Today’s coronavirus news: After COVID-related delays, 16-year-old N.S. girl gets lung transplant; Donald Trump Jr. Tests Positive for Coronavirus;
|Toronto Star 21 Nov 2020 at 07:59|
The latest coronavirus news from Canada and around the world Saturday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.
7:54 a.m.: Households across the U.S. are once again filling grocery carts brimful in a second round of panic buying as the virus surges and states clamp down on economic activity. Defensive purchasing is affecting everything from paper towels to bacon. Even the world’s biggest retailer is reporting shortages of high-demand items, including cleaning supplies, breakfast foods -- and the most important commodity in any bathroom.
“It really does have everything to do with what’s happening with Covid cases in any particular community,” Walmart’s chief executive officer, Doug McMillon, said on an earnings call in the past week. “We’re going to be able to respond in this instance better than we did in the first half of the year, although we’re still -- as a total supply chain -- stressed in some places.”
The new wave of pantry stockpiling hits about eight months after the March boom, meaning makers of packaged food and household items have had some time to prepare. General Mills Inc. added 45 external production lines through contractors this year, while Campbell Soup Co. spent $40 million to expand production of Goldfish crackers, a must for parents cooped up with toddlers. Still, at-home demand is surging, accelerated by a new wave of indoor-dining bans.
7:11 a.m.: Poland will allow shopping malls to reopen, while keeping restaurants, cinemas and schools closed as Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki asked for more patience until a virus vaccine arrives.
“We need 100 more days of solidarity,” Morawiecki told reporters on Saturday. “Now we need to ask of ourselves more than ever.”
Poland introduced a near-full lockdown earlier this month after Covid-19 infections surged in October, with daily deaths climbing to a record 637 earlier this week. Schools will remain closed until at least mid-January, while gyms, cinemas, theaters and restaurants won’t reopen before Dec. 27.
7:08 a.m.: Iran on Saturday shuttered businesses and curtailed travel between its major cities, including the capital of Tehran, as it grapples with the worst outbreak of the coronavirus in the Mideast region.
Top Iranian officials initially downplayed the risks posed by the virus outbreak, before recently urging the public to follow measures like wearing masks and avoiding unessential travel.
Iran has recorded daily death tolls of above 430 over the past five days. The Iranian Health Ministry said on Saturday that the total number of confirmed cases has risen to above 840,000.
7:01 a.m.: Russia on Saturday reported a new daily high in the number of coronavirus infections and deaths.
The national coronavirus taskforce said 24,822 new cases were recorded over the past day, the fourth time in a week that a new high has been tallied.
It said a record 467 people died of COVID-19.
The surge in infections is straining Russia’s vast but underfunded health care system, with many infected people reportedly forced to search for sparse hospital beds.
Overall, Russia has recorded more than 2,064,000 cases and 35,778 deaths.
Tahlia Ali left Halifax on May 20 after receiving word that medical specialists preferred she be near the University Health Network and the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto as the pandemic continued.
Her grandmother, Judy Robichaud, describes the double lung transplant performed on Monday as "very successful."
She says the initial surgery to repair two holes in Tahlia s heart was somewhat more difficult than expected because the heart was more enlarged than anticipated. Robichaud estimates the dual operations required 13 hours.
6:01 a.m.: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau s effort to try and bring rivals onside to help communicate the dramatic implications of rising COVID-19 infections appears to have faltered.
While Trudeau stood in front of his home Friday and implored Canadians to stay in theirs, opposition leaders didn t echo that message.
Trudeau had given them a briefing late Thursday on the new modelling data that predicts as many as 20,000 new cases a day by the end of December without urgent action.
6 a.m.: At the northeast corner of Queen Street East and Airport Road in Brampton begins a large stretch of multi-sized warehouses, factories and shops. On any given day, the movement of small and large trucks getting in, loading or unloading, and getting back out is about the only observable activity in the area, save from the occasional construction work. It’s kilometres in either direction before you reach residential parts of the neighbourhood, a mixture of multi-unit housing buildings and stand-alone or semi-detached homes.
This is the part of the GTA that has emerged as the most affected by COVID-19 .
Earlier this week, the Star reported that the , that is to say nearly one in five people here tests positive for the virus, based on analysis conducted by non-profit ICES. Peel region as a whole has a positivity rate of 9.8, which is the highest in the GTA.
Click here to read the full story.
6 a.m.: To look at Toronto’s latest job figures, you’d think the city’s economy had largely bounced back.
The numbers, which plummeted in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic , have largely come back, from an average of 3.04 million jobs in May to an average of 3.4 million jobs for the three months ending in October, according to Statistics Canada data for the census metropolitan area.
And jobs in the information, culture and recreation sector during the same time period are higher even than they were last year — 178,000 compared to 153,500 in 2019.
A deeper look at the numbers that fuel the local economy, though, shows some industries have been devastated, namely the sectors that rely on people congregating.
5:36 a.m.: Singapore and Hong Kong on Saturday postponed the start of an air travel bubble meant to boost tourism for both cities, amid a spike in coronavirus infections in Hong Kong.
The travel bubble, originally slated to begin Sunday, will be delayed by at least two weeks, Hong Kong’s minister of commerce and economic development, Edward Yau, said at a news conference.
The arrangement is meant to allow travellers between the two cities to travel without having to serve a quarantine as long as they complete coronavirus tests before and after arriving at their destinations, and fly on designated flights.
Hong Kong reported 43 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, including 13 untraceable local infections.
4:06 a.m.: India has reported 46,232 new confirmed coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, with the situation particularly alarming in New Delhi.
Intensive care wards and the capital’s main crematorium are near capacity, and health officials this week found the prevalence of infections in markets much higher than expected. The city has added an average of 6,700 cases each day in recent weeks.
The next two weeks in the post-festival season, including celebrations for the Diwali holiday, are going to be important in determining which way the virus will go. The Health Ministry on Saturday also registered 564 deaths in the past 24 hours, taking total fatalities up to 132,726.
4:06 a.m.: Japan is scaling back on the government-backed “GoTo” campaign to encourage travel and dining out, as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases reached a record for the third day straight on Saturday, at 2,418.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced the decision at a government panel on coronavirus pandemic measures.
Stressing the need for “utmost caution,” he said the campaign’s travel discounts will no longer apply to hard-hit areas, and discounts on eating out will end temporarily.
4:02 a.m.: South Korea has reported 386 new cases of the coronavirus in a resurgence that could force authorities to reimpose stronger social distancing restrictions after easing them in October to spur a faltering economy.
The figures released by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency on Saturday raised the country s total number of confirmed cases to 30,403, including 503 deaths.
More than 270 of the new cases have come from the Seoul metropolitan area, where health workers have struggled to track transmissions in schools, private tutoring academies and religious facilities.