Coronavirus live updates: Italy to extend lockdown; US labor market reels

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 219,427
  • Global deaths: At least 8,946
  • US cases: At least 9,159
  • US deaths: At least 150

All data above is provided by Johns Hopkins University.

Spain’s health ministry said its national death toll soared by 209 to 767 fatalities from the previous day as the total number of coronavirus cases climbed by a quarter to 17,147. On Wednesday, there were 13,716 cases in Spain. —Reuters

The first wave of bad economic news directly related to the coronavirus crisis is likely to come from the jobs market, and that could be delivered sooner rather than later.

Virtually all of the economic data releases out now cover periods before the COVID-19 spread began to zero in on the U.S.  Some of those reports have hinted at a slowdown heading into the worst of the virus period, but the extent of the damage has been hard to gauge. That will change over the next week or so when the Labor Department releases the tallies for weekly jobless claims. The latest weekly unemployment numbers are expected out at 8:30 a.m. ET Thursday. —Jeff Cox

Italy’s lockdown is set to be extended beyond the current end-date of April 3, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said as its death toll rises at a record rate. Speaking to Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, Conte said measures taken to close schools, universities and to restrict movement throughout Italy would have to be prolonged.

“The total blockade will go on,” Conte said. “The measures taken, both the closure of [public] activities and the ones concerning schools, can only be extended,” he told the paper. —Holly Ellyatt

Michel Barnier, who leads the EU’s Brexit negotiations, has said he has contracted the virus.
Announcing the news on Twitter, he said he was “doing well and in good spirits.” —Holly Ellyatt

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/19/coronavirus-live-updates.html

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