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

Top headlines
  1. Cases surge worldwide with U.S. at the epicentre
  2. Trudeau remaining in isolation longer despite wife recovering from coronavirus
  3. Canada will ensure Chinese masks meet quality standards to protect from coronavirus, PM says

Have questions about the coronavirus? Email audience@globeandmail.com. The Globe’s paywall has been removed on coronavirus news stories.


"Let's get hope back": graffiti in Caracas, Venezuela. (If you use a protective face mask, please don't wear it the way this man is!)

Matias Delacroix/The Associated Press


Number of the day

200,000

The coronavirus outbreak could kill 100,000 to 200,000 Americans, the U.S. government’s top infectious-disease expert warned on Sunday as smouldering hot spots in nursing homes and a growing list of stricken cities heightened the sense of dread across the country.

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Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, made the dire prediction of fatalities on CNN, adding that millions in the U.S. could become infected.

By mid-afternoon, the U.S. had over 135,000 infections and 2,300 deaths, according to the running tally kept by Johns Hopkins University.


Coronavirus in Canada

6,243 cases in Canada reported; with 484 recoveries and 63 deaths.

  • Ontario reported another 211 cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases to 1,355. It’s the largest single-day spike in cases so far. The province says two more people died from the virus, bringing the death toll to 21.
  • British Columbia’s provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said testing for COVID-19 remains focused on the health-care system and identifying chains of transmission, rather than on the broader public. She said physical distancing is still critically important and announced 92 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C. on Saturday.
  • The union representing federal meat inspectors says its members will be back at work Monday at a meat packing plant just north of Calgary if the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is reassured that it’s safe. The company was notified by Alberta Health that a worker, who hadn’t been on the job for days, had tested positive.

From Ottawa:

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he will remain in isolation at his home for almost two more weeks even though his wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, recently announced she has recovered from COVID-19.
  • Federal health authorities will not cut any corners when it comes to ensuring masks provided by China meet the necessary standards for protecting Canadian health-care workers from COVID-19, Trudeau said.
  • The government is trying to help charities that are providing critical services to vulnerable Canadians with a $7.5-million investment in Kids Help Phone and $9-million to United Way Canada to help seniors who need assistance.

Coronavirus around the world

716,101: cases confirmed around the world; with 149,071 recoveries and 33,854 deaths reported.

  • How the European Union responds to the coronavirus outbreak will determine its future credibility, a French minister said, after the bloc failed to agree last week on measures to cushion the economic blow.
  • U.S. President Donald Trump bragged on Twitter about the millions of people tuning in to view his daily press briefings on the coronavirus pandemic, saying on Twitter that his average ratings matched a season finale of “The Bachelor.”
  • A growing number of imported coronavirus cases in China risked fanning a second wave of infections when domestic transmissions had “basically been stopped,” a senior health official said, while eased travel curbs may also add to domestic risks.
  • Mali held its long-delayed parliamentary election despite concerns about coronavirus.
  • Warring parties in Yemen have agreed to a U.N. call for an immediate truce to contain the coronavirus outbreak, but Saudi Arabia said its air defences intercepted two ballistic missiles on Saturday night in an attack that Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi group has said it launched toward the capital Riyadh.

Reader question

Question: What happens on day 15 of self-isolation?

Answer: If you have tested positive for coronavirus, after 14 days you must undergo testing to ensure you are now negative, and be cleared by public health. If you self-isolated because you were showing symptoms, or because you had travelled outside Canada before the legal order, you can resume normal living. Or, at least new normal living, where we are all expected to practise social distancing.

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The Globe’s health columnist André Picard answered other reader questions.

Need more answers? Email audience@globeandmail.com


Coronavirus and business

What happened today?

  • Eric Fier, the chief executive officer of SilverCrest Metals Inc., said he’s “surprised” and “disappointed” that National Bank Financial Inc. walked away from a recent financing agreement, as the silver company considers taking legal action against the investment bank. Earlier in the month, National Bank informed SilverCrest that it was invoking the “disaster out” clause to terminate a $75-million bought deal, citing the extraordinary financial turmoil created by COVID-19.
  • And: Canadian postsecondary students are weeks away from stepping into a job market that is reeling from unprecedented layoffs, raising concern about how those returning to school in the fall will fund their studies and whether graduates will bear long-term scars of unfortunate timing.
More Globe reporting and opinion:

Opinion: I’ve fought epidemics around the world. Now it’s Canada that must prepare for the worst

S.R. Slobodian: Quality stocks to target, safety plays amid dividend cuts and is it time to buy? What you need to know in investing this week

Lia Grainger: Astrologers navigate the tricky waters of COVID-19

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Josh O’Kane: Fintech lenders say Ottawa should be using them to more effectively get relief funds to small businesses

Saira Peesker: Bars, nightclubs and cannabis growers don’t qualify for BDC COVID-19 loans


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 audience@globeandmail.com.

A montage of frame grabs of friends and relatives wishing a happy birthday to Cindy Stewart, who was stuck in Peru for her birthday. Courtesy of family

Courtesy of family

Love is not cancelled: How Canadians found coronavirus-safe ways to mark weddings, birthdays and more

The birthday girl

Cindy Stewart had been expecting little more than a bag of Hawkins Cheezies for her birthday. For years, she and her husband, Charles, have opted to backpack the world during her big day, March 20. No matter their far-flung location, Charles would pull from his bag a beat-up card and that distinct red-and-white bag of Hawkins finest to celebrate. “It’s become our little ritual,” she says.

On Mar. 20, while the couple remained stranded in Peru due to travel bans, the cheezies appeared. But a sense of unease remained. At around 7 p.m., an e-mail from Ms. Stewart’s daughter, Megan, pinged. She knew her parents’ predicament and wanted to ease their anxiety. “Mom, check your Facebook page," the e-mail read. Ms. Stewart followed the directions. There, she found a three-minute video featuring various friends and family from all over the world wishing her a happy 63rd birthday and swift return. Everyone who watched was overcome with emotion. At a time of extreme separation, Ms. Stewart had rarely felt so connected. “It was honestly the best gift I could have imagined,” she said. Global Affairs Canada got them home on Mar. 25.

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Distractions

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