a total of 29,315 dead, the Civil Protection Agency said. —Chris Eudaily
11:51 am: Dow up 400 points as stocks continue to rally
11:27 am: One of Main Street’s biggest fears in economic reopening — new regulations
Small businesses have contended with new and evolving regulations enacted to mitigate the threat from the novel coronavirus. Now, as the country looks to reopen the economy, an entirely different set of standards are being introduced.
In the latest CNBC|SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey, 38% of small business owners said they expect changes in government regulations to have a negative effect on their business in the next 12 months. That is the highest that value has been in the three-plus years of the survey, which reaches more than 2,000 small business owners in the U.S. every quarter.
Just three months ago only 26% anticipated a negative impact from regulatory changes. Read more about Main Street’s biggest economic reopen fears here. –Melodie Warner
11:22 am: NYC Mayor de Blasio says Trump is putting politics first in coronavirus response
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio criticized President Donald Trump’s comments in a New York Post interview that indicated he would not be inclined to bail out states, especially those run by Democrats, that have financially struggled amid the coronavirus crisis.
De Blasio said Trump was a “pure hypocrite” to not provide financial assistance to states even though he was willing to grant nearly $58 billion to bail out the airline industry.
“That means he’s not inclined to help firefighters, EMTs, paramedics, police officers, doctors, nurses, health-care workers, teachers, sanitation workers,” de Blasio said at his daily press briefing.
The mayor has projected that Covid-19 will cost New York City a projected $7.4 billion in lost tax revenue over the current and next fiscal year after the city shuttered businesses and ordered people to stay indoors to try to contain the outbreak. —Noah Higgins-Dunn
10:46 am: Nearly a fifth of Wendy’s US restaurants are out of beef, analyst says
A Wendy’s classic double cheeseburger and french fries.
Luke Sharrett | Bloomberg | Getty Images
As food supply chains struggle to keep up with demand amid the Covid-19 outbreak, CNBC’s Amelia Lucas reports that nearly a fifth of Wendy’s U.S. restaurants have run out of beef, according to a study by Stephens Inc.
The study found that nationwide 1,043 restaurants — or 18% of its U.S. restaurants — have listed beef items as out of stock, though more than 100 locations still sell Wendy’s chili, which contains beef, Stephens analyst James Rutherford said.
Many restaurants in Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee and New York restaurants are currently out of beef, while other states’ menus do not suggest there are any supply chain issues. —Terri Cullen
10:40 am: When will we start traveling again? Here’s what experts say
CNBC’s Christina Farr asked experts in public health and various industries for their best predictions on when will we start traveling again. All agreed that it would take around 18 to 24 months before there’s a significant spike in demand and the industry begins to return to normal levels.
Air travel has dropped by more than 95%, with some days seeing fewer than 100,000 air travelers across the country. In April 2019, more than 2 million travelers passed through U.S. airports every day.
The experts said the travel industry will undergo some very big changes: Airports may institute new kinds of security checks to screen travelers’ health, nervous tourists could opt for ‘staycation’ destinations, and the travel experience will be dominated by large chains as small hotels and restaurants struggle to survive. –Melodie Warner
10:33 am: US services sector suffers biggest contraction since 2009
The U.S. services sector contracted for the first time in about a decade in April as economic activity in the country ground to a near halt amid the pandemic, the Institute for Supply Management reported.
The ISM nonmanufacturing index plunged to 41.8 in April from 52.5 a month earlier — the first contraction in services since the financial crisis, CNBC’s Fred Imbert reports. It was the lowest amount of business activity in the services sector since ISM launched the index in 1997. Still, the April reading topped a Dow Jones estimate of 40. —Terri Cullen
10:23 am: Connecticut cancels in-person public school for the rest of the academic year
Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont is ordering in-person classes at all K-12 public schools canceled for the rest of the academic year due to the coronavirus outbreak. The state will continue to provide distance learning, however, and schools will also continue to offer meals to children at home under the school lunch and breakfast programs.
“I know how important it is for so many students and teachers to finish out the school year, and I was holding out hope – particularly for high school seniors – that we’d at least be able to complete the final few weeks, but given the current circumstances and to protect everyone’s safety, it has become clear that it’s just not possible,” Gov. Lamont said in a statement.
No word yet on whether summer school programs will be canceled as well. The governor said that he anticipates having guidance on summer school toward the end of May. —Terri Cullen
9:57 am: Groceries have gotten pricier during the pandemic
It’s not your imagination: Grocery staples from milk and eggs to produce have gotten more expensive in recent weeks. Milk prices are up 10%, year to date. Produce prices are up 10%. And egg prices are up 30%. That’s all according to research by Nielsen.
In an interview with CNBC’s Jane Wells, Nielsen managing director Morgan Seybert said grocers have pulled back significantly on sales. He said in an average week, about a third of products sold by a grocery store is on promotion – but that’s dropped to about 20%.
“We’ve seen a huge reduction in the amount of promotions that retailers are running as they’re just trying to get the product and the supply that they need onto the shelf,” he said. —Melissa Repko
9:52 am: Dr. Scott Gottlieb says rare, ‘unusual phenomena’ affecting kids may be linked to coronavirus
Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CNBC that a rare but “unusual phenomena” affecting children could potentially be linked to the coronavirus, demonstrating that “we don’t understand this virus well.”
Gottlieb’s comments on “Squawk Box” came after New York City health officials warned Monday of an inflammatory disease, so far impacting 15 children, that could possibly be associated with Covid-19. The condition is characterized by persistent fever and was likened to Kawasaki disease and toxic shock syndrome.
According to the New York City Health Department, four of the children tested positive for Covid-19 through diagnostic testing. Six other children who initially were negative through diagnostic testing later tested positive from an antibody test. —Melodie Warner
Disclosure: Scott Gottlieb is a CNBC contributor and is a member of the boards of Pfizer and biotech company Illumina.
9:42 am: Virgin Atlantic to cut more than 3,000 jobs to mitigate coronavirus impact
Virgin Atlantic said it will cut 3,150 jobs across its business to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The airline said it was entering a consultation period of 45 days, during which time it will work with trade unions BALPA and Unite on the restructuring.
Virgin Atlantic faced criticism last month when billionaire owner Richard Branson sought state aid from the U.K. government to help keep the airline afloat. —Melodie Warner
9:34 am: Dow jumps more than 200 points on hopes of economy reopening
Wall Street and much of the Financial District stands empty as the coronavirus keeps financial markets and businesses mostly closed on April 20, 2020 in New York City.
Spencer Platt | Getty Images
Stocks opened higher on Tuesday as investors bet the U.S. economy could start to reopen again. The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded 239 points higher, or nearly 1%. The S&P 500 gained 1% while the Nasdaq Composite advanced 1.1%. —Melodie Warner
9:29 am: Norwegian Cruise Line says there’s ‘substantial doubt’ about its ability to continue ongoing operations
Norwegian Cruise Line warned there is “substantial doubt” about its ability to continue as a going concern as the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect the ability, or desire, of people to travel.
The company said it does not have sufficient liquidity to meet its obligations over the next twelve months and said it expects to report a loss for the quarter ended March 31 and on the year.
Separately, the company announced that L Catterton, a private-equity fund, invested $400 million in NCL Corporation, a subsidiary of Norwegian. —Melodie Warner
9:17 am: Not clear who’s in charge of health precautions at airports
A specific government plan to standardize policies for protecting air travelers and aviation workers from the coronavirus has yet to materialize as it’s unclear which government authority would take responsibility for passenger health precautions.
Airlines are putting together a patchwork of policies, such as blocking off middle seats, issuing new boarding procedures, and requiring masks. At least one airport has started using a thermal camera to screen people for fevers.
“It’s going to be a game of hot potato,” said Jeffrey Price, an air travel safety expert and a professor at Metropolitan State University of Denver. —Melodie Warner
9:05 am: Fiat Chrysler to restart US production in two weeks
A Jeep Renegade rolls down an assembly line at Fiat Chrysler’s Melfi assembly plant in Italy in 2015.
Michael Wayland / CNBC
Fiat Chrysler expects to restart the majority of its North American plants the week of May 18 after coronavirus shutdowns lead to $1.8 billion (1.7 billion euro) first-quarter loss.
The company, as well as General Motors and Ford Motor, has been in discussions with the United Auto Workers union for weeks to reopen U.S. plants, which shuttered in March.
Fiat Chrysler burned through about $5.5 billion (5.1 billion euro) in cash during the first three months of the year as the coronavirus pandemic first shuttered its operations in China, followed by Europe and then North America. The company’s plants in China have reopened. It continues to restart operations in Europe and elsewhere. —Melodie Warner
8:25 am: UK death toll surpasses Italy, now highest in Europe
The United Kingdom has now recorded the highest coronavirus death toll in Europe, with 32,313 reported deaths related to Covid-19.
Italy, which has been particularly hard hit by the virus outbreak, previously held Europe’s highest death toll. Italy’s recorded deaths stands at 29,079 according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Read more about the Covid-19 outbreak in the U.K. from CNBC’s Sam Meredith and Ryan Browne. —Sara Salinas
8:13 am: Starbucks plans to have 85% of US cafes open by the end of the week
A delivery rider wearing a protective mask picks up an order from Starbucks as signs displayed in the window announce pick up and delivery options are available amid the coronavirus pandemic on April 28, 2020 in New York City, United States.
Alexi Rosenfeld | Getty Images
Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said that over 85% of the U.S. company-operated locations will be reopened by the end of the week, with modified operations and hours.
The chain plans to have more than 90% of cafes open by early June. Starbucks shares rose 3% in premarket trading. —Amelia Lucas
8:11 am: Experimental vaccine begins human testing in the US
Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer announced that its experimental coronavirus vaccine, BNT162, began human testing in the United States.
Pfizer, which is working alongside German drugmaker BioNTech, said it will test the potential vaccine on adults ages 18 to 55 in the first stage before moving on to older groups. It hopes to test up to 360 people.
The effort by Pfizer and BioNTech is one of several working toward a potential vaccine to prevent Covid-19. More than 100 vaccines were in development globally as of April 30, according to the World Health Organization, with at least eight vaccine candidates already in human trials. —Berkeley Lovelace Jr.
7:06 am: Cases will likely rise in May, former FDA chief says
6:53 am: WHO says it’s ‘not surprising’ virus was in France in December
In this photo illustration the World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is seen on a screen of pc and a coronavirus image displayed on a screen of a smartphone in Kiev, Ukraine.
Pavlo Gonchar | SOPA Images | Getty Images
The World Health Organization said it is “not surprising” that reports have emerged of Covid-19 circulating in France as early as December, Reuters reported. China officially alerted the WHO to its outbreak on Dec. 31, though cases were circulating before then as officials in the country sought to identify the mysterious virus.
A hospital in France retested old samples from pneumonia patients and discovered the presence of the virus that causes Covid-19 in one patient, who was treated as early as Dec. 27, according to Reuters. The French government would not confirm its first case of Covid-19 for nearly a month.
“It’s also possible there are more early cases to be found,” WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier told a U.N. briefing in Geneva. He encouraged other countries to investigate whether the virus was circulating earlier than was previously known in order to identify a “new and clearer picture” of the outbreak. —Will Feuer
5:50 am: Iran’s death toll rises to 6,340
The number of deaths due to coronavirus reported in Iran has risen by 63 in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 6,340, Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur said in a statement on state TV on Tuesday, Reuters reported.
The total number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Iran has reached 99,970, he said. —Holly Ellyatt
5:20 am: Spain reports 185 new deaths
A woman wearing a sanitary mask as a preventive measure, leaving the train during the first day of work for non-essential sectors. Barcelona faces its 31st day of house confinement due to the contagion of Covid-19.
Paco Freire | SOPA Images | LightRocket via Getty Images
The number of daily deaths caused by coronavirus in Spain has risen by 185 on Tuesday, the health ministry said, marking the third consecutive day that the number of deaths has remained below 200.
The ministry said the total number of fatalities has risen to 25,613. The overall number of confirmed cases has risen to 219,329, up from 218,011 the day before. —Holly Ellyatt
5:04 am: Russia reports more than 10,000 new cases for the third day in a row
Patients suspected of the coronavirus (COVID-19) infection are brought by health officials wearing protective gear with ambulances to Kommunarka Hospital in Moscow, Russia on May 3, 2020.
Sefa Karacan | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
Russia has reported 10,102 new infections on Tuesday, bringing the total number of Covid-19 cases to 155,370. It’s the third day in a row that Russia has reported more than 10,000 new cases.
The country’s crisis response center said 1,451 people have now died from the virus. It said 4.4 million tests have been carried out. —Holly Ellyatt
Read CNBC’s coverage from CNBC’s Asia-Pacific and Europe teams overnight here: Russia sees a further 10,000+ cases; Spain’s daily death toll stable