Good evening, here are the coronavirus updates you need to know tonight.
- British PM Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after COVID-19 symptoms worsen
- More than three million apply for COVID-19 job benefits as virus crushes labour market
- Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer says people should wear a non-medical mask when shopping or using public transit
- Huawei sending millions of masks to Canada as supplies grow short
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.
- In Ontario, Premier Doug Ford said the half a million masks that were delayed at the U.S. border this weekend are now set to cross. Without the new shipment, the province has a week’s worth of personal protective equipment. Some border city hospitals are banning employees from working on both sides.
- In Quebec, Premier François Legault said only eight people were hospitalized in the province the previous day. If that number holds for several days, “that would mean we are approaching the peak,” he said.
- Officials in British Columbia want the Alberta border closed to non-essential travel.
- Newfoundland and Labrador reports its second COVID-19-related death
Canadians should be wearing “non-medical facial covering” in public as an additional protective measure, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer said.
- While medical masks must still be preserved for front-line health workers, cloth masks are suitable for Canadians in public situations such as grocery shopping, as they can help limit the spread of coronavirus by asymptomatic or presymptomatic carriers.
“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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
More Globe reporting and opinion
- Some scientists suggest coronavirus can potentially lead to brain and nerve damage in certain patients.
- How much should parents worry about homeschooling their kids? “If all parents read to their kids every day ... then everything will be fine.”
- RBC retrained hundreds of staff to build custom financial relief plans for personal banking clients in severe financial distress.
- Cathal Kelly: “Sports is no longer on a delay. Sports as we knew them are over.”
- Perry Bellegarde: “This virus lays bare the links between our well-being, our climate and the biodiversity crisis of our own creation, which now stares humanity in the face.”
- Jeremy Farrar: “We need diagnostics to detect and limit the spread of this virus, vaccines to provide long-term protection, and treatments to save lives in the shorter-term.”
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 email@example.com
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.
The co-winner of last year’s Booker Prize, suggested:
- In the Lateness of the World by Carolyn Forché;
- A Burning by Megha Majumdar
- The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel
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
Her novels include Raven Lane:
- Stella Leventoyannis Harvey by The Brink of Freedom
- Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
- Here’s what you should do if you are newly laid off; how to apply for EI and other financial benefits; and other coronavirus and employment questions answered.
- How to minimize damage to your credit score; how to manage retirement anxiety during difficult times; and things to think about if you’re considering home delivery.
- Here are the expectations for self-isolation; tips for managing anxiety; and protecting your mental health.
- How to get social distancing right; measures condo buildings are taking to encourage social distancing; and what you can do to help slow the spread of coronavirus.
- Here are the essentials to stock up on; the best pantry staples; foods to eat to maintain an immune system-friendly diet; and how to keep a healthy diet while working from home.
- How to break a bad habit (like touching your face) and what to do if you think you have the virus.
- How many coronavirus cases are there in Canada? The latest maps and charts.
- Coronavirus guide: The latest news on COVID-19 and the toll it’s taking around the world
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