Coronavirus live updates: Iran frees prisoners; Macron says we are at war

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 183,000, according to Johns Hopkins University.
  • Global deaths: At least 7,167, according to Johns Hopkins University.
  • U.S. cases: At least 4,661, according to Johns Hopkins University.
  • U.S. deaths: At least 85, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Nordstrom is temporarily closing all of its stores due to COVID-19. The retailer has also withdrawn its 2020 earnings outlook. Nordstrom said it has experienced “a broad-based deceleration in customer demand over the past couple of weeks, particularly in markets most affected by the virus.” 

The Seattle-based chain will close all of its locations, including its off-price division Nordstrom Rack, in the U.S. and Canada beginning Tuesday, for two weeks. Nordstrom said it will continue to offer pay and benefits to store workers at this time. —Lauren Thomas

Biotech giant Regeneron said it aims to have doses of a potential drug for COVID-19 ready to start human clinical trials by early summer. The approach involves creating antibodies to the virus that could be used to treat the disease and to prevent it, Regeneron said in a statement. 

The company had previously said it aimed to have hundreds of thousands of doses ready for human testing in late summer, so the new goal is a significant acceleration. Regeneron said it plans to start large-scale manufacturing by the middle of next month and still plans to ramp up to hundreds of thousands of preventive doses a month by the end of summer. —Meg Tirrell

The total number of confirmed cases in Spain surpassed 10,000 on Tuesday and the number of fatalities rose to 491, said Fernando Simon, the head of the country’s health emergency center. He said the number of cases rose to 11,178, up from a previous tally of 9,161 cases on Monday. —Reuters

Iran has temporarily freed about 85,000 prisoners, including political prisoners, a spokesman for its judiciary said, according to Reuters, as it reacts to the coronavirus epidemic in the country. “Some 50% of those released are security-related prisoners. … Also in the jails we have taken precautionary measures to confront the outbreak,” Gholamhossein Esmaili said.

Iran has one of the worst outbreaks outside China, where the virus originated. Its death toll has reached 853 and a total of 14,991 people have been confirmed to have the virus. Esmaili did not elaborate on when those released would have to return to jail. —Holly Ellyatt

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/17/coronavirus-live-updates.html

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