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Asian shares follow Wall Street lower, virus concerns weigh heavy – Aljazeera.com

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Asian shares fell on Wednesday and oil prices hit lows not seen since June after a rout in technology shares sank Wall Street for a third consecutive day and a major drugmaker paused testing of a coronavirus vaccine.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan slid 1.06 percent. Australian stocks dropped 2.47 percent, while shares in China fell 1.53 percent. Japan’s Nikkei skidded 1.12 percent.

The US-based S&P 500 E-mini stock futures erased losses and rose 0.25 percent, while Nasdaq futures also rose 0.83 percent.

Euro Stoxx 50 futures were down 0.03 percent, German DAX futures fell 0.14 percent, and London’s FTSE futures fell 0.29 percent.

Sentiment for equities and other risky assets also took a hit after AstraZeneca Plc paused a late-stage trial of one of the leading coronavirus vaccine candidates due to an unexplained illness in a study participant.

US Treasury bond yields extended declines as investors sought the safety of holding government debt. Risk aversion also pushed the yen to a one-week high against the dollar.

A sell-off in high-flying US technology shares has increased the risk of a larger correction across other markets.

“The performance of Wall Street is going to leave a heavy residue, and most noteworthy is how the tech names dropped down quite aggressively. Investors will take a close note of that,” said Tom Piotrowski, a markets analyst at Australian broker CommSec.

“The dramatic fall in oil prices in the last day is being seen as a proxy for global growth expectations. That 7.6 percent fall will certainly be resonating.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 2.25 percent, the S&P 500 lost 2.78 percent, and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 4.11 percent on Wall Street on Wednesday.

Among US technology firms, electric-car maker Tesla plunged 21.06 percent on Tuesday, its biggest daily percentage drop, after it was excluded from a group of companies being added to the S&P 500.

SoftBank Group Corp shares fell 3.64 percent on Wednesday due to worries about the Japanese conglomerate’s exposure to US technology stocks.

SoftBank has fallen about 12 percent since sources told Reuters and other media late last week that it built up stakes in major US tech companies – which have surged in recent months – worth approximately $4bn.

Turbulence ahead

Investors say they are expecting wide swings in share prices over the coming weeks.

The US Federal Reserve’s next meeting ends on September 16, which could have a big impact on stock markets because many analysts say excess liquidity created by the Fed has contributed to rising equity prices this year.

The British pound fell to six-week lows against both the dollar and the euro.

Escalating concerns over Britain leaving the European Union without a trade agreement are weighing on the sterling.

The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies stood near a four-week high as Wall Street’s sell-off and renewed fears about Brexit boosted safe-harbour demand for the greenback.

Oil futures extended their sharp decline to the lowest levels since June due to concern about weak global energy demand and excess supply.

Brent crude fell 0.63 percent to $39.53 a barrel, while US crude lost 0.73 percent to trade at $36.49.

SOURCE:
Reuters news agency

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COVID-19 outbreak declared at school in East St. Paul – CTV News Winnipeg

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WINNIPEG —
COVID-19 outbreak declared at school in East St. Paul

A school just outside of Winnipeg has declared an outbreak of COVID-19, according to the Manitoba government’s most recent bulletin.

Bird’s Hill School, located at 3950 Raleigh St. in East St. Paul, has declared an outbreak of COVID-19 on Tuesday.

The school is moving to the orange or restricted level on the province’s pandemic response system.

In a statement sent Tuesday afternoon, the River East Transcona School Division confirmed there were five cases in the school within two classrooms. The two classrooms are in the grade 2/3 levels, the division said.

The school is also taking steps to deal with the new restrictions.

“We are moving furniture to ensure the two-metre distancing is done. Deep cleaning has been done to the affected classrooms and commonly touched surfaces and staff are ensuring that students follow protocols regarding handwashing, mask-wearing (when required), and social distancing,” the statement reads. “Busing is being revised to meet the orange designation for Bird’s Hill School students. The parents will be receiving information for optional remote learning for their children while the school is in orange status.”

A provincial spokesperson said health officials have not ruled out in-school transmission at this time.

Bird’s Hill School previously reported on Oct. 11 that a confirmed case of COVID-19 was in the school on Sept. 30, Oct. 1, and Oct. 2.

OUTBREAK OVER AT WINNIPEG SCHOOL

The outbreak at John Pritchard School, which was declared last month, has now ended, the province announced on Tuesday.

The school is now at the yellow or caution level on the pandemic response system.

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Coronavirus cases spike again in Manitoba on Tuesday – CTV News Winnipeg

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WINNIPEG —
Cases of COVID-19 have once again spiked in Manitoba, as provincial health officials announced 110 new cases on Tuesday.

These new cases bring the total number of COVID-19 cases in Manitoba since March to 3,491, which includes one case removed from the total due to duplication.

The cases announced on Tuesday include:

  • two cases in the Interlake–Eastern health region;
  • 11 cases in the Northern health region;
  • two cases in the Prairie Mountain Health region;
  • seven cases in the Southern Health–Santé Sud health region; and
  • 88 cases in the Winnipeg health region.

The province said there are currently 32 people in hospital, including six people in intensive care. The number of deaths related to COVID-19 remains at 42.

The five-day test positivity rate in Manitoba crept back up slightly to 4.3 per cent as of Tuesday.

The province said there are 1,746 active cases in the province, along with 1,703 recoveries – however, Dr. Brent Roussin, the chief provincial public health officer, has said these numbers may not be accurate due to a back log in reporting.

The Winnipeg region continues to have the highest number of COVID-19 cases in Manitoba, with 2,113 total cases since March.

The Winnipeg Metropolitan Region is now under the orange or restricted level on the province’s pandemic response system, which includes increased restrictions.

This comes as Canada’s second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic pushed the country’s total case count past the 200,000 mark on Monday.

READ MORE: COVID-19 cases in Canada surpass 200,000

The majority of Canada’s cases are in Ontario and Quebec, though cases have been rising across the country.

APPOINTMENT-BASED TESTING NOW AVAILABLE IN MANITOBA

The province had 2,149 COVID tests completed on Monday, bringing the total number of lab tests done since February to 228,713.

The province has also announced the introduction of appointment-based testing is launching in Manitoba on Tuesday.

The province said people are now able to make an appointment to book a COVID-19 test by calling 1-855-268-4318 or by going to the government’s website.

For now, the province said appointments will only be available at three sites, including 604 St. Mary’s Rd., 2735 Pembina Hwy., and 1181 Portage Ave.

The rest of the testing sites in the province are still working on a first-come, first-serve basis.

-with files from CTV’s Devon McKendrick and The Canadian Press’ Paola Loriggio

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More Manitoba healthcare workers test positive for COVID-19: provincial data – CTV News Winnipeg

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WINNIPEG —
The number of healthcare workers in Manitoba who have tested positive for COVID-19 continues to grow, according to the latest surveillance data released by the Manitoba government.

In its weekly report released Monday, the province said 16 more healthcare workers were diagnosed with COVID-19 during the week of Oct. 4-10, bringing the total to 129 since the pandemic began in March.

Of the healthcare workers who contracted COVID-19, 39 worked as healthcare aides, while 32 worked as nurses, and 12 worked as social or support workers.

Of the 116 cases of COVID-19 among healthcare workers, the province said 95 have recovered as of Oct. 10. The surveillance report said 62.3 per cent of the cases were from close contact with a known COVID-19 case, with 28.7 per cent of cases coming from an unknown source. The remaining nine per cent of cases come from travel.

CASE DATA IN MANITOBA

During the week of Oct. 4-10, Manitoba reported a total of 502 COVID-19 cases, with 75 per cent of the new cases reported in Winnipeg. In the remaining health regions, 12 per cent of the cases were in the Interlake-Eastern region, eight per cent were in Southern Health, three per cent in the Prairie Mountain Health Region, and one per cent in the Northern Health Region.

During the week, Manitoba performed an average of 2,419 tests per day, and the test positivity rate was 3.4 per cent, up from 2.3 per cent the week before.

Of the cases this week where information on the infection’s source was available, 53.7 per cent were from close contact to known cases, 20.4 per cent are still pending results, and 17.2 per cent of cases were from an unknown source. The remaining percentage (8.7) was from travel.

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