Roche plans to ramp up antibody test production

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 3.4 million
  • Global deaths: More than 243,600
  • Most cases reported: United States (more than 1.1 million), Spain (over 216,500), Italy (over 209,300), United Kingdom (over 183,000), France (over 168,500)

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University as of 9:17 a.m. Beijing time. 

All times below are in Beijing time.

7:53 pm: Dutch coronavirus cases up by 335, 69 new deaths

Confirmed coronavirus cases in the Netherlands increased by 335 to 40,471, Dutch health officials said Sunday. Fatalities from the virus rose by 69 to a total of 5,056. Officials say they believe the real rate of infection is higher but that not all potential patients are being tested. 

7:27 pm: Vietnam reports first coronavirus case in nine days

Vietnam reported its first confirmed coronavirus case in nine days on Sunday, bringing its reported positive cases to 271, its health ministry said. Vietnam is said to have implemented strict quarantine and contact tracing measures early on in the course of the pandemic, quarantining towns with suspected cases as early as February, using the help of the military and public surveillance. The country has reported no coronavirus deaths.

A photo showing the logo of Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche in Basel.

SEBASTIEN BOZON | AFP | Getty Images

6:00 pm: Roche expects to make more than 100 million antibody tests monthly by end of this year

Swiss drugmaker Roche said on Sunday it expects to be able to produce “significantly more” than 100 million of its new antibody tests monthly by the end of 2020, doubling its current production.

Roche earlier on Sunday received an emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approving its test, which relies on taking intravenous blood samples to identify whether someone has previously been infected with the coronavirus and whether they have the antibodies to defend against it.

Roche said its Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody test has a specificity greater than 99.8%, meaning very few false-positive tests, and that it can help assess people’s immune response to the virus. The company said it has already started shipping the new antibody test to top laboratories globally.

5:59 pm: Iran death toll rises by 47 to 6,203

Iran’s death toll from the coronavirus increased by 47 to 6,203 from Saturday to Sunday, the country’s health ministry said Sunday. Cases in Iran are the highest of any in the Middle East, increasing on Sunday to 97,424. 

4:52 pm: Spain reports lowest daily death toll since mid-March

Spain reported 164 coronavirus-related deaths on Sunday, the country’s lowest daily rise in fatalities since March 18, according to its health authorities. Spaniards were able to go outdoors for the first time in seven weeks on Sunday as some lockdown restrictions were loosened for people of different age groups. Starting Monday, certain businesses that run on appointments, like hair salons, will be able to open in a limited capacity. 

Spain is Europe’s hardest-hit country in terms of coronavirus cases with more than 216,500 cases, and has the fourth-highest death count of any country in the world following the U.S., Italy and the United Kingdom. 

4:49 pm: Malaysia reports 122 new cases 

Malaysia reported 122 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, bringing the country’s total to 6,298. Its health authorities also announced two additional deaths on Sunday, bringing the number of confirmed fatalities to 105.

4:04 pm: Philippines cases pass 9,000

The Philippines reported 295 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, bringing its total cases to 9,223. The country’s health ministry also reported four more deaths linked to the virus, taking the death count to 607.

Authorities announced 90 new recoveries, bringing the total confirmed recovered patients to 1,214.

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

3:32 pm: Russia sees highest daily rise in cases yet at more than 10,600

Russia reported its highest daily rise in coronavirus cases yet on Sunday, its health authorities announcing 10,633 new cases for a total of 134,686.

The country’s death toll rose by 58 to 1,280, a figure that shows a slowing of the death rate in recent days and is still comparatively low when examined along with other countries, Reuters reported.

2:09 pm: South Korea will further loosen social distancing rules from May 6

South Korea will loosen more social distancing rules and allow more businesses to reopen in a phased manner beginning May 6, its prime minister said Sunday, highlighting progress fighting the coronavirus’s spread in a country that is seen to have largely brought it under control. 

Authorities “will allow businesses to resume at facilities in phases that had remained closed up until now, and also allow gatherings and events to take place assuming they follow disinfection guidelines,” Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said in a televised meeting. 

1:05 pm: Germany reports 793 new cases and 74 additional deaths

Germany reported 793 new cases and 74 additional deaths, according to the latest figures from the Robert Koch Institute, the federal government agency responsible for disease control and prevention. 

There are 162,496 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country as well as 6,649 deaths in total. The German death toll is far lower than those seen in other European nations like Spain, Italy, and France. Around 130,600 people are said to have recovered from the illness.  Saheli Roy Choudhury

12:55 pm: India’s lockdown measures are affecting buffalo meat exports, hitting Ramadan supplies

India typically sells more than 100,000 tonnes of buffalo meat every month, but exports in March dropped to around 40,000 tonnes, Reuters reported

Sales are likely to have been even lower in April as most of the country was under lockdown, with meat processing plants shut, and in May, it is predicted to remain well below normal even as parts of the economy re-opens, Reuters said, citing two exporters. 

The supply crunch from India has pushed up wholesale prices of frozen buffalo meat in Malaysia during the Ramadan festival, Reuters reported.  Saheli Roy Choudhury

12:15 pm: Reported cases in India nears 40,000

India confirmed at least 39,980 cases of infection so far, according to the latest data posted on the health ministry’s website as of 8 a.m. local time on Sunday. Among them, 1,301 people have died and 10,632 are said to have recovered. 

Infection cases have gone up despite the country being under lockdown since late March. That lockdown has now been extended for a second time for another two weeks after May 4. 

Migrant workers who gathered at Mini Secretariat after learning that the administration was preparing to send migrant workers back to their home states, on May 2, 2020 in Gurugram, India.

Parveen Kumar | Hindustan Times | Getty Images

New guidelines issued on Friday would allow some restrictions to be eased in districts that have a low risk of spreading the virus; they are marked as green and orange zones. Still, certain activities remain prohibited throughout the country, including the general movement of people between states, running of schools and colleges, and re-opening places of large public gatherings such as cinemas and shopping malls.  Saheli Roy Choudhury

11 am: Roche says it received US FDA emergency use approval for Covid-19 antibody test

Swiss drugmaker Roche said it received an emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for an antibody test that can determine if people have ever been infected with the coronavirus and developed antibodies against it. 

Roche said its Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody test has a specificity greater than 99.8% and that it can help assess people’s immune response to the virus. 

The company said it has already started shipping the new antibody test to top laboratories globally and will step up production to “high double-digit millions per month.”  Saheli Roy Choudhury

10:51 am: China reports two new cases, says one of them ‘imported’

China’s National Health Commission said there were two new infection cases and one of them was attributed to a traveler from overseas. No additional deaths were reported, but there were 12 new asymptomatic cases. 

Cumulatively, there have been 82,877 confirmed cases of infection reported on the mainland and 4,633 people have died. 

On April 17, the cumulative death toll rose substantially after an investigation in the city of Wuhan, where the outbreak was first reported, added 1,290 deaths Saheli Roy Choudhury

10:23 am: France set to impose two-week quarantine for travelers 

People traveling to France, including citizens returning home, will face a mandatory 14-day quarantine and possible isolation upon arrival, the health minister said Saturday, Reuters reported. 

New quarantine rules will be included in a decree specifying measures laid out in a bill extending a state of emergency until July 24 that would allow the French government to restrict freedom of movement, Reuters said. 

It was not immediately clear if the quarantine rules would only apply to people arriving from outside the open-border Schengen area, whether they would need to self-isolate at home or in hotels, and for how long the measures would last, Reuters reported. 

France is among one of the worst-affected countries. More than 24,700 people have died from the virus, Hopkins data showed.  Saheli Roy Choudhury

9:48 am: South Korea confirms 13 new cases

There were 13 new cases of infection in South Korea and no additional deaths as of Sunday morning, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. 

South Korea has so far reported 10,793 cases of infection and 250 deaths. Social distancing efforts, mass testing and the reliance on technology helped contain the virus’ spread in the country, without resorting to severe lockdown measures seen elsewhere. 

People wearing face masks over precations against the covid-19 novel coronavirus walk over a bridge before the Han river and city skyline, near the Yeouido district of Seoul on April 25, 2020.

ED JONES | AFP via Getty Images

Infectious disease experts in South Korea on Thursday had said dead virus fragments were likely the cause of more than 260 recovered patients testing positive again, the Korea Herald reported Saheli Roy Choudhury

9:06 am: Mexico reports 1,349 new cases and 89 additional deaths

Mexico’s health ministry said there were 1,349 new known cases of infection and another 89 people died on Saturday, Reuters reported. The total number of cases in the country stands at 22,088 and at least 2,061 deaths. 

Ricardo Sheffield, head of Mexico’s consumer protection agency, said on Twitter he tested positive, according to Reuters.  Saheli Roy Choudhury

8:58 am: Global cases exceed 3.4 million, death toll over 243,600

Over 3.4 million people have been infected worldwide by the coronavirus and more than 243,600 people have died from the respiratory disease Covid-19, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. 

The United States reported the most number of cases, with over 1.1 million infections and more than 66,000 deaths, Hopkins data showed. Recently, the death toll from Covid-19 surpassed American fatalities from the Vietnam War

Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom, France and Germany remain some of the worst-affected countries after the U.S.

The virus outbreak was first reported in China’s Hubei province late last year before it spread rapidly to the rest of the world in just four months.  Saheli Roy Choudhury

All times below are in Eastern time.

5:06 pm: Buffett says US economy will overcome coronavirus

Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett addressed the coronavirus pandemic during the company’s annual shareholder meeting, saying, “Nothing can basically stop America.” 

Warren Buffett

Gerry Miller | CNBC

“The American miracle, the American magic has always prevailed and it will do so again,” Buffett said from Omaha, Nebraska. 

Buffett also said he owes White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci a “huge debt of gratitude” for his informative updates on the outbreak. 

The shareholder meeting was held virtually for the first time in the company’s history to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Read more about what Buffett said on the coronavirus from CNBC’s Fred Imbert. —Sara Salinas

3:30 pm: Texas reports 1,000 new cases after some businesses start to reopen

Texas reported more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases for the third straight day as the state heads into its first weekend of reopening the economy with limited measures.

The Texas Department of Health reported 1,293 new positive cases of Covid-19 on Saturday, which is its second highest single-day infection rate. This also marks the first time Texas has recorded more than 1,000 cases three days in a row.

Texas now has a total of 30,552 positive cases and 847 fatalities. The spike in infection rate comes after Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order on April 28 allowing certain businesses to reopen on May 1.

In-store retail services and dine-in restaurants may operate at up to 25% capacity. Movie theaters and shopping malls are also allowed to operate at up to 25% of the total occupancy. The governor enacted a “stay-at-home” order on April 2. —Jasmine Kim

Read CNBC’s coverage from the U.S. overnight: Texas posts third straight day of 1,000 new cases as state reopens

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