As COVID-19 cases mount around the world, the committees responsible for Canada’s involvement in Olympic and Paralympic sport have decided they won’t be sending athletes to Tokyo if the 2020 Summer Olympics go ahead as planned.
“This is not solely about athlete health — it’s about public health,” a joint statement released by the committees on Sunday night said. Australia did the same, with its Olympic committee saying “our athletes now need to prioritize their own health and of those around them, and to be able to return to the families.”
BREAKING: The Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee will refuse to send athletes to the Tokyo Olympics if the event is not postponed.The 2020 Games are currently set to begin on July 24. News release: <a href=”https://t.co/NT8twsqAXI”>pic.twitter.com/NT8twsqAXI</a>
Japan has been facing increased pressure to call off or delay the Summer Games amid growing concern over the coronavirus pandemic. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday suggested that the Games could be postponed, adding that he wants to speak with International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach.
According to Kyodo News, a Japanese media outlet, Abe told a parliamentary session that if he was asked “whether we can hold the Olympics at this point in time, I would have to say that the world is not in such a condition.”
The statement from the Canadian Olympic Committee and the Canadian Paralympic Committee came the same day as a warning from the country’s health minister around travellers returning to the country.
Health minister reiterates importance of self-isolation
Speaking at a daily briefing on Sunday, Patty Hajdu said the federal government is willing to use “every measure in our tool box” to make sure people are following public health advice around self-isolating when they return home.
Hajdu reminded incoming travellers that there are “no exceptions” to the two-week isolation period.
The health minister pointed to the Quarantine Act, which allows for fines and charges against people who don’t follow self-isolation measures. But she also noted that, for now, the government is asking people to follow the rules and hoping “we don’t have to get to ordering them.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau — who has been addressing the public regularly from outside his home while he completes a two-week period of self-quarantine — is set to speak again Monday morning. Trudeau said last week that his government was talking with major airlines about getting Canadians stranded abroad back home. Over the weekend, a plane arrived in Canada from Morocco, where a large number of travellers had been stranded. Ottawa is also working with airlines to help get people in Peru, Spain and several other countries home.
WATCH | Canadians arrive in Montreal from Morocco:
Most people only experience mild symptoms from the COVID-19 disease caused by the virus and recover within weeks. But it is highly contagious and causes severe illness in some patients, particularly the elderly and those with weakened immune systems. People can carry and spread the virus without showing any symptoms.
More than 340,000 people have been infected worldwide, and nearly 15,000 have died. Nearly 100,000 people have recovered. Read on for a look at what’s happening in Canada, the U.S. and other hard-hit areas today.
Here’s what’s happening in the provinces and territories
British Columbia’s biggest city is warning that businesses that don’t enforce proper social distancing measures could face big fines — or closures. Vancouver city council is holding a virtual meeting Monday to pass bylaws that would allow for the imposition of what the mayor calls “significant” penalties. Read more about what’s happening in B.C.
Alberta reported another 33 cases on Sunday, bringing the total number of reported COVID-19 cases in the province to 259. Also over the weekend, a group of doctors in Calgary took to the streets to protest (standing a safe distance apart) to press for more assistance to those who work with the homeless. Read more about what’s happening in Alberta.
Restaurants and bars in Saskatchewan will be limited to offering takeout as of today after the province passed measures meant to slow the spread of COVID-19. Read more about what’s happening in Saskatchewan, which has 53 reported cases.
Manitoba’s top public health official is urging people to stay apart but still work together to “to limit the impact of this virus” on the province. Dr. Brent Roussin said over the weekend that the province is focusing for now on testing people who travelled internationally and are experiencing symptoms. Read more about what’s happening in Manitoba.
In Ontario, the province’s emergency declaration is giving hospitals more power over staffing. The associations representing the province’s nurses and doctors, meanwhile, are expressing concern over potential shortage of supplies, particularly masks. Read more about what’s happening in Ontario, including the latest from the province’s education minister.
Quebec said over the weekend that schools, restaurant dining rooms and malls would all be closed until May 1. Read more about what’s happening in Quebec.
New Brunswick is reporting 17 confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19. Read more about what’s happening in N.B.
As of Monday morning, most people coming into Nova Scotia — even from another province — will be required to self-isolate for two weeks. The premier said there are some exceptions, including for people in industries like health care or trucking. Read more about what’s happening in Nova Scotia, including the latest on the state of emergency.
Prince Edward Island reported its third case of COVID-19 over the weekend. Read more about what’s happening on P.E.I.
Newfoundland and Labrador are reporting a total of nine confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19. Read more about what’s happening in Newfoundland, including a list of what’s closed due to the coronavirus.
Yukon reported its first COVID-19 cases over the weekend, in a couple that had travelled to the U.S. for a conference. Read more about what’s happening in Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
Canada had 1,472 confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of 6:30 a.m. ET on Monday. Here’s a look at the number of cases — including deaths and recoveries — by province.
British Columbia: 424 confirmed cases, including six recovered and 10 deaths.
Ontario: 425 confirmed cases, including eight recovered and five deaths.
Alberta: 259 confirmed cases, including three recovered and one death.
Quebec: 219 confirmed cases, including one recovered and four deaths.
Saskatchewan: 52 confirmed and presumptive cases.
Manitoba: 20 confirmed and presumptive cases.
New Brunswick: 17 confirmed and presumptive cases.
Nova Scotia: 28 confirmed and presumptive cases.
Prince Edward Island: Three cases the province lists as positive.
Newfoundland and Labrador: Nine confirmed and presumptive cases.
Northwest Territories: One confirmed case.
Yukon: Two confirmed cases.
Repatriated Canadians: 13 confirmed cases.
Presumptive cases are individuals who have tested positive, but still await confirmation with the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg. Not all provinces are listing figures on those who have recovered. The recent COVID-19 related death of a Canadian in Japan is not currently included in the province-by-province tally of cases.
Here’s a look at what’s happening in the U.S.
From The Associated Press, updated at 6:20 a.m. ET
Top-level negotiations between Congress and the White House churned late into the night over a now nearly $2 trillion US economic rescue package, as the coronavirus crisis deepened, the nation shut down and the first U.S. senator tested positive for the disease.
While the congressional leaders worked into the night, alarms were being sounded from coast to coast about the wave of coronavirus cases about to crash onto the nation’s health system.
As President Donald Trump took to the podium in the White House briefing room and promised to help Americans who feel afraid and isolated as the pandemic spreads, the Senate voted Sunday against advancing the rescue package. But talks continued on Capitol Hill.
“I think you’ll get there. To me it’s not very complicated: We have to help the worker. We have to save the companies,” Trump said.
Later, the Republican president suggested the remedies may be more harmful than the outbreak, vowing to reassess after the 15-day mark of the shutdown. “WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF,” he tweeted.
Inside the otherwise emptied out Capitol, the draft aid bill was declared insufficient by Democrats, who argued it was tilted toward corporations and did too little to help workers and health-care providers. Republicans returned to the negotiating table.
WATCH | States seek supplies as COVID-19 cases mount in U.S.:
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, exiting the Capitol just before midnight, struck an optimistic note: “We’re very close,” he said, adding negotiators would work through the night.
“Our nation cannot afford a game of chicken,” warned Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., his voice rising on the Senate floor Sunday night. His goal is to vote Monday. The Senate will reconvene at noon.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer sounded an optimistic note.
“This bill is going to affect this country and the lives of Americans, not just for the next few days, but in the next few months and years — so we have to make sure it is good,” he said.
‘”There were some serious problems with the bill leader McConnell laid down. Huge amounts of corporate bailout funds without restrictions or without oversight — you wouldn’t even know who is getting the money. Not enough money for hospitals, nurses, PPE, masks, all the health-care needs. No money for state and local government, many of whom would go broke. Many other things.”
But Schumer said they were making progress in dealing with those issues. “We’re getting closer and closer. And I’m very hopeful, is how I’d put it, that we can get a bill in the morning.”
Here’s what’s happening in Europe
From Reuters, updated at 6:20 a.m. ET
Hard-hit Italy, which has struggled to slow the spread of COVID-19, banned travel within the country on Sunday, as its death toll climbed to 5,476.
Britain’s health minister said stricter restrictions on movements would be brought in if people did not observe advice to avoid social interaction, warning that such measures would also have to stay in place longer.
In Germany, the number of cases has climbed to 22,672 with 86 deaths, a public health agency tally showed on Monday.
Spain sought on Sunday to extend the state of emergency until April 11 as its death toll jumped to over 1,700.
WATCH | Doctor warns against medical gloves in public, talks importance of handwashing:
Here’s what’s happening in some other affected areas, including hard-hit South Korea and Iran
From Reuters and The Associated Press, updated at 7 a.m. ET
South Korea reported on Monday its lowest number of new coronavirus cases and the extended downward trend in daily infections since the peak on Feb. 29 has boosted hopes that Asia’s largest outbreak outside China may be abating. The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said there were 64 new cases on Monday, taking the national tally to 8,961. The death toll rose to 118, from 110.
The new numbers marked the 12th day in a row the country has posted new infections of around 100 or less, compared with the peak of 909 cases recorded on Feb. 29. But officials urged even greater vigilance as imported cases and new, small outbreaks continued to emerge, such as in nursing homes, churches and crowded workplaces.
“We don’t give much meaning to numbers yet, but as there are some fluctuations despite a declining trend, our top priority is to prevent sporadic group infections and repatriated cases,” said Yoon Tae-ho, director-general for public health policy at the health ministry.
The worst outbreak in the Middle East is unfolding in Iran, where state TV reported another 127 deaths on Monday, bringing the total number of fatalities to 1,812 amid more than 23,000 confirmed cases. Iran has faced widespread criticism for not imposing stricter quarantine measures early on. It is also suffering under severe U.S. sanctions.
Syrians rushed to stock up on food and fuel Monday amid fears that authorities would resort to even stricter measures after reporting the first coronavirus infection in the country, where the health-care system has been decimated by nearly a decade of civil war. Authorities said border crossings with Lebanon and Jordan would close at midday.
The United Arab Emirates, home to the world’s busiest international airport, said it was suspending all passenger flights for two weeks. Dubai’s airport is a vital hub connecting Western nations with Asian countries and Australia, and suspending passenger flights there affects travellers around the world.
Even with strict containment measures, officials project up to 22,000 COVID-19 deaths in Canada – CBC.ca
Federal health officials are projecting there could be nearly 32,000 cases of COVID-19 and between 500 and 700 deaths in Canada by April 16, and even with relatively strong control measures in place, there could be between 11,000 and 22,000 deaths over the course of the pandemic.
The figures came Thursday morning as officials released modelling on how the COVID-19 crisis could unfold in the country, and suggested that containment measures such as physical distancing and quarantines could be in place for months to come.
The longer-term projections look at scenarios for when strong controls are followed (one-10 per cent of the population infected, called the “green zone”), weaker controls (25-50 per cent infected, called the “blue zone”) and no controls (70-80 per cent infected, called the “red zone”).
With strong controls, if about 2.5 to five per cent of the population became infected, that would mean between 934,000 and 1.9 million cases. That would also mean up to 22,000 deaths and between 23,000 and 46,000 ICU admissions.
If no containment measures had been taken, which was not the case in Canada, there would be a worst-case scenario of about 300,000 deaths.
Officials said the caseload in Canada is doubling every three to five days, which is considered a relatively positive trajectory compared to other countries. Tam said that is in large part because of lessons learned from other countries about how strong control measures can limit the spread of the virus.
Tam said she is hopeful Canada can stay in the green zone and keep infections and deaths relatively low.
‘Prevent every death that we can’
She warned that measures that can create “hardships” are critical to keep ICU admissions and deaths as low as possible.
“We can’t prevent every death, but we must prevent every death that we can,” she said.
Tam said it’s early to know how close Canada is nationally to seeing a “peak” in transmission. But she cautioned that even as there’s a decline in transmissions, Canadians must stay the course with preventative measures as there is a risk of the virus re-igniting.
“What we do together now will buy us more time to further understand the virus and to develop treatments and vaccines,” she said.
“We are the authors of our fate. Together we can plank the epidemic curve.”
Tam said if 2.5 per cent of the population were infected, there would begin to be strains on the health-care system.
The analysis of how many people could become infected, get sick or die from the virus comes just before the long holiday weekend.
Tam said models are “imperfect” but they can help understand the state of the pandemic and where it might go, along with the effect of public health measures on the transmission of the virus.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has repeatedly told Canadians that how fast and far the virus spreads will depend largely on how stringently Canadians follow public health advice, including physical distancing, handwashing and staying home whenever possible.
Several provinces have already released projections. Ontario estimates the number of deaths in the province could reach between 3,000 and 15,000 people over the course of the pandemic, which could last up to two years.
Tam has cautioned that models that try to predict how many people could become infected and die from the coronavirus are not “crystal balls,” and that it’s important to focus on data on what is happening in real time.
How projections actually play out depends largely on actions taken by individuals and governments, she said.
Canadians overwhelmingly support stronger measures to fight COVID-19, Ipsos poll suggests – Global News
A new Ipsos poll suggests a strong majority of Canadians would support a wide range of government measures to further limit the spread of COVID-19, from stricter physical distancing laws to limiting personal movement.
The poll, released Thursday on behalf of Global News, also found 84 per cent of Canadians surveyed would support whatever deficit that Ottawa would say is necessary to get Canada through the coronavirus pandemic.
While the poll found strong support for extending or strengthening measures already in place, like enforcing physical distancing, it also suggests a majority of the country would accept even harsher measures — even down to invading personal privacy.
The highest majorities were found when Canadians were asked about more empathetic initiatives. Ninety per cent of those surveyed said they would either strongly or somewhat support the military building field hospitals for COVID-19 patients, while 87 per cent were supportive of the government using empty hotels to house the homeless.
The same majority of Canadians surveyed — 85 per cent — supported both stricter physical distancing measures enforced by legislation, and large fines for anyone caught breaking those orders. Those moves would strengthen existing laws and penalties meant to keep people apart.
Yet the poll also suggests that 76 per cent of Canadians would approve of government-imposed restrictions on who can leave their home and when, a measure that has gained traction in other parts of the world.
Coronavirus outbreak: Is Canada considering using phone tracking to enforce social distancing?
A relatively slim majority of those surveyed, 65 per cent, said they would even support the federal government using cellphone data to track Canadians who are supposed to be self-isolating. If enacted, the move would echo measures taken by governments from South Korea to Poland.
Ipsos CEO Darrell Bricker said the fact that majorities were found across the board suggests that Canadians are prepared for the government to do “whatever it wants” to fight the pandemic.
“We’ve had some commentary from experts saying the government has overstepped some of its boundaries of what they consider appropriate for this circumstance,” he said. “But they have pretty strong public support for doing whatever is necessary in order to deal with this situation.
“Whatever the limit is, we certainly didn’t find it in this survey.”
While most of the above measures found strong support across gender, age groups, provinces and household incomes, both phone tracking and running deficits saw their support dip among some groups. Respondents in more conservative provinces like Alberta and Saskatchewan were less supportive of allowing a deficit, for example, while younger people were more wary of the government invading their privacy.
Many provinces and municipalities have threatened to both fine people and put them behind bars if they continue to gather in large groups or not self-isolate. The Canadian government has enacted legislation that requires all returning travellers to self-isolate for 14 days, with fines up to $750,000 and jail sentences up to six months for those who don’t comply.
Another recent Ipsos poll suggested a full quarter of Canadians admit they’re not following social distancing guidelines as much as they should, even though 95 per cent of those surveyed believe social distancing will slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Coronavirus outbreak: WHO searches for balance between privacy and protecting communities
Bricker said the two polls together highlight a mentality among some Canadians that other people are the problem, not themselves.
“If you look at the initiatives that we’re asking people to approve of, one is limiting my own personal movement, but almost everything else is really things that they feel should be done to other people,” he said.
Health Minister Patty Hajdu has said the federal government is prepared to use “every measure in our toolbox” to battle the pandemic, including enforcing self-isolation and even physical distancing.
But Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam has expressed resistance to limiting personal freedoms like privacy and mobility, arguing a “proper balance” is needed.
With officials saying Canada must brace for physical distancing measures to remain in place until at least the beginning of summer, Bricker says the poll data suggests people are transitioning from fear of the virus to frustration over when life will return to normal.
“People don’t really have a significant amount of fear about the potential damage to their own health; really, the effect they’re feeling much more directly is the effect that [the pandemic] is having on their ability to earn an income,” he said.
“What they really want to have happen is for government to take whatever action is necessary both to guarantee their income … and get people behaving in the right way so we can move on and put this issue behind us.”
Exclusive Global News Ipsos polls are protected by copyright. The information and/or data may only be rebroadcast or republished with full and proper credit and attribution to “Global News Ipsos.” This poll was conducted between April 3 and April 7, with a sample of 1,006 Canadians from Ipsos’ online panel. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. This poll is accurate to within plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadian adults been polled.
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and the world on Thursday – CBC.ca
Quebec’s premier says all residents and staff at long-term care facilities will be tested for COVID-19 as the hard-hit province tries to slow the spread of the coronavirus, which has caused deadly outbreaks at several nursing homes across the country.
As countries introduce strict measures aimed at slowing the spread, there’s also been an economic cost. In Canada, more than one million people lost jobs in March, sending the country’s unemployment rate up to 7.8 per cent.
Public health officials have noted that while anyone can contract COVID-19, the elderly face a higher risk of severe disease or death if they contract the novel coronavirus, formally known as SARS CoV-2. The virus, which was first reported in China but has since spread around the world, causes an illness called COVID-19, for which there is no proven vaccine or cure.
Quebec Premier François Legault said Thursday that the province will also work to get more skilled staff into long-term care facilities. Health Minister Danielle McCann said that additional staffing support will first flow to homes that have seen outbreaks, but the goal is to eventually deploy extra workers to all homes. More doctors will also be deployed to help, McCann said.
“We want to protect those who built the Quebec we have today,” said the health minister.
WATCH | Nurses talk about shortages of critical supplies at long-term care homes:
A long-term care home in Almonte, west of Ottawa, has reported eight deaths related to COVID-19, according to a letter sent home to families. Two other residents at Almonte Country Haven, which is home to 82 people, died of unspecified reasons. The outbreak in eastern Ontario comes on the heels of a deadly outbreak at a long-term care in Bobcaygeon, Ont., and another at a facility in Scarborough, in Toronto’s east end.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford, who has called for increased testing in that province, said he wants to see tests of front-line health workers — including long-term care staff — as well as tests of seniors living in nursing home facilities.
“We need to start testing everybody possible,” Ford said Wednesday as the province faced questions about testing shortfalls.
The issue of how to protect the elderly and vulnerable is an issue around the world as case numbers rise. According to a database maintained by Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins University, there are almost 1.5 million known COVID-19 cases worldwide, with almost 90,000 deaths. The true numbers are almost certainly much higher because of limited testing, different rules for counting the dead and concealment by some governments.
Japan reported more than 500 new cases for the first time Thursday, a worrisome rise since it has the world’s oldest population and COVID-19 can be especially serious in the elderly. Hard-hit Italy, which has recorded more than 17,000 deaths, has the oldest population in Europe.
In Belgium, authorities in the French-speaking Walloon region have requested the support of the armed forces to tackle the worrying situation at nursing homes, where several hundred residents have died because of COVID-19. According to official figures released this month, a third of the deaths linked to the deadly virus in the region of southern Belgium have been registered in resting homes.
The Public Health Agency of Canada has described COVID-19 as a “serious” health threat and said the risk to Canadians is considered high.
Here’s what’s happening in the provinces and territories
As of 7:30 a.m. ET on Thursday, Canada had reported 19,291 confirmed and presumptive cases. The provinces and territories that offer data about cases that are considered to be recovered listed 4,666 cases as resolved. CBC News has counted a total of 476 COVID-19-related deaths in Canada, and there are two known coronavirus-related deaths of Canadians abroad.
Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, has urged people across the country to behave as though COVID-19 is in their community, even if there are no known cases. Health officials have also reiterated that case numbers don’t offer a complete picture as that data doesn’t capture people who have not been tested or potential cases still under investigation.
British Columbia’s COVID-19 death toll is at 48 after the province recorded five more deaths. Dr. Bonnie Henry, the province’s top health officer, urged people not to travel over the coming long weekend. Read more about what’s happening in B.C.
Alberta says its supply of critical equipment — including ventilators and personal protective equipment — should carry it through the expected COVID-19 peak if the province doesn’t hit the more “extreme” of the projected scenarios. The province projects its peak in coronavirus-related hospitalizations to come in late May. Read more about what’s happening in Alberta.
In Saskatchewan, health officials say it’s too soon to tell when COVID-19 will peak in the province. Dr. Jenny Basran, senior medical information officer for the Saskatchewan Health Authority, said the province is on “a better trajectory than in our ‘what-if’ scenarios, but at the moment we do not have enough information to know for certain.” Read more about what’s happening in Saskatchewan.
WATCH | See how ERs are preparing for COVID-19:
A worker at a Winnipeg nursing home has tested positive for COVID-19 and is now home in self-isolation. Health officials in Manitoba said Wednesday that 20 health workers have tested positive for the virus. Read more about what’s happening in Manitoba.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford says his “patience is running thin” over COVID-19 testing rates. The province has the capacity to run up to 13,000 tests daily but the swabs coming in have fallen short of that. Read more about what’s happening in Ontario.
In Quebec, reported COVID-19 cases have topped 10,000, with 175 deaths. Premier François Legault said Wednesday that the province has a better sense of when cases might peak, but cautioned people to stay vigilant about measures like physical distancing. Read more about what’s happening in Quebec.
New Brunswick’s top public health official is warning people not to gather over the long weekend. “You may think, ‘It’s just my family,’ or ‘It’s just my friends.’ But the COVID-19 virus may be an uninvited guest at your table, brought along by someone who has only mild symptoms, or no symptoms at all. Do not let that happen,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell. Read more about what’s happening in N.B.
Ten per cent of reported COVID-19 cases in Nova Scotia are believed to be from community transmission, the province’s top doctor says. “We have more of our recent cases that are under investigation where it’s not as clear-cut that there’s a clear explanation, and therefore we may end up concluding there is community spread,” said Dr. Robert Strang. Read more about what’s happening in N.S.
“There’s truly different epidemics happening in different provinces,” said <a href=”https://twitter.com/BogochIsaac?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@BogochIsaac</a> explaining why COVID-19 projections vary so much from province to province. “There’s certainly local circumstances… we can’t expect everyone to be in sync.” <a href=”https://t.co/jVo78oJoWf”>pic.twitter.com/jVo78oJoWf</a>
Prince Edward Island officials believe the province could see thousands more COVID-19-related job losses. Read more about what’s happening on P.E.I.
A projection suggests Newfoundland and Labrador could have a shortage of intensive care beds as COVID-19 case numbers rise. Premier Dwight Ball said the numbers show why people must continue to follow public health orders over the long weekend and beyond. Read more about what’s happening in N.L.
Yukon has reported another COVID-19 case, bringing the territory’s total to eight. Read more about what’s happening across Canada’s North, including a plan to invest in testing capacity in the Northwest Territories.
Here’s a look at what’s happening in the U.S.
From The Associated Press, updated at 6:30 a.m. ET
The U.S. has by far the most confirmed cases of COVID-19 of any nation, with over 430,000 people infected. New York state on Wednesday recorded its highest one-day increase in deaths, 779, for an overall death toll of almost 6,300, more than 40 per cent of the U.S. total of around 15,000.
“The bad news is actually terrible,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. Still, the governor said hospitalizations are decreasing and many of those now dying fell ill in the outbreak’s earlier stages.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the United States’ top infectious-diseases expert, said the Trump administration has been working on plans to eventually reopen the country amid evidence that physical distancing is working to stop the virus’s spread.
But he said it’s not time to scale back such measures: “Keep your foot on the accelerator because this is what is going to get us through this,” he said at Wednesday’s White House briefing.
Vice-President Mike Pence warned that Philadelphia was emerging as a potential hot spot. Washington, D.C., Louisiana, Chicago, Detroit and Colorado were also seeing worsening outbreaks.
Pence said he would speak to leaders in African American communities who are concerned about disproportionate impacts from the virus. Fauci acknowledged that historic disparities in health care have put African Americans at risk for diseases that make them more vulnerable in the outbreak.
Here’s a look at what’s happening around the world, including the latest from Spain and Italy — as well as reports of reinfection in South Korea
From The Associated Press, Reuters and CBC News, updated at 8:30 a.m. ET
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was reportedly improving on Thursday in intensive care, where he is battling COVID-19, as his government extended its overdraft facility and reviewed the most stringent shutdown in peacetime history.
“Things are getting better for him,” said Culture Minister Oliver Dowden. “He’s stable, improving, sat up and engaged with medical staff.” On Thursday, Johnson’s spokesperson said he had a good night at St .Thomas’ Hospital in central London and is able to contact people if needed.
In Spain, confirmed case numbers rose to 152,446, the health ministry said Thursday. The death toll in the country also rose, marking a grim new milestone as it passed 15,000.
There were 542 deaths from COVID-19 in Italy on Wednesday, lower than the 604 the day before, taking the total death toll to 17,669. There were 3,693 people in intensive care, down from 3,792 on Tuesday, marking the fifth daily decline in a row.
Italy may start gradually lifting some restrictions in place to contain the novel coronavirus by the end of April, provided the spread of the disease continues to slow, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte told the BBC on Thursday: “We need to pick sectors that can restart their activity. If scientists confirm it, we might begin to relax some measures already by the end of this month,” Conte said.
In Germany, the health minister said restrictions on public life are flattening the curve of new coronavirus cases. “The number of newly reported infections is flattening out, we are seeing a linear increase again rather than the dynamic, exponential increase we saw in mid-March,” Health Minister Jens Spahn said.
South Korea says at least 74 people who had been diagnosed as recovered from the novel coronavirus tested positive for the second time after they were released from hospitals.
Jeong Eun-kyeong, director of South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Thursday health authorities were testing virus and serum samples to determine whether patients who tested positive again would be capable of transmitting the virus to others and whether their bodies had properly created antibodies.
She said some of the patients didn’t show any symptoms before their follow-up tests turned positive, while others were tested again because they were exhibiting respiratory symptoms. She said none of these patients so far have seen their illness worsen to serious conditions.
Singapore confirmed 287 new coronavirus infections on Thursday, the biggest daily increase yet, taking the total there to 1,910, its Health Ministry said. More than 200 of the new cases were linked to outbreaks in foreign worker dormitories.
Indian authorities have identified and sealed dozens of hot spots in the Indian capital and the neighbouring Uttar Pradesh state to check the rising trajectory of new coronavirus infections. Government statements late Wednesday said people will be given food, medicines and other supplies at their doorsteps and they will not be allowed to leave these areas.
Authorities also made it compulsory for people to wear face masks when stepping outdoors in areas not covered by these restrictions in the two states. The sealing of hot spots came as the number of confirmed cases in India crossed the 5,000 mark, with 166 deaths, according to India’s Health Ministry.
Iran’s coronavirus death toll has risen by 117 to 4,110, Health Ministry spokesperson Kianush Jahanpur said on Thursday. The total number of infected people with the novel coronavirus has reached 66,220, he said.
The World Bank says sub-Saharan Africa is expected to fall into recession for the first time in a quarter-century amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Africa, which has more than 10,000 documented cases across the continent, has had some of the world’s fastest-growing economies in recent years. The World Bank says African nations will require a “debt service standstill” and other financial assistance. African leaders have been calling for debt relief, warning the pandemic will continue to threaten the world if any region goes without needed support.
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- Health21 hours ago
COVID-19 in Sask: 11 new cases in province, total rises to 271 – CBC.ca