Home Health News Coronavirus live updates: Sanofi says it can mass produce vaccine, if it works; cases in Russia jump – CNBC

Coronavirus live updates: Sanofi says it can mass produce vaccine, if it works; cases in Russia jump – CNBC

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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 2,204,500
  • Global deaths: At least 149,024
  • US cases: More than 679,300
  • US deaths: At least 33,898

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

2:02 pm: San Diego Comic-Con canceled

For the first time in 50 years, San Diego Comic-Con has been canceled.

Organizers behind the annual event announced the pop culture celebration would no longer occur in July due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. The show will return in 2021.

Although not the largest comic convention in the U.S., San Diego Comic-Con, often called SDCC, is one of the most prestigious in the entertainment world. Here Hollywood unveils new projects, teases upcoming films and announces new cast members to hit shows and movie franchises. —Sarah Whitten

1:56 pm: WHO issues warning on coronavirus testing: There’s no evidence antibody tests show immunity

World Health Organization (WHO) Technical Lead Maria Van Kerkhove talks during a daily press briefing on COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, at the WHO heardquaters in Geneva on March 11, 2020.

Fabrice Coffrini | AFP via Getty Images

The World Health Organization issued a warning about coronavirus testing, saying there’s no evidence serological tests can show whether a person has immunity or no longer at risk of becoming reinfected.

“These antibody tests will be able to measure that level of serology presence, that level of antibodies, but that does not mean that somebody with antibodies” are immune,  Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, head of WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonosis unit, told reporters during a press conference at the agency’s headquarters in Geneva.

So-called serological, or antibody, tests indicate whether a person has had Covid-19 in the past and was either asymptomatic or recovered.

Kerkhove said that WHO officials discovered many countries suggesting these tests would be able to “capture what they think will be a measure of immunity.”

“Right now, we have no evidence that the use of a serological test can show that an individual is immune or protected from reinfection,” she said. —Berkeley Lovelace Jr., Will Feuer

1:49 pm: Antibody study suggests Covid-19 could be far more prevalent in the Bay Area than official numbers suggest

How prevalent is Covid-19?

It’s a difficult question to answer, given the lack of available tests and the fact that some people who have been exposed to the virus exhibit mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. 

Two research groups, assisted by a team of volunteers, sought to get a better sense of the true prevalence in Santa Clara County in Northern California, which was one of the first places in the U.S. where community spread was detected. They tested 3,300 people by asking the volunteers to show up to one of three testing sites locally.

In a study published on Friday, the researchers, many of whom hailed from Stanford University, noted that the results suggest that Covid-19 could be far more widespread than the official counts suggest. —Christina Farr

1:40 pm: Pro golf plans to be the first major sport to return during the coronavirus pandemic

View of the 17th green empty during the second round of the canceled PLAYERS Championship on THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass on March 13, 2020, in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL.

Ben Jared | PGA TOUR via Getty Images

The PGA Tour is looking to be the first major sport to return to action following the coronavirus outbreak, but there will be one key change when players return to the links for the June 8 Charles Schwab Challenge. There will be no spectators in the stands.

PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan appeared on CNBC’s “Squawk Alley” to talk about golf’s return and how the decision was made at a time when coronavirus has infected more than 2 million people around the globe. 

Monahan said the Tour didn’t take the decision lightly and he and his team spent an inordinate amount of time thinking about the logistics of the return and getting feedback from their players.

“We’ve had over 10 conference calls, some lasting two hours, as we’ve thought about our resumption,” Monahan said.

The discussions have included Jordan Spieth, Kevin Kisner, Charley Hoffman and about a dozen other players who sit on the Tour’s policy boards. 

“Our players are eager to return, excited to inspire this country, but also know that in announcing the schedule, we are going to do so in a safe and responsible way,” Monahan said. —Jessica Golden

1:25 pm: Entrepreneurs left in the cold after Paycheck Protection Program runs out of money

Chris Myers applied for a forgivable loan from the federal government. He’s running his business as if the additional lifeline may not be on its way..

“I’m just cobbling enough work together to try covering my studio rent and a little bit of incidentals,” said the Baltimore-based photographer. Hospitals and colleges are his usual clients, and he’s expanded into taking more freelance photojournalism work with local magazines.

“Hopefully, I don’t beat up my bank account too much – 90% to 95% of business is gone right now, so I’m just keeping the lights on,” Myers said.

Myers is among the millions of entrepreneurs who applied for a slice of the $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program or PPP. It’s been five days since he’s applied, and he’s still not sure whether he’ll receive funding. –Darla Mercado

1:04 pm: Britain launches vaccine task force

Britain launched a task force to support efforts to make a coronavirus vaccine available to the public as quickly as possible.

The government said 21 new research projects would get funding from a 14 million pound investment pool “to rapidly progress treatments and vaccines.”

The task force will include AstraZeneca and research charity the Wellcome Trust.

A million doses of a potential Covid-19 vaccine being developed by British scientists at Oxford University are already being manufactured, even before trials prove whether it is effective, the team said.

“UK scientists are working as fast as they can to find a vaccine that fights coronavirus, saving and protecting people’s lives. We stand firmly behind them in their efforts,” Business Minister Alok Sharma said. —Reuters

12:49 pm: Labor secretary: Most states distributing $600 per week in federal aid on top of state jobless benefits

12:32 pm: Italy’s daily coronavirus death toll rises, though new cases broadly stable

Doctor Enrico Ramoni, wearing protective gear, checks on the medical equipment of a patient at the new COVID-3 level intensive care unit, treating COVID-19 patients, at the Casal Palocco hospital near Rome, on April 8, 2020, during the country’s lockdown aimed at stopping the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the novel coronavirus.

Alberto Pizzoli | AFP | Getty Images

Deaths from the Covid-19 epidemic in Italy rose by 575, up from 525 the day before, while the number of new cases declined slightly to 3,493 from a previous 3,786.

The daily tallies extend the broadly stable situation in place over the last 12 days.

This plateau is down considerably from peaks reached around the end of March, but the downtrend has not proceeded as was widely hoped in a country that has been in lockdown for almost six weeks.

The total death toll since the outbreak in Italy came to light on Feb. 21 rose to 22,745, the Civil Protection Agency said, the second-highest in the world after that of the United States.

The number of officially confirmed cases climbed to 172,434 the third-highest global tally, behind those of the United States and Spain. —Reuters

12:26 pm: France disputes claim that Covid-19 is linked to research lab in China

France said Friday there is no evidence of a link between the coronavirus and the work of the P4 research laboratory in the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the pandemic started.

“We would like to make it clear that there is to this day no factual evidence corroborating the information recently circulating in the United States press that establishes a link between the origins of Covid-19 and the work of the P4 laboratory of Wuhan, China,” an official at President Emmanuel Macron’s office said. —Reuters

12:17 pm: New York still struggles with 2,000 new coronavirus hospitalizations a day, Gov. Cuomo says

New York is still struggling to contain the coronavirus outbreak across the state with 2,000 new hospitalizations a day, even as public officials make plans to gradually reopen parts of the economy for business, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

Governors across the nation are desperate to loosen restrictions and reopen businesses that were shuttered to help curb the outbreak that has killed more than 33,300 people in the U.S. since emerging from Wuhan, China less than four months ago.

“The situation we have now is unsustainable. People can’t stay in their homes for this length of time, they can’t stay out of work. You can’t keep the economy closed forever. You just can’t,” Cuomo said. “Society can’t handle it personally or economically. So now we’re moving into another phase, which is this reopening phase.” —Noah Higgins-Dunn, Will Feuer

12:07 pm: Disney’s celebrity-filled singalong is ratings gold for ABC

More than 10 million people tuned in to watch celebrities sing along to iconic Disney songs Thursday night.

The “Disney Family Singalong,” which was hosted by Ryan Seacrest and aired on ABC, featured videos of Beyonce, Ariana Grande, Darren Criss, Josh Groban, Josh Gad and more singing hit Disney tunes like “Gaston,” “Be Our Guest” and “You’ve Got a Friend in Me.”

Disney’s singalong special is just one way that entertainment companies are altering their programming during the coronavirus outbreak. With more people unable to leave their homes due to social distancing measures, traditional television and film studios have had to be creative in order to deliver content.

Late-night shows have moved their shows into their own homes and utilized video messaging services to interview guests. —Sarah Whitten

11:53 am: NBA boss Adam Silver faces the league’s biggest challenge ever to restart the season, but insiders say he’s prepared

NBA Commissioer Adam Silver speaks during a press conference.

Kazuhiro Nogi | AFP | Getty Images

To those who know him, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is built for this moment

It was a little more than a month ago that Silver struck first, suspending games due to the coronavirus pandemic and triggering a wave of shutdowns from other leagues just as U.S. cities began implementing stay-at-home orders.

Silver received praise for being the first commissioner to step up, showing responsibility and leadership when he shut down the National Basketball Association after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for Covid-19.

The thing is, being first also carries expectations. And for Silver, who turns 58 this month, expectations are high as he oversees a league in the middle of a global crisis with no clear sign of recovery.

Across the nation, small businesses are suffering, millions have applied for unemployment benefits and the stock market has seen wild swings almost daily. Usually, the sports industry is relatively immune to economic turmoil, but the coronavirus changed that.

And there might not be a league in the world that will take a financial hit as big as the NBA, considering the events that served as a prelude. Before the pandemic forced Silver to suspend play as of March 11, the NBA lost two icons — Kobe Bryant and former commissioner David Stern — and the Houston Rockets general manager made a flub on Twitter that threatened the league’s lucrative prospects in China. Few can doubt the NBA has endured a difficult 2019-2020 campaign.

“This is the ultimate case study for a sport,” said Marty Conway, an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. —Jabari Young

11:43 am: Sallie Krawcheck: Give yourself an hour a day just to ‘freak’ amid coronavirus pandemic

While following stay-at-home orders due to the Covid-19 pandemic, everyone has reacted differently —some recommend increasing productivity, others say to focus on mental health or take time to organize your space.

And then there’s the uncertainty of the job and financial markets.

But according to Sallie Krawcheck, co-founder and CEO of digital investment platform Ellevest, giving yourself an hour to “freak” each day is important.

“You’ve got to compartmentalize,” Krawcheck said during a LinkedIn “Business Unusual” Q&A on Thursday. “What I would suggest you try to do is give yourself the time and the space to be nervous, uncertain and scared, and look at the news obsessively that you know you’re not supposed to.”

“You know, do all that stuff. Give yourself an hour a day, I’m just going to like, freak. Maybe if you had a psychologist on here, maybe they would say that isn’t healthy, but I’m a business person,” she said.

According to Lynn Bufka, clinical psychologist and senior director at the American Psychological Association, “you have to find your own way through this,” even if that means taking time to “freak.” —Taylor Locke

11:31 am: Nearly 3 million borrowers have been granted mortgage relief, and the industry is crying for help

More than 2.9 million homeowners have taken advantage of a program designed to provide relief to holders of government-backed mortgages, part of the coronavirus CARES Act relief package.

This represents 5.5% of all active mortgages, according to Black Knight, a mortgage data and analytics company that is now tracking the growing numbers daily. 

The program allows borrowers to delay their monthly payments for a year. Those payments are then tacked on to the end of the loan, or paid back over time in a mortgage modification. Borrowers must tell their mortgage servicers that they have had financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic, but they do not have to provide any proof.

The 2.9 million loans in forbearance as of Thursday account for $651 billion in unpaid principal and include 4.9% of all government-sponsored enterprise loans (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) and 7.6% of all FHA/VA loans.

“In these times, it is essential to both our industry and for the benefit of the entire U.S. economy to have a clear understanding of the magnitude of the mortgage forbearance situation,” said Black Knight CEO Anthony Jabbour. —Diana Olick

11:00 am: The coronavirus is changing how frequently consumers wash clothes and shave, Procter & Gamble says 

Containers of Tide detergent on grocery store shelves.

Richard Levine | Corbis | Getty Images

Procter & Gamble said Friday that the pandemic is spurring U.S. consumers to wash more loads of laundry every week, with more items of clothing being washed after being worn once. The Tide owner also said sales of its Swiffer and Mr. Clean products got a boost from consumers who are cleaning up more spills from home-cooked meals.

But not all of P&G’s products are getting a boost from habits resulting from the crisis. P&G CFO and COO Jon Moeller said people are shaving less frequently compared to before the coronavirus crisis, which will hurt demand for its Gillette and Venus razors.

P&G reported Friday that U.S. sales surged 10% in the fiscal third quarter—Amelia Lucas 

10:53 am: 7 telemedicine services offering free health care during the coronavirus pandemic 

10:44 am: Vox Media will furlough 9% of workforce, or about 100 employees, for three months until July 31

Vox Media will furlough 9% of its roughly 1,200 employees and reduce hours for another 1% until July 31 in an effort to curb costs, according to an internal e-mail. The actions are in response to a plunge in advertising revenue during coronavirus quarantines.

Vox Media, which owns digital media sites such as Vox.com, SBNation, Eater and New York Magazine, will also temporarily cut annual salaries above $130,000 from May 1 to July 31, Chief Executive Officer Jim Bankoff wrote in the e-mail, which CNBC has reviewed. —Alex Sherman 

10:39 am: Fed’s Bullard proposes way to ‘end the crisis’: Pay all costs for companies developing tests 

James Bullard

David A. Grogan | CNBC

St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard proposed what he sees as the best economic solution to the coronavirus crisis: Pay full costs for any firm that comes up with a test for the virus that can assure the public that it’s safe to resume activity.

Doing so, he said Friday, would create a “gold rush” of testing that would help offset the steep damage already done by the economic shutdown.

“That would end the crisis,” he said during a webinar presented by the Reinventing Bretton Woods Committee. —Jeff Cox 

10:33 am: New York City cancels early summer concerts and festivals to curb coronavirus outbreak 

New York City is canceling concerts, festivals and other all nonessential events through May and considering the same for June as the city seeks to drive down  coronavirus infection rates throughout the city, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Friday.

De Blasio said this means the Brooklyn Half Marathon and SummerStage in Central Park will be canceled. Such events, he said, go “against everything that we need to do to fight back the coronavirus.” —William Feuer, Noah Higgins-Dunn 

10:25 am: US coronavirus cases, per capita 

9:54 am: Coronavirus bill talks will go through the weekend after small business funds dry up, Schumer says 

Congressional Democrats and the Trump administration will talk through the weekend to try to strike a deal on an emergency bill to replenish a program to buoy small businesses pummeled by the coronavirus, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Friday.

The New York Democrat sounded optimistic about reaching an agreement a day after the Small Business Administration said the $349 billion loan program approved last month had reached its cap of commitments. Senate Republicans tried to pass a plan last week to inject $250 billion more into it, but Democrats blocked it as they pushed for tweaks to the program along with funding for hospitals and state and local governments. 

Staff from Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s offices have held discussions with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin this week on an interim rescue bill — which Senate Republicans may or may not choose to support. —Jacob Pramuk 

9:49 am: How 3-D printing is helping the US fight medical equipment shortages and the coronavirus pandemic 

3-D printing company Carbon has created midsoles for Adidas shoes, football helmet liners for Riddell. Now it will produce and ship up to 50,000 face shields to help in the COVID-19 fight.

Carbon

To combat the medical equipment shortages caused by the coronavirus pandemic, GE Healthcare is using 3-D printing to make tools that accelerate ventilator production. Jeff Bezos‘ space venture Blue Origin is leveraging 3-D printers to make plastic components for face shields. And with support from Adidas, digital-manufacturing firm Carbon, in Silicon Valley, is using its highly elastic polymer featured in $200 Adidas running shoes to produce more than 15,000 face shields weekly for health-care workers caring for COVID-19 patients.

FordBoeingHPMedtronic and the U.S. military are among the manufacturing powers funding, designing and producing a battery of protective gear and medical equipment to fill in supply shortages around the world. But it is 3-D printing firms, as well as a cottage industry of home-based 3-D design tinkerers, that are making a broader call to action possible.

The 3-D printing industry’s designs, materials and networks of machines — which allow a digital design of a face mask part, ventilator component or even a nasal swab to be pushed out to thousands of computers instantly — is having a moment. —Maggie Overfelt

9:34 am: Dow rallies more than 600 points on hope for an effective coronavirus treatment 

Stocks surged after a report said a Gilead Sciences drug showed some effectiveness in treating the coronavirus, giving investors some hope there could be a treatment solution that helps the country reopen faster from the widespread shutdowns that have plunged the economy into a recession.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 600 points at the open, or more than 2%. The S&P 500 traded 2% while the Nasdaq Composite advanced. 1.4%. 

Gilead shares jumped more than 10% after STAT news reported that a Chicago hospital treating coronavirus patients with remdesivir in a trial were recovering rapidly from severe symptoms. The publication cited a video it obtained where the trial results were discussed. —Fred Imbert 

9:20 am: Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen to be freed from prison into home confinement due to coronavirus fear 

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former lawyer, leaves his apartment to report to prison in Manhattan, New York, May 6, 2019.

Jeenah Moon | Reuters

Michael Cohen, the former personal lawyer and fixer for President Donald Trump, will be released from prison in two weeks and be allowed to serve the remainder of a three-year federal criminal sentence in home confinement due to concerns about the coronavirus, CNBC has learned.

Cohen, 53, currently is incarcerated at the federal camp in Otisville, New York, where 14 inmates and seven staff members have tested positive for Covid-19, according to the Bureau of Prisons.

The fallen lawyer, who arranged hush money payments to women who said they had sexual encounters with Trump, originally was due to be released there on Nov. 22, 2021. —Dan Mangan 

9:15 am: Moderna getting $483 million in federal funding for coronavirus vaccine development 

The biotech Moderna announced that it received as much as $483 million in federal funding to accelerate development of its potential coronavirus vaccine. 

Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said Friday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that the funding is particularly critical in aiding manufacturing efforts. 

“Instead of waiting for the data and then scaling up with manufacturing process … we can make as many doses as we can. We are doing both in parallel,” he said. The company plans to hire up to 150 people to support the scale-up efforts.

Bancel said the company “couldn’t have done this” without the funding commitment from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services. —Kevin Stankiewicz 

9:05 am: New York Fed President Williams says the economy won’t be back to ‘full strength’ by end of 2020 

John C. Williams, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York speaks to the Economic Club of New York, March 6, 2019.

Lucas Jackson | Reuters

New York Federal Reserve President John Williams said that he sees some aspects of the economy coming back online but doubts growth will get back to normal through 2020.

Williams spoke Friday with Steve Liesman on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

Areas such as construction should be the first to come back, he said, echoing comments from Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker, who spoke to CNBC on Thursday.

“I expect that to be able to bounce back a little bit more quickly than maybe some of the other sectors,” Williams said. “But I don’t see the economy getting back to full strength by the end of the year.” —Jeff Cox

8:56 am:  Influential Covid-19 model uses flawed methods and shouldn’t guide U.S. policies, critics say 

A widely followed model for projecting Covid-19 deaths in the U.S. is producing results that have been bouncing up and down like an unpredictable fever, and now epidemiologists are criticizing it as flawed and misleading for both the public and policy makers. In particular, they warn against relying on it as the basis for government decision-making, including on “re-opening America.”

“It’s not a model that most of us in the infectious disease epidemiology field think is well suited” to projecting Covid-19 deaths, epidemiologist Marc Lipsitch of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health told reporters this week, referring to projections by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.

The IHME projections were used by the Trump administration in developing national guidelines to mitigate the outbreak. Now, they are reportedly influencing White House thinking on how and when to “re-open” the country, as President Trump announced a blueprint for on Thursday. —STAT 

8:49 am: If Sanofi’s coronavirus vaccine works, CEO says it can produce up to 600 million doses next year 

Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson, November 19, 2019.

Gonzalo Fuentes | Reuters

French drugmaker Sanofi expects to produce up to 600 million doses of its coronavirus vaccine next year if its clinical trials with GSK go as planned, CEO Paul Hudson said Friday.

“We believe we’re one of the few companies who will be able to make a vaccine at a huge scale,” he said during an interview with CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

Sanofi and GSK announced Tuesday that they entered an agreement to jointly create a Covid-19 vaccine by the end of next year. The companies plan to start clinical trials in the second half of 2020 and, if successful, make it available to the public by the second half of 2021.

Sanofi and GSK are one of several companies working on a potential vaccine to prevent Covid-19. There are currently no therapies to treat Covid-19 and drugmakers are racing to produce a vaccine, which is expected to take 12 to 18 months. —Berkeley Lovelace Jr. 

8:30 am: CVS, Rite Aid expand drive-thru testing

CVS Health is launching Covid-19 drive-thru testing in New Haven, Connecticut, in the parking lot of the former Gateway Community College campus at Long Wharf. The new site will offer Abbott Labs’ rapid coronavirus tests, to patients who preregister and meet criteria set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This is CVS’s fourth drive-thru testing site, after opening operations in Georgia, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The company has conducted 25,000 tests since March. 

Rite Aid is launching two new Covid-19 drive-thru testing sites in store parking lots, one in Waldwick, New Jersey and the other in Valley Cottage, New York. The company expects to conduct 200 self-swabbing tests per day between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., for preregistered patients who meet CDC criteria for testing.  —Bertha Coombs

7:25 am: Procter & Gamble US sales jumped as consumers rushed to stock up amid the outbreak

Procter & Gamble reported that its fiscal third-quarter U.S. sales surged 10% as consumers stocked up on staples like toilet paper ahead of the coronavirus outbreak.

P&G reported fiscal third-quarter net income of $2.92 billion, or $1.12 per share, up from $2.75 million, or $1.04 per share, a year earlier. Excluding items, the owner of such products of Charmin, Bounty and Pampers earned $1.17 per share.

Net sales rose 5% to $17.21 billion.

Wall Street anticipated earnings per share of $1.13 on revenue of $17.46 billion, based on a survey of analysts by Refinitiv. —Amelia Lucas

7:13 am: Switzerland’s death toll reaches 1,059, confirmed infections surpass 27,000

Switzerland’s public health agency recorded 42 more fatalities as a result of the coronavirus in the previous 24 hours, Reuters reported, taking the country’s death to 1,059. 

The number of people who have tested positive nationwide increased to 27,078, up from 26,732. —Sam Meredith

7:05 am: Google told to respect Europe’s privacy rules as it works on contact tracing app

European officials are pressuring Google to closely follow the EU’s data privacy rules with the coronavirus tracing apps that it’s developing with Apple. 

The tech giants announced their partnership last week to develop tools that will help track the spread of the coronavirus via Bluetooth technology. The idea is to mitigate the number of new infections when lockdown measures are lifted over the coming months. However, the announcement has raised concerns that such technology could breach an individual’s privacy. 

“Contact tracing apps can be useful to limit the spread of the coronavirus. But their development and interoperability need to fully respect our values and privacy,” Thierry Breton, the EU’s internal market commissioner, said after a video meeting with Google and YouTube CEOs on Wednesday. —Silvia Amaro

7:01 am: UK expands testing criteria

A drive through farm shop has been opened at Tulley’s Farm where contactless payment is taken on the end of a pole to observe social distancing on April 03, 2020 in Turners Hill, England.

Mike Hewitt

Britain has expanded the number of people who are eligible to be tested for Covid-19 to include the police, fire service and judiciary, Health Minister Matt Hancock said.

The government has been criticized for all but abandoning testing in mid-March, but Hancock said it was part of the government’s strategy to have mass testing, something that gets closer as Britain builds screening capacity.

“The challenge is that as the epidemic increased exponentially at that point in the middle of March. It meant that the incidence of the outbreak was broad and it meant that we weren’t able to test everybody with symptoms,” Hancock told a parliamentary committee. “I can today expand eligibility for testing to the police, the fire service, prison staff, critical local authority staff, the judiciary, and DWP (Department of Work and Pensions) staff who need it.” —Reuters

6 am: Spain’s total number of infections crosses 188,000

Spain’s health ministry said the total number of cases in the country had jumped to 188,068, up from 182,816 on Thursday.

Spain is second only to the U.S. worldwide in the number of Covid-19 infections.

Earlier Friday, Spain’s social security minister said the government would try to support roughly 1 million of the poorest households with a monthly basic wage. Speaking to COPE radio station, the minister said the policy was designed to help people weather the crisis. —Sam Meredith

4:55 am: Indonesia reports over 400 new cases, death toll climbs to 520

People wearing face masks attend Friday prayers at a mosque in Surabaya, Indonesia on March 20, 2020.

Juni Kriswanto | AFP | Getty Images

Indonesia’s health ministry confirmed 407 new coronavirus cases, taking the country’s total number of infections to 5,923. 

The Southeast Asian nation has recorded 520 deaths as a result of Covid-19. —Sam Meredith

4:25 am: Russia reports record daily jump in cases

A police officer with flu masks on the faces seen at a chekpoint on the road from Riga at the entrance to Moscow, Russia, April,15,2020.

Mikhail Svetlov

Russia reported 4,069 new cases in the last 24 hours — a record rise in new infections, Reuters said, citing the Interfax news agency. 

That brings total cases in Russia to 32,007, according to the report. —Yen Nee Lee

4:20 am: China updates national tally for cases and deaths after Wuhan revision

China’s National Health Commission said it has updated the death toll and total confirmed cases in the mainland after Wuhan city revised its tally upward. 

China’s national death toll now stands at 4,632, up from the 3,342 that the NHC provided on Friday morning. Meanwhile, total confirmed cases have been revised from 82,367 to 82,692, the NHC said. —Yen Nee Lee

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