Coronavirus live updates: Viking cancels cruises, Spains top soccer league suspended

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 127,749, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
  • Global deaths: At least 4,717, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
  • US cases: At least 1,323, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
  • US deaths: At least 38, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Spain’s death toll from the outbreak rose to 84 on Thursday from 47 on Wednesday, the health ministry said. The ministry reported the number of cases rose to 2,968 up from 2,140 on Wednesday. —Reuters 

Viking has suspended its river and ocean cruises until May 1, according to a company statement. Viking Chairman Torstein Hagen noted in a letter to booked guests that operating as a travel company amid the COVID-19 outbreak “involves significant risks of quarantines or medical detentions.”

“As a private company with strong finances, we do not have to worry about quarterly profit expectations – and that flexibility allows us the ability to do what is best for our guests and our employees, as we have always done,” he said. 

Passengers with reservations for cruises set to embark Thursday through April 30 will receive a full refund or a voucher for a future booking at 125% the paid amount. —Salinas 

All soccer matches in Spain’s top division, La Liga, have been suspended for two weeks to curb the spread of COVID-19, the league’s organizing body said in a statement. The league’s statement said the decision came after Real Madrid put its team in quarantine, and that it had notified the clubs, the Spanish soccer federation and the national sports ministry of the postponements. —Reuters

The head of the World Health Organization urged all countries on Thursday to “double down” in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, speaking to diplomats in Geneva a day after characterizing COVID-19 as a pandemic, also said: “Describing this as a pandemic does not mean that countries should give up. The idea that countries should shift from containment to mitigation is wrong and dangerous.” He said that, while maintaining a containment strategy, all countries must “strike a fine balance between protecting health, preventing economic and social disruption, and respecting human rights,” according to remarks made available by the agency. —Reuters


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