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Good evening – here are the coronavirus updates you need to know tonight.

Top headlines:

  1. Hunt is on for drugs that hit COVID-19 where it’s most vulnerable
  2. Officials investigate after 31 die in Montreal nursing home during coronavirus pandemic
  3. House approves emergency wage subsidy, senate expected to pass this evening

Coronavirus explainers: Updates and essential resourcesCoronavirus in maps and chartsThe rules in each province


Photo of the day

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Brazilian fashion photographer Marcio Rodrigues wears a mask made with recyclable bottles, cans and boxes after over 20 days in which these garbage items were not collected because of the quarantine imposed to control the spread of coronavirus, in Belo Horizonte, Brazil on April 11, 2020. (Photo by DOUGLAS MAGNO/AFP via Getty Images)DOUGLAS MAGNO/AFP/Getty Images


Coronavirus in Canada

In Canada, there have been at least 23,318 cases reported, which is more than double the number from 9 days ago. There have also been at least 6,650 recoveries and 652 deaths. Health officials have administered more than 416,484 tests.

  • Calgary’s McKenzie Towne Continuing Care Centre says staffing levels are stabilizing after COVID-19 outbreak
  • Marc Miller, federal minister of Indigenous Services says even though the number of COVID-19 cases on reserves remains low, no one should be complacent
  • British Columbia’s top public health doctor Dr. Bonnie Henry called on residents to avoid travel and resist the urge to spend the Easter long weekend with loved ones outside their households as the province reported 35 new cases of COVID-19 and three new deaths.

Physicians across the country are relaxing their prescribing practices around medical treatment for opioid addictions in a bid to bolster physical distancing by cutting down on urinary drug screens and increasing the amount of methadone they give patients to take at home without supervision.

For seven years, Felix Li served on the distant front lines of Canadian public health, in China. So, a few days after the Jan. 23 lockdown of Wuhan, he sent an e-mail to the Public Health Agency of Canada offering his expertise. Instead, the PHAC has relied heavily on the World Health Organization.


Coronavirus around the world

Worldwide, there have been at least 1,765,134 cases confirmed, 401,410 recoveries and 108,169 deaths reported.

  • Some U.S. churches argue that the right to freedom of religion under the First Amendment of the Constitution allows them to keep their doors open.
  • A teenager from the Yanomami Indigenous tribe has been killed by the new coronavirus in Brazil, the Health Ministry said Friday, raising alarms about the spread of the virus into protected lands.
  • The northern Mexico border state of Baja California closed a plant run by the Anglo-American health care firm Smiths Medical Friday for allegedly refusing to sell ventilators to Mexican hospitals.

Reader question

Question: Could the Canada Emergency Response Benefit program lead Canada toward offering a universal basic income?

Answer: David Macdonald, senior economist at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, says he still views the CERB as more similar to employment insurance than a universal basic income. Tammy Schirle, professor of economics at Wilfrid Laurier University agrees that employment insurance could very well evolve to better cover contract workers, but says she is skeptical about the notion of a permanent floor being set on benefits. “I still think people still tend to have a sense of the deserving and the undeserving poor,” she said.

The Globe’s health columnist André Picard answered reader questions on social distancing and many additional topics.


An act of kindness

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Hotel Dieu Shaver Hospital in St. Catharines, Ontario received Easter lilies from Boekestyn Greenouses during the coronavirus pandemic on April 7, 2020. Photo courtesy John BoekestynCourtesy Photo courtesy John Boekestyn

Greenhouses needed to find ways to use their blooms – and new buyers for them – or else the plants would end up in the compost and they’d be out income. Anonymous donors, along with charities and churches, have come to the rescue, delivering hundreds of thousands of plants to homes, hospitals and long-term care homes for the the Easter holiday.

Have you witnessed or performed acts of kindness in your neighbourhood? Share your stories, photos and videos and they might be included in The Globe and Mail. Email audience@globeandmail.com


Distractions

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J.E.H. MacDonald. Flower Border, Usher Farm, York Mills, 1915 or 1916. Oil on wood panel, 21.3 x 26.8 cm. The Thomson Collection at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Photo: Michael CullenSupplied

The Canadian artist J.E.H. MacDonald painted this cheerful view of a midsummer garden in troubled times. The sketch, from the Thomson Collection at the Art Gallery of Ontario, was completed during the First World War, in 1915 or 1916, at Usher Farm in York Mills, which at that time was countryside north of Toronto. Today, we face some echoes of those years that called for collective forbearance during a time of profound anxiety. And, like the painter in the garden, we can still take consolation from nature - or its representation, as The Globe and Mail revives its year-end holiday card tradition for this long weekend, one of reflection and renewal.


More globe reporting and opinion

  • As it has done to so much else, COVID-19 has radically affected our reading lives
  • The pandemic threatens to rob us of a proper goodbye when someone we love lies dying. One of the most enduring human rituals – the deathbed vigil – is changing.
  • Education observers are realizing that even though teachers across the country can send work to students, hold video chats and telephone calls, even the very best educators will struggle to overcome the loss of one key element: the school building.
  • As the bleak reality of quarantined life sinks in, social media has been awash with a new brand of humble brag from people stuck in the house, and wanting to share.
  • Dave Williams: “Recalling the images of the Earth from afar, the lessons I learned in space resonate with me during this difficult time.”
  • Grant Bishop: “The plunge in global oil demand from COVID-19 shutdowns worldwide represents an existential challenge for Canada’s petroleum producers”

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