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

Top headlines:

  1. British PM Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after COVID-19 symptoms worsen
  2. More than three million apply for COVID-19 job benefits as virus crushes labour market
  3. Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer says people should wear a non-medical mask when shopping or using public transit
  4. Huawei sending millions of masks to Canada as supplies grow short

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

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People are disinfected before entering a market, as Albanian authorities take measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease on Monday.FLORION GOGA/Reuters

Number of the day


More than 640,000 Canadians filed for the Canada emergency response benefit on Monday, the launch day for the benefit’s application system.

Government officials said 3.18 million people have applied for employment insurance and the CERB since March 16.

Coronavirus in Canada

16,501 cases have been reported, more than double the number from 7 days ago. There have also been 3,441 recoveries and 321 deaths. Health officials have administered 346,269 tests.

Canadians should be wearing “non-medical facial covering” in public as an additional protective measure, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer said.

“Canadians can take this additional measure [in] instances where social distancing is difficult to maintain,” Dr. Theresa Tam said.

And: A team of blood transfusion experts from across Canada is planning the world’s largest clinical trial of a potential treatment for COVID-19.

  • The study, which will involve 1,000 patients from across the country, will include at least 40 Canadian hospitals.
  • The experimental treatment involves injecting antibody-rich plasma from patients who have recovered from the virus into those who are still infected.

Coronavirus around the world

1,310,119 cases confirmed around the world; with 273,731 recoveries and deaths reported.

  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was moved to an intensive care unit on after his coronavirus symptoms, which had persisted for more than 10 days, worsened.
  • Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei is flying millions of masks to Canada, as health authorities and hospitals struggle to acquire adequate safety equipment for medical workers.
  • Officials in India are hoping to ramp up coronavirus testing -- to head off further spread -- to 20,000 people daily by the end of the week, twice the current rate.
  • U.S. President Donald Trump and his administration kept up their outsized promotion of an anti-malaria drug not yet officially approved for fighting the new coronavirus, even though scientists say more testing is needed before it’s proven safe and effective against COVID-19.
  • Watch: A tiger at New York’s Bronx Zoo has tested positive for coronavirus. The zoo’s chief veterinarian said they tested the tiger after she exhibited loss of appetite and a dry cough.

Coronavirus and business

The Bank of Canada’s latest poll of Canadian businesses shows the COVID-19 crisis has inflicted severe damage on the oil and gas sector and many consumer-oriented businesses. But, conditions were deteriorating even before the pandemic hit.

  • Food, accommodation and recreation businesses reported a collapse in sales;
  • Non-food retailers reported a significant decline in foot traffic;
  • However: Grocery retailers and related transport businesses saw “unprecedented” sales

And: More than three million Canadians have applied for jobless benefits and emergency income aid with the federal government since mid-March, the latest sign of historic levels of devastation in the labour market.

  • The Conference Board of Canada on Monday said a combined 2.8 million jobs could be shed during March and April, equal to nearly 15 per cent of total employment.
  • Statistics Canada will release its labour-force survey on Thursday, the first major data release that accounts for the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reader question

Question: What do provinces consider “essential” businesses?

Answer: To enforce social distancing and prevent the spread coronavirus, most provinces have closed businesses not considered “essential.” Those businesses are allowed to keep their stores or offices open. Those not on the “essential” list must close unless their employees can work from home or adapt to meet public health officials’ requirements, such as by switching to pickup or delivery.

What’s open everywhere?

  • Grocery and convenience stores are open.
  • Banks; however, some banks may have reduced or changed branch hours.
  • Laundromats and dry cleaners are open.
  • Utilities such as energy, water, telecom and garbage-collection utilities

The provinces differ on many other “essential” services. This guide includes provincial lists and is updated as new information becomes available.

The Globe’s health columnist André Picard answered additional reader questions. Need more answers? Email

More Globe reporting and opinion

An act of kindness

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

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The Globe and Mail

We’re still a neighbourhood

A Toronto couple runs errands for their COVID-19 isolated community: Christopher Mio and Meghan Hoople found themselves jobless and wanting to help in the wake of COVID-19 isolation. After flyering their neighbourhood with a free-of-charge offer, they received an outpouring of support and requests from people in need.


📚For the book lover:

Suggestions from noted authors on what to read next.

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The Globe and Mail

Margaret Atwood

The co-winner of last year’s Booker Prize, suggested:

Ian Williams

The winner of the 2019 Scotiabank Giller Prize, recommended:

  • Fleabag: The Scriptures by Phoebe Waller-Bridge; and
  • The Mother of All Questions by Rebecca Solnit
Amber Cowie

Her novels include Raven Lane:

  • Stella Leventoyannis Harvey by The Brink of Freedom
  • Moby-Dick by Herman Melville

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