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coronavirus update daily
What to know

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

  1. President Donald Trump declared a national emergency, unleashing as much as $50-billion for state and local governments.
  2. The Bank of Canada cut its key interest rate; Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced that $10-billion of immediate credit will be available to Canadian businesses.
  3. The federal government urged Canadians to avoid non-essential travel.
  4. Parliament is suspended for five weeks.
  5. Toronto closes daycare facilities, rec centres and libraries; Mayor John Tory in self-isolation.

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

At Toronto's Pearson airport, passengers move through a quiet security check. Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canadians should avoid non-essential international travel to help limit the spread of coronavirus.Deborah Baic/Deborah Baic / The Globe and Mai

Number of the day

0.75 per cent

The key overnight lending rate after the Bank of Canada announced an emergency cut of 50 basis points.

  • “There are significant measures happening today and next week which I think people should see as a co-ordinated and very powerful package,” said the bank’s Governor, Stephen Poloz.

Coronavirus in Canada

While under self-isolation, Prime Minister Trudeau addressed reporters at Rideau Hall. He urged Canadians to avoid non-essential travel outside, a sentiment echoed by the chief public health officer and Health Minister in a separate news conference.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced $10-billion in immediate credit support for businesses. A “significant stimulus package” will be unveiled next week. “These are extraordinary times and that means we are ready to take extraordinary means,” Morneau said.

  • Elsewhere: Military personnel are banned from travelling internationally. The measure is meant to help “flatten that curve to protect the most vulnerable in our population,” the Chief of the Defence Staff said.

And: In a move supported by all parties, Parliament is suspended. The House of Commons will return April 20; the Senate will resume April 21.

Coronavirus around the world

Coronavirus and markets:

What happened today?

At market close, the S&P/TSX Composite was up 8 per cent, buoyed by stimulus announcements; however, for the week, the index was on track to fall about 15 per cent.

The price of oil had its biggest weekly slide since 2008, despite settling 0.7 per cent up today.

What does it mean?

Economists at RBC and CIBC predict a recession is coming later this year, caused by coronavirus and plunging oil prices.

While fiscal and monetary stimulus will cushion the downside, an economic recovery will be prevented by persistent low oil prices.

Have you had to self-quarantine because of the coronavirus? We’d like to hear your story. Email:

Reader question

Question: What’s the deal with toilet paper? Why are stores running out? Why are people stockpiling?

Answer: The empty toilet paper aisle in the grocery store has become an iconic image of the coronavirus outbreak. People are being told to prepare for the worst – which means two weeks of isolation – by stocking up on essentials.

One of the staples in every home is toilet paper. But the reason stores are being emptied out is not because people are buying more Charmin than Ramen noodles, it’s because TP is a big bulky item and stores have limited space. Psychologically, seeing those empty shelves makes us want to buy more – panic begets panic.

One cheeky Australian newspaper printed eight blank pages and told readers they could use them as emergency toilet paper if they run out. Yet another reason to subscribe to a newspaper.

  • Opinion: Forget toilet-paper hoarding. In the time of coronavirus, let’s seize the bidet
  • The CEO of Canada’s largest TP producer says there’s no shortage. “We’re essentially selling it at exactly the same price to all our customers,” the CEO added.

The Globe’s health columnist André Picard answered additional reader questions. Need more answers? Email

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