British PM remains in intensive care while in Canada cases of COVID-19 continue to rise

The latest: 

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson spent the night in an intensive care unit of a London hospital after his coronavirus symptoms dramatically worsened.

Cabinet minister Michael Gove told the BBC that Johnson was receiving oxygen but was not on a ventilator. Gove says that he’s “receiving the very, very best care from the team at St. Thomas and our hopes and prayers are with him and with his family.”

The 55-year-old Conservative leader was admitted to St. Thomas’ Hospital late Sunday, 10 days after he was diagnosed with COVID-19, the first major world leader to be confirmed to have the virus. He was moved to intensive care after his condition deteriorated Monday.

WATCH | CBC’s Margaret Evans reports on what Boris Johnson’s move into the ICU means:

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was moved to an intensive care unit after symptoms from COVID-19 became worse. Johnson was hospitalized 10 days after testing positive for the virus. 3:18

A spokesperson for the prime minister said Tuesday that Johnson was receiving standard oxygen treatment and was breathing without any other assistance. He did not require a mechanical ventilator.

“The prime minister has been stable overnight and remains in good spirits,” the spokesperson said.

The coronavirus crisis in the U.K. is deepening as case numbers rise. The government said Monday that 51,608 people had been confirmed to have the coronavirus in Britain, 5,373 of whom have died.

In Canada, all provinces and territories except Nunavut have cases of COVID-19, with the total known case count surpassing 16,660. Quebec and Ontario have been hardest hit, followed by Alberta and British Columbia. Nova Scotia on Tuesday reported its first COVID-19 related death. 

The virus, formally known as SARS CoV-2, causes an illness called COVID-19. In most cases, it causes mild to moderate symptoms, but for some, especially older adults and the infirm, it can cause more severe disease and lead to death.

Health officials around the world have urgently called on people to stay physically apart and practise proper hand hygiene in a push to slow the spread — or flatten the curve — of the disease. Masks, and the role they might play in protecting the general public, have been the subject of debate, but on Monday Canada’s chief public health officer updated her position.

WATCH | Chief public health officer talks about non-medical masks: 

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr Theresa Tam spoke with reporters on Parliament Hill on Monday 2:21

Dr. Theresa Tam said that given what is now known about asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission, non-medical masks could help prevent the person wearing the mask from spreading the virus to others in places where physical distancing is difficult, like grocery stores and on public transit.

Tam said masks worn this way have not been proven to protect the people wearing them, and they don’t exempt wearers from other measures they should take against COVID-19.

As of 9:30 a.m. ET Tuesday, Canada had reported a total of 16,667 COVID-19 cases. The provinces and territories that provide information on recovered cases listed 3,629 cases as resolved. CBC News has recorded 360 COVID-19-related deaths in Canada, and two coronavirus-linked deaths of Canadians abroad. 

Public health officials caution that the numbers don’t tell the full story, as they don’t capture information on people who haven’t been tested or cases that are still under investigation. Tam has urged people to behave as though COVID-19 is in their community, even if there are no documented cases.

Read on for a look at what’s happening in Canada, the U.S. and other hard-hit countries around the world.

Here’s what’s happening in the provinces and territories

In British Columbia, passengers will be asked COVID-19 screening questions before getting on a ferry with a route longer than 30 minutes. People who decline to answer or show flu-like symptoms won’t be allowed to board. Read more about what’s happening in B.C., including a look at the province’s push to flatten the curve.

Alberta’s premier says the province is looking to procure non-medical masks for the general public. Premier Jason Kenney said that areas that have seen success in limiting the spread of the novel coronavirus — including Taiwan and Hong Kong — have embraced “quite widespread, popular use of face masks, particularly in crowded environments” as part of their strategy. Read more about what’s happening in Alberta

Saskatchewan reported more recovered cases than new COVID-19 cases for the first time on Monday. Chief medical health officer Dr. Saqib Shahab said “we need to maintain” practices like physical distancing and minimizing outings to places like grocery stores. Read more about what’s happening in Saskatchewan.

Manitoba’s premier says the province will be announcing “additional steps” to get people to follow public health orders, including physical distancing guidelines. “It is a concern when people refuse to understand the hurtful consequences of their thoughtless conduct,” Brian Pallister said. Read more about what’s happening in Manitoba.

Extra ventilators have arrived in some Ontario ICUs to help with COVID-19 patients. Data obtained by CBC News shows that there are now 1,971 ICU beds in the province with ventilators, up from 1,219 last month. Read more from CBC’s Mike Crawley on what’s happening in Ontario’s hospitals.

“Scenarios are a complicated thing.” That’s the word from Quebec’s public health director ahead of a planned release of the province’s COVID-19 projections. Horacio Arruda said the modelling will be released Tuesday at the premier’s request. Read more about what’s happening in Quebec.

Thousands of test kits have arrived in New Brunswick from the federal government. Health Minister Ted Flemming said the 5,000 kits have “greatly relieved the pressure on testing” in the province, which has struggled to scale up its testing initiatives. Read more about what’s happening in N.B.

Nova Scotia has removed having travelled outside the province as a requirement for securing a COVID-19 test. People in the province still need to fill out an assessment form and book an appointment to get a test. Read more about what’s happening in N.S, including details on the province’s first COVID-19-related death.

A sign promoting handwashing stands outside a closed church during the global outbreak of the coronavirus disease in Toronto on Monday. (Chris Helgren/Reuters)

Prince Edward Island’s chief public health officer Dr. Heather Morrison said eight of the 22 known COVID-19 cases on the island are considered recovered. Read more about what’s happening on P.E.I.

Health officials and politicians in Newfoundland and Labrador are worried after COVID-19 cases emerged in a long-term care home. Read more about what’s happening in N.L.

The Northwest Territories hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk is putting up a checkstop to try and protect the community against COVID-19. Read more about what’s happening across Canada’s North, including the story of how one long-term care facility is trying to prepare

Here’s a look at what’s happening in the U.S.

From The Associated Press, updated at 7 a.m. ET

In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the first, faint signs the outbreak there may be nearing its peak, but said it’s not time yet to relax physical distancing restrictions.

“The numbers look like it may be turning,” Cuomo said.

WATCH | New York morgues near capacity, COVID-19 deaths top 10,000 in the U.S.:

Deaths from COVID-19 in New York have the city’s morgues nearing capacity as deaths across the U.S. top 10,000. 1:58

The state has averaged just under 600 deaths daily for the past four days. Though horrific, the somewhat steady daily totals were seen as a positive sign. Cuomo also reported that the number of new people entering New York hospitals daily has dropped, as has the number of critically ill patients needing ventilators. But he said the strains on the state’s health-care workers were still at unsustainable levels.

The nation’s top infectious disease specialist, Dr. Anthony Fauci, was cautiously optimistic, saying that in New York, “what we have been doing has been working.”

Here’s a look at some other hard-hit areas around the world

From The Associated Press, updated at 9 a.m. ET

Japan’s prime minister on Tuesday declared a month-long state of emergency for Tokyo and six other prefectures after a spike in infections there but it came in the form of a stay-at-home request — not an order — and violators will not be penalized. Japan has the world’s oldest population, a worrying target for a virus that has been killing the elderly at much higher rates than other age groups.

China, the first country to go into lockdown, which was also among the strictest, reported no new deaths over the past 24 hours for the first time since it began publishing statistics on the virus that emerged in December in the central city of Wuhan. Many infectious disease experts, however, have been skeptical of the figures coming out of China.

The final travel restrictions on residents in Wuhan are due to be lifted Wednesday and Denmark said it planned to reopen schools next week for students up to age 11 — a development that feels impossibly distant elsewhere in the world.

Spain is recording again a rise of daily coronavirus infections and deaths for the first time in five days, a result consistent with previous Tuesdays when a weekend backlog of tests and fatalities are reported.

With 743 new deaths in the last 24 hours, around 100 more than the period from Sunday to Monday, Spain’s death toll neared 13,800 since the beginning of the pandemic, Health Ministry data showed. The total of confirmed infections rose to more than 140,000, with 5,478 new cases on Tuesday, 1,000 more than on Monday. Both figures had been declining since April 2.

The rate of new coronavirus cases was slowing in Italy and France while Portugal reported its lowest daily rise in new infections since the outbreak began. To keep up social distancing, Paris banned daytime jogging just as warm spring weather settled in.

Medical workers in protective suits talk as they prepare to check drivers in Collegno, near Turin, Italy, as the spread of COVID-19 continues. (Massimo Pinca/Reuters)

Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte promised residents that they will soon “reap the fruit of these sacrifices” in personal liberties, though he declined to say when a nationwide lockdown would be lifted. Italy has the world’s highest death toll — over 16,500 — but intensive care units in the north are no longer airlifting patients to other regions.

Worldwide, more than 1.3 million people have been confirmed infected and nearly 75,000 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University. The true numbers are certainly much higher because of limited testing, different ways nations count the dead and deliberate underreporting by some governments. Deaths in the U.S. neared 11,000, with more than 368,000 confirmed infections.

The Indonesian government has been forecasting that the new coronavirus might infect about 95,000 people in the country by next month as the virus continues to spread rapidly.

Indonesia marked the biggest daily increase in COVID-19 cases since the country announced its two first cases early last month: 247 people tested positive on Tuesday, bringing the country caseload to 2,738.

South Korea, meanwhile, said it will soon announce a guideline for hospitals on experimental coronavirus treatments using donated blood from patients who survived. Kwon Jun-wook, an official from South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the guideline will draw from the country’s experience with similar treatments on patients who contracted the MERS virus during an outbreak in 2015.

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, discovered in 2012, is caused by a coronavirus in the same family as the common cold, SARS and the novel virus that’s causing the COVID-19 illness. The 2015 outbreak killed 36 people and sickened nearly 200 in South Korea.

WATCH | Can COVID-19 be spread by talking? 

We know COVID-19 can be spread by someone coughing or sneezing, but what about by simply talking? Andrew Chang explains how it can happen.   0:57

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