Good evening, here are the coronavirus updates you need to know tonight.
- The deaths of 31 residents at a Montreal seniors’ home, where staff allegedly left their posts amid an outbreak of the novel coronavirus, is under investigation by the coroner, health authorities and the police.
- Communities across Canada prepare for doubled crises of flooding in a time of pandemic
- British PM Boris Johnson released from hospital following COVID-19 treatment
- Fortieth anniversary of Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope can inspire Canadians during coronavirus battle
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Number of the day
OPEC and allies led by Russia agreed to cut oil output by a record amount – representing around 10 per cent of global supply – to support oil prices amid the coronavirus pandemic, and sources said effective cuts could amount to as much as 20 per cent. The group, known as OPEC+, said it had agreed to reduce output by 9.7 million barrels per day (bpd.) for May-June.
Coronavirus in Canada
At least 24,383 cases have been reported, more than double the number from 10 days ago. There have also been 7,172 recoveries and 717 deaths. Health officials have administered 428,193 tests.
- Quebec recorded its lowest number of new COVID-19 cases in over a week, even as health officials announced 39 new deaths. The increase of 554 new cases, to 12,846, is the smallest increase since March 31.
- Relatives of residents of Maison Herron, a seniors’ home in Montreal where 31 deaths have occurred since March 13, described a facility where only one or two orderlies remained on each floor, urine bags were left dripping on floors and residents struck by COVID-19 were not properly isolated.
- Toronto Mayor John Tory is calling for stricter enforcement of virus containment measures after seeing some people not take physical distancing seriously. The virus has killed more than 75 people in Toronto, which has reported at least 1,891 cases of COVID-19.
- A Vancouver man is apologizing after facing a backlash over a video of him appearing to spit on a condo elevator panel in the city. In a statement, the man called his actions reprehensible and inexcusable.
- Canadians in flood-prone areas are bracing for the potential of two emergencies at once: dealing with high water in the middle of a pandemic.
- Forty years after Terry Fox began his Marathon of Hope, his brother says the message he shared is particularly poignant as Canadians deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Technology companies and startups that rely on special tax refunds for innovation are calling on the federal government to release more than $180-million in claims, many of which have been held up as a result of the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Coronavirus around the world
1,844,494 cases confirmed around the world; with 421,546 recoveries and 113,952 deaths reported.
- The United States’ top infectious disease expert said the economy in parts of the country could have a “rolling re-entry” as early as next month, provided health authorities can quickly identify and isolate people who will inevitably be infected with the coronavirus.
- British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been released from St. Thomas’ Hospital in London but he is not expected to return to work for a couple of weeks.
- The northern Mexico border state of Baja California closed a plant run by the Anglo-American health care firm Smiths Medical Friday for allegedly refusing to sell ventilators to Mexican hospitals.
- Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said any further loosening of the country’s lockdown restrictions would depend on more progress in the fight against the coronavirus, a day before some companies plan to reopen their doors.
- During his Easter message from the Vatican, Pope Francis called for global solidarity in fighting the coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout, urging the relaxation of international sanctions, debt relief for poor nations and ceasefires in all conflicts.
- The Israeli government approved a tight quarantine of several areas of Jerusalem, including the historic Old City, in a bid to slow the spread of the coronavirus in the city’s most susceptible neighbourhoods.
- Saudi Arabia indefinitely extended a curfew due to the coronavirus amid a surge of new infections, and the United Arab Emirates warned of possible action against countries refusing to allow migrant workers to be repatriated.
Coronavirus and business
Business groups are urging Canadian governments to match other countries by offering cash grants to companies that are facing pressing financial concerns because of COVID-19. Australia, Britain and some U.S. states have unveiled schemes that offer hardship grants to small businesses that are struggling during the pandemic, with some payouts as high as the equivalent of $90,000. In Canada, however, businesses are largely being directed to take on more debt to cover the bills.
And: RBC’s top stock picks, oversold REITs and BMO’s DRIP discount explained: What you need to know in investing this week
Question: How does a separated couple keep their family safe when one parent is staying home and the other parent works in a social setting but still wants to spend weekends with the kids?
Answer: Ideally, you want to minimize contact with other people, including your children. But that’s not always realistic. If you have tested positive, it is recommended that, as much as possible, you remain in one room and avoid sharing a bathroom. If you live with someone infected, you have a good chance of being infected (the risk percentages are all over the map so not worth mentioning). The good/comforting news is that children tend to only suffer mild illness, for reasons that are unclear.
An act of kindness
Halifax area restaurant, Island food producers reach out to those in need
A popular Halifax area restaurant that shut down nearly a month ago is firing up its stove burners again, temporarily reinventing itself as a community kitchen to support groups providing food for those in need during the COVID-19 crisis.
The Canteen in downtown Dartmouth, N.S., is teaming up with the Dartmouth North Community Food Centre and Margaret’s House, run by Feeding Others of Dartmouth Society, and plans to prepare 300-400 meals per week beginning Monday.
Renee Lavallee, who co-owns the restaurant with her husband Doug Townsend, said they were looking for a way to help the community since temporarily closing in mid-March and laying off the majority of their 30 employees.
Lavallee said the couple has had a continuing relationship with the Dartmouth Food Centre in particular, so it was a natural fit to have their idle kitchen help that organization with its food program.
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
Playlist: Twain, McLauchlan and others suggest songs that calm and inspire
In times of trouble, music can bring a sense of tranquility. Asked to identify their go-to songs these days, Shania Twain, Murray McLauchlan, Laila Biali and Hannah Georgas picked tunes and pieces of music that console and relax. Mad Mad World rocker Tom Cochrane, on the other hand, chose songs of defiance. Whatever works.
More Globe reporting and opinion
- Shopify Inc. CEO Tobi Lutke and his spouse Fiona McKean set out to be quiet philanthropists last year. They established their Thistledown Foundation with a $150-million endowment and plans to fund decarbonization efforts. Last week they pivoted their strategy: they will dedicate Thistledown’s resources to the fight against the coronavirus.
- Could the CERB program lead Canada toward offering a universal basic income?
- Anthony Scilipoti and Sam La Bell: “We are about a month into the market turmoil from the pandemic. From week to week, the markets seem to go back and forth between panic and blind optimism.”
- Here’s what you should do if you are newly laid off; how to apply for CERB, 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 and how to shop safely for groceries; 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.