Coronavirus live updates: Merkel says most Germans will get virus, Irans death toll climbs

This is CNBC’s live blog covering all the latest news on the coronavirus outbreak. All times below are in Eastern daylight time. This blog will be updated throughout the day as the news breaks. 

  • Global cases: More than 119,476, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
  • Global deaths: At least 4,291, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
  • US cases: At least 1,039, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
  • US deaths: At least 29, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Fiat Chrysler said Wednesday it will “intensify measures” against the spread of the coronavirus in Italy.

The actions include temporarily shutting down production at four plants in the country for two or three days.

The new measures come as Italy has now 10,149 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus, according to Johns Hopkins University and Italy’s civil protection agency. —Wayland

The death toll in Iran from the new coronavirus climbed for another consecutive day, killing 62 more people in the past 24 hours as the government on Wednesday raised the nationwide death toll to 354.

Iran’s Health Ministry said the deaths are among some 9,000 confirmed cases in Iran, where the virus has spread to all of the country’s provinces.

Across the Mideast, the vast majority of the 9,700 people who have contracted the coronavirus and the COVID-19 illness it causes are in hard-hit Iran or had recently returned from there. The Islamic Republic has one of the world’s worst death tolls outside of China, the epicenter of the outbreak. Outside of Iran, only Iraq, Egypt, and Lebanon have recorded deaths from the virus in the Middle East.

There are concerns that the number of infections across Iran is much higher than the confirmed cases reported by the government, which is struggling to contain or manage its spread. The rising casualty figures each day in Iran suggest the fight against the new coronavirus is far from over. —Associated Press

Stocks plummeted in another volatile session as Wall Street worried about a possible fiscal stimulus package aimed at curbing slower economic growth due to the coronavirus outbreak.

President Donald Trump suggested Tuesday a 0% payroll tax rate that could last until the end of the year, however the timing of such policies being implemented remains uncertain.

“Markets seem disappointed that the White House did not release details of its fiscal response to the coronavirus,” said Brian Gardner, a Washington policy analyst at KBW. “We are still in early days and policymakers are continuing to grapple with different options and negotiate between the two parties and between Congress and the administration.” —Imbert

Pie shops in New York, Seattle, and San Francisco are losing thousands of dollars in sales for Pi Day, the international holiday celebrated on March 14 to commemorate the mathematical constant. Companies have canceled orders as offices close and employees work remotely.

Three Babes Bakeshop in San Francisco, for example, has furloughed the majority of employees as it loses out on Pi Day revenue and routine corporate sales to tech companies that cater to employee meals. —Lucas


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