Coronavirus live updates: Princess suspends cruises, Spain’s top soccer league suspended

FAN Editor

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.

10:20 am: House Democrats’ coronavirus bill delayed as GOP pushes to include Trump proposals

House Republicans made clear that they won’t support the new emergency coronavirus aid bill unveiled by Democrats last night — at least not in its current form.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are scrambling to take action to combat the spread of the deadly coronavirus, which the World Health Organization on Wednesday declared a pandemic.

But they have hang-ups with the text of the Democrats’ bill because it omits several of the measures President Donald Trump had called on Congress to enact. —Breuninger

10:00 am: NYC closes two schools for deep cleaning

New York City has closed two Bronx schools for 24 hours due to a “self-confirmed” case of COVID-19 in a student, Mayor Bill de Blasio said. The two schools are the Laboratory School of Finance and Technology and South Bronx Preparatory. The Department of Education will disinfect the buildings.

“We don’t make this decision lightly, and we know the disruption and anxiety this means for students, faculty and parents,” de Blasio said in a statement. “We are taking every precaution to keep people safe, and we will keep everyone informed as we learn more through the day.” —Feuer 

9:53 am: JPMorgan Chase orders up to half NY metro employees to work from home

JPMorgan Chase on Thursday told managers to implement a plan to have employees based in offices in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Jersey City to start working from home in shifts beginning on Friday.

“We are asking our managers to arrange for no fewer than 25% and no greater than 50% of their team members who can effectively work from home, to begin doing so by the end of this week,” according to a memo obtained by CNBC, which was sent to staff Thursday morning. —Son

9:31 am: S&P 500 drops more than 6% at open, joins the Dow in bear market territory

U.S. stocks fell sharply once again on Thursday after an address from President Donald Trump failed to quell concerns over the possible economic slowdown from the coronavirus.

Before the open, futures contracts tied to the major indexes fell to their so-called limit down thresholds, sliding 5%. These limit down levels act as a as a floor for selling until regular trading begins. During the regular session, the S&P 500 must drop by 7% before triggering the New York Stock Exchange’s circuit breaker, which halts trading temporarily. 

8:56 am: Carnival’s Princess Cruises to pause global ship operations for 60 days over coronavirus

Carnival’s Princess Cruises announced Thursday it is suspending all operations for two months due to concerns over the rapidly spreading COVID-19 pandemic.

The announcement impacts the cruise line’s fleet of 18 ships and will affect voyages from March 12 to May 10.

Princess Cruises President Jan Swartz said the company is taking the “bold action” to reassure stakeholders of its commitment to the well-being of its passengers. —Feuer 

8:36 am: Spain’s death toll rises to 84 from 47 on Wednesday

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 

8:21 am: Viking cruises suspended until May 1

Viking has suspended its river and ocean cruises until May 1. 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 

7:32 am: Spain’s top soccer league suspended

General view in the empty stadium in Valencia, Spain as the match is played behind closed doors as the number of coronavirus cases grow around the world.

UEFA | Reuters

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. 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

7:29 am: WHO’s Tedros urges world to ‘double down’ against virus pandemic

World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus gestures during a press briefing on evolution of new coronavirus epidemic on January 29, 2020 in Geneva.

Fabrice Coffrini | AFP | Getty Images

The head of the World Health Organization urged all countries on Thursday to “double down” in the fight, a day after declaring the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. “Describing this as a pandemic does not mean that countries should give up,” WHO chief Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told diplomats in Geneva. “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

7:11 am: EU condemns Trump’s coronavirus travel ban

The European Union condemned President Donald Trump’s decision to impose a travel ban on 26 EU nations. “The coronavirus is a global crisis, not limited to any continent and it requires cooperation rather than unilateral action,” European Council and European Commission Presidents Charles Michel and Ursula von der Leyen said Thursday morning.

“The European Union disapproves of the fact that the U.S. decision to impose a travel ban was taken unilaterally and without consultation,” the two top-ranking EU officials said, adding that “the European Union is taking strong action to limit the spread of the virus.” rump’s travel ban does not apply to legal permanent residents of the U.S., according to the Department of Homeland Security, and in most cases, it does not apply to immediate family members of U.S. citizens. —Amaro

6:53 am: UK’s chief medical officers signal a possible shift in approach

The U.K.’s chief medical officers said doctors in the country may need to “depart significantly from established procedures to handle the outbreak.” This might be needed “in order to care for patients in the highly challenging but time-bound circumstances of the peak of an epidemic,” the chief medical officers of the U.K.’s individual nations said in a joint letter to doctors, Reuters reported. —Ellyatt

6:50 am: Death toll in Iran from coronavirus reaches 429, health official says

An Iranian woman wearing a mask walks past a mural displaying her national flag in Tehran on March 4, 2020.


Iran reported 75 new deaths in the previous 24 hours, according to Reuters. That brings the death toll to 429. “We have identified 1,075 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, meaning that there are 10,075 infected people in the country. The death toll is 429,” Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur told state television. —Ellyatt

5:42 am: Trump travel ban from Europe to US begins Friday

A picture taken on March 12, 2020 shows empty Air France and Delta Airlines check-in desks at Paris-Charles-de-Gaulle airport after a US 30-day ban on travel from Europe due to the COVID-19 spread in Roissy-en-France.

Bertrand Guay | AFP | Getty Images

The U.S. travel ban for most people planning to enter the country from 26 European countries begins Friday. The ban, announced Wednesday night by President Donald Trump, affects the so-called Schengen Area, where there are no passport checks between internal borders.

Most people who have been in these countries in the 14 days prior to their scheduled arrival in the United States will not be allowed into the country. This two-week limit means those affected can’t get around the rules by changing flights in a non-European airport.

Trump’s travel ban does not apply to legal permanent residents of the U.S., according to the Department of Homeland Security, and in most cases, it does not apply to immediate family members of U.S. citizens. —Amaro

5:12 am: South Africa reports first case of local transmission

South Africa reported the first case of local transmission of the coronavirus on Thursday, Reuters reported. There are concerns that African health systems could be overwhelmed if local transmission accelerates, the news agency added. South Africa’s Health Ministry said a 32-year-old man contracted the virus after contact with a Chinese businessman. The country has not reported any deaths from coronavirus. —Ellyatt

4:41 am: European markets slide 6%; travel stocks fall 9% after Trump bans travel from Europe

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