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This is CNBC’s 24-hour blog covering all the latest news on the coronavirus outbreak. All times below are in Eastern time. This live blog will be updated throughout the day as the news breaks.

  • Global cases: More than 679,000
  • Global deaths: At least 31,000
  • United States cases: At least 124,600
  • United States deaths: At least 2,100

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

9:15 am: Chanel turns its workshops to making face masks as coronavirus spreads

Empty Champs Elysees avenue is pictured on March 28, 2020 in Paris, France. The country has introduced fines for people caught violating its nationwide lockdown measures intended to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Pascal Le Segretain | Getty Images

 Luxury fashion group Chanel said it would launch the production of face masks to help bolster supplies in France, as the coronavirus sweeps across the country. 

Prototypes were being worked on and would roll off production lines once they received the approval of French authorities. 

On Saturday, Health Minister Olivier Veran said the government had ordered more than a billion face masks, mostly from China, to be supplied in the weeks and months ahead. 

France was using 40 million face masks per week, he said. Doctors, nursing home carers and police have complained of shortages. —Reuters

9:02 am: Iran’s president lashes out at criticism of country’s lagging response

Iran president Hassan Rouhani lashed out at criticism of the country’s lagging response to the worst coronavirus outbreak in the Middle East, saying the government has to weigh economic concerns as it takes measures to contain the pandemic.

Rouhani said authorities had to consider the effect of mass quarantine efforts on Iran’s beleaguered economy, which is under heavy U.S. sanctions. It’s a dilemma playing out across the globe, as leaders struggle to strike a balance between restricting human contact and keeping their economies from crashing.

Iran has 38,309 COVID-19 cases and 2,640 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

“Health is a principle for us, but the production and security of society is also a principle for us,” Rouhani said at a cabinet meeting. “We must put these principles together to reach a final decision.”

“This is not the time to gather followers,” he added. “This is not a time for political war.” —Associated Press

8:51 am: Relief Therapeutics, NeuroRx get FDA nod to start coronavirus trial

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration has authorized the start of a mid-stage trial by U.S.-Israeli NeuroRx and Relief Therapeutics for the use of Aviptadil to treat Acute Respiratory Distress in coronavirus patients.

The companies said they are recruiting study sites and pharmacies to begin a phase 2 trial. The FDA issued a “study may proceed” letter 24 hours after their investigational new drug application.

Aviptadil is a patented form of Vasoactive Intestinal Polypeptide that has previously shown promise in treating Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), the companies said.

Coronavirus death is primarily caused by ARDS, in which severe inflammation causes the lungs to fill with fluid. —Reuters

8:35 am: New Jersey governor responds to CDC travel advisory for tri-state area

A view of the empty parking lot as the Westfield Garden State Plaza along with all New Jersey malls, is closed on March 18, 2020 in Paramus, New Jersey. New Jersey governor Phil Murphy ordered all New Jersey malls to close as of 8 P.M. last night amid concerns of the COVID-19 virus.

Elsa | Getty Images

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said the CDC travel advisory issued Saturday for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut “does not change the rules that have been established and in place for over a week now.”

Essential “frontline” employees such as those who work in health care and supermarkets are still permitted to get to and from their jobs.

The CDC advised residents of the tri-state area to stop nonessential domestic travel for 14 days in response to the coronavirus outbreak that has hit the New York City area particularly hard. There are more than 30,000 cases in New York City alone, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

“I encourage all New Jerseyans to continue practicing aggressive social distancing and take personal responsibility to help us get through this public health emergency,” Murphy said in a statement. —Chris Eudaily

8:24 am: Global cases near 700,000



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