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

Top headlines:

  1. Trudeau releases details on $19-billion in anti-COVID-19 spending as cabinet retreat wraps, says he does not want an election
  2. Ford aims to lower social-gathering allowances; promises highest fines in Canada for rule breakers
  3. Erin O’Toole and family isolate after Conservative staffer tests positive

In Canada, there have been at least 139,745 cases reported. In the past week 5,451 new cases were announced, 25-per-cent more than the previous week. There have also been at least 122,440 recoveries and 9,193 deaths. Health officials have administered more than 6,839,932 tests.

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Worldwide, there have been at least 29,558,869 cases confirmed and 934,857 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 provinceGlobal rules on mask-wearingBack to school


Photo of the day

The University of Bolton in northern England purchases 1,000 bicycles to offer students a COVID-19-safe means of travelling. The new bicycles are one of many health measures the school is taking, including airport-style temperature scanners, distanced seating in study areas, plastic screens and visors for lecturers and additional online resources for student learning.

OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images


Number of the day

5 million

India’s confirmed cases passed five million, an enormous burden on the country’s strained health care system.

The world’s second-most populous country has added more than one million cases this month alone and is expected to become the pandemic’s worst-hit country within weeks, surpassing the United States, where more than 6.6 million people have been infected.

India’s Health Ministry reported 90,123 new cases in the past 24 hours, raising the total to 5,020,359, about 0.35 per cent of the country’s nearly 1.4 billion people. Its record daily high of 97,570 cases was reported on Sept. 11.

The ministry said 1,290 more people died in the past 24 hours, for a total of 82,066, which is the third-highest toll in the world. Experts warned that India’s fatality rate could increase in coming weeks with lockdown restrictions relaxed except in high-risk areas.

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Coronavirus in Canada

  • As Ontario reports 315 new cases, Premier Doug Ford said he will discuss new measures aimed at lowering social-gathering-capacity limits, and that the province will issue the highest fines in Canada for people who violate the guidelines. Toronto’s school board said it no longer needs more classroom space after an increase of almost 10 per cent of students opting for remote learning in recent weeks. A Renfrew County high school has been ordered to close after three staff members tested positive for COVID-19 since last Friday.
  • A school in Winnipeg, Manitoba switched to remote learning for some grades after four cases were reported in the school.
  • Three First Nations are asking British Columbia’s information and privacy watchdog to force the province into divulging when COVID-19 cases pop up near their territories, arguing it would help to protect their vulnerable communities from the pandemic.

In Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada’s democratic institutions – including Parliament and Elections Canada – need to be fully functional even in the midst of a deadly pandemic.

But he insists that doesn’t mean he wants an election this fall.

  • “I think Canadians want politicians to work together to serve them, to build a better future for them and keep them safe during this [COVID-19] crisis.” Trudeau told a new conference Wednesday.
  • Parliament returns Sept. 23 with a throne speech that Trudeau promised will set out a path for getting Canadians through – and eventually beyond – the pandemic.

Trudeau released details Wednesday of how provinces and territories will spend the $19-billion the federal government is giving them to safely restart the economy. The details were in letters each premier has sent outlining how they intend to spend the money.

Meanwhile, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole is in self-isolation and said he will be tested for COVID-19 after a member of his staff tested positive for coronavirus.

  • With O’Toole, Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet and most of the Bloc caucus in self-isolation because of exposure to individuals who’ve tested positive for COVID-19, Trudeau said it’s imperative that Parliament return in a hybrid format

Also today: Officials say public-health messages targeted at young people need to acknowledge that they may be engaging in riskier behaviour and provide clearer directions on practising physical distancing.


Coronavirus around the world

  • Watch: Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell clarified the U.S. Fed’s new policy stance that will keep interest rates near zero for the foreseeable future to allow more Americans to return to work even if that pushes inflation above the Fed’s long-held 2-per-cent target. Meanwhile, the government outlined a sweeping plan to make vaccines for COVID-19 available free to all Americans when proved safe and effective.
  • Japan’s trade surplus widened in August as the pandemic pummelled a wide array of industries and sapped consumer demand. The 15-per-cent drop in exports from a year earlier was outpaced by a more than 20-per-cent decline in imports, according to preliminary data from the Finance Ministry.

Coronavirus and business

Canada’s inflation was 0.1 per cent in August, the second successive month at that low level, a sign that the country’s economy is still running below capacity.

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  • On a month-over-month basis, the index actually fell 0.1 per cent in August from July.
  • Inflation hit a five-year low in March as pandemic restrictions were put in place, but bounced back in June as the economy reopened.
  • Since June, however, price growth has stalled at near-zero as unemployment remains high and pandemic restrictions have a negative impact on some segments of the economy.

Inflation remains far off from the Bank of Canada’s target of 2 per cent – the level the considered indicative of sustainable full capacity for the economy.

Happening tomorrow: Millennials, COVID-19 and the high cost of big-city living. Join personal finance experts Rob Carrick and Roma Luciw for a live Q&A on Facebook tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. EST.


Globe opinion

  • Robyn Urback: “March break 2020 lasted approximately six months. Based on how the province is stumbling over its return to school, the coming Thanksgiving holiday could stretch until Easter of next year.”
  • Stephen Gordon and Christopher Ragan: “Our governments have scrambled to design massive policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, and we learn about those measures every day. Yet the Bank of Canada’s involvement has received less comment than it deserves, and with the bank’s mandate up for renewal next year, it is time for a proper debate over its most appropriate policy objective.”

More reporting


Distractions

📚 For the book nerd: This year’s Donner Prize will be awarded tonight in recognition of excellence in public policy writing by Canadian authors. A look at the issues that keep these policy writers up a night.


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