Good evening, let’s start with the latest developments on the coronavirus outbreak:
Canada-U.S. border restrictions to take effect Friday night, Trudeau says
Canada and the United States are still working out the details of their previously announced plan to close their border to non-essential travel, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in his daily news conference today, but it will take place in the night between Friday and Saturday. The unprecedented move is being made to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
Essential travel as well as trucking will continue, as vital goods, such as food, medical supplies and groceries, will still be allowed to cross the border.
Trudeau said he has been in contact with Air Canada and WestJet to discuss bringing Canadians home who are abroad. Separately, Sunwing Airlines says it is offering seats on its repatriation flights free of charge to stranded Canadians, including to non-Sunwing customers.
Meanwhile, indigenous communities, already facing poor health care options, are closing their own lands’ borders to limit coronavirus exposure as Ottawa dispatches funds and tents to house and isolate sick patients in the north.
Italy’s coronavirus fatalities overtake China’s as tight quarantine prolonged
The number of COVID-19 fatalities in Italy jumped ahead of China’s, dashing hopes that the Italian coronavirus crisis was close to easing off after 10 days of a tight national quarantine.
The Civil Protection Ministry registered 3,405 COVID-19 deaths by this evening, a rise of 427 deaths over 24 hours (two less than the 425 deaths recorded yesterday). China registered 3,245 deaths, up only eight – another sign that the crisis there was well past its peak.
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said that quarantine measures would have to be prolonged beyond April 3, given the leap in numbers.
Ontario records second COVID-19 death, Quebec cases up to 121
Ontario has reported a new death as the province had a jump in cases – 43 new ones – today, bringing its total to 257 with two deaths. Quebec is reporting 121 confirmed COVID-19 cases, up from 94 yesterday, Canada is now closing in on 800 cases, 10 of them fatal. You can keep up with the latest developments in our news digest here.
Keep track: How many coronavirus cases are there in Canada, by province, and worldwide? Here are latest maps and charts.
Opinion: We thought we were in control of our lives. The virus shattered that - Margaret Wente
More coronavirus developments from here and abroad:
- The cruise ship Costa Luminosa, which is docked in the French port city of Marseille, is carrying several COVID-19 cases among its more than 1,400 passengers, including at least 77 Canadians according to Global Affairs. Passengers who have tickets for travel back to their home countries will be allowed to disembark from the cruise ship, the port authority said.
- A reported sharp increase in pneumonia cases in Moscow is fuelling fears about the accuracy of official coronavirus data, which remain much lower than many European countries.
- Prince Albert of Monaco has tested positive for coronavirus but his health is not a cause for concern, his office says.
- The National Football League has its first confirmed case of coronavirus with the news that New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton has tested positive.
Have you had to self-quarantine because of the coronavirus? We want to hear your story. E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Tulsi Gabbard drops out of Democratic race: Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard has suspended her presidential campaign, taking the U.S. Democratic presidential campaign from a virtual two-man race between Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and former vice-president Joe Biden to a literal one.
Supreme Court declines to hear Apotex case: The Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal in a long-running case over whether Barry Sherman, the late billionaire founder of Apotex, deprived his cousins of their rightful share of the generic pharmaceutical giant.
U.S. and Canadian stocks enjoyed a respite from the brutal selloff of the past four weeks, posting gains after central banks announced new measures to combat the devastating economic impact from the coronavirus pandemic.
Canada’s S&P/TSX Composite Index gained gained 449.10 points 3.8 per cent to 12,170.52, buoyed by the rebounding price of U.S. crude oil, which surged nearly 25 per cent from multiyear lows on yesterday.
Wall Street’s gains were more modest: The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 188.27 points or 0.9 per cent to 20,087.19, the S&P 500 index rose 11.29 points, or 0.5 per cent to 2,409.39 and the Nasdaq Composite added 160.73 points or 2.3 per cent to end at 7,150.58.
CBC’s closure of local newscasts amid the coronavirus crisis is a shame
“This is a moment when news gathering and reporting is a critical public service. This is a moment when citizens need and crave information.” - Robert Hurst, former president of CTV News
In normal times, universal basic income is a bad idea. But it’s the wisest solution for COVID-19 economic strain
“One of the biggest economic and health challenges we face is the sudden loss of working income, and a Crisis Basic Income can be delivered through the tax system as the vast majority of working Canadians file taxes – and the critical failure we are facing today is the immediate loss of working income.” - Ken Boessenkool, partner, Kool Topp & Guy Public Affairs
If you’re one of the many Canadians who don’t have a steady paycheque, what should you do until Ottawa’s new relief measures kick in? Experts say small business owners should avoid pulling money out of RRSPs or drawing down lines of credit to cover any shortfalls. Instead, try contacting your creditors immediately to ask whether you can delay or reduce your payments. Once that’s done, he suggests building an emergency budget that outlines your family’s basic necessities. The key is to make a plan and follow it.
LONG READ FOR A LONG COMMUTE
I’m a doctor who just emerged from two weeks of quarantine. Here’s my advice
Banished to the basement, I became depressed. I had patients who relied on me. Not to mention that if I don’t work, I don’t get paid, which, after a few missed days, can become an issue. Life as I knew it was put on hold. I felt fine, but to my family I was an incubating bomb ready to go off each time I emerged from the basement. I really had to be careful of what I touched, where I went and what I did.
Then, finally, I reached acceptance. It was not fair to be angry at what had happened. My clinic had followed protocols, which were adequate during normal times, but have since been adjusted to reflect this new reality. We have all learned about how to decrease risk accordingly. I know I will think differently about protection for my patients and myself in the future – just as my procedures at home became more mindful and stringent each day I was isolated.
In the basement, I made a plan that allowed me to use the isolation as a rare opportunity to get the upper hand on many projects that I hadn’t had time for. I was more fortunate than most people in isolation – I wasn’t stuck in a tiny cruise-ship room, I wasn’t cut off or fearful, I had my exercise bike, a fridge full of beverages, a comfortable place to sleep, TV and, most importantly, my health. My grumbling vanished when I compared my situation to others'. Read Michael Wansbrough’s full essay here.