Good evening, here are the coronavirus updates you need to know tonight.
- Ottawa signs vaccine supply deal with pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and U.S.-based biotech firm Moderna, will not yet say how much will be spent or how many doses of either vaccine candidate Canada will get
- Praise for South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s pandemic response fades to accusations of government corruption
- Military patrol deserted streets of Melbourne on the eve of Australia’s toughest-ever pandemic restrictions coming into force.
In Canada, there have been at least 118,187 cases reported. In the last week 2,781 new cases were announced, 12 per cent fewer than the previous week.
There have also been at least 102,788 recoveries and 8,962 deaths. Health officials have administered more than 4,536,375 tests
Worldwide, there have been at least 18,540,119 cases confirmed and 700,647 deaths reported.
Sources: Canada data is compiled from government websites, Johns Hopkins and COVID-19 Canada Open Data Working Group; international data is from Johns Hopkins University.
Coronavirus explainers: Updates and essential resources • Coronavirus in maps and charts • Lockdown rules and reopening plans in each province
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The 85 crew members on a cruise ship docked in Norway will be tested for coronavirus, after a passenger from a previous trip tested positive upon returning home to Denmark.
- Authorities are in contact with the ship to determine if the 123 passengers on board should be tested as well.
Meanwhile, 44 people on another Norwegian cruise ship have tested positive for coronavirus, the country’s health officials said.
Coronavirus in Canada
- The government of Alberta announced $48-million in funding for organizations supporting people who are homeless during the pandemic. The money will help isolation and care centres remain open during the winter.
- The transport minister for British Columbia sent a letter to the federal government, asking Ottawa to force airlines to provide better passenger information to help contact tracing efforts. The provincial government said the data provided by airlines is “not necessarily complete and is sometimes unusable.”
- Ontario reported 86 new cases – the third day in a row the provinces reported fewer than 100 cases.
- New Brunswick four new cases – the first cases in more than two weeks. The cases are linked to newly arrived temporary foreign workers.
In Ottawa, the federal government is making $3.3-billion of the promised $33-billion in matching funds for pandemic-related infrastructure projects that are shovel-ready.
- The government hopes the money will go to infrastructure projects for cyclists and pedestrians, retrofitting institutions such as schools and hospitals, or preparation for disasters including floods or fires.
- Provincial projects must be completed by 2021, while territorial counterparts have an additional year.
- No single project can cost more than $10-million, with Ottawa funding 80 per cent of each.
COVID-19 vaccines: Canada is negotiating a deal with Pfizer and Moderna to secure millions of doses of their experimental vaccines. Both companies began Phase 3 clinical trials in the past week, and both are part of the United States government’s Operation Warp Speed program.
- The Canadian government won’t say how many doses are included, or how much the deal will cost, as it is also negotiating with other domestic and international companies.
- Last month, the government issued bids to supply 75 million syringes and other vaccine administration supplies such as alcohol swabs and bandages, to be delivered by the end of October.
- The goal is to have enough supplies to give every Canadian two doses of a vaccine.
Yesterday, Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam said potential vaccines are encouraging but may not be a “silver bullet” to end the pandemic, echoing the WHO’s comments on Monday.
Also today: Providence Therapeutics, a Canadian pharmaceutical company, is asking Ottawa to fund human trials for its potential vaccine.
Coronavirus around the world
- South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, once widely praised for his response to the pandemic, is now entangled in corruption scandals around government COVID-19 spending.
- As the COVID-19 crisis escalates in the U.S., information spread by President Donald Trump and his advisers has become increasingly contradictory to that of infectious disease experts.
- A new outbreak in Vietnam spread to two more provinces on Wednesday, as the country’s COVID-19 task force declared the contagion “under control” in the central city, Danang, where the outbreak began.
- Military personnel and police patrolled the deserted streets of Melbourne, Australia, on Wednesday, ahead of the ban on non-essential businesses that will throw 250,000 people out of work from Thursday.
Coronavirus and business
Canada’s international trade roared back to life in June as pandemic containment measures eased, but lagging exports and worries about a resurgence of the virus in the key U.S. market added a note of caution to the recovery.
- Statistics Canada reported Wednesday that the total trade of goods soared by more than $13-billion, or 19.5 per cent, in June from May, with imports up 22 per cent and exports up 17 per cent. The bigger rebound in imports meant Canada’s trade deficit swelled to $3.2-billion from $1.2-billion.
- The gains came in the first full month of the reopening of large parts of the economy that were shuttered to slow the spread the virus. The lockdowns began to lift in the second half of May.
Statscan said the biggest contributor to the rebound was the auto sector, with both exports and imports surging as auto assembly plants ramped up production and consumer demand returned.
Also today: As the pandemic pushes people away from transit and shared vehicles, e-scooter use is on the rise again
And: Many Toronto residents are trading small city spaces for the larger, greener homes in other parts of Ontario, like Prince Edward County, Whitby or Peterborough.
- Robyn Urback: “Across Canada, the plan for returning to school for elementary students can be summed up in a phrase: Meh, let’s just see how it goes.”
- Globe editorial: “[Ontario Premier Doug Ford] was expressing traditional peace, order and good government conservatism: To beat the virus, we’re all in this together, so we’ve all got to follow the rules. What could be more conservative?”
- Restaurants, bars and hotels are creatively designing spaces that welcome customers while ensuring physical distancing.
- COVID-19 has caused supply shortages of bamboo for Er Shun and Da Mao, two pandas in the Calgary Zoo. Officials warn time and food supplies are running out for the pandas.
- The Ontario Hockey League will wait until December to start its 2020-21 season.
- Résumé Review: With live performances on hold, can this entertainment sales director make a pivot?
- Officials and advocates are working to end the “shenanigans” of campers heading in droves to Canada’s backcountry.
For the reader who runs: On the 40th anniversary of Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope, two new books are out to mark the milestone:
- Terry Fox and Me: A children’s picture book centering on Fox’s childhood friend Doug Alward, who joined the trip to raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society.
- Forever Terry: A Legacy in Letters: A collection of 40 letters by 40 prominent Canadians reflecting on Fox’s life and legacy.
- Pandemic personal finance: Rob Carrick’s 10-point checklist of things you should have done by now to protect or improve your money situation. Tips for minimizing 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; and what to do if you think you have the virus, and what you can do to help slow the spread of coronavirus. How to break a bad habit (like touching your face).
- The best foods to eat to maintain an immune system-friendly diet; and how to keep a healthy diet while working from home; four eating tips when working from home; and five mistakes that might cause you to gain unwanted weight. Here are the essentials to stock up on and how to shop safely for groceries; the best pantry staples and how to stop stress-eating. What to cook with rhubarb (aside from pie).
- Here’s what you should do if you are newly laid off; how to apply for CERB, EI, and other financial benefits; how the CRA might identify CERB fraud; and other coronavirus and employment questions answered. What to do if your employees don’t return to work because they want to collect CERB.
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