Coronavirus live updates: WHO says ‘certainly not seeing the peak yet,’ Spain’s infection rate slows

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 1,929,900
  • Global deaths: At least 120,449
  • US cases: More than 582,500
  • US deaths: At least 23,649

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

7:49 am: Sanofi partners with GSK to develop vaccine

Sanofi and GSK have 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 make it available by the second half of 2021.

“As the world faces this unprecedented global health crisis, it is clear that no one company can go it alone,” Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson said in an announcement. “That is why Sanofi is continuing to complement its expertise and resources with our peers, such as GSK, with the goal to create and supply sufficient quantities of vaccines that will help stop this virus.” —Jennifer Elias

7:18 am: WHO says ‘certainly not seeing the peak yet’

The number of new cases of Covid-19 is easing in some parts of Europe, including Italy and Spain, but outbreaks are still growing in Britain and Turkey, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.

“The overall world outbreak, 90 percent of cases are coming from Europe and the United States of America. So we are certainly not seeing the peak yet,” WHO spokeswoman Dr. Margaret Harris told a briefing in Geneva.

In China, “the biggest threat is imported cases,” she said, referring to the latest data.

“We shouldn’t really be expecting to see the vaccine for 12 months or longer,” Harris added. —Reuters

7:14 am: Spain reports 567 new deaths as infection rate slows

Doctors are on the street in front of the emergency entrance of the hospital of St. Pau to thank the support of the neighbors during the crisis of coronavirus – Covidien-19 in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, on March 31, 2020.

NurPhoto

Spain’s overnight death toll from the coronavirus rose to 567 from 517 a day earlier, while the country reported its lowest increase in new cases since March 18.

Total deaths climbed to 18,056, while confirmed cases of the infection rose by 3,045 to 172,541, the Health Ministry said in a statement. —Reuters

7:05 am: WHO offers advice on adapting to a ‘new normal’

The World Health Organization has identified six criteria for countries looking to slowly lift lockdown measures, warning the way down from the peak of the outbreak is “much slower” than the way up.

The global public health crisis has meant countries around the world have effectively had to shut down, with many governments imposing draconian measures on the lives of billions of people. The social and economic restrictions, which range from school closures to social distancing and bans on public gatherings, were brought in to try to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Some European countries have laid out plans to emerge from lockdown as soon as this month after enduring several weeks of stringent social and economic restrictions. 

Director-General of the WHO Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus outlined a checklist that the United Nations health agency has devised for countries considering whether to lift some lockdown measures. —Sam Meredith

6:12 am: London’s Heathrow airport expects passenger traffic to slump by 90% in April

A largely empty Heathrow Terminal 5 on September 9, 2019 in London, England. British Airways pilots have begun a 48 hour ‘walkout’, grounding most of its flights over a dispute about the pay structure of its pilots.

Dan Kitwood | Getty Images News | Getty Images

London’s Heathrow Airport said it expected passenger traffic to slump by 90% in April, as it announced that passenger numbers for March were down 52% year-on-year.

Heathrow moved to single runway operations on April 6, the airport said, and in coming weeks will consolidate all operations into two of its four open terminals.

“The move will protect long-term jobs at the airport by reducing operating costs, helping Heathrow to remain financially resilient,” operators said in a statement, adding that the airport’s available capacity was now being used to prioritize cargo flights with medical supplies. —Chloe Taylor

5:21 am: UK likely to extend lockdown as death toll tops 11,000, while Europe starts to lift restrictions

The U.K. looks set to extend its lockdown measures into early or perhaps even late May, just as other European hot spots start to lift some restrictions on businesses.

The official number of deaths from the virus in the U.K. stands at 11,239 with the U.K. on the same trajectory as Italy, the government’s chief scientific advisor said on Monday.

Italy has seen over 20,000 deaths from the virus but has started to lift some lockdown measures, allowing bookshops and stationers to reopen. —Holly Ellyatt

5:08 am: Death toll in England 15% higher than previously reported

On Tuesday, more evidence emerged that the extent of deaths in the U.K. could be significantly higher than reported.

The Office of National Statistics reported that deaths in England caused by the coronavirus before April 3 were 15% higher than previously reported NHS numbers.

“The latest comparable data for deaths involving Covid-19 with a date of death up to April 3, show there were 6,235 deaths in England and Wales,” Nick Stripe, head of health analysis at the Office for National Statistics, said Tuesday morning, Reuters reported. 

“When looking at data for England, this is 15% higher than the NHS numbers as they include all mentions of Covid-19 on the death certificate, including suspected Covid-19, as well as deaths in the community.” 

The U.K.’s department of health put the latest hospital death toll from the coronavirus at 11,329 as of Monday, up 717 from the previous day. —Holly Ellyatt

Read CNBC’s coverage from CNBC’s Asia-Pacific and Europe teams overnight here: Moscow warns it could run out of hospital beds soon

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