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

Top headlines:

  1. Lack of social interaction during pandemic caused emotional suffering, deprived mental stimulation in long-term care patients
  2. Israel to set new nationwide lockdown as coronavirus cases surge
  3. WHO reports record one-day jump of almost 308,000 global cases

In Canada, there have been at least 136,659 cases reported. In the past week, 4,200 new cases were announced, 5 per cent more than the previous week. There have also been at least 120,431 recoveries and 9,171 deaths. Health officials have administered more than 6,604,775 tests.

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Worldwide, there have been at least 28,758,945 cases confirmed and 920,231 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 resourcesCoronavirus in maps and chartsLockdown rules and reopening plans in each provinceGlobal rules on mask-wearingBack to school


Photo of the day

Students wearing protective face masks sit in a classroom as a school year kicks off amid concerns about the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Damascus, Syria September 13, 2020. REUTERS/Yamam Al Shaar TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

YAMAM AL SHAAR/Reuters


Number of the day

307,930

The World Health Organization reported a record one-day increase in global cases on Sunday, with the total rising by 307,930 in 24 hours.

The biggest increases were from India, the United States and Brazil, according to the agency’s website.

India reported 94,372 new cases, followed by the United States with 45,523 new infections and Brazil with 43,718.


Coronavirus in Canada

  • Ontario reported more than 200 new cases for a third straight day, along with one new death from the novel coronavirus. There were 204 new cases in Sunday’s report, after 232 cases on Saturday and 213 cases on Friday. Toronto reported 63 new cases, with 47 in Ottawa and 35 in Peel Region.
  • Quebec reported 279 new cases, bringing the total to 64,986 cases since the pandemic began. Health Minister Christian Dubé tweeted that increases in cases have been reported across the province, describing the situation as “under control, yet concerning.”
  • New Brunswickers head to the polls Monday in the country’s first provincial election since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Candidates were forced to adapt their campaigns to abide by pandemic rules, and lessons learned may provide a template for future campaigns.

As the pandemic took hold, long-term care homes across Canada were locked down and visitors were kept out, leaving elderly patients with myriad health concerns without significant social interactions for months.

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The families of these residents are discovering an unfortunate consequence of the safety protocols that were put in place to protect older adults from the coronavirus: A lack of social interaction has caused emotional suffering and deprived them of physical and mental stimulation, and in the case of many people with dementia, accelerated cognitive decline.

Studies conducted prior to the pandemic have shown chronic loneliness and social isolation are serious health hazards. Lonely people are not only more likely to develop a range of illnesses, from cardiovascular disease and cancer to depression and dementia, they tend to feel worse when they fall ill than those who are not lonely.

In a review paper, published in the September issue of the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences, McGill University researcher Danilo Bzdok and co-author Robin Dunbar cite an analysis of 70 studies that found social isolation, living alone and feeling lonely increased the chances of dying among older adults by about 30 per cent.

Cabinet retreat: Bold plans to rebuild Canada’s shattered economy will take a back seat during a two-day cabinet retreat as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his ministers confront the more immediate challenge of how to prevent the COVID-19 pandemic from doing even more damage to Canadians' lives and incomes.


Coronavirus around the world

  • Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced a second countrywide lockdown for Israel that will see schools, restaurants, malls and hotels shut down, among other businesses, beginning Friday – the start of the Jewish High Holiday season. Israelis will also face restrictions on movement and on gatherings.
  • India said it was considering granting emergency authorization for a vaccine, as the country surpassed 4.75 million reported cases. The country’s health minister said the timeline on Phase III trials could be shortened by giving emergency authorization, but stressed no corners would be cut in clinical trials. India reported more than 94,000 cases and 1,100 deaths on Sunday.
  • More than 3.7 million students in government-held areas of Syria started school on Sunday amid strict restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19. Many students in areas outside government control, mostly in the northwestern province of Idlib, have missed attending school amid sporadic violence. Syria has registered 3,506 confirmed coronavirus cases and 152 deaths in government-held areas, but actual cases numbers are believed to be much higher.

Coronavirus and business

As banks brace for the expiration of hundreds of thousands of payment deferrals granted early in the coronavirus pandemic, experts are warning that the biggest risk for a spike in defaults may not come from mortgages, but from a smaller number of loans made to vulnerable businesses.

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  • About 76,000 small and mid-sized business clients are still deferring payments on approximately $66-billion in commercial loans, preserving cash flow as economies start to recover.
  • The risk to a portion of those loans has been overshadowed by a more intense public focus on larger volumes of deferred mortgages, and the potential knock-on effects for lenders and for housing markets if any meaningful number can’t be repaid.

Yet commercial loans pose a different kind of risk. Though there are fewer under deferral, on average they are much larger. And many are concentrated in sectors of the economy that have been hit hardest by the pandemic, and could take longer to recover: discretionary retail spending; oil and gas; hospitality and tourism; transportation; and commercial real estate.

As public-health measures locked down economies to slow the spread of the coronavirus, banks allowed households and businesses to defer payments on an array of loans, many of them for up to six months. Loans worth about $267-billion were still under deferral at the end of July, but nearly all of those deferrals will run out in September or October.

Also today: Euro-zone governments must keep spending heavily to aid the bloc’s recovery from its historic pandemic-induced recession, complementing already super-easy monetary policy, European Central Bank president Christine Lagarde said on Sunday.


Globe opinion

Laurence Mussio:“The pandemic shock could and should lead to important changes in how we handle risk in finance.”

Linda Nazareth: “And today’s recovery is brought to you by the letter ‘K,’ or at least that is how it is beginning to look. Oh sure, some of the indicators are getting us hopeful about a 'V' or maybe a ‘U,’ and some pessimists figure we are stuck at ‘L,’ but it would seem that it is all more complicated than that.”


More reporting


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