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Confirmed global cases of coronavirus pass 14 million, as countries struggle to control fresh outbreaks

The latest:

  • Global coronavirus infections pass 14 million, total deaths pass 600,000.
  • 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.

Global coronavirus infections passed 14 million on Friday, as many U.S. states — particularly in the Sunbelt — struggled to cope with the surge and governments worldwide tried to control fresh outbreaks.

In a sign of how the virus is galloping around the globe, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported nearly a quarter-million new infections in a single day.

As of 8:30 p.m. ET on Friday, the global count stood at 14,037,021, with 600,665 deaths and 7,818,409 cases considered recovered, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The actual numbers are likely higher for various reasons, including limited testing.

In the United States, teams of military medics were deployed in the two most populous states, Texas and California, to help hospitals deluged by coronavirus patients.

Texas reported a record 174 new deaths, and more than 10,000 additional cases for the fourth consecutive day. California’s nearly 10,000 confirmed cases were its third-highest daily total, and it recorded 130 deaths during a week of seesawing infection numbers.

Florida reported 128 new deaths Friday and 11,345 additional cases.

There were signs across the Sunbelt that the virus was stretching authorities’ capacity to respond. The medical examiner’s office in metro Phoenix has gotten portable storage coolers and ordered more to handle an influx of bodies — reminiscent of New York City at the height of the pandemic there.

In Houston, an 86-person army medical team worked to take over a wing of United Memorial Medical Center. In California, military doctors, nurses and other health-care specialists were being deployed to eight hospitals facing staffing shortages.

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.

The U.S. has seen more than 3.6 million confirmed cases, with more than 139,000 deaths and more than 1.1 million cases considered recovered, according to data from Johns Hopkins.

WATCH | Fauci calls on leaders to be ‘forceful’ on mask-wearing:

Top U.S. infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci says state and local leaders should be as forceful as possible on wearing masks to prevent spreading the deadly coronavirus, as the state of Georgia and its major cities tussle over masks. 0:38

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.

Employees pack N95 face masks for children at a factory near Changodar, India, on Friday. (Sam Panthaky/AFP via Getty Images)

 

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.

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.

WATCH | Wealthy nations must increase aid to poor countries, UN official says:

Developing countries face ‘a series of human tragedies more brutal than the virus itself’ from the economic impact of the pandemic, says senior UN official.  0:38

What’s happening with coronavirus in Canada

As of 9 p.m. ET on Friday, Canada had 109,671 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 96,687 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 8,875.

WATCH | Labour lawyer cautions enforcing mask policies is likely to cause some conflict:

Andrew Monkhouse says companies need to plan for difficult customers with clear policies and training for employees to help reduce tension. 5:26

Many parts of Ontario moved to the next phase of the province’s COVID-19 recovery plan on Friday.

Stage 3 of the reopening effort took 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.

WATCH | Provinces to get $19B for ‘safe restart’ of cities:

The federal government has reached a $19-billion agreement with the provinces and territories for a “safe restart” of cities. The money will go toward funding child care, transit and purchasing personal protective equipment for front-line workers. 1:54

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.

Health-care providers gather inside a work area protected by a sheet of plastic at the Eurnekian Ezeiza Hospital on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Tuesday. (Natacha Pisarenko/The Associated Press)

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 on Friday reported 2,046,328 confirmed cases, up from 2,012,151 the day before, when it crossed the two million mark. Total deaths rose to 77,851 from 76,688, according to the Health Ministry.

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:

As Britain continues to ease coronavirus lockdown measures, Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he’s eyeing a return to near normality by the end of the year.   0:44

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.

Queen Elizabeth awards Captain Tom Moore with the insignia of Knight Bachelor at Windsor Castle on Friday. Moore was honoured for lifting the spirits of Britain during the coronavirus outbreak by raising tens of millions of dollars for health workers. (Chris Jackson/Reuters)

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’:

While hopeful the lockdown will help lower the number of COVID-19 cases in the state of Victoria, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison remains concerned about the situation. 0:29

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: 

Marcus Kolga, senior fellow at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, says Russia may be deploying hackers to try to steal a potential COVID-19 vaccine for its own citizens, as well hinder Western countries’ efforts to develop one. 1:21

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 23:20:17 +0000

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