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First European in Italy died of coronavirus – Bandera County Courier



First European in Italy died of coronavirus

In Italy the first European died of coronavirus. The victim is a 78 -year-old Italian , who had previously tested positive for the virus, said Italy’s Health Minister Roberto Speranza on Friday. The minister further explained that the man was treated for another illness about ten days ago in a hospital in the Veneto region in northern Italy. A death had already been reported in France a few days ago. However, this was a tourist from China. (AFP)

Italian cities close schools and authorities

Out of fear of further spread of the new corona virus at least ten northern Italian cities the immediate closure of schools, authorities and other public buildings. Grocery stores, bars, discos and sports centers in the affected areas should also be closed for at least a week, Italy’s Minister of Health Roberto Speranza said after a crisis meeting that had been called up for more than a dozen new cases of infection in northern Italy.

14 According to the authorities, people were killed in Lombardy in and around the small town of Codogno tested positive for the virus. Everyone had apparently visited the same bar beforehand and had contact with the same people. In the affected areas in Lombardy, the authorities called 50. 00 0 people don’t try to leave their homes. Two other cases have been confirmed in the Veneto region by local authorities.

The Mayor of the Lombard city of Codogno had previously ordered that all be public Building of the 15. 00 0 -Inhabitant location should remain closed for a period of up to five days. Several positive corona virus tests in the community “created an alarm situation,” said Francesco Passerini.

Covid’s lung disease – 19 according to local authorities, among other things, one 38 – year old man in Codogno, who is now being treated in an intensive care unit. In addition, his pregnant wife and a friend of the patient were infected. (AFP)

WHO raises alarm

Im Fighting the new corona virus have new ones Foci of infection in and outside of China the World Health Organization WHO alarmed. WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned on Friday that “Time window” to contain the epidemic is closing. Before there were new ones Foci of infection reported from both China and several other countries Service. Four people in Iran have already died of the lung disease Covid – 19.

“We are still in a phase where containment is possible is, “said Ghebreyesus.” But the time window is closing more and more. “If the world doesn’t go “hard” against the virus now, it’ll face you “serious problem”.

The Chinese authorities admitted that there are in several prisons across the country more than 500 infected give. 230 Infections were found only in the women’s prison in Wuhan, the epicenter of the Epidemic, registered. In addition to the Hubei province, there are also eastern ones Shandong and Zhejiang provinces with coronavirus cases. Also kicked in the Beijing Fuxing Hospital, new infections are piling up.

of China Head of state Xi Jinping said at a Politburo meeting, the culmination of the Epidemic “had not yet come”, especially the situation in Hubei was still “dark and complicated” . In Hubei, the causative agent was in December Respiratory disease Covid – 19 was first found in humans. In Mainland China has so far been around according to the authorities 75. 00 0 people with the virus, more than 2200 of them died. (AFP)

Celebrated doctor in Wuhan dies of coronavirus

The 29 year-old doctor Peng Yinhua from Wuhan died from a coronavirus infection. The newspaper “China Daily” reports. Peng, who works at First People’s Hospital, was celebrated in the media for his efforts. He had postponed his wedding to devote himself to fighting the virus. (Tsp)

Training of volunteers for Olympic Games in Tokyo postponed

Training of volunteers for the Olympic Games 2020 in Tokyo have been suspended due to the corona virus. The organizing committee announced that the training unit scheduled for Saturday would be postponed. The volunteers have been preparing for their work at the summer games since October.

The organizers emphasized in the Notice again that despite the dangers of spreading the Sars-CoV-2 virus there are no considerations , “cancel the games” . The postponement of the training had no influence on the preparation. (AP)

Two more dead in Iran

According to the Ministry of Health, there are in Iran two more Covid – 19 – patient died. “In the last few days there have been positive test results with 13 other coronavirus Sars-CoV-2 patients and unfortunately two of them have died in the meantime, ”tweeted Ministry spokesman Kianusch Dschahnpur.

Of the 13 patients come from the capital Tehran, seven from the city of Qom and four from the Gilan province on the Caspian Sea in Northern Iran , said the spokesman. The spokesman did not give any further details about the two dead and the patients.

Yes on Wednesday in Qom were two patients with the lung disease Covid caused by the virus – 19 died. It is said to be two older men who were brought to the hospital with breathing problems earlier this week. Both were found to have Sars-CoV-2. It is also unclear where the infections came from. According to the local authorities, the people affected have not been abroad recently and not even outside their hometown Qom. They also had no contact with Chinese tourists. Both are said to have had pre-existing conditions: they were victims of chemical weapons, it was said, during the Iran-Iraq war. (AP)

Im Irak wird die Köpertemperatur eines Rückkehrers aus dem Iran gemessen.
In Iraq, the body temperature of a returnee from Iran is measured. Image: Haidar Hamdani / AFP

Lebanon reports first case – woman came from Iran

in Lebanon authorities report the first Corona case. It is a 45 year old woman who came to Lebanon on Thursday with a passenger flight from the Iranian Ghom. The woman was quarantined in a Beirut hospital. According to the Minister of Health, there are also two suspected cases. (Reuters)

Economy in the euro area not yet affected

The coronavirus epidemic in China did not initially affect the economy in February Euro area hit. The purchasing manager index for the currency union , which summarizes industry and service providers, climbed surprisingly by 0.3 to 51, 6 points. That comes from the monthly survey of the institute IHS Markit under around 4000 companies. The barometer thus remained above the growth threshold of 50 counters. economists surveyed by Reuters had a decline to 51, 0 points expected . “The economy in the euro zone picked up somewhat in February, although many companies were disturbed by the corona virus in various ways,” said Markit chief economist Chris Williamson.

In Germany, the purchasing manager index fell minimally by 0.1 51, 1 points. Despite the virus crisis, German industry slowed down: Here the barometer surprisingly climbed by 2.5 47,8th Points. Economists, on the other hand, had expected a decline. (Reuters)

So far, the faults in production due to delivery problems have been fairly limited. But we are only at the beginning of a story that could take longer.

Economist Phil Smith on effects on the German economy

15 Returnees from China landed in Stuttgart

In Stuttgart are 15 other Germans arrived in China from the area particularly affected by the coronavirus. The plane landed at Stuttgart Airport in the afternoon, as a spokeswoman for the State Social Ministry said. The returnees were immediately examined medically and are said to be isolated in a hotel in Kirchheim unter Teck near Stuttgart. (AFP)

Rückkehrer aus China kommen am Hotel an.
Returnees from China arrive at the hotel. Image: Tom Weller / dpa

World Health Organization lacks money

With Ebola in the Congo and the new one, currently especially in China circulating lung disease Covid – 19 the World Health Organization ( WHO) for the first time to deal with two health emergencies of international scope at the same time . She urgently needs money for both of them, but the funds flow only sparingly, as she announced in Geneva. In the case of the Sars-CoV-2 coronavirus, the Covid – 19, the WHO therefore needs 625 million euros.

For example, countries with weak health systems are supported so that they are prepared in the event of an outbreak. By April there should be almost 57 million euros are used, but so far only 1.1 million euros, two percent of the total, went to the accounts of the WHO , as the organization announced. The money comes from Ireland, Slovakia and from a UN-owned pot. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Canada, the Czech Republic, Japan, Norway and Great Britain had promised money.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus repeatedly emphasizes that it’s a lot cheaper is to invest in prevention and preparation now than later with the Consequences of spreading the virus to live.

For the fight against Ebola the demand from January to June was according to WHO information 77 Million Euros. Of which were still missing 37 Millions. (AP)

WHO-Chef Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Image: Denis Balibouse / Reuters

China returnees in Berlin can go home on Sunday

For the 20 China returnees in Berlin will end the two-week quarantine on Sunday due to the Sars-CoV-2 coronavirus. Even in the fourth and last test, no infection was detected in humans, said Lena Högemann, spokeswoman for the health administration. The 16 Adults and four children are allowed in the course of Sunday go home.

They were accommodated in an isolated area on the grounds of the DRK clinics in Köpenick. The Germans and their family members had in the severe of the lung disease Covid – 19 affected Chinese city of Wuhan was stopped and had been flown out. (AP)

In Bavaria only two patients in clinic

In Bavaria only two of the original 14 treated with coronavirus patients in hospital. Another patient has meanwhile been discharged from the Munich Clinic Schwabing , said the Bavarian Ministry of Health.

Prerequisites for dismissal include several negative tests for the Sars-CoV-2 virus . The Robert Koch Institute has defined the criteria.

All 14 Corona cases in the Free State were related to the Stockdorf auto supplier Webasto. A Chinese colleague had introduced the pathogen during a business trip in January. Some employees were infected, and relatives were sometimes infected. (AP)

Ukrainian government sees “information war”

Ukrainian Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk sees his country exposed to an “information war” that is fueling fear of the corona virus. He referred to fake emails that were allegedly sent by the Ministry of Health. It reported falsely about deaths. Due to the uncertainties, violent protests against patients who had been evacuated from China occurred outside a hospital in Novi Sanzhary. 24 Demonstrators were arrested. (Reuters)

Sicherheitskräfte bewachen den Eingang der Klinik.
Security guards guard the entrance to the clinic. Image: AFP

China returnees in Baden-Württemberg are in hotel quarantine

The expected returnees from the Chinese who have been particularly affected by the new corona virus As a precaution , the province of Hubei should be isolated in a hotel in Kirchheim / Teck (Esslingen district) . In China are all 15 people negative for the disease the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Social Affairs in Stuttgart announced. The travelers first landed in Paris. Immediately after arrival in Stuttgart they should be examined again at the airport.

The returnees are looked after by the German Red Cross (DRK). The passengers are German citizens and their relatives. You have been abroad for a longer time and no longer have a permanent residence in Germany. People should 14 Stay in quarantine for days to ensure that no illness has occurred, the Ministry of Social Affairs said.

The local health department of the Esslingen district is responsible. All measures that are required from a medical point of view according to current knowledge are ordered. According to the information provided by the DRK, around 40 employee entrusted with the case. It had already operated a quarantine station in Germersheim (Rhineland-Palatinate) and is currently looking after one in Berlin. (AP)

IMF is considering economic stimulus measures in large industrialized countries

The managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Kristalina Georgiewa, has announced joint economic stimulus measures from the major industrialized countries if the economic effects of the corona epidemic necessitate this. “If we find that the epidemic will have more serious consequences than previously thought, we will take coordinated measures to support the global economy” , she said to the “mirror”.

This weekend, the finance ministers of the 20 largest industrialized countries in the Saudi Arabian riad advised on the situation. The IMF boss does not rule out that the virus could cause greater damage than the Sars epidemic before 17 years . “This virus is different, and China is more than twice the global economy than it was then,” she said.

Georgiewa called on the EU countries to support the planned green deal with appropriate reforms in their financial sector. “The governments in Berlin, Paris or Brussels have to ask themselves how they can mobilize private capital more effectively,” she said. “Necessary are progress in the European Capital Markets Union and more cross-border mergers in the banking sector. “

IWF-Chefin Kristalina Georgiewa.
IMF chief Kristalina Georgiewa. Image: Nicholas Kamm / AFP

More and more infections in China’s prisons

In Chinese Prisons in at least three provinces in the country have so far more than 450 inmates and seven supervisors with the novel Corona virus infected. Prisons in the severely affected by the lung disease Covid – 19 affected Hubei province in central China, but also in eastern provinces of Zhejiang and Shandong, as reported by the newspaper “Global Times”.

As a consequence, the responsible Detention centers and judiciary in Zhejiang and Shandong have been released from their posts. In the province of Hubei alone 220 infections have been reported – In a “handwritten report” from the prison administration, because there is no computer-based reporting system, as the newspaper reported.

In Rencheng Prison in Shandong there are more 207 infections, including seven police officers. The provincial judicial administration party leader was fired because he had not prevented the outbreak, the newspaper said. Also in Zhejiang province are in the Shilifang Detention Center 34 inmates infected, the sheet reported on Twitter. They were brought to hospital for treatment.

In the cramped and crowded Chinese prison With poor medical care, the virus could spread easily, the “Global Times” quoted an official who did not want to be named. “It is not easy to discover suspect patients with inadequate medical facilities in prisons and to prevent the transmission channels in good time.” (Dpa)

Ein Justizbeamter in einem Gefängnis in Peking.
A judicial officer in a Beijing prison. Image: Diego Azubel / dpa

China expects foreign trade to collapse

The Chinese government expects foreign trade to collapse in the first two months due to the coronavirus epidemic of the year. “We expect import and export growth to slow sharply in January and February,” said Li Xingqian, director of the Department of Commerce’s foreign trade department. Exports contribute about a fifth to the gross domestic product of the export world champion.

There are numerous factories to curb the epidemic quiet. Others have difficulty restarting production due to a lack of labor and raw materials after the forced break. The government therefore wants to help companies. The Ministry of Commerce is currently investigating which tax, financial and insurance measures are suitable. It is expected that foreign companies in most parts of the country will resume production by the end of February.

Not just the industry, but also the service providers are suffering from the epidemic. The outbreak is also putting significant pressure on this area, said Xian Guoyi, director of the Department of Services and Commercial Services. The tourism and transport sectors in particular are suffering. (Reuters)

Machine with Chinese returnees is late

The arrival of a machine in Stuttgart with returnees out the Chinese city of Wuhan, which is particularly affected by the new corona virus, is delayed. The plane with 15 People are likely to meet against 12. 00 clock on, announced the German Red Cross (DRK) on Friday. According to the plan, the travelers should stop in Paris. The authorities assume that the passengers are healthy. The health authorities are prepared for the arrival of people, said a spokesman for the bath -wuerttemberg Ministry of Social Affairs. The returnees would still be examined at the airport. Then they should be brought to a quarantine station in the Esslingen district. The DRK had already operated a quarantine station in Germersheim (Rhineland-Palatinate) and is currently looking after one in Berlin. (AP)

Hundreds are allowed to leave the cruise ship

More than 400 Passengers of the cruise ship “Diamond Princess” in front of Yokohama are preparing to leave the ship. 3700 People on board the ship have been in quarantine since February 3, at 600 the virus was detected by them. Two of them, Japanese in their eighties, died on Thursday. (Reuters)

Japan continues Olympic preparations despite virus

Japan continues despite Concern for the new coronavirus preparations for the Olympic Games in around five months away. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has confidence in Japan’s handling of the Sars-CoV-2 pathogen, said Japanese government spokesman Yoshihide Suga in Tokyo. It will coordinate closely with the IOC, the organizing committee and the Tokyo city government as the host. Preparations for the games from 24. July to August 9th would be continued so that athletes and spectators can “feel safe” during the games said Suga.

With more than 700 Cases, Japan counts most infections with the new pathogen outside of China. Alone 634 of which so far affect people who are on board the to Cruise ship “Diamond Princess” quarantined two days ago. Nevertheless, fear of the virus is affecting more and more sporting events in Japan.

After the organizers of the traditional Tokyo marathon recently decided that in This year only top athletes, but no amateurs are allowed to participate, the same has now been decided for the women’s marathon in Nagoya. The city marathon in Nagoya was also canceled entirely. In addition, the Japanese Association of Parasporters canceled one 28. February three-day bocce competition planned, which should also compete with foreigners.

of Japan Health Minister Katsunobu Kato called on the organizers of various events to rethink their plans. However, the government is not currently demanding a cancellation. After discussions with the World Health Organization (WHO), the IOC is convinced that the Tokyo Olympics do not have to be canceled or relocated to another location due to the corona virus.

John Coates, chair of the IOC Coordinating Commission, said last week in the Japanese capital that “the games will be played in a manner that is safe for athletes and spectators.” The head of the Japanese Olympic Committee, Yoshiro Mori, had previously confirmed that the planning would not be affected by the new lung disease. The games have the slogan “United by Emotion” (” United by feeling “). The motto emphasizes the power of sport to bring people from different backgrounds together, according to the organizing committee. (AP)

Die Olympischen Spiele sollen 24. Juli starten.
The Olympic Games are said to be 24. Start July. Image: Jae C. Hong / AP / dpa

Control of the infectious disease is a top priority – this effort connects all countries in the world. A guest contribution by the Chinese ambassador.

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COVID-19 cases jump by 40 in Manitoba – Brandon Sun



Manitoba announced 40 new cases of COVID-19 in the province on Thursday, the largest single-day increase so far during the pandemic.

Thursday’s numbers bring the total number of cases up to 167, including 11 in the Prairie Mountain Health region, said the province’s chief public health officer, Dr. Brent Roussin. The total number of deaths remains at one, and five people are in intensive care.

The news follows the announcement on Wednesday that community transmission had started in the province. Roussin said there are five cases that Manitoba Health can’t trace back to travel or contact with another infected person. At this point, community transmission is only happening in Winnipeg, but he said everyone in the province should be taking the same social distancing measures.

“We want to ensure that people are aware that once we see this virus in the community at low levels, it’s possible to acquire that virus should you not practise social distancing,” he said.

“Stay home if you can, it limits your risk to acquiring this virus, it limits the risk to others of spreading this virus, so stay home as much as you can. That will be your biggest contribution to decreasing the spread of this virus.”

Now is not the time for any travel, even to cottages, Roussin said. While people may believe it allows them to more effectively isolate, it will put increased strain on rural health-care systems if they do get sick.

Several outbreaks of the virus have been identified in Manitoba health-care facilities, including at a personal care home in Gimli and the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg. Approximately 40 nurses at the Health Sciences Centre are self-isolating after possible exposure to the virus, while one worker at Betel Home in Gimli tested positive, he said.

In response, Lanette Siragusa, Shared Health’s chief nursing officer, announced health-care workers in hospitals, testing centres and other places will begin wearing surgical masks, gloves and gowns during all contact with patients. She said Manitoba Health has enough personal protective equipment to sustain the measure and more will be distributed according to need.

Shared Health is working on implementing the change at sites across the province and she said more information would be shared with people Thursday. 

“We have plans for this eventuality and the escalation of cases in recent days at health-care facilities means it is time for us to implement this change,” she said.

Hospital patients and personal care home residents who had close contact with people who tested positive for COVID-19 are also being tested, she said.

“These cases cause us all a great deal of concern, and we cannot emphasize enough the responsibility that all Manitobans have to do what we can to slow the spread of this virus,” she said.

In response to a question about opening hospitals dedicated to the virus, Siragusa said Manitoba Health is planning COVID-19 wards in hospitals across the province. It isn’t feasible to have all cases in one building, but hospitals — including the Brandon Regional Health Centre — could focus staff in one area to treat all patients with the virus.

“The concept is we can’t have it all in one site, but we can have them all united in one unit so the staff are concentrated there,” she said.

According to a spokesperson for Prairie Mountain Health, 342 people had been tested so far at the Brandon testing site as of the end of the day on April 1. At the Dauphin testing site, 23 people had been tested as of April 1.

Both testing sites are by referral only and are not walk-in clinics.

As of Thursday, the Cadham Provincial Laboratory had performed 11,327 tests in total.


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Ontario needs 900 new ICU beds to cope with coming surge in COVID-19 patients, models suggest –



Ontario will have to add nearly 900 new intensive-care beds to its existing supply to be able to handle the surge in COVID-19 patients forecast under the best-case scenario in provincial models of the pandemic.

The province has an estimated 415 ICU beds available now, as the Ford government attempts to create the hundreds of new spaces experts expect they’ll need.

The additional beds would result in an approximate total of 1,300 dedicated ICU beds for COVID-19 patients.

The models released by the province on Friday suggest an increase in demand that could, in the best-case scenario, peak on April 18, but remain below Ontario’s total capacity if all 900 new beds are made available by then.

In the worst-case scenario, demand for ICU beds would rise sharply until at least the end of April, exceeding the province’s capacity as early as April 14, even with all 900 new spaces. 

However, that scenario will likely never come to pass, as signs indicate that the number of COVID-19 patients isn’t actually increasing as quickly as researchers thought it would. 

As seen in this graph released Friday as part of COVID-19 modelling projections, provincial health experts predict that there will be 80,000 cases by the end of April if the province sticks to its current intervention measures. (Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care)

Health officials say a continued commitment to physical distancing will help Ontario avoid the untenable strain on hospitals suggested by the worst-case numbers.

“If we can keep the prevalence of the disease to a lower level, the capacity that we have online, or that we could bring online, would indeed be sufficient,” said Matthew Anderson, president and CEO of Ontario Health.

The latest models also suggest that between 3,000 and 15,000 people will die of COVID-19 in Ontario during the pandemic. The model also forecasts 80,000 total cases by the end of April.

Few ICU beds remain at several GTA hospitals

Data obtained by CBC News shows a rapidly dwindling number of ICU beds in the Greater Toronto Area.

Just nine critical-care beds remain available among the 153 ICU beds in the hospitals of the Central Local Health Integration Network. Reports also show just 18 ICU beds available among the 130 critical care beds among the hospitals in the Mississauga Halton Local Health Integration Network

The Ontario government has given permission to all hospitals in the province to expand their capacity for COVID-19 patients, though it is not yet clear if they will have the staff necessary to accommodate that growth.

Health Minister Christine Elliott said the province is recruiting retired nurses, medical students and other volunteers to help staff overstretched hospital departments. 

Elliott said other hospitals may begin renting hotels, motels or retirement homes to increase capacity. Others, she said, are using field hospitals to prepare for the influx of patients. 

Christine Elliott says the province set up a website where people can volunteer to help staff overstretched hospital departments. 1:44

“That is something that is calibrated on an hour-by-hour basis, depending on where the outbreaks are happening,” Elliott said on Friday.

“We are ready to go, depending on where the hotspots are with COVID-19 and what each individual hospital needs, but they all have an individual plan in place right now to expand their capacity.”

There’s a ‘war being fought,’ emergency doctor warns

But some frontline workers say there’s not much more room to expand past their current capacity. 

Dr. Brett Belchetz, a Toronto emergency room physician, said although their hospital isn’t yet overrun, they’re not far from their limit. 

“If volumes are going to go up tremendously … we certainly will very quickly be in a situation where we will not have the equipment or the space or the supplies to care for those people,” Belchetz said in an interview with CBC Toronto.  

Although he said fewer COVID-19 patients are arriving at his emergency room, most of the people who are coming in are quite sick. 

Dr. Brett Belchetz says it’s been a ‘crazy few weeks’ in his hospital’s emergency room. (CBC)

And what people need to understand, Betchez said, is that “there is a war being fought out there.” 

If the province’s COVID-19 restrictions are unsuccessful, he said there won’t be enough ventilators to help all patients who are critically ill.

“The only way that we can stop that from happening is to prolong the outbreak to make sure we don’t have all those cases at the same time,” Beltchetz said.

“We cannot let our guard down.”

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Google Mobility Reports a slippery slope: cyber security expert – Global News



In an effort to assist governments with ensuring residents are remaining in their homes during the COVID-19 outbreak Google has provided Mobility Reports which depict growing and shrinking trends in a number of activities.

In both Nova Scotia and New Brunswick the sections outlining retail and recreation, grocery and pharmacy, transit use and attending the workplace all declined significantly.

READ MORE: Nova Scotia surpasses 200 COVID-19 cases

However, two other sections actually saw increases: residential, which refers to time spent at home, climbed by eight percent in New Brunswick and five in Nova Scotia. But the other – parks – rose dramatically by 101 per cent and 95, respectively.

For Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil, the last section continues to be a source of frustration while a state of emergency continues in the province.

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“At a glance, Nova Scotia is not doing well when it comes to staying away from our parks and beaches,” he said Friday before the conclusion of the day’s COVID-19 update with Dr. Robert Strang, the province’s chief medical officer of health.

“We don’t need online graphs to tell us what we need to do. We need to stay the blazes home.”

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This type of data tracking isn’t new, nor is the idea of government’s using it to keep tabs on their citizens.

Coronavirus outbreak: ‘Critical time’ as Nova Scotia sees signs of community spread, officials say

Coronavirus outbreak: ‘Critical time’ as Nova Scotia sees signs of community spread, officials say

But it’s what’s done in the coming weeks and months surrounding the use of this technology that some cyber security experts say requires strong surveillance.

“History shows us governments, when they take on emergency powers during a crisis, don’t generally give those powers back,” explained David Shipley, CEO of Beauceron Security, a Fredericton firm that specializes in helping businesses become and remain secure online. “Any attempts to use this data has to have some careful consideration given to the sunset clauses.”

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“We need to know that after this emergency is over clearly they’re going to stop using that data and they’re going to delete the data they have gained,” he said.

Within the current climate, residents have been asked to remain at home as much as possible to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

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Tracking devices during this state of emergency can certainly help give local governments and law enforcement a better idea of how well that is or isn’t being observed.

READ MORE: Surge in Canadian mobile and data use leads to complaints about service

But Shipley warns that the data gained from tracking mobile users isn’t foolproof and could lead to problems if used to target or surveil individuals, rather than amass information.

“The data can be flawed,” Shipley said.

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“The data accuracy of location data depends on the quality of the measurement,” he explained. “If you’re a person living in an urban area in Atlantic Canada like Halifax and you’re close to your wifi and other data points, the more data points the more accurate it is.”

“But if you’re living in rural Atlantic Canada and you only have the cell phone signal for example, maybe not the GPS data, it can be as inaccurate as a couple of miles.”

The possibility of the data coming through inaccurately Shipley says should influence how it’s used, likening it to political polls rather than a scientific study.

Driver dies of COVID-19 weeks after complaining of passenger’s cough

Driver dies of COVID-19 weeks after complaining of passenger’s cough

He says while it can be used as a guide, citing how a mobility report uptick in trips to parks could then be followed up on, it’s critical that the way people’s personal data is monitored closely and their right to privacy isn’t taken away unknowingly.

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“Using good data to make public policy decisions at an aggregate, anonymous level, again with respect to individual privacy and ultimately freedom, there’s potential,” he explained. “But tracking down individuals and treating us all like we’re under house arrest is a future I don’t think we signed up for.”

Although right now there’s no indication individual surveillance is being considered, it’s not that far-fetched according to Shipley who says it’s already ongoing elsewhere in the world.

“We actually saw examples in Asia, South Korea and Taiwan, where folks who took their devices off of them actually got visits from police because now they couldn’t be tracked,” Shipley explained. “If people start knocking on your doors to make sure you’re respecting quarantine because you haven’t had your device on you, well that’s effectively house arrest.”

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Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

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To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.”

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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