Italy hikes spending to tackle virus

An employee of the municipal company Veritas sprays disinfectant in public areas at the Rialto Bridge in Venice on March 11, 2020.

MARCO SABADIN

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  • Global cases: At least 113,851, according to the latest figures from the World Health Organization
  • Global deaths: At least 4,015, according to the latest figures from the WHO

All times below are in Beijing time.

6:37 pm: Italy hikes spending to tackle coronavirus to $28 billion, says further restrictions could come

Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced Wednesday that the government will set even more money aside to tackle the outbreak, raising it to 25 billion euros ($28.3 billion) — up from 7.5 billion euros announced last week. 

More than 10,000 people have now been confirmed to have the coronavirus in Italy as a national lockdown remains in place, with even tougher measures being considered.

Italy has now 10,149 confirmed cases of the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University and Italy’s Civil Protection agency, and 631 deaths from the virus, up 168 from Monday.

6:14 pm: Beijing city tightens travel restrictions for all inbound travelers

China’s capital city said Wednesday that all travelers from overseas must self-quarantine for 14 days at home or in a hotel, regardless of whether their country of origin has been hit seriously by the coronavirus.

Previously, the municipal authorities said the quarantine only applied to travelers from high-risk countries. The policy change came after the city reported Tuesday that all six new confirmed new coronavirus cases were from people returning from abroad, five from Italy and one from the U.S.— Wu

6:07 pm: IHS Markit lowers global growth forecasts

Economic research firm IHS Markit estimates that global growth in 2020 will be 1.7%, compared with 2.5% in its February forecast, and 2.7% in 2021 compared with an earlier forecast of 2.8%.

“While the U.S. economy will be hurt by the effects of the virus, we believe that the momentum of the economy is strong enough to avoid a recession,” its chief economists said Wednesday.

“Europe is likely to be harder hit, with Germany and Italy in or near recession before the epidemic. This could well drag the rest of the euro zone into recession.” — Ellyatt

5:22 pm: Italian-American carmaker Fiat Chrysler could temporarily close plants in Italy

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles could implement new measures across its facilities in Italy to support the nationwide campaign addressing the coronavirus crisis, the company said Wednesday. “As a result of taking these actions the company will, where necessary, make temporary closures of its plants across Italy,” it said in a statement.

“Above and beyond the measures already taken in support of government directives, the company will focus on actions to minimize the risk of spreading the contagion between employees. These actions include intensive sanitization of all work and rest areas, changing rooms and washrooms. To enable greater spacing of employees at their workstations, daily production rates will be lowered to accommodate the adapted manufacturing processes.” — Ellyatt

4:18 pm: European leaders prepare to deal with the outbreak

After a video conference call that lasted for almost three hours Tuesday, the 27 EU heads of state said that state aid would be available to support companies and agreed to increase public spending, irrespective of EU-wide budgetary rules.

EU leaders also set up an investment initiative that could reach as much as 25 billion euros ($28.2 billion) to support health care systems, small and medium-sized enterprises and labor markets. — Amaro 

3:15 pm: Bank of England makes emergency rate cut

The Bank of England announced an emergency cut to interest rates in an attempt to limit the economic impact from the new coronavirus.

“At its special meeting ending on 10 March 2020, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted unanimously to reduce Bank Rate by 50 basis points to 0.25%,” the Bank of England said in a statement. 

The central bank has also announced a new term funding scheme to support small and medium-sized companies and new steps to help commercial banks lend more. — Amaro

3:00 pm: Key enterprises in China’s Wuhan can resume work, others must wait until at least March 21, says government

Businesses in Wuhan city with great significance for national and global industrial chains can resume work after fully implementing virus prevention measures and receiving approval, the government of Hubei province announced.

However, the notice said other businesses in the city not involved with essential industries such as utilities and agriculture production must not resume work until at least March 21.

Hubei previously said March 11 was the earliest businesses in the province could resume work. Wednesday’s notice laid out industry categories that could or could not resume operations based on the level of health risk in the region.

Schools still remain closed until further notice, the notice said. — Cheng

2:40 pm: Cathay Pacific warns of ‘substantial loss’ in the first half of 2020

Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific said it expects “to incur a substantial loss” in the first half of 2020 as the coronavirus outbreak slashes demand for air travel.

“It is difficult to predict when these conditions will improve. Travel demand has dropped substantially and we have taken a series of shortterm measures in response. These have included a sharp reduction of capacity in our passenger network,” the airline said in a statement announcing its 2019 earnings.

“Despite these measures we expect to incur a substantial loss for the first half of 2020,” it added.

Cathay reported a 27.9% year-over-year drop in profits in 2019 to 1.69 billion Hong Kong dollars ($217.6 million). — Lee

2:35 pm: Adidas says it could lose up to $1.1 billion in Greater China sales in the first quarter

German sportswear brand Adidas said it could lose up to 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) of sales in Greater China in the first three months of 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Consequently, the company’s operating profit in Greater China in the first quarter could decline between 0.4 billion euros and 0.5 billion euros from the same period last year, Adidas said in a statement announcing its 2019 earnings.

“While the company’s business in Greater China performed strongly in the first three weeks of 2020, the company has been experiencing a material negative impact on its operations due to the outbreak of the coronavirus since then,” the company said. — Lee 

1:15 pm: Aftermath of global virus outbreak could last a year, says Singapore’s foreign minister

With the new coronavirus now spreading globally, countries around the world must be prepared for the economic aftermath of the outbreak to last at least a year, said Singapore’s Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan.

“The genie’s out of the bottle,” Balakrishnan told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia,” adding that the disease had “exploded” after it spread beyond Asia to countries such as Iran, Italy and the U.S.

The minister also said the ongoing coronavirus outbreak tests a country’s quality of health care, standard of governance and social capital. — Lee

12:20 pm: Trump administration likely to push back tax filing deadline, WSJ reports

The Trump administration is likely to push back the deadline for filing income tax returns as part of its fiscal stimulus plan to combat the impact of the coronavirus impact, reported the Wall Street Journal.

The report cited sources familiar with the matter, including an administration official. There had yet to be a final decision on the move, nor would the logistics of how the plan would work finalized, the newspaper added. Treasury officials were undecided about how long the deadline would be extended beyond April 15, or who would be eligible, according to the report.

The news comes as President Donald Trump and his economic team work to assemble a response to the deadly virus’ spread and its impact on markets and the economy. — Calia

12:15 pm: Thailand announces $12.7 billion stimulus package 

Thailand’s government on Tuesday approved a stimulus package worth 400 billion baht ($12.7 billion) to support its economy weather challenges posed by the coronavirus outbreak, Reuters reported. 

Measures in the package include loans and tax benefits for those affected by the outbreak, the report said. 

The Thai economy is heavily reliant on global demand. The country’s exports have been hit by global trade tensions and tourism — one of the bright spots — is not hurt by the virus outbreak. — Lee

12:05 pm: US cases surpass 1,000

COVID-19 cases surpassed 1,000 in the United States on Tuesday, according to Johns Hopkins University data. 

The virus is now present in at least 35 states and the District of Columbia, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Almost half of all U.S. cases are in Washington state, California and New York, where the governors have all declared states of emergency to free up funding for communities battling outbreaks.

At least 28 people have died in the U.S. due to the virus, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the U.S. was reported in Washington state in January.  Feuer

11:20 am: Michigan reports first cases

Two Michigan residents tested presumptive positive for the virus, according to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who also declared a state of emergency. A person is marked as a “presumptive positive” case when a state lab receives a positive test result without confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We are taking every step we can to mitigate the spread of the virus and keep Michiganders safe,” Whitmer said in a statement. “I have declared a state of emergency to harness all of our resources across state government to slow the spread of the virus and protect families.” 

Specimens from the two people who tested presumptive positive would be sent to the CDC for confirmatory testing.  Roy Choudhury

10:45 am: US futures pointed to steep decline, Asia traded cautiously

After suffering a sharp global sell-off earlier this week, markets continued their roller-coaster journey: U.S. futures pointed to sharp opening declines of more than 500 points for the Dow Jones Industrial Average as of 10:30 p.m. ET Tuesday.

In Asia Pacific, investors remained cautious in a mixed trading session Wednesday morning, where Australia’s ASX 200 dropped 2.26% even as the government announced a comprehensive health plan to fight the coronavirus outbreak (see 7:50 a.m. update). — Huang

10:40 am: UBS says virus outbreak ‘passed its worst’ in China

There’s a “semblance” that production capability is returning to the Chinese economy, UBS Global Wealth Management’s Kelvin Tay told CNBC. That could make China become the “first in the world” to get back on track, he said.

Commenting on the potential economic impact of the virus’ spread elsewhere, Tay said 60% of China’s economy is “basically domestic consumption,” which is likely to serve as “buffer” if production can be brought back up to speed and consumption resumes. — Huang

10:22 am: Death toll from China’s Fujian hotel collapse rises

A total of 26 people have died as of 6:30 a.m. Wednesday after a hotel in China’s Fujian province collapsed Saturday evening, according to state media. Another 42 people have been injured while three remain missing. The hotel was being used to quarantine people who came into contact with infected individuals.  Wu, Roy Choudhury

10:18 am: CNN scraps live audience for next Democratic primary debate

The Democratic presidential debate scheduled to take place on Sunday in Phoenix, Arizona will go forward without a live audience. Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders, the two remaining major contenders for the Democratic nomination, both requested that there be no live audience, a DNC spokesperson said. 

Sunday’s debate, sponsored by CNN and Univision, is the first to take place since Super Tuesday, when the field was winnowed significantly. CNN said in a statement that there will also be no media filing center or “spin room” on Sunday, where surrogates for the campaigns speak to the press following the debate.  Higgins

9:26 am: Manchester City postpones game against Arsenal

English soccer club Manchester City said its Premier League home game against Arsenal on Wednesday has been postponed.

“The decision to postpone tonight’s game has been taken as a precautionary measure on medical advice, after it emerged that personnel from Arsenal FC have come into contact with the Olympiacos owner, Evangelos Marinakis, who has been named as a positive case of COVID-19,” the club said in a statement

Marinakis owns the Greek soccer club Olympiacos as well as English club Nottingham Forest. He was diagnosed after he started showing symptoms on his return to Greece, according to Nottingham Forest— Roy Choudhury

9:21 am: South Korea reports 242 additional cases, 6 new deaths

South Korea reported 242 new cases, mostly in the city of Daegu and some of them in Seoul, as well as six additional deaths, according to a Wednesday morning release from the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The total number of fatalities in the country stands at 60 and there have been 7,755 confirmed cases of infection. Outside China, South Korea has one of the highest numbers of cases alongside Iran and Italy. (see 8:48 am update— Roy Choudhury

8:56 am: China reports 24 new cases, 22 deaths

China’s National Health Commission said there were 24 new confirmed cases of infection and another 22 people have died from the coronavirus. All of the fatalities occurred in Hubei province, the epicenter for the virus outbreak. Among the new cases of infection, 10 were attributed to travelers from overseas. As of Mar. 10, total number of cases in mainland China stood at 80,778 and 3,158 people have died. More than 61,000 have also recovered. — Roy Choudhury

8:48 am: Confirmed cases in Italy tops 10,000

Italy’s health ministry said that as of 6 p.m. local time on Mar. 10, there were a total of 10,149 confirmed cases of infection in the country; among them, 1,004 people recovered while 631 have died. Italy expanded its lockdown of the Lombardy region to the entire country on Monday, telling people not to travel other than for work or emergencies. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said all public gatherings will be banned and sporting events suspended. — Roy Choudhury

8:35 am: FDA suspends foreign food and drug inspections

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will suspend most foreign inspections for food, drug and medical devices outside the country through April as the coronavirus outbreak spreads across America, the agency announced.

“We are aware of how this action may impact other FDA responsibilities, including product application reviews,” FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said in a statement. “We will be vigilant and monitor the situation very closely and will try to mitigate potential impacts from this outbreak in lockstep with the whole of the federal government.” 

Still, inspections outside the U.S. deemed “mission-critical” will be considered on a case-by-case basis, the FDA said. — Higgins-Dunn

7:50 am: Australia announces A$2.4 billion health plan to tackle outbreak

The Australian government announced a health package worth 2.4 billion Australian dollars ($1.56 billion) that would provide “unprecedented” support across primary care, aged care, hospitals, research and the national medical stockpile. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said his government is making sure the country has all of the resources it needs to fight the coronavirus outbreak.

“Australia isn’t immune but with this $2.4 billion (Australian dollars) boost we’re as well prepared as any country in the world,” he said in a statement, adding, “This package is about preventing and treating coronavirus in the coming weeks.” — Roy Choudhury

7:18 am: UK minister tests positive

A health minister and Conservative member of parliament, Nadine Dorries, said she tested positive for the coronavirus. Dorries added that as soon as she had received the news, she took all of the advised precautions and had been self-isolating at home, the BBC reported. Later, she said on Twitter that her 84-year-old mother, who is staying with her, began showing some early symptoms and would be tested for the virus on Wednesday.

The Times reported that Dorries met hundreds of people in Parliament in the past week and attended a reception with Prime Minister Boris Johnson. — Roy Choudhury

7:11 am: Popular California music festival Coachella postponed

Organizers for the popular music festival Coachella said they have postponed the event from April to October, in line with direction from local health authorities. The number of confirmed cases of the disease in the United States topped 800, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. — Roy Choudhury

7:02 am: Turkey confirms first case

Turkey’s health minister, Fahrettin Koca, said test results of a citizen suspected to have COVID-19 returned positive, marking the first case in the country, state-run Anadolu Agency reported. It added that the patient has been isolated and is in a generally good condition; his family members and people he might have come into close contact with are under surveillance, the minister said, according to the agency. 

The infection has now spread to more than 100 countries and infected at least 113,000 people, per the latest data from the World Health Organization. — Roy Choudhury

Government workers walk out of Jianghan Fangcang temporary hospital for COVID-19 patients, which is being shut down, in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei province Monday, March 09, 2020. As the number of patients drops, the city has begun closing the temporary hospitals built to treat patients with the coronavirus.

Feature China | Barcroft Media | Getty Images

All times below are in Eastern time.

5:57 pm: Google bans all ads for medical face masks amid coronavirus outbreak

Google is temporarily banning ads for medical face masks, which have proliferated online as the coronavirus spreads. 

“Out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to temporarily ban all medical face mask ads,” a Google spokeswoman said in an email to CNBC. “We’re actively monitoring the situation and will continue to take action as needed to protect users.”

The restriction only applies to face masks for now, and does not apply to ads for other products that could protect against the outbreak, like hazmat suits and sanitizers, which have also proliferated in recent weeks. Google said it is “continuing to evaluate” whether the ban should apply to other products, and said will take a “few days” to take down existing mask ads, meaning users are likely to still see them in the coming days. Google is temporarily banning ads for medical face masks, which have proliferated online as the coronavirus spreads.  — Elias, Graham

4:04 pm: Dow rallies more than 1,100 points in a wild session, halves losses from Monday’s sell-off

Stocks rose in wild trading on Tuesday as investors weighed the prospects of fiscal stimulus to curb slower economic growth stemming from the coronavirus outbreak.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded 1,048 points higher, or 4.4%. Earlier in the day, the 30-stock average was down 160 points. The S&P 500 was up 4.5%. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 4.4%. —Imbert

Read CNBC’s coverage from the U.S. overnight: Coachella and Stagecoach postponed, UK minister diagnosed with coronavirus

— CNBC’s Silvia AmaroEvelyn ChengMike Calia, William FeuerEustance HuangLilian WuTucker HigginsNoah Higgins-DunnFred Imbert, Jennifer Elias, and Megan Graham contributed to this report.

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