Coronavirus live updates: New cases surge in Spain; Dow futures jump

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 387,382
  • Global deaths: At least 16,767
  • US cases: At least 46,450
  • US deaths: At least 593

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University. 

Futures contracts tied to the major U.S. stock indexes surged in early trading on hopes an agreement on a stimulus bill to rescue the economy from COVID-19 was close. As of 6:24 a.m ET., Dow Jones Industrial Average futures jumped 930 points, or 5%, to hit so-called limit up levels. S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq futures were also up 5% and “limit up.” The S&P 500 SPDR ETF was up 5.1% in premarket trading. —Thomas Franck

Gilead Sciences’ experimental drug remdesivir, seen as one of the more promising potential treatments for the coronavirus, on Monday received the orphan drug designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The announcement comes days after President Donald Trump called on the FDA to streamline its approval process for treatments such as remdesivir, which is currently being tested in clinical trials, with results expected as early as next month. The orphan drug status provides a seven-year market exclusivity period, as well as tax and other incentives for drug companies developing treatments for rare diseases that affect fewer than 200,000 people. —Reuters

Two months after Chinese authorities locked down the city at the center of the original outbreak, the end is in sight. Hubei province said that travel restrictions on the capital city of Wuhan will be removed starting Apr. 8, which would end a lockdown that began on Jan. 23. New confirmed virus cases in China have dwindled in the last several days, with all or the majority now attributed to travelers returning from overseas. —Evelyn Cheng

Italy’s death toll rose by 602, the smallest increase in four days, according to Reuters. The number of new confirmed cases also slowed. These figures have raised expectations that the worse could be over for the country with the highest number of deaths from the virus worldwide. However, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said that Italy had not yet reached the “most acute phase” of the infection.

Conte stepped up the national lockdown measures over the weekend, ordering the closure of all industrial production and almost all private and public offices. However, metalworkers and bank unions vowed to strike this week. They are demanding more stringent measures for the factories that are still open and for bank employees, who they say do not have enough masks, gloves or disinfectant. —Silvia Amaro

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/24/coronavirus-live-updates.html

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