Coronavirus live updates: Japanese flu drug could be effective treatment, Scotland to close schools

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 201,000
  • Global deaths: At least 8,007
  • US cases: At least 6,496
  • US deaths: At least 114

All data above is provided by Johns Hopkins University.

President Donald Trump said the United States will temporarily close its border with Canada to “non-essential traffic” due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We will be, by mutual consent, temporarily closing our Northern Border with Canada to non-essential traffic,” Trump wrote in a tweet.

Trump’s move came a day after the European Union agreed to close its external borders to non-citizens, and two days after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced similar restrictions on his country’s borders. —Dan Mangan

Pershing Square’s Bill Ackman called on the president to both close the nation’s borders and offer Americans a one-month tax holiday “Spring Break.”

“The moment you send everyone home for Spring Break and close the borders, the infection rate will plummet, the stock market will soar, and the clouds will lift,” Ackman wrote.

The investor warned that further delays to such a shutdown would continue to have disastrous costs to human life and pressed Trump to “please send everyone home now.” —Thomas Franck

Chinese medical authorities have claimed a drug used in Japan to treat new strains of influenza appears to be effective for those infected with the coronavirus, Japan’s state broadcaster NHK reported.

Zhang Xinmin, director of China’s National Center for Biotechnology Development, said the favipiravir drug had produced positive outcomes during clinical trials in Wuhan and Shenzen. The report on Tuesday said 340 patients had taken part in the clinical trials.

“It has a high degree of safety and is clearly effective in treatment,” Zhang told reporters. —Sam Meredith

Scotland will close its schools from Friday and people should not assume they will open again until the end of the summer term, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said.

Wales also said schools could close on Friday. —Reuters

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/18/coronavirus-live-updates.html

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