- Trudeau to address Canadians again at 11:15 a.m. ET; CBC News will cover it live.
- Panama reverses decision to bar Holland America ship from transiting waterway.
- Canada now has 5,655 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases and 61 deaths.
- Ontario to crack down on price gouging on essentials, bans gatherings of 5 people or more.
- Sophie Grégoire Trudeau says she has recovered from COVID-19.
- Trump backs away from calling for a quarantine for coronavirus hotspots in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
- U.S., with more than 122,000 cases, surpasses China in number of infected.
- U.K. households getting letter warning things will get worse before they get better.
- A COVID-19 glossary: What the terms mean and some subtle differences.
- INTERACTIVE / Tracking the spread of coronavirus.
A Holland American cruise ship hit with a COVID-19 outbreak will be allowed through the Panama Canal, as it heads for its final destination in Florida.
Since a stop in Chile on March 14, the ship has been turned away from several ports after reporting that some of those on board were suffering from flu-like symptoms. Panama on Saturday reversed its decision to block the ship from the canal.
Global Affairs Canada says there are 248 Canadians stranded aboard MS Zaandam, where some passengers have tested positive for the virus and four people have died. No Canadians on the vessel are reported ill.
The Dutch-owned operator said on Saturday that it would be transferring asymptomatic people on board to Holland America’s sister ship the Rotterdam, which was also given permission to transit the Panama Canal.
Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne says he has been co-ordinating with his Panamanian counterpart and will continue efforts to bring any non-infected Canadians home once the ship docks in Fort Lauderdale.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will give his daily briefing to Canadians on the coronavirus pandemic at 11:15 a.m. ET. CBC News will cover it live right here.
WATCH | A COVID-19 patient asks Canadians to obey doctors, government:
The number of cases of the respiratory illness stands at 663,740 across the globe, with more than more than 30,000 deaths. Canada now has 5,655 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases, and at least 61 deaths, with 508 people recovered, according to figures compiled late on Saturday.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford on Saturday announced stiff new measures to prevent price gouging for important products during the COVID-19 crisis. He said individuals found guilty of price gouging could face fines of $100,000, while company directors could face fines of $500,000 as well as a year in jail. Corporations may be fined as much as $10 million.
Canada’s most populous province is also prohibiting gatherings of five people or more, replacing an order that barred public events of over 50 people. The new order does not apply to households with five people. Child care centres supporting health care workers and first responders are exempt. Funerals will be permitted with up to 10 people at one time.
Transport Canada on Saturday has laid out new rules, in effect on Monday, for domestic travel, meaning anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19 won’t be allowed to board a domestic flight or inter-city passenger train.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. But for others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, the virus can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and lead to death.
More than 130,000 people have recovered, according to Johns Hopkins’ tally.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, says she has recovered from COVID-19 after contracting the illness while on a trip to the United Kingdom earlier this month.
WATCH | Sophie Grégoire Trudeau says she’s recovered from COVID-19:
As the pandemic continues to shift westward, the situation has calmed in China, where some restrictions on people’s lives have now been lifted. Six subway lines have restored limited service in Wuhan, where the virus first emerged in December.
China reported 45 new coronavirus cases in the mainland for Saturday, down from 54 on the previous day, with all but one involving travellers from overseas, the country’s health authority said on Sunday local time. China also reported five new deaths on Saturday, all of which were in Wuhan in Hubei province, where the COVID-19 respiratory illness was first identified. A total of 3,300 people have now died in mainland China, with a reported 81,439 infections.
The Chinese Embassy in Canada said on Twitter on Saturday that the Bank of China donated medical supplies to Canada, including 30,000 medical masks.
On March 27, Bank of China donates medical supplies (including 30000 medical masks, 10000 sets of protective clothing, 10000 goggles and 50000 pairs of gloves, followed by N95 medical masks) to Canada fighting against COVID-19. We are together! <a href=”https://t.co/47VlWPlQyG”>pic.twitter.com/47VlWPlQyG</a>
Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Champagne welcomed the donations, saying on Twitter: “In the face of a global pandemic, supporting each other is not only the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do.”
In February, Canada donated 16 tonnes of personal protective equipment to China as it grappled with the peak of its outbreak.
WATCH | Infected Canadian flight attendants speak out:
In the United States, New York remains the worst-hit city, but Americans are bracing for worsening conditions elsewhere, with worrisome infection numbers being reported in New Orleans, Chicago and Detroit. In New York City, home to more than a third of the country’s cases, the Javits Convention Center has been turned into a temporary hospital and will start treating patients Monday.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he wants four more temporary hospitals set up to meet the growing number of coronavirus cases — more than 44,000 cases statewide and more than 500 deaths. The United Nations donated 250,000 protective face masks to New York City, and Cuomo delayed the state’s presidential primary from April 28 to June 23.
U.S. President Donald Trump backed away from calling for a quarantine for coronavirus hotspots in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, instead directing Saturday night that a “strong travel advisory” be issued to stem the spread of the outbreak.
Trump had told reporters earlier that he had spoken with Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, among others, who wanted the federal government to restrict travel from the New York metropolitan area to their states.
“They’re having problems down in Florida. A lot of New Yorkers are going down. We don’t want that,” Trump told reporters.
The notion of a quarantine had been sharply criticized by Cuomo and Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont.
Trump later said on Twitter: “I have asked the @CDCgov to issue a strong Travel Advisory, to be administered by the Governors, in consultation with the Federal Government. A quarantine will not be necessary.”
The U.S. now has roughly 122,000 confirmed cases, the highest figure in the world. The U.S. death count crossed 2,100 on Saturday, more than double the level from two days ago.
Mexico’s deputy health minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell on Saturday called for all residents in Mexico to stay at home for a month, saying it was the only way to reduce the transmission rate. Mexican health authorities said the country had 848 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Saturday, 131 more than the previous day, and 16 deaths.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a letter being sent to 30 million households in the U.K. that “things will get worse before they get better.” The government released the letter Saturday as Johnson continued to self-isolate after testing positive for COVID-19 and the number of cases in the U.K. rose to 17,089, with 1,019 deaths.
Dr. Howard Njoo, Canada’s deputy chief public health officer, has said the fight against the pandemic is far from over and that it could include a second wave.
We have now completed tests for over 184,000 people in Canada, which is 84,000 additional people tested since Monday,” Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, said Saturday.
Air Canada lines up additional flights
Since March 21, Air Canada has operated nine special flights in collaboration with the federal government to bring Canadians home from various countries — three flights from Morocco, three from Peru, two from Ecuador and one from Spain. The airline issued a news release on Saturday, announcing the following flights for Canadians:
WATCH | Toronto doctor describes what it’s like on the COVID-19 front lines:
Here’s what’s happening in Canada’s provinces and territories
In British Columbia, the provincial government reported 92 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, boosting the provincial total to 884. On a more positive note, provincial health officer Doctor Bonnie Henry said 396 people have recovered from the illness in B.C. Read more in this analysis about how the curve could be flattening in B.C., but any definitive declaration of “turning the corner” cannot yet be made.
Mandatory curfews have been implemented in an Indigenous community in northeastern Alberta, and residents are being warned that member benefits could be lost — and even stricter provisions brought in — if they don’t comply. Determined to keep COVID-19 out of the community of about 750 people, Fort McKay First Nation and McKay Métis had put up a barrier near the entrance of the community. Members need to log in and out, and visitors are not allowed in. Read more about what’s happening in Alberta, including a story from Edmonton about a laptop drive aiming to connect marginalized people during the coronavirus pandemic.
WATCH | Canmore, Alta., and other small towns worried about influx of visitors:
Saskatchewan said there’s been a large increase in cases connected with a snowmobile rally held earlier this month. Health officials now say 18 cases in total have been linked to the event, and all of them are self-isolating at home. Read more about what’s happening in Saskatchewan.
Manitoba is expanding its COVID-19 testing to include symptomatic health workers, people who live in group care settings (including long-term care and remote work camps), inmates and more. Chief provincial public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin also said all people living on First Nations in the province who are experiencing respiratory symptoms will be tested. Read more about what’s happening in Manitoba, which recorded its first death on Friday.
Ontario is cracking down on price gouging for essential hygiene and medical supplies. On Saturday, Premier Doug Ford announced an emergency order bringing in immediate new fines and potential jail time. “I have zero tolerance for this kind of nonsense,” he said. The province has also banned gatherings of five people or more, effective immediately, with some small exceptions. Read more about what’s happening in Ontario.
Quebec Deputy Premier Genevieve Guilbault is announcing police checkpoints as of this afternoon in eight regions outside major Quebec cities where the population is deemed more at risk. Guilbault says only essential travel will be allowed in those regions and that Quebec provincial police have also set up checkpoints near the Canada-U.S. border to intercept snowbirds returning to the province to ensure they understand there’s a 14-day quarantine. Read more about what’s happening in Quebec.
New Brunswick has announced a special line for health-care workers to call if they have symptoms. Public Health in the province is instructing health workers who’ve developed symptoms since March 20 to self isolate. Read more about what’s happening in New Brunswick, including news on how many layoffs are being blamed on the pandemic, and how physical distancing is affecting parents of newborns.
In Nova Scotia, the head of the province’s telephone health service says anyone who gets a referral will get a COVID-19 test. Dr. Todd Howlett, medical director of 811, said the service is adapting to meet the demand created by the outbreak. Read more about what’s happening in Nova Scotia.
Prince Edward Island has reported a total of 11 cases of COVID-19, with two new cases, one woman in her 20s and another in her 50s who both travelled internationally. Read more about what’s happening in P.E.I.
WATCH | How COVID-19 is affecting grocery stores:
Newfoundland and Labrador health officials are expressing concerns after finding the first case of community transmission of COVID-19. Chief medical officer of health Dr. Janice Fitzgerald says a patient admitted to a hospital in St. Anthony, N.L., was one of the 18 new cases announced on Saturday. Fitzgerald describes the case as a significant development because the patient had no history of travel or exposure to a known case of COVID-19. Read more about what’s happening in N.L.
Health authorities in the Nunavik region of northern Quebec have confirmed a case of the novel coronavirus. Kativik Regional Police say a woman is in self-isolation while “sharing a house with others” in Salluit, a hamlet of about 1,200 people on the Hudson Strait. Residents of that community, as well as Kuujjuaraapik and Whapmagoostui in northern Quebec are under a nighttime curfew, imposed Saturday.
Here’s what’s happening in the United States
From Reuters, updated at 5:00 a.m. ET
In the U.S., a 49-year-old prisoner in Oakdale, La., who was serving a 27-year prison term for a drug charge, became the first federal inmate to die from COVID-19, the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) announced late on Saturday. A total of 14 inmates and 13 staff in federal prisons across the United States have fallen ill with the virus, according to the BOP’s website.
Cities including Detroit, Chicago and New Orleans are growing as hotspots of infection, while New York City continues to be pummelled. Nurses there are calling for more masks and other gear to safeguard themselves against the virus that has so far sickened more than 52,000 people and killed over 700 in New York state, mostly in the city.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Saturday warned residents of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut against non-essential domestic travel for 14 days.
Health officials in Detroit, where poverty and poor health are longstanding problems. The number of infections surged to 1,381, with 31 deaths, as of noon Saturday.
“At this time, the trajectory of Detroit is unfortunately even more steep than that of New York,” said Dr. Teena Chopra, the medical director of infection prevention and hospital epidemiology at the Detroit Medical Center.
WATCH | ‘We are fighting a war’ says Canadian nurse in Detroit:
On Friday, Trump signed a sweeping $2.2-trillion relief bill into law, only hours after it had been approved by the House of Representatives, after having been passed by the Senate earlier this week.
He also invoked emergency powers to require General Motors Co. to build much-needed ventilators after he accused the largest U.S. automaker of “wasting time” during negotiations.
Britain has placed an order for 10,000 ventilators to be made by a consortium of companies including Ford, Airbus and Rolls-Royce as part of efforts to fight coronavirus, an industry source told Reuters.
Here’s what’s happening in Europe
From Reuters and The Associated Press, updated at 5:00 a.m. ET
The death toll in Italy reached surpassed 10,000 on Saturday, making it the highest of any country in the world. The number of fatalities surged Saturday by 889, bringing the country’s total to 10,023, according to the Civil Protection Agency.
Italy has the second highest number of cases, behind the United States. It surpassed China’s tally on Friday.
Meanwhile, the Vatican said Saturday that tests carried out in the residence where Pope Francis lives showed that the 83-year-old pontiff and his closest aides do not have coronavirus. Tests were made on 170 people in the Vatican and six were positive, including one who lives in the Santa Marta guesthouse.
WATCH | Pope Francis holds solitary Vatican service for those dealing with COVID-19 virus:
In France the next two weeks will be the toughest yet in the fight against coronavirus, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe warned on Saturday as his government raced to add intensive care beds and source protective gear. To free up intensive care beds in worst-hit areas, the army and emergency workers were this weekend stepping up the transfer of patients to less-affected regions, using a military helicopter and a specially adapted TGV train.
By Saturday, the coronavirus had claimed 2,314 lives in France, with more than 37,575 confirmed cases, according to official figures.
In the United Kingdom, 17,089 people have tested positive and 1,019 have died of COVID-19 as of Saturday morning, the Department of Health and Social Care said on Twitter. Britons should be prepared for a “significant period” in lockdown, senior cabinet minister Michael Gove said on Sunday.
In Germany, the number of confirmed cases has risen to 52,547 and 389 people have died of the disease, statistics from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases showed on Sunday.
In Spain, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced his government will order a two-week ban on commuting to all non-essential businesses starting on Monday. In a publicly televised address, he said all workers are ordered to remain at home “as if it were a weekend” to “intensify” efforts to stem the outbreak of the coronavirus.
Spain is approaching the end of the second week of stay-at-home rules and the closing of most stores, but workers were allowed to go to offices and factories if they were unable to work from home. Spain reported 6,528 fatalities on Sunday, up from 5,690 the previous day, and a total of 78,797 cases.
Ireland reported 14 deaths on Saturday, all in the east of the country and the most in a single day so far to bring the total number of fatalities to 36, the Department of Health said. The country also reported an additional 294 confirmed cases to bring the total to 2,415. Prime Minister Leo Varadkar on Friday ordered a lockdown until April 12. Travel more than two kilometres from home is banned, while all those over 70 are being instructed to “cocoon.”
In Russia, the mayor of Moscow urged residents on Saturday to stay home during the non-working week announced by President Vladimir Putin in a bid to curb the spread of the virus. Russian authorities say they recorded 1,264 COVID-19 cases on Saturday, a rise of 228, the largest daily increase since the start of the outbreak. The government says it will close all border crossings on March 30; the country has already grounded all international flights and declared next week a non-working week.
In southern Finland, police are preparing to enforce the new regulation aimed at ceasing all unnecessary human traffic to and from Uusimaa, the region that includes the capital, Helsinki, according to Social Affairs Minister Krista Kiuru. The Nordic country has so far confirmed 958 coronavirus cases — the vast majority of them in Uusimaa — and five deaths. The exceptional move, which is set to end April 19, affects the daily lives of some 1.7 million people, nearly a third of Finland’s population.
Switzerland’s infections topped 11,800 as the government pumped money into the economy and army medical units helped hospitals. Swiss authorities are lighting up one of their most famed landmarks, the Matterhorn, to show solidarity in the fight against the coronavirus.
Here’s a look at what’s happening in some other parts of the world
Forty-six passengers onboard the German cruise ship Artania have been reported as showing COVID-19 symptoms, according to Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan on Saturday. The Artania was allowed to pull into in Fremantle, Western Australia, on Thursday and sick passengers were taken off to be treated in Perth on Friday. The state government initially had not wanted the ship to dock and tried to divert it to a military base. There are more than 800 people onboard the vessel.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi apologized to the public on Sunday for imposing a three-week national lockdown, calling it harsh but “needed to win” the battle against the coronavirus pandemic. The unprecedented lockdown order, which came into effect on Wednesday to keep India’s 1.3 billion people at home for all but essential trips to places like markets or pharmacies, is meant to prevent the spread of the virus from surging and overwhelming India’s already strained health care system. Indian health officials have confirmed 867 cases of the coronavirus, including 25 deaths.
In Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Saturday promised an unprecedented package of steps to cushion the world’s third-biggest economy from the pandemic, saying the country was close to a national emergency as infections surged. The size of the package will exceed that compiled in response to the global financial crisis of 2008, which was worth a total 57 trillion yen ($740 billion Cdn), Abe said.
Meanwhile, Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike issued a plea following a surge in infections this week that she said put Tokyo on the brink of an emergency. She asked the tens of millions of people in the city and surrounding regions to avoid non-essential, non-urgent outings until April 12, particularly this weekend.
Japan reported 68 new cases on Sunday for more than 1,700 cases, excluding 712 from a cruise ship, with 55 deaths, public broadcaster NHK said Sunday. Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike has asked the tens of millions of people in the city and surrounding regions to avoid non-essential, non-urgent outings until April 12, particularly this weekend.
Malaysia reported 150 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, taking the total to 2,470, the highest in Southeast Asia. The number of deaths from the virus outbreak rose by seven to 34, the health ministry said.
Iran has confirmed another 144 deaths from the coronavirus and says thousands more are in critical condition as the military completed work on a 2,000-bed field hospital in an exhibition centre in the capital. Iran has reported nearly 2,400 deaths among more than 32,000 cases.
Iranian officials have repeatedly insisted they have the outbreak under control, despite concerns it could overwhelm the country’s health facilities. Authorities have urged people to stay home but have not imposed the sweeping lockdowns seen elsewhere in the region.
In the continent of Africa, coronavirus has now spread to dozens of the 47 countries of the WHO Africa region, with 2,650 infected and 49 dead, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Saturday.
Social distancing & hand washing at a clinic in <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Kenya?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#Kenya</a>: two of the most effective ways to stop the spread of <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/COVID19?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#COVID19</a>.<br><br>?:<a href=”https://twitter.com/MOH_Kenya?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@MOH_Kenya</a> <a href=”https://t.co/WBzsUvBFWw”>pic.twitter.com/WBzsUvBFWw</a>
Saudi Arabia recorded 99 new cases on Saturday, taking its total to more than 1,200 coronavirus infections — the most in the Gulf Arab region, with four fatalities. On Sunday local time, the Kingdom said it was extending indefinitely the suspension of international passenger flights and workplace attendance in both public and private sectors among efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
South Africa has the most cases in Africa and as of midnight entered a three-week lockdown. In Johannesburg, police fired tear gas at a crowd of Kenyan ferry commuters as the country’s first day of a coronavirus curfew slid into chaos. Elsewhere, officers were captured in mobile phone footage whacking people with batons.
Indonesia authorities in Jakarta have extended a state of emergency for the next two weeks. The country has reported 102 deaths and 1,155 infections.
The United Arab Emirates extended on Saturday to April 5 a nightly curfew to sterilize public places to combat the coronavirus as neighbouring Qatar reported its first death from the disease.
Turkey halted all intercity trains and limited domestic flights on Saturday, as the number of coronavirus cases jumped by a third in a day to 5,698, with 92 dead.
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