Coronavirus live updates: Global cases cross 1.5 million, 2.4 million Californians have applied for unemployment since March 12

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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 1,446,500
  • Global deaths: At least 82,992
  • US cases: More than 399,900
  • US deaths: At least 12,911

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

7:21 am: Empty hotels convert into coronavirus quarantines, emergency housing to ‘keep the lights on’

The Kent quarantine motel is pictured in Kent, Washington state on March 9, 2020. A plan to set up “quarantine motels” in the US coronavirus epicenter of Washington state has infuriated local residents who fear they will be exposed to a high risk of infection.

Michelle W. Martin | AFP | Getty Images

Cash-strapped and empty hotels across the country are finding ways to keep the lights on by converting themselves into coronavirus wards or temporary housing for the National Guard or exhausted doctors and nurses.

It provides some much needed revenue for an industry that’s been brought to its knees by the COVID-19 outbreak that’s spread to more than 1.4 million people in nearly every country across the globe. World, national, state and local leaders have imposed various travel restrictions, shuttered tourist attractions, issued broad shelter-in-place orders and even authorized hefty fines for people who don’t adhere to social distancing rules. 

Hotels big and small are looking for ways to survive the unprecedented economic fallout, with some finding financial relief in government partnerships housing frontline medical workers and military personnel. —Will Feuer, Emma Newburger

7:13 am: US announces contract with GM to produce ventilators

Workers begin final preparation for manufacturing Level 1 face masks April 1, 2020 at a shuttered General Motors facility in Warren, Michigan.

GM

The Department of Health and Human Services announced the first contract for ventilator production with GM under the Defense Production Act, which President Donald Trump invoked last month. The Korean War-era statute can force certain American companies to produce materials that are in short supply in the face of the growing outbreak.

GM’s contract is worth $489.4 million, HHS said in a release, and the car-manufacturer is expected to produce 30,000 ventilators for the Strategic National Stockpile by August. 

“GM and Ventec Life Systems are working with speed and urgency to arm front-line medical professionals with the critical care ventilators they need to treat seriously ill patients,” GM said in a statement. “We remain dedicated to working with the Administration to ensure American innovation and manufacturing meet the needs of the country during this global pandemic.” —Will Feuer

7:05 am: ’Corona bonds’: Here’s why Germany and the Netherlands oppose the idea

6:55 am: Tesla will slash employee pay and furlough employees

SpaceX founder Elon Musk looks on at a post-launch news conference after the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, carrying the Crew Dragon spacecraft, lifted off on an uncrewed test flight to the International Space Station from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, March 2, 2019.

Mike Blake | Reuters

Tesla will cut pay for all of its salaried employees and will furlough hourly workers until May 4, when it intends to resume production of electric cars, according to an internal e-mail that multiple employees shared with CNBC. The pay reductions are expected to be in place until the end of the second quarter.

Health orders, implemented to curb the spread of COVID-19, forced Elon Musk’s electric car company to wind down production at its main vehicle assembly plant in Fremont, California.

The new pay cuts follow Tesla’s first-quarter vehicle production and deliveries report, which pleased investors — the company said it delivered approximately 88,400 vehicles and produced 103,000 in Q1. Tesla has yet to withdraw guidance it gave investors for 2020, saying it should “comfortably exceed” 500,000 vehicle deliveries for the year. —Lora Kolodny

6:04 am: Daily death toll in Spain rises by 757 to 14,555 fatalities

The number of daily coronavirus deaths rose in Spain for the second day as 757 people died over the past 24 hours, the health ministry said. On Tuesday, the death toll had risen by 743 from the previous day.

The total number of fatalities has risen to 14,555, the ministry said. The overall number of confirmed cases in the country rose to 146,690 up from 140,510 on Tuesday, it added. —Sam Meredith

5:33 am: US coronavirus cases top 400,000, doubling in one week

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. surpassed 400,000, according to figures provided by NBC, with 12,864 fatalities nationwide.

The world’s largest economy has recorded by far the most COVID-19 infections of any country around the globe, with the total number of cases nationwide now almost five times that of China — where the virus was first identified in December. However, U.S. officials have questioned whether China has reported all of the confirmed cases in the country. 

The U.S. confirmed an additional 169 cases in Missouri on Wednesday, data provided by NBC showed, taking the nationwide number of infections to 400,018. NBC’s count is slightly higher than that of Johns Hopkins University, which counted 399,929 cases as of Wednesday morning. —Sam Meredith

5:27 am: European markets decline as hopes for imminent recovery fade

European markets traded lower as optimism over an imminent recovery from the coronavirus started to fade.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 fell 1% in early trade, with oil and gas stocks shedding 2.7% to lead losses, while the tech sector bucked the trend to edge 0.3% higher.

Global markets continue to seesaw on hopes and fears over the direction that the coronavirus pandemic is taking. There was optimism that the virus could begin to slow its spread, but an end to the outbreak appears to be some way off. —Elliot Smith and Holly Ellyatt

Read CNBC’s coverage from CNBC’s Asia-Pacific and Europe teams overnight here: US coronavirus cases top 400,000; Spain’s death toll rises above 14,500

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