Coronavirus live updates: Virus hits spring home sellers, Spain suffers highest death toll yet

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 873,767.
  • Global deaths: At least 43,288.
  • US cases: At least 189,633.
  • US deaths: At least 4,081.

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

7:19 am: Mortgage applications to buy a home plummet 24% annually

More borrowers are refinancing to save money on monthly payments, while potential homebuyers are backing away fast from purchases as the coronavirus outbreak puts the brakes on home sales. 

Driven entirely by refinancing, total mortgage application volume increased 15.3% last week from the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted index. Volume was 67% higher than one year ago, when interest rates were higher.

Mortgage applications to purchase a home fell 11% last week and were 24% lower than a year ago. Real estate agents and homebuilders have reported a sharp drop in buyer interest, and open houses and model homes are shuttering. Some potential buyers are doing virtual tours, but the demand is not even close to normal spring volume. —Diana Olick

6:36 am: Spain has more than 100,000 cases, record daily death toll 

A man wearing a face mask is wheeled into La Paz hospital on March 23, 2020 in Madrid, Spain.

Denis Doyle | Getty Images

Spain now has 102,136 coronavirus cases, its health ministry reported, with the number of fatalities over the last 24 hours increasing by a record 864 people. That brought the country’s death toll to 9,053. The total number of cases rose by 7,719 from Tuesday. —Holly Ellyatt

6 am: UK urges hospitals to increase testing

The U.K.’s health minister has asked hospitals to use spare laboratory space to test front-line and self-isolating National Health Service staff for coronavirus, amid concerns of a lack of testing for health-care workers, and potentially unnecessary staff absences.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock called for more testing of health providers as pressure grows on the government over its small amount of testing compared with other countries, like Germany. Another government minister, Michael Gove, said the U.K. had to go “further, faster” to increase testing. —Holly Ellyatt

5:03 am: Indonesia set to open emergency hospital on uninhabited island

An Indonesian health official monitors as passengers from an international flight have their temperature checked as they pass a thermal scanner monitor upon arrival at the Adisucipto International Airport on January 23, 2020 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Ulet Ifansasti | Getty Images

Indonesia plans to open a coronavirus emergency hospital on the uninhabited island of Galang by next week, Reuters reported. The authorities have repurposed a former Vietnam War-era refugee camp to quickly help improve health-care capacities.

Indonesia has recorded 1,677 cases of coronavirus as of Wednesday, and 157 deaths — the highest mortality rate in Southeast Asia. It’s believed the infection rate among Indonesia’s population of 260 million could be substantially higher, while official data from mid-March shows the country had only about 12 hospital beds per 10,000 people. —Holly Ellyatt

Read CNBC’s coverage from CNBC’s Asia-Pacific and Europe teams overnight here: Spain now has more than 100,000 cases, sees record daily death toll

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