Categories: Top News

Singapore new cases, Qantas to suspend flights

A man wearing a protective face mask walks past an indoor waterfall at Jewel Changi Airport in Singapore on February 27, 2020.

Roslan Rahman | AFP | Getty Images

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  • Global cases: At least 207,860, according to the latest figures from the World Health Organization
  • Global deaths: At least 8,657, according to the latest figures from the WHO

All times below are in Beijing time.

8:40 am: New York state likely has ‘tens of thousands’ of coronavirus cases, Gov. Cuomo says

8:29 am: Italy death toll nears 3,000

At least 2,978 people in Italy have died as a result of COVID-19, as the total number of confirmed cases in the country stood at 35,713 as of 6 p.m. local time on March 18, according to the health ministry. Around 4,025 people have recovered so far. Italy remains under lockdown as shops, bars, restaurants, museums, and schools remain closed while movement is restricted; the stringent measures are already weighing on the economy. — Saheli Roy Choudhury

7:55 am: London underground to be partially shut on Thursday

London’s underground system will be partially shut down beginning Thursday in the city’s bid to slow the spread of coronavirus, Sky News reported, citing the Transport for London. 

Up to 40 tube stations that do not interchange with other lines will be closed until further notice from Thursday and starting Friday, the Waterloo and City line will shut completely, Sky News said. No tube or overground service will run overnight on Fridays and Saturdays, but bus services will still be available at those times, it added. — Saheli Roy Choudhury

7:37 am: Qantas will suspend international flights starting late March

The Australian carrier said in a regulatory filing that all regularly scheduled international flights from Australia, including ones from its low-cost subsidiary Jetstar, will be suspended from end March until at least end May 2020. “Some flights may continue in order to maintain key links, based on ongoing discussions with the Federal Government,” the company said.

Within Australia, there will be a 60% cut in domestic flights; Qantas also said two-thirds of employees are set to be temporarily stood down to preserve as many jobs as possible in the longer term. On Wednesday, Australia raised its advisory for all overseas travel to the highest level and told citizens not to travel at this time, regardless of destination, age, and health condition. — Saheli Roy Choudhury

7:30 am: Singapore sees record 47 new cases in a day

Most of the city-state’s 47 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection are imported, as residents returned from their trips abroad to places in Europe, North America and other parts of Asia, according to the health ministry. As of Wednesday at noon, the total number of cases stood at 313, with 117 people reported as recovered and no deaths recorded.

Infection numbers in Singapore rose in recent days, prompting authorities to step up efforts to contain the virus’ spread; on March 18, the government told residents to defer all travel abroad, superseding the previous advisory on only non-essential travel. Starting Friday at 11:59 p.m., everyone entering Singapore, including residents, will be required to complete a two-week self-quarantine. — Saheli Roy Choudhury

All times below are in Eastern time.

7:17 pm: Google is still showing mask ads next to coronavirus stories after promising to take them down

Days after Google promised to remove ads for medical face masks, promotions are still appearing next to online content related to the coronavirus, much to the ire of U.S. lawmakers.

Senators Mark Warner, D-Va., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., sent a letter to Federal Trade Commission Chairman Joseph J. Simons on Tuesday, criticizing Google for continuing to serve ads next to stories about COVID-19 on various sites. Federal health officials have repeatedly told the public to refrain from purchasing masks so they can be reserved for people who need them, like health-care workers responding to the crisis. —Megan Graham, Jennifer Elias

6:32 pm: Dow futures down 100 points as Wall Street’s equity rout continues

6:00 pm: NYC mayor pushes for ‘shelter-in-place’ order as coronavirus cases surge to almost 1,900

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said he’s pushing Gov. Andrew Cuomo to approve a “shelter-in-place” order for the city as coronavirus cases surge to almost 1,900 across the five boroughs.

De Blasio, speaking to NY1 local television station, said he had a “very good conversation” with Cuomo about an hour ago.

Earlier in the day, Cuomo said he wouldn’t approve a “shelter-in-place” order for New York City after de Blasio told residents to prepare for one. “That is not going to happen, shelter in place, for New York City,” Cuomo said on The Daily podcast by The New York Times. “For any city or county to take an emergency action, the state has to approve it. And I wouldn’t approve shelter in place.” —Dawn Kopecki, Berkeley Lovelace Jr.

Read CNBC’s coverage from the U.S. overnight: NYC mayor wants ‘shelter-in-place’ order, US cases number over 7,500