Pfizer aims for millions of vaccine doses this year, Germany’s infection rate rises

Pfizer aims for millions of vaccine doses this year, Germany’s infection rate rises


A handful of biotech and pharmaceutical companies are kicking off earnings season this week, weaving Covid-19 updates into quarterly results tinged by the impact of a global pandemic. The virus continues to spread, with more than 3 million people worldwide now confirmed with the infection, as countries and U.S. states begin to ease lockdown restrictions. 

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 3 million
  • Global deaths: At least 211,522
  • US cases: More than 988,400
  • US deaths: At least 56,253

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

7:21 am: German employment survey plummets to historic low

A lady walks past a sign in Berlin, Germany advising people to stay at home amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Odd Andersen | AFP | Getty Images

Germany is experiencing an “unprecedented” drop in employment levels, the German economic institute Ifo said, as the coronavirus pandemic hits Europe’s growth engine. 

The Ifo’s employment barometer dropped to 86.3 points in April, having reached 93.4 points in March. The latest reading represents a “historic low,” where all four sectors (manufacturing, construction, services and trade) faced sharply lower employment.

“There has never been such a marked decline in the barometer itself, which will correspond to a rise in unemployment in Germany,” the Ifo institute said in a statement on Tuesday. —Silvia Amaro

7:15 am: Argentina bans commercial flights until September 1 

Aerial view of Buenos Aires’s International airport Jorge Newbery with grounded planes on April 14, 2020 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Getty Images | Getty Images

Argentina has proposed to ban all internal and international flights through to September 1 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

President Alberto Fernandez’s administration said on Monday that it plans to suspend the sale of tickets for all commercial flights to and from Argentina over the next four months, warning those that ignore the rules will be fined.

Only flights carrying cargo and those involved in the repatriation of citizens will be allowed to operate, the government said. —Sam Meredith

7:13 am: Pfizer’s quarterly sales fall 8% as it races to develop coronavirus vaccine

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) speaks during a forum regarding the future of health care and drug pricing in America, hosted by Pfizer and Axios, on June 5, 2019 in Washington, DC.

Mark Wilson | Getty Images

Pfizer reported first-quarter earnings that beat Wall Street estimates and reaffirmed its full-year revenue guidance as the drugmaker works to develop a vaccine to prevent the coronavirus.

The drugmaker reported adjusted earnings of 80 cents per share, 7 cents higher than Wall Street analysts polled by Refinitiv expected. The company reported revenue of $12 billion, higher than the $11.8 billion expected.

Shares of the company were up nearly 2% in premarketing trading.

Pfizer estimates it can potentially produce millions of coronavirus vaccine doses by the end of this year. —Berkeley Lovelace 

6:56 am: Greece spent 10 years thinking that things couldn’t get any worse, then the virus hit

Two police officers are talking front of the Greek Parliament during the new type of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Athens, Greece on April 24, 2020.


Optimism had just returned to Greece after 10 years of severe financial difficulty, some civil unrest and gloomy economic prospects. But the global pandemic is now making Greeks even more concerned about their futures. 

Greece requested financial help 10 years ago, on April 2010. That was just the beginning of a long and painful crisis. Greece had to endure in total three bailout programs with stringent austerity measures attached, which only ended in August of 2018.

However, the economy has since shown signs of recovery. Gross domestic product hit 1.9% last year and the unemployment rate stood at 17.3% — well below the 27.5% seen in 2013; according to data from Europe’s statistics office.

The ongoing coronavirus outbreak is about to reverse that modest recovery. The International Monetary Fund forecast a 10% contraction in GDP and an unemployment rate of 22.3% for Greece in 2020. —Silvia Amaro

5:36 am: Germany’s infection rate edges higher after lockdown measures eased

BERLIN, GERMANY – APRIL 23: German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) sits at the Bundestag on April 23, 2020 in Berlin, Germany. Germany is still at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic and will have to live with it for a long time, the Chancellor said.

Maja Hitij

Germany’s coronavirus infection rate has reportedly edged up, prompting the head of the country’s infectious diseases institute to urge people to stay at home as much as possible amid a relaxation of lockdown measures.

Germany’s virus reproduction rate, called the “R” rate or value, is now at 1.0 in Germany, according to Lothar Wieler, the president of the Robert Koch Institute, having risen from 0.7 earlier this month.

The “R” rate means that, on average, every one person with the virus infects one other individual. Keeping this rate below 1.0 is an aim during the coronavirus pandemic. —Holly Ellyatt

5:00 am: Indonesia reports 415 new cases and 8 deaths

Indonesia reported 415 new infections, Reuters reported, taking the total number of cases in the country to 9,511.

Health ministry official Achmad Yurianto also reported eight new deaths, bringing the total number of fatalities to 773. —Holly Ellyatt

4:40 am: Spain’s daily death toll falls

RT: Mortuary workers wearing protective gear are seen at the San Juan de la Cruz funeral home, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Segovia, Spain, April 23, 2020.

Susana Vera | REUTERS

Spain reported 301 deaths from the coronavirus over the past 24 hours, down from the 331 fatalities reported Monday, the health ministry said. That brings the overall death toll to 23,822. The total number of cases has risen to 210,773, up from 209,465 the previous day. That’s a rise of 1,308.

Separate data from the National Statistics Institute showed Spain’s unemployment rate rose to 14.4% in the first quarter of the year, up from 13.8% in the previous quarter as a result of the lockdown imposed in Spain in mid-March. —Holly Ellyatt

4:20 am: Swedish central bank holds rates but says it’s ready to cut if necessary

People walk at Strandvagen in Stockholm on March 28, 2020, during the the new coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. – Sweden, which has stayed open for business with a softer approach to curbing the COVID-19 spread than most of Europe, on March 27, 2020 limited gatherings to 50 people, down from 500.


Sweden’s central bank, the Riksbank, has decided to hold its benchmark interest rate at 0% and also maintained coronavirus-related aid measures without adding more assistance, but said it was ready to do more if needed.

“It was not deemed justified at this point in time to try to increase demand by lowering the repo rate when the downturn in the economy is due to imposed restrictions and people’s concerns about the spread of infection,” the Riksbank said in a statement Tuesday.

“However, this does not rule out the possibility of the interest rate being cut at a later date if this is deemed an effective measure to stimulate demand and support the development of inflation in the recovery phase.”

Sweden bucked the trend set in many of its European countries by not imposing a strict lockdown but rather advising the public to stay at, and work from, home if possible. Its chief epidemiologist told CNBC last week that the capital Stockholm could be heading for herd immunity in weeks. — Holly Ellyatt

Read CNBC’s coverage from CNBC’s Asia-Pacific and Europe teams overnight here: Spain’s daily death toll falls; Germany’s virus reproduction rate rises.


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