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

Top headlines:

  1. Coronavirus has become a devastating disease of inequality and poverty in South Africa
  2. Rising U.S. coronavirus cases, hospitalizations overshadow Fourth of July celebrations
  3. More detailed picture of how many Canadians have been infected with the novel coronavirus should be available mid-July

In Canada, there have been at least 105,530 cases reported. In the last week 2,017 new cases were announced, 7% fewer than the previous week. There have also been 69,173 recoveries and 8,684 deaths. Health officials have administered 3,102,524 tests.

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Worldwide, there have been at least 10,869,739 cases confirmed and 521,298 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 province


Photo of the day

South African National Defence Force (SANDF) military health practitioners are seen after their arrival at Air Force Station Port Elizabeth, a South African Air Force facility situated on the north-eastern side of the Port Elizabeth Airport, on July 5, 2020. (Photo by MICHAEL SHEEHAN/AFP via Getty Images)

MICHAEL SHEEHAN/AFP/Getty Images


Number of the day

4.6 per cent

How deadly is the coronavirus?

On Thursday, the WHO’s chief scientist, Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, said the consensus for now was that the worldwide infection fatality rate (IFR) of COVID-19 is about 0.6 per cent – which means that the risk of death is less than 1 per cent.

But at present, countries have very different case fatality rates. In most cases, that number is highest in countries that have had the virus the longest.

According to data gathered by The New York Times, China had reported 90,294 cases as of Friday and 4,634 deaths, which is an IFR of 5 per cent. The United States was very close to that mark. It has had 2,811,447 cases and 129,403 deaths, about 4.6 per cent.

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Those percentages are far higher than the 2.5-per-cent death rate often ascribed to the 1918 flu pandemic. Still, it is difficult to measure fatality rates during pandemics, especially at the beginning.


Coronavirus in Canada

  • Prince Edward Island is reporting three new cases for the first time since late April, including one person who worked at a Charlottetown seniors’ home.
  • Two Americans have been fined $1,000 for violating the Federal Quarantine Act by failing to self quarantine upon entering Fort Frances, Ontario, from Minneapolis.
  • Quebec reported eight additional new deaths on Sunday as health officials south of Montreal probed a cluster of positive cases stemming from a local bar.

National updates

Canada’s immunity task force has started testing thousands of blood samples for antibodies and should be able to produce a more detailed picture of how many Canadians have been infected with the novel coronavirus within a couple of weeks.

But it will be much longer before we know more about what kind of protection against future infection having the antibodies provides, said Dr. Timothy Evans, executive director of the COVID-19 Immunity Task Force.

Evans also said a significant number of people get the infection and show no symptoms and will have no clue they were ever sick. Evans said immunity testing in other countries has suggested the actual infection rate is 10 to 20 times more than the number of confirmed cases.

Also today: Canada should focus on boosting economic growth after the COVID-19 crisis, analysts say, even as concerns about the sustainability of its debt are growing, with Fitch Ratings downgrading the nation’s rating just over a week ago.


Coronavirus around the world

  • Four months after it was first reported there among tourists, the coronavirus has become a devastating disease of inequality and poverty in South Africa. It has ripped through the country’s poorest and most vulnerable communities, killing thousands of people.
  • Despite messaging to the contrary from the WHO, 239 scientists in 32 countries have outlined the evidence showing that smaller, airborne particles can spread COVID-19 and are calling for the agency to revise its recommendations. The researchers plan to publish their letter in a scientific journal.
  • More than 2 million people gathered Sunday at river banks, farmlands and government buildings in northern India while trying to practise social distancing to plant 250 million trees as part of a government plan to tackle climate change.
  • Rising coronavirus cases in 39 U.S. states cast a shadow over the country’s Fourth of July celebrations as health experts worry that holiday parties will cause a further spike in infections.

Coronavirus and business

Some of Canada’s largest banks – including CIBC, TD and RBC – have extended programs that allow clients to defer payments on personal loans through the end of September, signalling that many borrowers still need support even as some early deferrals have expired.

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  • The banks have extended the window to pause payments on mortgages, credit cards, lines of credit and other loans for up to six months, depending on the product.
  • CIBC will also approve new mortgage deferrals for clients that haven’t yet used the program until Sept. 30, and extend other help to personal banking clients on a case-by-case basis.
  • Banks are still getting new requests for deferrals, though demand has dropped dramatically from the early weeks of the COVID-19 crisis.

By extending the period, banks are looking to keep the pressure off hundreds off clients who may have lost income as the pandemic locked down large parts of the global economy. But the extensions also prolong uncertainty about how the deferrals will be unwound without tipping borrowers into default, which has emerged as a key concern for regulators, investors and analysts.

Also today: Canadian auto insurers are extending pandemic relief for drivers as the industry faces criticism for not doing enough to financially support customers.


More Globe reporting and opinion

  • Campbell Clark: “It takes a peculiar form of hubris for a prime minister to become enmeshed in political controversy through their dealings with charities, but Mr. Trudeau has managed to do it twice.”
  • Linda Nazareth: “Right now, we are dealing with job loss caused by an unprecedented need to shut down the economy to avoid spreading the coronavirus. Beyond the pandemic, however, the bigger story may be that the Fourth Industrial Revolution is still in force, and that workers and machines will be increasingly traded off against each other.”
  • Will the pandemic lead to a lost decade for the economy and investors?
  • Will I still be eligible for CERB if I’m terminated?

Distractions

A posset is as simple as they get, made by whisking lemon or lime juice into scalded cream, serve with squares and you have the perfect light dessert for an outdoor meal. JULIE VAN ROSENDAAL/THE GLOBE AND MAIL

Julie Van Rosendaal/The Globe and Mail

For the outdoor diner🍽: This picnic menu celebrates the flavours of summer

Eating out has taken on new meaning this year, becoming a more significant and convoluted endeavour than we ever imagined it could be. With the restaurant industry in a tentative, capricious state, we’ve found creative ways to venture out, discovering new potential, even in random patches of grass.


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Coronavirus information
Coronavirus information
The Zero Canada Project provides resources to help you manage your health, your finances and your family life as Canada reopens.
Visit the hub

In the interests of public health and safety, our coronavirus news articles are free for anyone to access. However, The Globe depends on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe to globeandmail.com. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.

Your subscription helps The Globe and Mail provide readers with critical news at a critical time. Thank you for your continued support. We also hope you will share important coronavirus news articles with your friends and family. In the interest of public health and safety, all our coronavirus news articles are free for anyone to access.

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