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

Top headlines:

  1. Pandemic overwhelms Italy’s hospitals, including in the country’s south
  2. Canada’s lack of vaccine-production capabilities means other countries may get COVID-19 shots first, Trudeau says
  3. COVID-19′s spread may have been accelerated by an early mutation, research suggests

In Canada, there have been at least 341,329 cases reported. In the last week 34,862 new cases were announced, 4 per cent more than the previous week.

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There have also been at least 272,475 recoveries and 11,603 deaths.

new deaths canada nov 24

The Globe and Mail

Worldwide, there have been at least 59,171,161 cases confirmed and 1,396,359 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: Coronavirus in maps and chartsLockdown rules and reopening • [NEW] COVID-19 vaccines Back to school guide Essential resources

Photo of the day

In Toronto's Roncesvalles neighbourhood, some storefronts are covered in mock 'For Lease' paper as part of a campaign by the area's business improvement area to encourage support of small, local businesses. It's also a protest against the retail giants who are allowed to be open despite the city's new lockdown.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

Coronavirus in Canada

  • Ontario has started distributing rapid tests to long-term and retirement care in the province. Meanwhile, the mayor of Windsor apologized for violating public-health rules limiting the number of diners at a meal. The province reported 1,009 new cases COVID-19 cases today, but said a technical issue meant the figure is an underestimate, and the numbers released yesterday were an overestimate.
  • In Quebec, Premier François Legault announced changes on gathering restrictions for Christmas, specifying people will only be able to attend two holiday events of up to 10 people during a four-day window, and will be asked to quarantine for seven days after. The province reported 45 more deaths attributed to COVID-19 and 1,124 new cases today.
  • Manitoba issues one ticket for gatherings that allegedly defied the province’s ban on public gatherings, adding to the 16 tickets issued earlier this month.
  • Saskatchewan’s opposition party called on the government to create a task force to address the spread of COVID-19. The province reported 175 new daily cases of COVID-19, with 105 people in hospital, today.

In Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that because Canada lacks domestic vaccines production capabilities, it is possible other countries – the United States, Germany or Britain – may get shots first.

  • The Prime Minister said the country has started to invest in domestic vaccine production capacity again, and is in talks with other countries to ensure equal access to vaccines for all.
  • Trudeau reiterated that until a vaccine is widely available, the country must continue public-health best practices to avoid becoming ill.

Health: Nearly one in three Canadians say they have gained weight during the pandemic, according to a new poll.

New research: COVID-19 spread may have been accelerated by an early mutation, research suggests

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Coronavirus around the world

  • About two-thirds of the Italy is in some form of lockdown. Outdoor mask use and physical distancing are compulsory everywhere, bars and restaurants must close at 6 p.m., and a curfew kicks in at 10 p.m. The fear is that overloaded hospitals will be unable to cope, even though several thousand intensive-care beds have been added.
  • Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine will cost less than US$20 a person on international markets and Moscow aims to produce more than a billion doses at home and abroad next year, its financial backers and developers said today.
  • In the U.S., public-health officials are sounding alarms and urging Americans not to travel and limit gatherings this holiday season amid a new surge in coronavirus cases. However, the White House has planned a host of festivities, including holiday parties, which kicked off Monday with the arrival of the White House Christmas tree.

Coronavirus and business

Independent retailers, bars and restaurants in the Toronto region are scrambling to figure out how they will survive after Premier Doug Ford’s sweeping pandemic restrictions forced them to close, while some big-box stores stay open.

  • Chains including Walmart and Costco, which are exempt from closing because they sell groceries, are allowed to stay open with new 50-per-cent capacity limits.
  • Many businesses in hot spots now face 28 days without foot traffic, while stores and restaurants in neighbouring jurisdictions remain less restricted.

Also today: Canadian Airports Council calls for urgent aid as COVID-19 lockdown limits revenue

And: Eli Lily will supply 26,000 doses of its COVID-19 antibody drug to Canada

Globe opinion

  • Robyn Urback: “Small-business owners in Manitoba and parts of Ontario are angry, with good reason. Provincial leaders, along with the federal government, had months to plan for the inevitable second wave of COVID-19 – months to think about ways to avoid the economic devastation of the lockdowns levied the first time around.”
  • Jillian Kohler and Jonathan Cushing: “In the understandable excitement, [pharmaceutical] companies in the spotlight risk overlooking a major opportunity: the chance to prioritize transparency and global health over profits, and build their credibility.”
  • Fahad Razak and Arthur Slutsky: “Yet despite the most intense research focus in human history, there is only a single clearly effective treatment that reduces both symptoms and mortality: the steroid dexamethasone, based on the United Kingdom’s landmark Randomized Evaluation of COVID-19 Therapy (RECOVERY) trial.”

More reporting

Information centre

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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