Coronavirus are living updates: WHO recommends proscribing alcohol; Spain’s day by day dying toll falls


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 1,996,681
  • Global deaths: At least 127,590
  • US cases: More than 609,685
  • US deaths: At least 26,059

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

8:05 am: Trump’s decision to withdraw WHO funding prompts international criticism

U.S. President Donald Trump’s announcement that he is going to withdraw U.S. funding for the WHO has provoked criticism from around the world.

Among those voicing opposition was philanthropist Bill Gates, who called the decision “as dangerous as it sounds.” Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas tweeted that “blaming does not help,” adding, “The virus knows no borders” and he said the WHO was already underfunded. The European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said he “deeply regretted” the decision.

The United Nations’ Secretary General António Guterres said earlier that now is “not the time” to cut WHO funding, as the world grapples with the coronavirus pandemic.The WHO is the United Nations’ health agency.

Trump said Tuesday that the U.S. will suspend funding to the WHO while it reviews the agency’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. He has accused the organization of making mistakes in its approach to the virus. However, some have criticized the White House for what they see as an inadequate response to the crisis.. —Holly Ellyatt

7:29 am: CDC director says the agency has a productive relationship with WHO

Center for Disease and Control (CDC) Director Robert Redfield testifies before the House Appropriations Committee on the CDC’s budget request for fiscal year 2021 on Capitol Hill on March 10, 2020 in Washington, DC.

Samuel Corum | Getty Images

The director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control said the agency has a very productive relationship with the World Health Organization, whose funding was cut by President Donald Trump over the coronavirus crisis.

“The CDC and WHO have had a long history of working together in multiple outbreaks around the world as we continue to do in this one,” Director Robert Redfield said in an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “We’ve had a very productive public health relationship. We continue to have that continues to have that.” —Reuters

7:14 am: WHO recommends governments restrict alcohol access

Wavebreakmedia | Getty Images

The World Health Organization’s regional office for Europe recommended governments restrict access to alcohol and “any relaxation of regulations or their enforcement should be avoided.” More than three million people die every year from alcohol, the WHO said, adding that alcohol consumption during an emergency can “exacerbate health vulnerability, risk-taking behaviors, mental health issues, and violence.”

Alcohol sales in the U.S. were up 22% at the end of March, compared to the same time frame last year, according to Nielsen. 

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, we should really ask ourselves what risks we are taking in leaving people under lockdown in their homes with a substance that is harmful both in terms of their health and the effects of their behavior on others, including violence,” said Carina Ferreira-Borges, program manager for WHO Europe’s alcohol and illicit drugs program. —Will Feuer

6:15 am: Russia rejects criticism of its handling of the crisis

A mural reading “Fight!” by the construction site of a new building of the Novomoskovsky multipurpose medical center for patients suspected of the COVID-19 coronavirus infection and passengers with acute respiratory viral infection (ARVI) symptoms arriving from countries with unfavorable epidemiological situation.

Sergei Savostyanov | TASS | Getty Images

The Kremlin rejected criticism of its handling of the coronavirus crisis after China said its largest source of new, imported cases, had come from the far northeastern part of the country that borders Russia.

“We hear that there is now an exchange of criticism over coronavirus between different countries, which is played like ping pong. We consider this to be a thankless exercise,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, Reuters reported. —Holly Ellyatt

5:40 am: Race for vaccine ‘is a global effort’ for mankind — not just one country, Germany says

As the coronavirus continues to spread around the world, teams of experts are scrambling to develop a vaccine to protect millions of people from infection.

Finding a vaccine is a collaborative effort, experts say, and is expected to take around 12-18 months. The World Health Organization said over the weekend that there are currently 70 vaccine candidates in development.

But who, or which country, gets priority when a vaccine is finally found is yet to be seen and could prove controversial.

The president of Germany’s Federal Institute of Vaccines and Biomedicines, an agency of the German Ministry of Health, told CNBC that the race to develop a vaccine is a collaborative and cooperative effort. —Holly Ellyatt

5:05 am: Spain’s daily death toll from the virus falls

Coffins containing the bodies of people who have died of coronavirus (COVID-19) are lined up in the long-term parking of the Collserola morgue before they either buried or incinerated, on April 02, 2020 in Barcelona, Spain.

David Ramos | Getty Images

Spain’s death toll rose to 18,579, up from 18,056 the day before, Spain’s health ministry said. That’s a daily increase of 523 deaths, down from 567 deaths reported the previous day. On Monday, 517 new deaths had been reported.

The total number of confirmed cases in Spain has now reached 177, 633.—Holly Ellyatt

4:20 am: Crisis will erase nearly a decade of oil demand growth this year, IEA says

The International Energy Agency said it expects the coronavirus crisis to erase almost a decade of oil demand growth in 2020, with countries around the world effectively having to shut down in response to the pandemic.

A public health crisis has prompted governments to impose draconian measures on the lives of billions of people. It has created an unprecedented demand shock in energy markets, with mobility brought close to a standstill. —Sam Meredith

4:11 am: Germany to extend restrictions to May 3, media reports

Germany will extend restrictions on movement introduced last month to slow the spread of the coronavirus until at least May 3, Handelsblatt business daily reported, citing the country’s DPA news agency.

Chancellor Angela Merkel is holding a video conference on Wednesday with cabinet ministers, and later with the leaders of Germany’s 16 states, Reuters reported.  Officials are set to discuss whether to ease lockdown measures given Germany’s improving coronavirus data. —Holly Ellyatt

Read CNBC’s coverage from CNBC’s Asia-Pacific and Europe teams overnight here: Germany could extend lockdown to May 3; Russia sees another jump in cases



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