Coronavirus live updates: Universal Studios extends park closures; US cases top 452,000

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 1,579,600
  • Global deaths: At least 94,500
  • US cases: More than 452,500
  • US deaths: At least 16,100

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

5:39 pm: Banks and health care companies will report earnings, but virus updates will matter most in week ahead

Major banks and health care companies will be the first to reveal how the early weeks of the coronavirus shutdowns impacted their profits, outlook, work force and customers.

Earnings season begins in the week ahead, with JPMorganWells Fargo and Johnson & Johnson among the first to release first quarter earnings reports Tuesday. But the stock market that appears to be willing to overlook  anticipated bad news for now. —Patti Domm

5:15 pm: Universal Studios extends park closures

View of the entrance of Universal Studio Hollywood closed during the Covid 19 crisis, April 2, 2020, in North Hollywood, California.

Valerie Macon | AFP via Getty Images

Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando will remain closed through at least May 31, according to a company statement.

The closure affects the theme parks and Universal CityWalk at both locations. The Universal Orlando Resort hotels have also temporarily suspended operations. There are flexible programs for guests who have purchased tickets for dates during the closure, according the company.

Universal Studios Hollywood originally closed March 14 and initially expected to reopen March 28.

—Hannah Miller

4:45 Coronavirus cases in the US pass 452,000

4:17 pm: California Gov. Gavin Newsom reports drop in daily ICU admissions

California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that 150 hotels have agreed to give deep discounts to health care workers logging long hours in hospitals while dealing with coronavirus outbreak, during his daily news briefing at the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services in Rancho Cordova, Calif. Thursday, April 9, 2020.

Rich Pedroncelli | Pool | AP

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said that the state saw a 1.9% drop in the daily number of patients admitted into the ICU yesterday, which now totals 1,132 people. Newsom warned, however, that the daily drop was only one data point and is not reflective of a greater trend, but it’s an encouraging sign that reinforces the state’s social distancing guidelines.

Newsom said 18,309 people are infected with the coronavirus in California and 492 people have died. The total number of people hospitalized increased by 4.1% overnight to 2,825. After receiving questions on why Newsom decided to send ventilators to other parts of the country, he said the state’s hospital system is only using 31.89% of all its ventilators in its system, meaning approximately 8,000 are not in use. “We thought it was the right thing to do, but I also want to let you know it was the responsible thing to do as American citizens from a moral and ethical imperative to save lives,” Newsom said at a press conference. —Noah Higgins-Dunn

4 pm: Volkswagen announces ’emergency furloughs’

Volkswagen said Thursday that it is implementing “temporary emergency furloughs” of production and maintenance employees at its plant in Tennessee effective April 11. The company said the furloughs are not expected to last more than four weeks, which would be in-line with expected timelines for other automakers such as Fiat Chrysler and Tesla to resume production. “Our primary objective is to protect the financial health of Volkswagen for the benefit of our team as we address the emerging and ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak on our industry,” Tom du Plessis, president and CEO of Volkswagen Chattanooga, said in a press release.

Approximately 2500 VW employees and contractors are impacted. Non-furloughed employees will continue working from home and will use one mandatory vacation day next week.

The plant employs about 3,800 people, according to its website. A company spokesman did not immediately respond for comment. VW said it will continue to provide health care benefits and coverage of premiums, paying both employer and employee contributions. Employees also will still receive their first quarter bonuses as well as their March monthly bonuses, the company said. The furloughed employees, according to VW, eligible to receive an additional $600 per week in federal compensation through the $2 trillion economic stimulus bill, as well as state unemployment benefits. —Mike Wayland

3:25 pm: German study shows coronavirus might not be fatal as previously thought

3 pm: Pence bars top health experts Fauci and Birx from appearing on CNN, the network says

Vice President Mike Pence’s office is barring top public health officials from appearing on CNN until the news network agrees to air the White House’s daily coronavirus briefings in their entirety, CNN reported on Thursday.

CNN often airs only the first portion of the daily briefings live, the part that is typically led by President Donald Trump, before returning to their news anchors during the second half of the briefing.

Only after Trump is finished speaking, taking questions from the press and calling on various experts to come up to the lectern, do Pence and other top officials have their own dedicated time to take questions and make announcements. —Christina Wilkie

2:44 pm: NYC first responders describe ‘devastating’ coronavirus cases as cardiac arrest calls surge

The Fire Department of New York, or FDNY, has registered a staggering increase in calls for cardiac arrest patients as the city saw its count climb to more than 84,000 known cases as of Thursday morning, with more than 4,400 deaths.

Since the coronavirus came to the city, the FDNY has reported a 50% daily increase in calls for emergency services. But the number of cardiac arrest calls has been especially grim.

From March 20 to April 5, the agency logged an average of 195 cardiac arrest calls daily, with 129 people dying each day, according to statistics provided to NBC News.

During the same time period last year, the FDNY averaged 65 cardiac arrest calls a day, and 27 of those calls, on average, ended in death, the statistics show. —NBC News

2:27 pm: Prime Minister Boris Johnson released from intensive care

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street for PMQs at the House of Commons on 25 March, 2020 in London, England.

Wiktor Szymanowicz | NurPhoto | Getty Images

Prime Minister Boris Johnson was released from intensive care on Thursday, after being admitted for coronavirus treatment.

“The Prime Minister has been moved this evening from intensive care back to the ward, where he will receive close monitoring during the early phase of his recovery,” a spokesman for No. 10 Downing Street said in a statement to NBC News. —Kevin Breuninger

2:03 pm: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he’s ‘not that confident’ in federal government’s handling of coronavirus crisis

1:49 pm: Gone but not for good: Restaurants try to keep in touch with furloughed workers

At 115 years old, Columbia Restaurant Group’s flagship location in Tampa is the oldest restaurant in Florida.

The eatery has survived the 1918 flu pandemic, the Great Depression and two world wars. But on March 20, it temporarily shuttered nine locations and furloughed 90% of its workforce after Gov. Ron Santis closed the state’s dining rooms. 

“We have people who have been with us 10, 20, 30 years, so we’re doing everything we possibly can to retain those employees, that’s our first priority,” Chief Marketing Officer Michael Kilgore said. “We have every expectation that we’ll be able to hire people back and reopen.”

The family-owned company is primarily using HotSchedules, the restaurant and hospitality software, to stay in touch with employees. Furloughed workers are also receiving free meals and the proceeds from any gift cards that have been sold. —Amelia Lucas

1:33 pm: Pelosi pushes need for money for smallest US businesses

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said othe country’s smallest businesses need to be protected against the ravages of the coronavirus outbreak and pushed for $60 billion to be allocated to those enterprises in the next funding allocation.

“There is a disparity in access to capital in our country. We do not want this tragedy of a coronavirus to exacerbate that disparity or to ossify it, to solidify it,” Pelosi told reporters. —Reuters

1:20 pm: How much unemployment can you get? That depends on your state

Unemployment insurance claims are generally filed with the state in which someone worked.

The average person receives $378 a week in unemployment benefits, according to U.S. Labor Department data as of year-end 2019.

But that figure masks wide variation among states.

Mississippi, the least generous state, paid an average $213 a week. Massachusetts, the most generous, paid $555. That means the typical jobless person in Massachusetts gets $1,368 more per month than in Mississippi. —Greg Iacurci

1:06 pm: Coronavirus could push half a billion more people into poverty globally, UN warns

The coronavirus pandemic could result in between 420 million and 580 million more people, or 8% of the global population, living in poverty, a study by the United Nations University has found.

Researchers based their calculations on the most extreme scenario of a 20% decline in income or consumption around the world. This looked at people falling below the three international poverty lines of living on less than $1.90, $3.20 or $5.50 a day.

Higher estimates could mean that half of the overall global population of 7.8 billion people could be living in poverty by the end of the pandemic. There were 3.4 billion people living on less than $5.50 a day in 2018, which are the latest official recorded figures.

Even based on its “low” scenario of a 5% fall in income or consumption, this could lead to the first increase in global poverty since 1990, the authors stated in the paper which was published Thursday. In this case, researchers forecast that as many as 135 million people, or nearly 2% more of the world’s population, could become destitute as a result of COVID-19. —Vicky McKeever

12:52 pm: Coronavirus pushes auto dealers to embrace online sales like Tesla, Carvana

While Tesla and Carvana, an online used car sales company, have been selling vehicles online for years, U.S. auto retailers have essentially used the internet as a tool to bring people into the dealership, not to sell vehicles.

Many saw online sales as a threat to their showrooms; however, the coronavirus is changing that. Automakers are rolling out new online sales tools or enhancing current programs for dealers, as they view online sales as one of their last chances for salvation during the pandemic.

Fiat Chrysler, for example, launched a new online sales program this month that allows customers to partially, if not completely, go through the sales process online. As with Carvana and Tesla, the purchased vehicle can be delivered to their home without them ever stepping foot in a dealership. —Michael Wayland

12:27 pm: The right way to use and clean your mask during the pandemic

Both customers and cashiers wear face masks at 99 Ranch Market in Quincy, MA on March 13, 2020.

Stan Grossfeld | The Boston Globe via Getty Images

People should be wearing cloth face coverings to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control said.

For masks to be effective, they must be worn properly. Here’s the right way to use a cloth face covering during the COVID-19 pandemic, plus common pitfalls that could affect your safety:

  • Focus on the Fit: Face coverings should be snug, but still comfortable, and cover your whole nose and mouth, and extend underneath your chin, according to the CDC.
  • Put it on carefully: The World Health Organization suggests that people first clean their hands before putting a mask on and check that there are no holes or tears in the fabric.
  • Don’t touch the mask while wearing it: If you must take off your mask for a quick breather, or an itch, it’s important to practice good hand hygiene after touching the face covering. 
  • Take it off carefully: Be extra careful not to touch the front of your mask and your eyes, nose and mouth when removing your face covering, and wash your hands after handling your mask, according to the CDC. 
  • Wash your mask often: According to the CDC, machine-washing your mask is enough to disinfect your cloth face covering.
  • Keep social distancing: Wearing a face covering is just one additional step that you can take to stop the spread of COVID-19, but it’s not a replacement for the other important prevention measures, such as washing your hands and social distancing.

While surgical masks and N95 respirators should be saved for healthcare workers, the idea is that a simple cloth covering could prevent asymptomatic people from spreading the disease in situations where it’s hard to maintain social distance. —Cory Stieg

12:19 pm: Fed fires an even bigger bazooka to save the economy, expands its shopping list to include junk bonds

The Federal Reserve dramatically expanded its efforts to save the economy, even adding junk bonds to the list of assets it can buy, as a wave of businesses are expected to have trouble surviving the recession. 

Stocks jumped, Treasury yields rose and the dollar sagged after the Fed said it would provide $2.3 trillion in programs that expand its operations to reach small and midsized businesses and U.S. cities and states. Gold futures surged $51, a 3% gain to $1735 per ounce on the view that the Fed initiatives could be inflationary.

Corporate debt ETFs also rallied. iShares IBoxx $ Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF was up 3.2%, while HYG, iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond ETF surged 6.8% in its biggest move since 2008.

The Fed provided details of some programs it had already announced, but added some new ones and some surprises. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said, after the announcement, that the Fed was aiming its efforts at the part of the real economy that need the most help and that other programs could be added. —Patti Domm

12:11 pm: New York coronavirus daily death toll reaches third-straight record at 799, Gov. Cuomo says

Funeral parlor workers move a body from a refrigeration truck serving as a temporary morgue at the Brooklyn Hospital Center to a hearse, in the Borough of Brooklyn on April 8, 2020 in New York.

Bryan R. Smith | AFP | Getty Images

New York state is grappling with the worst COVID-19 outbreak in the country with more than 151,000 confirmed cases across the state and 81,800 in New York City alone — almost as many as China, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. —Berkeley Lovelace Jr.

12:01 pm: Wall Street firm dangled up to 175% returns to investors using US aid programs

A New York investment firm pitched wealthy investors in recent days on a way to make returns of 22% to 175% using U.S. government programs designed to help Americans keep their jobs and boost the coronavirus-stricken economy, according to a marketing document seen by Reuters.

Following questions posed by Reuters, Arcadia Investment Partners, which has about $1 billion under management, said it had put its plans on hold.

The idea was in “formative stages” and the firm was not “presently moving forward with this strategy given reasons that include uncertainty surrounding the regulations,” Dahlia Loeb, managing director at Arcadia, told Reuters in an email on Wednesday. She did not elaborate further.

The firm had sent the pitch as recently as this weekend to “a limited number of sophisticated investors,” according to the marketing materials, which are dated April 4 and marked confidential. In an email sent Sunday, and seen by Reuters, Loeb wrote it was a “highly time-sensitive opportunity” and had offered to discuss it with investors that day or early in the week. —Reuters

11:52 am: Airlines should start hearing back about their bailout applications by Friday, Mnuchin says

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he hopes to begin offering “preliminary information” to airlines about their applications for government assistance starting Friday to help stem the pain from the coronavirus pandemic.

We hope to get to a lot of the airlines starting tomorrow and over the weekend with preliminary information,” Mnuchin said in an interview on CNBC.

Major airlines last Friday, including Delta, JetBlue, AmericanUnited and Spirit, said they had applied for federal aid aimed at covering payroll, as instructed by the administration. Those grants were approved as part of a more than $2 trillion relief package passed by Congress late last month. The bill also offered  $29 billion in loans to passenger and cargo airlines, but grants have taken first priority as the government hopes to save jobs and airlines hemorrhage cash.

“It is our objective, to make sure that I’ve said this is not a bailout, but airlines have the liquidity to keep their workers in place. So that’s the next big thing we’ll be rolling out,” Mnuchin said. —Lauren Hirsch

11:40 am: CVS and Walgreens are opening more drive-thru testing sites

A man directs vehicles as they arrive at a rapid COVID-19 testing site in Lowell, MA on April 07, 2020. On Tuesday, April 7, CVS Health will launch the operation of a rapid COVID-19 testing site in Lowell, the first of its kind in the state.

Craig F. Walker | The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Thousands of people will soon be able to drive to a nearby parking lot, swab their noses and find out within minutes if they have the coronavirus.

CVS Health and Walgreens each opened one drive-thru testing location last month — but they’re now expanding the number of sites and opening them to the general public. Their first drive-thrus were restricted to first responders.

Walgreens plans to open 15 more testing sites across seven states, starting this week. CVS opened up two new drive-thrus on Monday: one in Atlanta and one near Providence, Rhode Island. It also relocated its Massachusetts drive-thru to a site in Lowell that has capacity for five lanes.

Both are also using a new tool: Abbott Laboratories‘ ID Now, which can deliver test results in minutes. —Melissa Repko

11:22 am: Senate adjourns until Monday after Democrats block McConnell’s bid to add $250 billion in small business aid

Senate Democrats blocked a Republican push to unanimously pass a bill to put $250 billion more into a loan program for small businesses devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.

With only a few senators in the Capitol, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tried to approve the measure by a unanimous vote. Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., objected to the request, stalling the legislation.

Speaking on the Senate floor, McConnell said he was not “talking about changing any policy language” the parties negotiated last month as part of an unprecedented $2 trillion emergency spending package. He urged Democrats not to “block emergency aid you do not even oppose just because you want something more” — tweaks to the small business aid program and more emergency funding for hospitals and states, a proposal Democratic leaders outlined Wednesday. —Jacob Pramuk

10:30 am: New York City Mayor warns coronavirus restrictions might need tightening, says it’s time to ‘double down’ 

A postal worker delivers mail during the coronavirus pandemic in New York City.

Jose Perez| Bauer-Griffin | Getty Images

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio warned that the city may need to tighten its social distancing restrictions to contain the coronavirus outbreak and prevent it from resurging, saying it’s going to be a “long, tough” April. 

De Blasio said the last thing New York can afford is to let the disease resurge now that the city is beginning to see evidence that the spread of the infection is starting to slow. —Noah Higgins-Dunn, Berkeley Lovelace Jr. 

10:24 am: Trump plans to launch second coronavirus task force focused on economy 

President Donald Trump is planning to launch a second coronavirus task force that focuses on his administration’s response to the economic devastation caused by the pandemic, NBC News reported Thursday, citing a senior administration official.

The second task force will include Trump’s new chief of staff, Mark Meadows, along with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow, NBC reported.

Trump could announce the second task force as soon as this week. The White House did not immediately provide comment on the new commission. The Washington Post first reported on the task force—Kevin Breuninger, Christina Wilkie 

10:20 am: This map shows the states that suffered the biggest job losses last week due to coronavirus 

Another eye-popping weekly U.S. jobless claims report showed again how far-reaching the coronavirus’s economic toll has been. Claims for state unemployment benefits were most concentrated in Hawaii, Michigan, Georgia, Kentucky, Nevada and Rhode Island with claims of 79, 78, 75, 56 and 51 and 51 per 1,000 workers, respectively. The data is for jobless filings through the end of last week.

10:12 am: Powell says the economic recovery can be ‘robust’ after the coronavirus is contained

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the economic rebound following the coronavirus-induced shutdown “can be robust” despite the sharp downturn.

In the meantime, he said the central bank is committed to doing whatever it can to support the flow of cash to businesses and households both through a plethora of financing programs and by keeping interest rates anchored near zero.

Powell spoke during a webinar for the Brookings Institution the same morning that the Fed announced a new $2.3 trillion financing initiative directed at small and larger businesses as well as households and state and local governments. —Jeff Cox 

10:06 am: Treasury Secretary Mnuchin says US could be open for business in May 

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he believed it was possible that the U.S. could open back up next month.

“I do, Jim,” Mnuchin said after CNBC’s Jim Cramer asked about re-opening the economy in May. The comments came during an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street.”

“I think as soon as the president feels comfortable with the medical issues,” Mnuchin added. 

Mnuchin said that the administration was doing “everything necessary that American companies and American workers can be open for business and that they have the liquidity that they need to operate their business in the interim.” —Tucker Higgins

10:02 am: Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman has recovered from the coronavirus 

James Gorman, chief executive officer of Morgan Stanley

Qilai Shen | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman fell ill with the coronavirus about three weeks ago and has since recovered and been cleared by physicians, according to a company spokesman.

The executive remained in charge of Morgan Stanley the entire time he was ill and has been working from home, according to spokesman Wesley McDade.

Gorman, 61, is the first Wall Street CEO to disclose that he has tested positive for the coronavirus. He has run Morgan Stanley, a leader in wealth management and equities trading, since 2010. —Hugh Son

9:34 am: Dow jumps more than 300 points as Wall Street heads for a massive week of gains 

Stocks jumped after the Federal Reserve gave more details on how it will support the economy amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped more than 300 points, or 1.3%. The S&P 500 gained 1.1% while the Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.8%. Thursday’s gains put the major averages on pace for strong weekly gains. 

The Fed announced a slew of programs, including loans geared towards small and medium-sized businesses, that will total up to $2.3 trillion—Fred Imbert, Pippa Stevens

9:28 am: Stanford, Apple to release an app that connects first responders to drive-through tests 

A new app from Stanford Medicine built with Apple‘s help will help connect firefighters, police officers and paramedics in California to drive-through COVID-19 testing if they are showing symptoms of the coronavirus. 

Users take a survey with questions about their symptoms. If they have symptoms suggesting COVID-19 infection, the app recommends testing. First responders can take that result to their workplace contact in charge of health, referred to as a “department infection control officer” inside the app, and get scheduled for priority testing at a Stanford Health Care site.

The First Responder COVID-19 Guide app is one of several new technology initiatives to connect people at high-risk for COVID-19 infection with testing. —Kif Leswing 

9:15 am: Jeff Bezos makes surprise visit to Amazon warehouse and Whole Foods store amid worker safety concerns 

Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive officer of Amazon.com Inc., speaks at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019.

Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos on Wednesday made a surprise visit to an Amazon fulfillment center and a Whole Foods store as workers have called on the company to better protect them against the coronavirus. 

The visit comes as Bezos and Amazon have faced criticism from warehouse workers, Whole Foods employees, union officials and legislators about a lack of protective measures for employees who continue to work amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Last week, Whole Foods workers staged a nationwide “sick out” to call for paid leave for workers in quarantine and health-care coverage for part-time and seasonal workers, among other demands. Three Amazon warehouses in Staten IslandDetroit and Illinois also walked out last week to demand the company close their facilities after they reported positive cases of the coronavirus. —Annie Palmer 

9:09 am: Yelp lays off or furloughs more than 2,000 employees due to coronavirus 

Yelp is laying off 1,000 employees and furloughing about 1,100 more due to impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. The company will offer severance pay to employees laid off, as well as reimbursement for up to three months of health insurance coverage. Furloughed employees will retain most of their benefits and receive two weeks of additional pay, Yelp said. —Jessica Bursztynsky 

9:04 am: Federal Reserve unveils details of $2.3 trillion in programs to help support the economy 

The Federal Reserve released long-awaited details regarding its Main Street business lending program and several other initiatives it is undertaking to backstop the reeling U.S. economy.

Under provisions outlined for the first time, the loans would be geared toward businesses with up to 10,000 employees and less than $2.5 billion in revenues for 2019. Principal and interest payments will be deferred for a year.

The Fed said the programs would total up to $2.3 trillion and include the Payroll Protection Program and other measures aimed at getting money to small businesses and bolstering municipal finances with a $500 billion lending program. —Jeff Cox 

8:56 am: Ex-FDA chief urges US to stay united in coronavirus fight, says ‘Every part of the country’ still at risk

The U.S. does not currently have the coronavirus testing capacity to ease up on social distancing efforts, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said. 

If health officials “knew where this virus was spreading, different parts of the country could take different measures and relax some of these measures based on an assumption and knowledge that the virus really wasn’t spreading in their community,” Gottlieb said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “But I think every part of the country really is at risk right now. People who say, ‘Well it’s not spreading in my community,’ probably don’t know.”

The argument that certain communities and possibly states could attempt to restart their economy sooner than others is “eminently reasonable,” said Gottlieb, a CNBC contributor who sits on the boards of Pfizer and biotech company Illumina. A dense urban environment is not the same as a rural community, he said. But right now, he stressed, “we don’t know where the risk is.” —Kevin Stankiewicz

8:50 am: Bill Gates: Schools will reopen in the fall, but economy won’t magically return to the way it was 

Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates told CNBC he thinks schools will be able to resume in the fall but the U.S. economy won’t magically return to the way it was before the coronavirus pandemic. 

Governments around the world have ordered people to stay home, and elected officials in Arizona, California, Georgia, Michigan, Washington and other states have closed schools for the rest of the academic year. Some schools have made it possible for students to take classes remotely over the internet, but the Microsoft co-founder noted that many students don’t have the computers or internet connections necessary for remote learning. 

“I do think school will be able to resume in the fall,” Gates said in an interview with Becky Quick that aired on “Squawk Box” on Thursday. “But I don’t think this school year there’s going to be any significant attendance. You know, maybe in the summer, people will do something special. But that would be very hard to do.” —Matt Rosoff, Jordan Novet

8:39 am: US weekly jobless claims total 6.6 million, vs 5 million expected 

Jobless rolls continued to swell due to the coronavirus shutdown, with 6.6 million Americans filing first-time unemployment claims in the week ended April 4, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

That brings the total over the past three weeks to more than 16 million.

The most recent number represents a decline of 261,000 from a week ago, which revised up by 219,000 to nearly 6.9 million.

The ongoing surge in filings for unemployment insurance has been exacerbated by the expansion of those who can file claim. The CARES Act has expanded the group to include the self-employed and independent contractors. —Jeff Cox 

8:12 am: UK leader Boris Johnson ‘continues to improve’ after a third night in intensive care

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson “continues to improve,” his spokesman said, after spending a third night in intensive care with coronavirus.

The spokesman also said Johnson had a good night and is “in good spirits.” The prime minister, who is at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London, has been receiving “standard oxygen treatment,” indicating that he is not on a ventilator. 

Before the Downing Street briefing, Culture Minister Oliver Dowden told the BBC that Johnson is “stable, improving, sat up and engaged with medical staff.” “I think things are getting better for him,” Dowden said. —Holly Ellyatt

8:06 am: Poland and Finland extend restrictions

Poland and Finland announced extensions of nationwide restrictions, stretching closures into May. 

Polish borders will remain closed until May 3, and the government will extend a lockdown for schools and businesses, Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said.

Businesses will remain locked down until April 19 and limits for schools, as well as rail and air transport, will be extended for two more weeks, he said. Poles have also been told to cover their mouth and nose as of next Thursday, when the government is also expected to publish a schedule of “coming back to a new economic reality.”

Finland’s government confirmed it was extending most of its restrictions by a month. 

The extension until May 13 had been expected. At the end of March, the government extended its ban on public meetings of more than 10 people and shut down public services such as schools for most students.

Restaurants, which were closed from April 4, also will remain shut until the end of May, excluding takeaway sales. However, the government is considering lifting restrictions on nonessential traffic to and from the Uusimaa region around Finland’s capital Helsinki. —Reuters with contribution from CNBC

8:04 am: IMF chief says pandemic will unleash worst recession since Great Depression

The pandemic sweeping the world will turn global economic growth “sharply negative” in 2020, triggering the worst fallout since the 1930s Great Depression, with only a partial recovery seen in 2021, the head of the International Monetary Fund said.

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva painted a far bleaker picture of the social and economic impact of the coronavirus than even a few weeks ago, noting governments had already undertaken fiscal stimulus measures of $8 trillion, but more would likely be needed.

She said the crisis would hit emerging markets and developing countries hardest, saying they would need hundreds of billions of dollars in foreign aid. —Reuters

7:12 am: Former FDA chief says US won’t have capacity to produce COVID-19 therapeutic at scale

The U.S. might have an effective drug to treat the coronavirus by the fall but won’t have the manufacturing capacity to produce enough to meet demand, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said.

“We may have an effective drug in the fall,” he said. “But we’re not going to have the capacity to produce it at scale to give it to the millions of people who might be eligible for it, who might need it.” —Will Feuer

Disclosure: Scott Gottlieb is a CNBC contributor and is a member of the boards of Pfizer and biotech company Illumina.

7:01 am: Bill Gates says US could open back up at end of May

Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates told CNBC the U.S. may begin to reopen the economy at the end of May but it won’t magically return to the way it was before the pandemic.

“The behavior of people in terms of wanting to travel or go to events or even go to a restaurant, it’s been utterly changed by the concerns about this disease,” the Microsoft co-founder said in an interview with CNBC’s Becky Quick. “No one should think the government can wave a wand and all of a sudden the economy is anything like it was before this happened. That awaits either a miracle therapeutic that has an over 95% cure rate, or broad usage of the vaccine.”

Before a vaccine is available, he said, countries that have had considerable epidemics must figure out which activities should come back. He suggested that people could probably return to manufacturing and construction jobs, and hopefully education. —Matt Rosoff, Jordan Novet

6:15 am: Iran’s death toll rises by 117 to 4,110

Iran’s Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur said the country’s death toll had risen by 117 to 4,110, according to Reuters. The total number of infections has reached 66,220, he said. —Holly Ellyatt

5:40 am: Spain’s daily deaths decrease; death toll surpasses 15,000

Spain’s number of daily coronavirus deaths slowed after two days of increases. Spain’s health ministry said 683 people died from the virus in 24 hours, taking the death toll to 15,238.

The total number of confirmed cases has now risen to 152,446 from 146,690. —Holly Ellyatt

4:50 am: UK leader Boris Johnson said to be ‘getting better’ as he spends a third night in intensive care

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson spent a third night in intensive care in a London hospital having been admitted for persistent coronavirus symptoms, although his condition is said to be improving.

Culture Minister Oliver Dowden is the latest U.K. lawmaker to comment on Johnson’s condition, telling the BBC Thursday morning that the prime minister is “stable, improving, sat up and engaged with medical staff,” adding, “I think things are getting better for him.”

Johnson is receiving “excellent care” at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London where he is being treated, Finance Minister Rishi Sunak said at the government’s daily press briefing Wednesday afternoon. —Holly Ellyatt

4:20 am: Russia’s cases rise above 10,000

A police officer at the Iberian Gate in a deserted Red Square during the pandemic of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Valery Sharifulin

Russia has reported a record one-day rise of 1,459 new coronavirus cases, making the total number of confirmed cases 10,131.

The number of coronavirus-related deaths rose by 13 to 76, the national coronavirus crisis response center said, adding that it had conducted 1 million tests. —Holly Ellyatt

Read CNBC’s coverage from CNBC’s Asia-Pacific and Europe teams overnight here: Russia’s cases rise above 10,000; Italy could ease lockdown soon

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