- Struggling India crosses 1 million coronavirus cases.
- Canada, U.S. confirm extension of travel ban into late August.
- Wealthy countries urged to fund $10.3B UN humanitarian response plan.
- EU holds 1st in-person summit since pandemic with virus recovery fund in spotlight.
- Large swath of Ontario enters new stage of reopening; Toronto remains in Stage 2.
- COVID-19 taking a toll in prisons with high infection rates, CBC News analysis shows.
- U.K. prime minister hoping for ‘a more significant return to normality’ by Christmas.
- Lives remembered: Honouring the Canadians who have died from COVID-19.
The World Health Organization reported a record increase in global coronavirus cases on Friday, with the total rising by 237,743 in 24 hours to approach 14 million cases since the pandemic began.
The biggest increases were from the United States, Brazil, India and South Africa, according to a daily report. The previous WHO record for new cases was 230,370 on July 12. Deaths have held steady and averaged less than 5,000 a day in July.
As of 4:45 p.m. ET on Friday, the global coronavirus case count stood at 13,926,476, with 593,072 deaths and 7,795,469 cases considered recovered, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The actual numbers are likely higher for various reasons, including limited testing.
Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.
India crossed one million coronavirus cases on Friday, third only to the United States and Brazil, prompting concerns about its readiness to confront an inevitable surge that could overwhelm hospitals and test the country’s feeble health-care system.
A surge of 34,956 new cases in the past 24 hours took the national total to 1,003,832.
WATCH | Infectious disease researcher on containing the coronavirus as economy opens up:
In the United States, health officials reported more than 75,000 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, a record daily increase for the seventh time this month, according to a Reuters tally.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government’s top infectious diseases expert, has warned that cases could soon top 100,000 a day if Americans do not come together to take steps necessary to halt the spread of the virus.
Deaths reported in Arizona, California, Florida and Texas are largely the reason the U.S. has the highest death toll for COVID-19 of any country, a tally now exceeding 138,000.
Border restrictions until Aug. 20
Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security says Canada and the United States have agreed to extend their mutual ban on non-essential travel between the two countries until Aug. 20.
Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf tweeted on Thursday the decision, applying to both Canada and Mexico, was made after “close collaboration with our neighbours” to slow the travel-related spread of the virus.
The Canada-U.S. border has been closed to so-called “discretionary” travel like vacations and shopping trips since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold of the continent in mid-March, an agreement that had been set to expire July 21.
Also on Friday, UN officials urged wealthy countries to do more to help developing nations respond to the pandemic. “COVID-19 and the associated global recession are about to wreak havoc in fragile and low-income countries,” Mark Lowcock, a senior official with the United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), said on Friday.
WATCH | Wealthy nations must increase aid to poor countries during COVID-19 crisis, UN official says:
He was speaking at a WHO briefing in Geneva, where he unveiled the UN’s third version since March of its Global Humanitarian Response Plan, now estimated to cost $10.3 billion US to prevent “multiple cascading crises” related to the coronavirus.
He said the pandemic could push up to 100 million people back into poverty this year and urged wealthy countries to fund the response plan.
What’s happening with coronavirus in Canada
As of 4:45 p.m. ET on Friday, Canada had 109,536 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 96,622 of those as recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC’s reporting stood at 8,865.
WATCH | Labour lawyer cautions enforcing mask policies is likely to cause some conflict:
Many parts of Ontario will be moving to the next phase of the province’s COVID-19 recovery plan on Friday.
Stage 3 of the reopening effort takes effect across 24 out of 34 public health units, though the jurisdictions that will keep operating under Stage 2 rules are among the busiest in the province. Stage 3 rules allow restaurants to resume indoor service, and businesses such as bars, gyms and theatres can start welcoming patrons again.
Cineplex says it won’t be opening its theatres in Ontario just yet. The cinema chain confirmed on Friday that it has cut 130 jobs in the U.S. and Canada amid the pandemic, but says it has a “sustainable financial model” and will recover.
The latest rules for the province limit indoor gatherings to a maximum of 50 people, while as many as 100 people are allowed to congregate outdoors. The rules don’t yet apply in the greater Toronto and Hamilton areas, the Niagara region and Windsor-Essex, all of which are still trying to reduce the numbers of local COVID-19 cases.
Ontario added 111 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, for a total of 37,274. Quebec added 141 cases for a total of 57,142.
Saskatchewan announced 42 new cases on Thursday, its highest one-day increase.
Warren Kaeding, the minister for rural health, said the outbreak encompasses Hutterite colonies and a number of rural municipalities, including Maple Creek and Biggar, as well as the city of Swift Current.
WATCH | Provinces to get $19B for ‘safe restart’ of cities:
In Edmonton, an outbreak at Misericordia Community Hospital continues to grow. The hospital now has 53 cases, including 17 that emerged after the institution closed its doors last week when it declared a full facility outbreak. Seven deaths have been linked to the outbreak.
The hospital stopped admitting new patients last week. All services including the emergency department remain closed.
Here’s what’s happening around the world
Argentina will gradually loosen a lockdown that has lasted nearly four months in and around Buenos Aires, President Alberto Fernandez said on Friday, after tougher restrictions since the start of July helped slow the spread of new coronavirus infections.
Fernandez said the gradual return to normal life will happen in several stages, with the first stage lasting until Aug. 2.
In capital Buenos Aires, which has been under the tightest restrictions in the country since March 20, shops, hair salons and some professional services will reopen. Outdoor recreation activities will also be permitted, but schools will remain closed.
The government had come under pressure to begin reopening after facing criticism from opposition lawmakers and growing protests in the streets of Buenos Aires against the lengthy lockdown.
Argentina has confirmed 114,783 cases, with 2,133 deaths, according to the latest official data, numbers that are relatively low compared to many of its South American neighbours.
Brazil hit a grim new marker on Thursday as the health ministry reported the country had reached two million confirmed coronavirus cases.
The total number of cases stood at 2,012,151, up from 1,966,748 the day before. The ministry reported that total deaths stood at 76,688, up from 75,366. The country has recorded more than 1,000 daily COVID-19 deaths on average.
In the U.K., Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday said he hopes the country will be “able to review the outstanding restrictions and allow a more significant return to normality from November at the earliest, possibly in time for Christmas.”
He also offered employers “more discretion” in bringing their employees back to work, starting in August.
WATCH | British PM hoping for ‘significant return to normality’ by Christmas:
However, in unveiling the latest guidelines for a recovery strategy, he told reporters it’s possible the novel coronavirus could become more “virulent” over the winter months, meaning a return to the current restrictions.
Also in the U.K., a 100-year-old man who became a national hero in Britain by raising millions of pounds for health workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, became “Sir Tom” on Friday when he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth.
Captain Tom Moore, a Second World War veteran, raised a record sum of 33 million pounds ($56.2 million Cdn) by walking 100 laps of his garden with the aid of a walker in April in the run-up to his landmark birthday.
Moore, who lives in the village of Marston Moretaine north of London, initially thought he would raise just 1,000 pounds ($1,700 Cdn) for a charity that supports hospitals, staff, volunteers and patients affected by the pandemic.
In Spain, officials in the Catalonia region on Friday urged some four million people, including residents of Barcelona, to stay home, in a major toughening of its response to an increase in coronavirus cases.
The stay-home call stopped short of a mandatory confinement, but it was the strongest measure taken to battle new clusters since Spain emerged from a nationwide state of emergency one month ago.
Spain overall reported 628 new cases on Friday, its highest daily increase since the beginning of May, with Catalonia and neighbouring Aragon accounting for the bulk of the new clusters. However, the rise was still well below the numbers seen at the height of the pandemic.
Australia’s most populous state, New South Wales, on Friday announced increased pandemic restrictions after detecting eight new cases in a cluster that began in a Sydney pub and was traced to a visitor from Melbourne. Around 42 cases have since been linked to that cluster.
Authorities were hoping that fresh controls might bring the infection count to a plateau, as Melbourne reported a record 428 new cases on Friday.
New South Wales said it was banning dancing, singing and mingling at weddings as authorities struggle to contain the new wave of infections.
WATCH | Australian PM says situation in Victoria ‘very concerning’:
Japan’s capital recorded a single-day record number of new coronavirus cases for a second straight day on Friday with 293. Tokyo was taken off a list of places around the country where discounts are offered under a government scheme to encourage domestic tourism.
Israel imposed a new weekend shutdown on Friday and tightened a series of restrictions to lower infection rates.
People will be allowed to leave their homes this weekend, but malls, shops, pools, zoos and museums would be closed from Friday afternoon until Sunday morning, the government said in a statement.
Full weekend lockdowns that could confine people to their homes may be imposed by July 24, after the government gains parliamentary approval for that, Israel Radio reported.
Israel has reported more than 44,500 coronavirus cases and at least 380 deaths. On Thursday, it had a daily record of confirmed coronavirus cases, with 1,898 new cases.
WATCH | COVID-19 research targeted by hackers:
Russia’s death toll from the novel coronavirus passed 12,000 on Friday, as the country reported 186 new deaths in the past 24 hours.
The country’s coronavirus crisis response centre registered 6,406 new cases, bringing its nationwide tally of infections to 759,203, the world’s fourth highest caseload.
The death toll now stands at 12,123. Russia says 539,373 people have recovered.
Published at Fri, 17 Jul 2020 11:36:06 +0000