India’s cases near 82,000; Canary Wharf plans for workers’ return


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: More than 4.4 million
  • Global deaths: At least 302,468
  • Most cases reported: United States (over 1.4 million), Russia (252,245), United Kingdom (234,440), Spain (229,540), Italy (223,096)

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University as of 1:32 p.m. Beijing time. 

All times below are in Beijing time.

3:30 pm: Singapore preliminarily confirms 793 new cases 

Singapore has reported another 793 cases of Covid-19, taking its tally to 26,891, the health ministry said in its daily preliminary update.

Most of the new cases are migrant workers living in dormitories, said the ministry. Those workers, mostly men from other Asian countries, have accounted for a vast majority of cases in the Southeast Asian city-state.

3:24 pm: World Bank to provide $1 billion to protect India’s poorest

The World Bank said this week its board approved a $1 billion program that will support India’s efforts in providing social assistance to poor, vulnerable households that are being affected by the pandemic.

A first tranche of $750 million will be allocated immediately for the current fiscal year. The remaining $250 million will be made available in the next fiscal year.

In April, the organization had announced another $1 billion in support to India’s health sector.

India’s health ministry has reported more than 81,900 cases to-date and more than 2,600 people have died. (See 1:20 pm update) — Saheli Roy Choudhury

3:10 pm: London’s Canary Wharf reportedly prepares for return of workers

London’s Canary Wharf — the European base of large banks such as Barclays, Citigroup and HSBC — has made preparations to bring more workers back to the financial district, reported the Financial Times. 

Plans that will be in place include introducing one-way routes to ensure social distancing, limiting lift capacity to just four people, daily deep cleaning and setting up hand sanitizer stations at office entrances, according to the report.

New guidance is being issued to tenants this week, said the newspaper. 

The report came as the U.K. government made plans to ease some of its lockdown measures this week. Starting Monday, those who cannot work from home are being “actively encouraged” to return to work. — Yen Nee Lee

2:15 pm: Imported cases spike in Thailand, Vietnam

Vietnam recorded its biggest daily jump in coronavirus infections after 24 new cases were detected among citizens placed in quarantine after returning from Russia, reported Reuters, citing the country’s health ministry. 

The Southeast Asian country now has a total of 312 cases — of which 90% have recovered — and has gone 29 days without a locally transmitted infection, according to the report. Vietnam hasn’t reported any deaths. 

In a separate report, Reuters said Thailand added seven new cases. All those patients are reportedly under state quarantine after arriving from Pakistan last week. 

That brings Thailand’s tally of confirmed cases to 3,025, with 56 deaths, according to the report. — Yen Nee Lee

1:20 pm: India reports nearly 4,000 new cases

India reported another 3,967 cases of the coronavirus disease in the past day, bringing its tally to 81,970, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. 

The country’s cumulative number of confirmed cases is the second highest in Asia behind China’s 82,933 infections. (See 8:00 am update)

India’s death toll rose by 100 to 2,649, the health ministry said. The total number of recoveries also climbed by 1,685 to 27,920, the latest data showed. — Yen Nee Lee

A volunteer in Chennai, India holds a placard to raise awareness about the coronavirus on a street during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown to combat the spread of Covid-19.

Arun Sankar | AFP | Getty Images

12:25 pm: Expect ‘unconventional’ central bank policy to be the new normal for now, says New Zealand finance minister

New Zealand Finance Minister Grant Robertson said central banks will likely keep turning to “unconventional monetary policy” in efforts to support economies battered by the coronavirus pandemic.

“I think we can probably ditch the unconventional word now,” Robertson told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Friday.

Like many of its peers, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand has been buying up assets to help keep liquidity in the financial system.

New Zealand has been among the Asia Pacific countries praised for its response to stem the spread of the coronavirus in the country. Robertson said many restrictions have since been lifted and most businesses have already returned to operations. — Eustance Huang

11:40 am: Germany reports 913 new cases

Germany’s total cases jumped by 913 to 173,152, according to the latest data by Robert Koch Institute, a federal government agency responsible for disease monitoring and prevention. 

The country’s death toll increased by 101 to 7,824, the data showed. — Weizhen Tan

11:05 am: Growing tensions over China’s handling of coronavirus could lead to a worse trade war, says investor

An increasing number of world leaders, including from the U.S., Europe and Australia, are calling for China to be investigated over the origins of the outbreak, which was first reported in Wuhan.

But escalating tensions over China’s handling of the pandemic could be a “major risk” to economic recovery — and may even lead to a trade war worse than the one between Beijing and Washington, one investor told CNBC. 

“We could see a very quick rehashing of the trade wars that we had, but potentially on a much worse scale than what we had last year,” said David Sokulsky, CEO and chief investment officer of Concentrated Leaders Fund. — Abigail Ng

10:35 am: South Korea reports 27 new cases

South Korea reported 27 new cases, as infections continued to climb following a growing outbreak linked to a number of night clubs. That came after weeks of single-digit or zero infections.

That brought its tally to 11,018 cases, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It had no new deaths.

 Despite the new night club cluster in its capital city of Seoul, South Korea said this week that it had no plans to restore social distancing rules, which it eased last week, according to Reuters.

9:50 am: Restaurants and bars reopen in parts of Australia

People gather at cafes at Bronte Beach on May 15, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. Restrictions put in place in response to the COVID-19 outbreak have been eased in New South Wales as of today.

Ryan Pierse | Getty Images

Restaurants, bars and cafes in Australia’s New South Wales — its most populous state — reopened Friday after a two-month lockdown, according to Reuters.

However, authorities warned people to maintain social distancing, with businesses restricted to a maximum limit of 10 customers at any one time, the report said. Schools are also gradually reopening.

The country is trying to restart its economy, after it reported an unprecedented number of job losses, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison warning the worst has yet to come, according to the report. — Weizhen Tan

8:45 am: International Olympic Committee sets aside $800 million for loans, payments linked to pandemic

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics had been postponed due to the pandemic, saddling organizers and authorities in Japan with extra costs which are estimated to run into billions of dollars, according to an Associated Press report.

The IOC said it has set aside $800 million for payments and loans linked to the pandemic, the report said.

“We anticipate that we will have to bear costs of up to $800 million for our part of the responsibilities for the organization of the games,” International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach said, according to AP. — Weizhen Tan

8:30 am: Brazil reports daily record high of more than 13,000 cases

Brazil, the hardest hit country in Latin America, reported a daily record high of 13,944 new cases, bringing its total to 202,918 cases, according to Reuters.

That new high comes as President Jair Bolsonaro pushed for lockdowns to be lifted in the financial center of Sao Paulo to soften the economic damage caused by restrictions. Sao Paulo Governor Joao Doria said he would not comply with the president’s decree, however, the report said. 

Doria has urged people to stay home and ordered all non-essential services closed till May 31. But Bolsonaro has sought to weaken those orders by declaring more services essential and free to open, including gyms and hair salons, Reuters said. — Weizhen Tan

Passengers wearing protective masks at Estacao da Luz, central region of the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil, on May 11, 2020.

NurPhoto

8:15 am: U.S. April retail sales expected to drop by record amount as Americans stayed home  

Americans shopped online and for groceries in April, avoiding many nonessential items as they stayed home during state shutdowns.

Economists expect that drove April retail sales down 12%, the steepest decline since the data series began in 1992. March’s decline was 8.7%, reflecting the impact of shutdowns in the second half of the month. The retail sales number is an important read on the consumer, which accounts for about 70% of the economy. — Patti Domm

8:00 am: China reports 4 new cases, no deaths

China’s National Health Commission reported four new cases, all of which were locally transmitted infections. That brings its total to 82,933 confirmed cases.

There were no new deaths, with fatalities staying at 4,633, according to the NHC. There were 11 new asymptomatic cases, where patients do not display symptoms of the disease. In all, 619 asymptomatic cases were under medical observation. — Weizhen Tan

Read CNBC’s coverage from the U.S. overnight: White House likely to support new round of stimulus checks, 6th Amazon worker dies from virus



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