The latest on the coronavirus pandemic. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death.
Black Press Media posted these files from the Associated Press at 6 a.m., Monday, March 30.
TOP OF THE HOUR:
- Spain surpasses China in coronavirus infections tally.
- Japan’s main medical association suggests declaring a state of emergency.
- Tokyo Olympics rescheduled to start July 23, 2021.
Olympics delayed one year
TOKYO The Tokyo Olympics will open next year in July, the same slot scheduled for this year’s games.
Tokyo organizers say the opening ceremony will take place July 23, 2021. That is almost exactly one year after the games were due to start this year. The IOC and Japanese organizers last week postponed the Olympics because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The rescheduled Olympics will start July 23, with the closing ceremony on Aug. 8. The Paralympics were rescheduled to Aug. 24-Sept. 5.
Spain: More than 12,000 health workers test positive
MADRID Authorities in Spain say 12,298 health workers in the country have so far tested positive for the coronavirus.
The figure is 14.4% of the total reported infections, which rose on Monday above 85,000. It placed Spain ahead of China and only behind the United States and Italy in the list of nations with greater contagion.
Medical staff has been a cluster for contagion in Spain, where at least nine of Spain’s 17 regions are close or beyond their limit of occupation of intensive care units.
In the hard-hit Madrid region, the military was building additional field hospitals on Monday.
Portugal: Foreigners left in limbo
LISBON, Portugal Foreigners in Portugal awaiting an official decision on whether they can reside in the country are getting access to public services, such as health care and social security benefits.
The Portuguese government is shutting down the offices of its immigration service on Monday because of the coronavirus. That leaves foreigners waiting for a decision on their legal status in an administrative limbo.
The government says anyone who applied in writing for a residence permit before a state of emergency was declared on March 18 is allowed to work.
The immigration service offices hope to re-open on July 1.
Portugal, which has a population of just over 10 million, has recorded 6,408 cases of the COVID-19 disease and 140 deaths.
Japan: Medical official urges government to declare state of emergency
TOKYO An executive member of Japan’s main medical association urged government officials to consider issuing a state of emergency, saying it will be too late once the coronavirus infection reaches an explosive state.
Satoshi Kamayachi, an executive director of Japan Medical Association and a member of the government-commissioned panel of experts, says the situation warrants a declaration of a state of emergency.
He says most experts at a meeting earlier in the day suggested a state of emergency be issued.
Japan until now was seen as keeping the outbreak under control, but the number of new cases in Tokyo and other cities have spiked since last week. Nationwide, Japan has about 2,600 cases, including 712 from a cruise ship, with 64 deaths. About 1,000 have recovered.
Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike last Wednesday warned its residents that the city is on the verge infection explosion. She asked its 14 million residents to stay at home over the weekend and suggested a possibility of a hard lockdown in the capital city.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters Monday that Japan is on the edge, but has not reached a stage that requires a state of emergency.
Greek PM pressures party to donate 50 per cent of their salaries
ATHENS, Greece Greece’s prime minister is calling on all his cabinet ministers and the lawmakers of his centre-right New Democracy party to donate 50% of their salaries over the next two months.
In a Facebook post Monday, Kyriakos Mitsotakis says the country’s politicians “must stand in the front line of solidarity.” He said the money generated from the “symbolic gesture” would be deposited in a special account set up to tackle COVID-19.
“We are all equal in the face of the health threat. But in the fight against it, each one of us must contribute according to their means,” Mitsotakis wrote in his post. “I am sure that the other (political) parties will also follow this choice.”
Spain: Top spokesperson tests positive
MADRID Spain’s main spokesman in the coronavirus crisis has tested positive for the COVID-19 disease but the results need to be confirmed, authorities announced as the country of 47 million became the third to surpass China in number of infections.
Dr. Fernando Simon, who had become the Spanish government’s face and voice during the crisis, was replaced at Monday’s daily press conference by his deputy, Dr. Maria Jose Sierra.
Simon was initially praised for relaying calm and clarity in the early days of the crisis. But as infections and deaths for the virus mounted, he was heavily criticized for having played down the severity of the outbreak.
Sierra says the increase of daily cases had dropped from an average of 20% before March 25, to 12% in the past five days. She says the drop was due to social distancing and confinement measures in place for the past two weeks.
The official says the main worry for the government now was the pressure on the country’s intensive care units because it could arrive 2 or 3 weeks after the infection.
Sierra says,”Reducing the pressure on the ICUs will be important for considering de-escalation measures.”
Britain: Lockdown is working
LONDON One of the scientists advising the British government on the coronavirus pandemic says there are signs that the effective lockdown of much of the country is working.
Professor Neil Ferguson thinks the epidemic is “just about slowing” as a result of the social distancing measures the government has imposed over the past couple of weeks.
That’s evidenced by the number of new hospital admissions, he told BBC radio.
“It’s not yet plateaued so the numbers can be increasing every day but the rate of that increase has slowed,” he said.
Ferguson, who had to self-isolate himself a couple of weeks ago after showing signs of the COVID-19 illness, says the number of deaths will continue to rise on a daily basis as it is a lagging indicator. Latest figures show that 1,228 people in the U.K. who have tested positive for the virus have died.
The epidemiologist thinks that between 3% to 5% of people in London may have been infected, with between 2% and 3% in the country as a whole.
Laos issues nation-wide lockdown
BANGKOK The Southeast Asian nation of Laos, which detected its first COVID-19 cases last week, has instituted a nationwide lockdown.
The state news agency KPL reports that Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith issued an order effective Monday through April 19 prohibiting all citizens and foreigners from leaving their accommodations except for essential activity such as buying food or medical care. Those engaged in agricultural production are allowed out according to rules from their local authorities.
All international checkpoints are closed except for transport of goods and to allow foreigners to return to their countries.
Laos has nine confirmed cases of the coronavirus with no deaths reported. The country of about 7.4 million people is one of the poorest in Asia.
Myanmar, which also reported its first COVID-19 cases last week, is closing its airports to all commercial passenger flights at midnight Monday through April 13. Exceptions are allowed with official permission for relief flights, all cargo flights and medical evacuations.
Myanmar, with a population of more than 56 million, is also one of the region’s poorer countries. It has 10 confirmed COVID-19 cases with no deaths.
British PM’s top adviser tests positive
LONDON British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s chief adviser, Dominic Cummings, is the latest senior government figure to show symptoms of the coronavirus.
Johnson’s office says Cummings developed symptoms over the weekend and is self-isolating at home.
Johnson announced Friday he has tested positive for COVID-19 and has mild symptoms. Health Secretary Matt Hancock has also tested positive, while the chief medical officer of England, Chris Whitty, says he is self-isolating after showing symptoms.
Senior U.K. officials have been criticized for holding face-to-face meetings until recently, even while urging the rest of the country to stay home and avoid all but essential contact with others.
Cummings is a controversial figure a self-styled political disruptor who helped lead Britain’s pro-Brexit referendum campaign in 2016. He has been blamed for briefing journalists that the U.K. was seeking “herd immunity” against the coronavirus by letting most of the population get it.
The government and its scientific advisers deny that ever was their strategy
<!– View Comments –>
Testing underway after 8 migrant workers at Elgin County farm test positive for coronavirus – Global News
Officials with the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) and Southwestern Public Health (SWPH) say coronavirus testing is underway at a St. Thomas-area farm after at least eight temporary foreign workers tested positive for the virus this week.
An outbreak was declared on Thursday at Ontario Plants Propagation, a greenhouse operation along John Wise Line, days after the MLHU said it first became aware of a case Monday night involving a worker at the farm, health officials said on Friday.
That initial case led to 16 of the worker’s close contacts being tested on Tuesday, with seven of the tests coming back positive. As those workers live in London, the seven are included in the tally of new cases that was reported on Friday by MLHU.
According to the health unit, another 40 workers living at the same complex as the first case were tested on Wednesday at London’s Carling Heights Assessment Centre.
The remaining workers in the group, meanwhile, were to be tested on Friday at Ontario Plants Propagation. Test results for all were expected over the coming days.
“The operator of this farm has been tremendously co-operative with us, and we believe that this outbreak is now contained,” said Dr. Alex Summers, associate medical officer of health with the MLHU, during Friday’s coronavirus media briefing.
“Of course, we will be monitoring that very closely over the next couple of weeks.”
Coronavirus outbreak: How the pandemic has exposed the vulnerabilities in the food supply chain
Summers said the workers had arrived primarily from Guatemala and Jamaica, and that as far as the health unit was aware, all had quarantined for 14 days upon arriving in Ontario.
The workers are currently in self-isolation, and none have been admitted to hospital.
Health officials are still working to find the source of the outbreak, but Summers said it was believed they had been in Canada long enough that they either contracted it here, or “one of the other workers may have had mild symptoms that weren’t identified and transmitted it subsequently to their colleagues.”
“We believe that we have readily identified all close contacts and any additional cases,” Summers said. “Of course, we continue to watch for further results. But those tests have been done.”
Health officials stressed there was no risk to the public from the products grown on the farm, and that they didn’t believe there had been any close exposure or close contact outside of the migrant farmworker community.
“The living conditions for these migrant farmworkers were certainly a congregate living setting, but not exceptionally crowded, nor of specific concern for us,” Summers said.
“They were people living together and that would have resulted in the transmission.”
COVID-19 cases have also been reported at other southwestern Ontario farms during the pandemic.
Fifty-one workers, local and foreign, at Greenhill Produce in Kent Bridge, Ont., tested positive for the coronavirus last month.
In Windsor-Essex, at least 16 workers from three farms in the region had tested positive for the virus as of early this month, the region’s health unit said.
In March, four workers tested positive at Highline Mushrooms in Kingsville, Ont.
Approximately 20,000 migrant workers come to the Ontario each year to work on farms and in greenhouses.
— With files from Shawn Jeffords of The Canadian Press
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
Six people can be added to existing double bubbles, government announces – NTV News
The provincial government announced Friday that residents can expand their bubbles effective immediately.
Up to six more people can be added to an existing double bubble. The new members do not have to be from the same household, but cannot change once added. The government still advises people to keep their bubbles as small as possible.
More guidance can be found online here: https://www.gov.nl.ca/covid-19/individuals-and-households/expansion-of-household-bubble/
Dr. Proton Rahman is scheduled to release new projections Friday on how the COVID-19 pandemic is unfolding.
Dr. Fitzgerald announced no new cases of COVID-19 on Friday.
Ontario ramps up COVID-19 testing – ThePeterboroughExaminer.com
A new testing strategy for COVID-19 will see “targeted campaigns” to check workers in Ontario communities with hot spots and key sectors where the virus spreads easily, including auto manufacturing, food suppliers and major retailers.
Officials unveiled the new blueprint Friday, with elements echoing what Premier Doug Ford has been saying for more than a week — and what epidemiologists have been pushing for much longer — to get a better picture of the illness as the economy reopens.
“It’s really to be proactive and understand what’s happening,” said Dr. Vanessa Allen of Public Health Ontario, who was instrumental in cobbling together a network of provincial, hospital and private labs to expand testing capacity.
For example, workers at LCBO stores were offered testing in the last few days along with Toronto police, said Dr. Dirk Huyer, Ontario’s chief coroner, who was brought in to lead the testing strategy. Several liquor store workers have tested positive in the last few months.
If there are concerns about the virus in a particular business, mobile teams will be sent in to test, he added.
There are also plans to support “enhanced testing” for hospital workers and their families, residents and staff in retirement homes, and more testing in nursing homes, where a first testing blitz of all residents and staff was completed two weeks ago after the new coronavirus raced through hundreds of facilities. About 30 per cent of retirement home testing has been completed.
That testing will continue next week in addition to testing open to the public at Ontario’s 131 assessment centres, which changed their criteria two weeks ago to allow anyone with one symptom of COVID-19 to be swabbed, along with people with no symptoms but occupational risk of exposure, such as health-care workers, their families and grocery-store workers.
Previously, people with mild or moderate symptoms were turned away from testing centres and told to self-isolate at home. Confusion over eligibility prompted Ford to issue a plea for people to get checked under the new criteria.
The goal going forward is to “identify, contain and monitor” new cases and spread of COVID-19, officials said, releasing figures showing 55 per cent of test results are available the next day and 82 per cent within two days.
Aside from communities with a higher number of cases, officials will also focus on “high-risk” individuals, such as hospital patients and cross-border workers.
Officials are aiming to increase Ontario’s lab capacity to get ready for the fall, when more respiratory symptoms will pop up and create “a need for greater testing,” Allen said.
Ontario’s testing for COVID-19 has ramped up this week and is close to peaks rarely reached as the number of cases since the illness arrived four months ago approached 29,000 with almost 2,300 deaths.
Ministry of Health figures released Friday show 18,525 nasal swabs were processed at a network of provincial, hospital and commercial labs across the province the previous day.
The provincial daily lab capacity is just over 20,000.
Results were in progress on another 13,351 samples and there have now been 680,687 tests processed in the province of 14.5 million, or 4.7 per cent of the population.
There were another 391 confirmed and probable cases as of 11 a.m. Friday, according to a Star compilation of data from health units in the previous 24 hours.
That raised the total number of cases to 28,544 and 2,272 deaths.
Get more from the Peterborough Examiner in your inbox
Never miss the latest news from the Peterborough Examiner. Sign up for our email newsletters to get the day’s top stories, your favourite columnists, and much more in your inbox.
About 66 per cent of cases have been in the Greater Toronto Area.
To date, at least 1,625 nursing-home residents have died, and there are outbreaks in 123 homes, down six from the previous day. But 1,476 nursing-home residents and 1,113 staff members are still fighting active cases of the highly contagious virus that spreads easily in close quarters.
The Ministry of Health said there were 826 Ontarians in hospital for COVID-19, with 129 in intensive care and 100 on ventilators. While the first two numbers were down from the previous day, there were six more patients who had to be put on ventilators to breathe.
Just under 21,000 Ontarians have recovered from the virus.
How NHL could transition from paused to handing out Stanley Cup – Sportsnet.ca
Spaced desks, one-way halls, voice technology — your post-COVID-19 office will look much different – National Post
Testing underway after 8 migrant workers at Elgin County farm test positive for coronavirus – Global News
- Media11 hours ago
Creators of 6ixBuzz possibly doxed via social media – insauga.com
- Sports23 hours ago
Bruins win Presidents' Trophy for 2019-20 season – NHL.com
- Media14 hours ago
Trump threatens to remove 'shield' protecting social-media giants from liability for online content – The Globe and Mail
- Science18 hours ago
Tesla’s Musk earns $770M in stock options, company confirms
- News19 hours ago
Canada, allies condemn China on Hong Kong law after contentious Meng ruling – CBC.ca
- Health18 hours ago
Three New COVID-19 Cases In Campbellton Region
- Media18 hours ago
Donald Trump justify his social media crackdown
- Tech17 hours ago
Toronto-based duo create custom puzzles