Covid19 News

Italy extends lockdown, nearly half of all companies considering layoffs


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 766,300
  • Global deaths: At least 36,873
  • US cases: More than 153,200
  • US deaths: At least 2,828

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

3:25 pm: AA meetings, addiction counseling move online as social-distancing guidelines limit group gatherings

With stay-at-home orders across the U.S., meetings and counseling sessions for those who struggle with addiction issues are now taking place online during the coronavirus pandemic. These types of resources are more needed than ever, according to addiction groups, mental health counselors and individuals who struggle with substance abuse issues.

“I don’t know what I would have done if I had been in this situation when we didn’t have access to virtual meetings,” said a 26-year-old woman from Brooklyn, New York, who participates in Alcoholics Anonymous. When she spoke with CNBC, she was 62 days sober and planning to attend 90 meetings in her first 90 days of sobriety.

She said a recent meeting she attended through the video conferencing platform Zoom had over 1,000 people in it. In her experience, virtual meetings are very similar to the in-person ones she’s gone to in New York City: A speaker talks for 10 to 20 minutes and then people share their experiences if they’re willing. Zoom has a “raise hand” feature that allows people to indicate if they want to speak, though not everyone is able to in large groups. Donations are made through the mobile payment app Venmo rather than a collection basket.

“It’s almost too easy because I can take a meeting sitting in my bed,” the woman said. —Hannah Miller 

3:21 pm: Amid outbreak, 49% of companies considering layoffs, more than one-third freezing new hires

Nearly 50% of companies say they are at least somewhat likely to conduct layoffs over the next three months due to coronavirus COVID-19, while more than one-third of firms (37%) say they have already instituted a hiring freeze.

That’s from an online survey of more than 250 companies, varying in size and sector, conducted from March 20–26 by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, the oldest outplacement firm in the U.S., which works with companies on transitions services for employees. At that time the survey launched, coronavirus cases had just passed 18,000 in the U.S.; companies were advising employees to work from home; states such as California, New Jersey, Connecticut and New York had started to institute statewide stay-at-home orders; and all but nonessential businesses began shuttering.

Forty-nine percent of companies told Challenger, Gray & Christmas they are very or somewhat likely to conduct layoffs in the next three months, while 11% reported they have conducted permanent layoffs; another 7% have conducted temporary layoffs. —Sully Barrett

3:04 pm: Italy to extend lockdown measures until Easter

The area around Colosseum is empty of tourists during the Coronavirus emergency, on March 30, 2020 in Rome, Italy.

Antonio Masiello | Getty Images

The Italian government said it would extend a lockdown to prevent a further spread of the coronavirus outbreak at least until Easter, Health Minister Roberto Speranza said in a statement.

“Our evaluation is that all containment measures should be extended at least until Easter (April 12). The government will move in this direction,” the health minister said after a meeting with the scientific committee.

Italians have been under lockdown for three weeks and the restrictions were due to end on Friday.

Italy, the world’s hardest hit country which accounts for more than a third of all global fatalities, saw its total death tally rise to 11,591 since the outbreak emerged in northern regions on Feb. 21. —Reuters 

2:52 pm: Oil drops to 18-year low as global demand evaporates

U.S. oil dropped to an 18-year low as demand continues to evaporate, and as Saudi Arabia and other OPEC+ nations prepare to ramp up production. With much of the world in lockdown as the coronavirus pandemic rages on, demand for oil has fallen off a cliff. People aren’t traveling and business has slowed, reducing the need for jet fuel and gasoline.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude fell 6.6%, or $1.42, to settle at $20.09, its lowest level since February 2002. Earlier in the session the contract shed more than 9% to trade at a session low of $19.27. International benchmark Brent crude fell 9.2% to trade at $22.63 per barrel, a price last seen in 2002.

Despite WTI’s 55% slide this month, some analysts think there could be even more downside ahead.

Raymond James analyst John Freeman said on Monday that a “nightmarish scenario” has been created and crude could “test the $10/bbl threshold.” —Pippa Stevens

2:44 pm: Congress will not to return to DC until April 20

2:30 pm: Many college students and other adult dependents are not eligible to receive a…



Source Website Italy extends lockdown, nearly half of all companies considering layoffs

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