Coronavirus live updates: China says risk of local outbreak hasn’t gone away, South Korea reports 9 deaths


This is a live blog. Please check back for updates.

  • Global cases: At least 334,981, according to the latest figures from the World Health Organization
  • Global deaths: At least 14,652, according to the latest figures from the WHO

All times below are in Beijing time.

11:47 am: Macao to ban visitors from the Greater China region who traveled abroad in the 2 weeks prior

Macao will not allow entry for visitors from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan who have traveled abroad in the 14 days prior, according to Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng. The decision is set to go into effect starting March 25 midnight Hong Kong time. 

Last week, the gambling destination had banned all non-resident visitors from outside the Greater China region.

Visitors from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan make up more than 90% of Macao’s tourists, Reuters reported. Though Macao’s casinos have reopened after a two-week suspension in February, revenues have dropped by almost 90%, the news wire added. 

Macao has 25 confirmed cases, with 10 of them discharged. — Vivian Kam, Saheli Roy Choudhury

10:42 am: China says risk of local outbreaks hasn’t gone away

Chinese leaders remain concerned about a resurgence of the coronavirus within the country, even as the number of new confirmed cases has dwindled, with most coming from travelers returning from overseas, according to official reports.

“The risks for sporadic infections and localized outbreaks have not gone away,” according to an official English-language press release regarding a meeting Monday of China’s leading group on responding to the COVID-19 disease outbreak.

“With the pandemic rampaging across the world, the situation remains complex and challenging,” the release said. “There is every need to maintain cool-headedness and not (be caught) off guard.”

Premier Li Keqiang chaired the meeting, which also emphasized that provinces should “restore normal economic and social order” if the spread of the virus has remained low for many consecutive days. — Evelyn Cheng

10:33 am: South Korea reports 9 new deaths, 76 new cases

Another nine people have died in South Korea, bringing the country’s death toll to 120, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. There were also 76 new cases reported as the infection rate appeared to have relatively stabilized in recent days.

Still, the total number of cases crossed 9,000 and stood at 9,037. A series of stringent measures, including mass testing and quarantine efforts, appeared to have slowed down the spread of the coronavirus in South Korea.

Last week, the country strongly recommended all religious, sports and entertainment places to shut down for 15 days. It also advised its citizens to avoid socializing and traveling for that period, Korea’s prime minister announced in a televised address, according to a Reuters report. — Saheli Roy Choudhury

9:41 am: Moody’s Analytics says coronavirus outbreak has created a global ‘economic tsunami’

Moody’s Analytics said the coronavirus outbreak has created a “worldwide economic tsunami” and that the global economy is “engulfed in a serious downturn.” The virus has caused significant parts of Asia, Europe, and the U.S. to shut down or significantly reduce economic activities. 

“More financial pain is quickly coming as layoffs mount, businesses curtail investment, and retirement nest eggs evaporate,” Chief Economist Mark Zandi said in a report. “Central banks have responded aggressively but are running out of room to maneuver as interest rates hit the zero lower bound. The onus is now on governments to quickly provide substantial financial support to hard-pressed households and businesses.”

Zandi added the extent of the outbreak’s economic damage depends on the trajectory of the virus, and how governments respond to it. 

In the U.S., economists are predicting layoffs can range from 500,000 to 5 million just in April. — Saheli Roy Choudhury

8:54 am: Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee issues stay-at-home order 

The state of Washington on Monday issued a stay at home order effective immediately, Gov. Jay Inslee announced in a series of tweets. The order says Washingtonians must stay at home except for essential activity, which includes grocery shopping, doctor appointments and essential work duty. People can still go outside for a walk, a bike ride or to garden, but they must remain six feet away from others at all times, Inslee said. 

A growing list of states is telling residents to stay at home during the coronavirus crisis, as COVID-19 takes hold in the U.S. — Salvador Rodriguez, Hannah Miller, William Feuer

8:28 am: California will need an additional 50,000 hospital beds to respond to coronavirus

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said the state will need an additional 50,000 hospital beds to respond to the coronavirus outbreak. 

The state will expand provision for the needed beds through a variety of means, Newsom said. The hospital system alone will provide for an additional 30,000 beds through its surge plan. The state has also acquired three hospitals that will provide an additional 3,000 beds. 

California will seek to acquire the remaining 17,000 beds through a variety of means, including the use of hotels, motels, fairgrounds, convention centers and other facilities, Newsom said. — Salvador Rodriguez

8:21 am: China reports 78 new cases and 7 additional deaths

China’s National Health Commission said there were 78 new confirmed cases, of which 74 were imported. Another seven people died, all of them in Hubei province where the COVID-19 disease was first detected. The city of Wuhan reported an additional case after China said in the past few days there were no new cases in that area.

Altogether, China had 81,171 confirmed cases, where 73,159 of them have recovered and 3,277 people have died. — Saheli Roy Choudhury

7:56 am: No more votes expected Monday after US Senate coronavirus stimulus bill fails again

There will be no more Senate votes Monday on a massive stimulus package as Democrats and Republicans continue to negotiate terms, two Senate aides told CNBC.

The measure, which has a price tag well over $1 trillion and is intended to limit the economic pain from the coronavirus outbreak, failed a key procedural vote in the Senate on Monday afternoon.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer had warned that a deal would not pass until Republicans agreed to key changes. He said that negotiations would continue even while the Senate took the procedural vote. — Lauren Hirsch, Jacob Pramuk

7:48 am: S&P says global light vehicle sales will decline by almost 15% in 2020

S&P Global Ratings said it predicted light vehicle sales worldwide to decline by almost 15% in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic and sharply lower global growth. Many automakers have announced temporary production halts at their plants due to a decline in demand for their vehicles. 

“In our updated scenario, global light vehicle sales will likely decline to less than 80 million units in 2020 versus 90.3 million in 2019,” said S&P Global Ratings credit analyst Vittoria Ferraris in a statement. “We expect this decline will be particularly severe in the second quarter of the year, only gradually recovering thereafter provided that restrictive measures are effective in slowing contagion.” — Saheli Roy Choudhury

7:34 am: Italy’s death toll above 6,000

Italy’s health ministry said as of 6 p.m. local time on March 23, there were a total of 63,927 confirmed cases in the country. The one-day rise in the number of new infections was the smallest increase for five days, Reuters reported earlier.

At least 7,432 people have recovered from the respiratory disease, COVID-19, and about 6,077 people have died.

People wearing protective mask walk near Piazza del Popolo during the Coronavirus emergency on Mar. 14, 2020, in Rome, Italy. The Italian government has taken the unprecedented measure of a nationwide lockdown by closing all businesses except essential services such as, pharmacies, grocery stores, hardware stores and tobacconists and banks, in an effort to fight the coronavirus outbreak.

Antonio Masiello | Getty Images

As it attempts to tackle the virus outbreak, the Italian government has practically shut down most of the country. Movements are restricted as people are only allowed outdoors on essential business; restaurants, bars, cafes, and other public places are closed.

Recently all industrial production and almost all private and public offices were ordered to shut. Only what officials consider to be “essential products” are going to be developed. — Saheli Roy Choudhury

All times below are in Eastern time.

7:18 pm: What people are buying as they heed stay-at-home orders

In the weeks since the U.S. confirmed its first case of COVID-19, consumer habits have been shifting

Medical masks, hand sanitizer, gloves and toilet paper have flown off shelves in the U.S., as more people began to look to protect themselves and prepare for long stints isolated in their homes. But, those aren’t the only items that consumers are spending money on in stores and online.

In addition to medical supplies, such as cold medicine, thermometers and tissues, and items for the pantry, such as canned goods and bottled water, people have begun shelling out money for entertainment. Board games, puzzles and video games have become popular items. —Sarah Whitten

7:04 pm: Updated map of US coronavirus cases, which total 43,214

6:59 pm: Volunteers from tech companies like Amazon, Apple and Google build coronavirus-tracking site in six days

In the last week, a group of thirty volunteers from tech companies like AppleAmazon and Alphabet put together a website called “covidnearyou” that aims to track the coronavirus as it spreads

The idea started when Prem Ramaswami, the head of product at Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs, and his wife, started feeling sick more than a week ago. When he tried to get a test for the coronavirus, his doctor told him that would not be possible. According to Ramaswami, he was denied access to the test because he hadn’t been in touch with anyone who had tested positive.

Ramaswami, who previously worked on health projects at Google, wondered how he could help others in the same boat. —Christina Farr

Read CNBC’s coverage from the U.S. overnight: US cases top 43,000, Florida institutes New York and New Jersey travel rules

Source: CNBC

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