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

Top headlines:

  1. New restrictions on vaccine exports out of the European Union seem most likely to affect countries with their own vaccine production – and as such spare Canada
  2. Five Amazon facilities in Ontario are currently under investigation for violating COVID-19 protocols and health and safety standards, including the Brampton warehouse where 622 staff thus far have tested positive
  3. COVID-19 passports are helping Israelis return to a semblance of pre-pandemic life

In the last 7 days, 27,125 cases were reported, up 21 per cent from the previous 7 days. There were 205 deaths announced, down 6 per cent over the same period. At least 2,198 people are being treated in hospitals and 886,516 others are considered recovered.

Canada’s inoculation rate is 36th among 84 countries with a population of one million or more people.

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: Coronavirus in maps and chartsTracking vaccine dosesLockdown rules and reopeningVaccine distribution planFour vaccines approved in CanadaEssential resources

Photo of the day

A demonstrator holds a Brazilian flag next to mattresses with roses symbolising the 300,000 victims of the coronavirus in the country, organized by the Rio de Paz NGO, in front of the Ronaldo Gazolla hospital in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on March 24, 2021.PILAR OLIVARES/Reuters

Coronavirus in Canada

In Ottawa, the federal government is offering assurances that Canada’s supply of COVID-19 vaccines will not be affected by new European Union export restrictions.

  • The preliminary plan, unveiled in Brussels, seems most likely to affect countries with their own vaccine production, notably the U.K.
  • The European Commission contends that the U.K. has imported almost 11 million doses from the EU but has not sent any to EU countries.

Indigenous health: Many Indigenous communities are struggling to cope with the dual emergencies of the pandemic and its effects on those with mental illness and addictions, a new report says.

Air travel: WestJet is set to resume suspended flights to eastern Canadian airports in May or June, in the hopes that eased travel restrictions and widespread vaccinations will encourage people to resume flying this summer.

Coronavirus around the world

Coronavirus and business

Rising housing prices and surging home sales have prompted a warning from the National Bank of Canada.

  • A booming mortgage market “needs to be monitored” to make sure borrowers aren’t taking on excessive debt, said the National Bank of Canada’s chief executive officer.
  • Banking regulators have warned that the proportion of home loans going to the most highly indebted borrowers is spiking again.

And: Canadians are itching to spend pandemic savings on travel, summer rentals and backyard pools.

Also today: Toronto realtors are bracing for a crazy spring market, and watching as outrageous tactics are becoming the norm.

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Sources: Canada data are compiled from government websites, Johns Hopkins University and COVID-19 Canada Open Data Working Group; international data are from Johns Hopkins.

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