Global Cases 1.6 Million; Johnson Out of ICU: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) — U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and one of the top U.S. health officials said reopening the country’s economy hinges on the government seeing major communities at the end of their coronavirus outbreaks and developing treatments for the disease, among other hurdles. U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson was taken out of intensive care Thursday evening and moved back to the main hospital ward.

The number of confirmed cases has reached nearly 1.6 million globally as of April 10, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. U.S. cases now stand at 461,437 compared to Spain with 153,222 as the next highest country. New York state reported the fewest hospitalizations since the outbreak began, even as deaths hit another high.

Leaders from Germany to New York urged residents to abide by restrictions as a weekend of Easter celebrations loom. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention extended “No Sail Order” for all cruise ships. Italy and Spain are preparing for several more weeks of lockdowns, while India further tightened measures.

China reported 42 additional confirmed coronavirus cases for April 9, including 38 from abroad. South Korea recorded 27 more cases over 24 hours, with Daegu, the epicenter of outbreak in the country in late February, reporting no new cases for the first time.

Asian stocks saw mixed trading Friday in a holiday-hit session as investors mulled new measures from the Federal Reserve to cushion the fallout from the coronavirus. The dollar steadied after an overnight decline.

Coronavirus Tracker: Global Cases 1.6 Million; Deaths 95,511Pence, CDC Head Lay Out Virus Criteria to Reopen U.S. EconomyWhite House Weighs New Panel to Map Post-Virus Economic RecoveryHong Kong Edge Over Singapore Shows Early Social Distance WorksChinese Leaders Pledge Bigger Role for Markets as Virus HitsMorgan Stanley CEO had virus, recoveredUBS, Credit Suisse will split payouts for 2019 into two installments

Thailand Reports 50 More Coronavirus Cases, Total Now 2,473 (12:40 p.m. HK)

Thailand confirmed one more fatality from the coronavirus, taking total fatalities to 33, according to Taweesilp Witsanuyotin, a spokesman for the Covid-19 center. Of the new 50 cases, 27 are close contacts of previously confirmed cases and 4 from expanded testing in Phuket.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has urged Australians to remain at home over the Easter break in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Australia as had 6,152 confirmed cases of Covid-19 as of 6:00 a.m. in Sydney, with 100 added in the previous 24 hours, according to the government. Restrictions on the number of people allowed to gather in groups, lockdowns of non essential services and social distancing have helped to slow the spread of the virus.

Peru Slashes Key Rate to 0.25% in Unscheduled Decision (10:52 a.m. HK)

Peru’s central bank cut its benchmark interest rate to an all-time low to boost stimulus as a nationwide lockdown paralyzes the economy.

The central bank board cut its benchmark lending rate by 1 percentage point to 0.25% in the second unscheduled decision in less than a month. Policy makers had also slashed the rate by 100 basis points three weeks ago and weren’t due to review borrowing costs again until April 16.

Boeing Considers Potential 10% Cut to Workforce, WSJ Reports (10:34 a.m. HK)

Boeing is considering a plan that would cut about 10% of its workforce of about 160,000 people through buyouts and involuntary layoffs, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter.

The cuts expected to largely be in the commercial armNo decision on cuts was imminent, one of the people saidAims to shrink workforce through buyouts and attrition before involuntary layoffs

China’s Inflation Moderates as Pandemic Hurts Demand, Oil Slumps (10:22 a.m. HK)

China’s consumer inflation slowed to the weakest pace since October last month as food and oil prices moderated and shutdowns to beat the coronavirus kept demand depressed.

The consumer price index rose 4.3% in March from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said Friday. That compares to the median estimate of a 4.9% increase. Factory-gate prices declined 1.5%, versus a forecast 1.1% drop.

Pence, CDC Head Lay Out Virus Criteria to Reopen U.S. Economy (09:36 a.m. HK)

Vice President Mike Pence and one of the top U.S. health officials said reopening the country’s economy hinges on the government seeing major communities at the end of their coronavirus outbreaks and developing treatments for the disease, among other hurdles.

Trump Vows to ‘Expedite Help’ for Beleaguered U.S. Farmers (09:20 a.m. HK)

President Donald Trump said he has asked his agriculture secretary to “use all of the funds and authorities at his disposal,” to aid U.S. farmers, whose financial peril has worsened in the coronavirus pandemic.

The administration plans to announce an aid package next week, according to people familiar with the discussions.

CDC’s ‘No Sail Order’ for Cruise Ships Extended by 100 More Days (08:54 a.m. HK)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention extended its “No Sail Order” for all cruise ships by at least 100 days — or until Covid-19 is no longer considered a public health emergency.

The CDC said there are 100 cruise ships at sea off U.S. coasts, with 80,000 crew members on board. Twenty ships at port or anchorage in the U.S. have known or suspected Covid-19 among crew, according to the agency’s statement Thursday.

White House Weighs New Panel to Map Post-Virus Economic Recovery (07:57 a.m. HK)

The White House is considering whether to create a working group focused on reviving the U.S. economy after the coronavirus pandemic eases, and whether the panel should include private-sector representatives.

The discussions are in their early stages, according to three people familiar with the matter. Administration officials including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, President Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner and the director of the National Economic Council, Larry Kudlow, may be involved, the people said.

Meadows has also asked Trump’s daughter and senior adviser Ivanka Trumpto join the group, one person said. All of the people spoke on condition of anonymity because the discussions are ongoing.

China Reports 42 New Coronavirus Cases (07:37 a.m. HK)

China reports 42 additional confirmed coronavirus cases on April 9, with 38 of them from abroad, according to statement from the country’s National Health Commission. Of the confirmed cases, 14 were earlier classified as asymptomatic. The commission also said 47 asymptomatic cases were reported on April 9, including 14 from abroad. As of April 9, China has 1,097 asymptomatic coronavirus cases under medical observation.

Sternlicht’s View Darkens as Signs Point to ‘Slower’ Recovery (07:20 a.m. HK)

Real estate billionaire Barry Sternlicht said he’s become less optimistic about the U.S. economy, and expects it to recover slower than China’s, after observing the coronavirus pandemic over the past few weeks.

“It’ll be slower here, depending on what happens on the medical front,” he said Thursday in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “This quarter will be a mess.”

Trump May Offer Airline Bailout Plan by Weekend (6:42 a.m. HK)

President Donald Trump, speaking at a White House briefing, said he may unveil a bailout proposal for the beleaguered U.S. airline industry by the weekend. He met with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to work on details of the plan.

Trump said he expected to offer “a very acceptable package” and may hold talks with the carriers.

According to a Reuters report, Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian said that nearly 35,000 workers have volunteered for unpaid leave offered by the company to stem costs due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Pentagon Sends Body Bags for Civilian Victims (5:41 p.m. NY)

The Pentagon has delivered 37,000 body bags over the last week to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which is seeking 100,000 to help address the pandemic.

The Defense Logistics Agency provided what the military calls “human remain pouches” from a combination of its stockpile and expedited shipments from its current provider. In addition, the agency placed orders for 63,000 more of the bags to fulfill the remainder of FEMA’s request, a spokesman said.

EU Finance Chiefs Reach $590 Billion Rescue Deal (5:14 p.m. NY)

European Union finance ministers agreed on a 540 billion-euro ($590 billion) package of measures to combat the economic fallout of the pandemic. It includes a joint employment insurance fund worth 100 billion euros, a European Investment Bank instrument intended to supply 200 billion euros of liquidity to companies, as well as credit lines of up to 240 billion euros from the European Stability Mechanism — the euro area’s bailout fund — to backstop states as they go on a spending spree to help economies back on their feet.

Boris Johnson Leaves Intensive Care as U.K. Extends Lockdown (05:00 a.m. HK)

Boris Johnson was released from intensive care Thursday evening after his deputy said it’s too soon for the U.K. to relax the lockdown imposed 17 days ago in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The U.K. premier remains in the hospital “where he will receive close monitoring during the early phase of his recovery,” from coronavirus, his office said in an emailed statement Thursday evening. “He is in extremely good spirits.”

Rhode Island Surge; Michigan Deaths Top 1,000 (4:21 p.m. NY)

A surge in Rhode Island helped push U.S. coronavirus cases higher Thursday, with infections growing by double-digit percentages in a dozen states.

U.S. cases rose 7.5% to 451,491, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. That’s below the average 10% daily increase over the week.

In New York — the hardest-hit state — deaths reached a new high while hospitalizations fell to their lowest level since the crisis started. It reported 799 dead and 200 hospitalizations in the past 24 hours. New cases in the state rose 7.1% to 159,937, eclipsing the numbers in Italy and Spain.

Rhode Island had the biggest daily increase, with cases rising 41%, to 1,727. New Jersey cases rose 7.6% to 51,027, the fifth-straight day of increases of 10% or less. The state, which has the second-highest number of infections, expects to reach the peak of the outbreak in two to three days.

South Africa Extends Lockdown (3 p.m. NY)

South Africa extended a nationwide lockdown by two weeks to April 30, President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a televised speech. While the nation is at very beginning of a “monumental struggle” against coronavirus, Ramaphosa said evidence shows the lockdown is working. South Africa has 1,934 cases up from 1,845 on Wednesday.

Italy’s Deaths, Cases Rise (12:15 p.m. NY)

Italy reported a higher number of new coronavirus cases and deaths as the government considers extending a national lockdown.

Civil protection authorities reported 4,204 new cases, up from 3,836 a day earlier. Italy registered 610 deaths in the past 24 hours, compared with 542 the day before. Total fatalities reached 18,279.

The country’s decision to ramp up testing is probably behind the recent pickup, as more previously unreported cases are discovered. Italy conducted almost 100,000 in the past two days.Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte is preparing to extend the national lockdown that ends April 13 for another two weeks, said officials who asked not to be identified discussing a confidential issue.

Africa Has Chance to Contain Outbreak: WHO (10:40 a.m. NY)

Much of the African continent still has a chance to contain the coronavirus pandemic, the World Health Organization said at its weekly Africa briefing. While a few African countries are experiencing a rapid increase in local transmissions, more than 30 nations can still prevent a larger outbreak by testing, contact tracing and isolating patients, the WHO said. Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo said the country is making progress to contain the spread of the coronavirus after an increase in testing showed limited contagion.

Canada’s Curve May Be Flattening (9:17 a.m. NY)

Three weeks after the governments of Canada’s three most populous provinces told their 28.4 million residents to stay home, the measures appear to be working. The provinces, which have three-quarters of Canada’s people, have recorded just 1.2 deaths from Covid-19 per 100,000 residents. That compares with 32 for New York, 10 for Michigan and 6 for Washington.

Canada’s coronavirus case count has been increasing slower than most countries, said Theresa Tam, the nation’s chief public health officer. The number doubles every three to five days. The government expects between 22,580 to 31,850 cases by April 16, which could mean 500 to 700 total deaths, Tam said.

Morgan Stanley’s CEO Says He Had Virus, Now Recovered (9:10 a.m. NY)

Gorman told staff he contracted coronavirus and has since recovered. He had flu-like symptoms last month and tested positive, he said in a message to the bank’s employees. Gorman was never hospitalized, self-isolated in his home and has been cleared by his doctor.

U.S. Virus Fatalities Looking More Like 60,000, Fauci Says (8:10 a.m. NY)

“I believe we are going to see a downturn” and projections look “more like the 60,000 than the 100,000 to 200,000,” National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases chief Anthony Fauci said in response to an NBC interview question about virus fatality models. Fauci said he thinks the U.S. is starting to see a flattening of the curve in New York. “I don’t want to jump the gun on that but I think that is the case,” he said.

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