Protests in Hong Kong escalate amid the epidemic; China to hold annual meeting delayed by coronavirus

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The last new coronavirus news from Canada and around the world on Wednesday (this file will be updated throughout the day). Web links to longer stories if available.

6:30 a.m .: The head of the IOC Coordination Commission for the Tokyo Olympic Games said on Wednesday that he did not agree with the suggestions of certain scientists and doctors that a vaccine against COVID-19 is necessary to organize the Games.

John Coates, a member of the Australian International Olympic Committee who is a lawyer, said he saw the notice but disagreed.

“The advice we get from WHO says we have to keep planning for this date and that’s what we do, and it doesn’t depend on a vaccine,” Coates told the Australian Associated Press.

The Japanese Medical Association president Yoshitake Yokokura said on Tuesday that the Olympics could only continue in July 2021 if infections were under control, not only in Japan but around the world.

5:25 a.m .: China, in a move to return to normal business, announced Wednesday that its previously postponed national legislative session would be held in late May.

The National People’s Congress, delayed since early March due to the coronavirus epidemic, will begin on May 22, the official Xinhua news agency said.

It was not immediately clear whether the 3,000 or so delegates would come to Beijing for the biggest political meeting of the year, or whether it would be held virtually by videoconference.

5:20 a.m .: Protesters chanted pro-democracy slogans at a luxury shopping mall in Hong Kong on Wednesday, the latest in a series of modest but determined protests as the city’s coronavirus outbreak slows.

Over 100 protesters gathered for lunch in the Landmark Atrium shopping center in Central, a prestigious business and retail district, despite social distancing rules that prohibit public gatherings of more than four people .

“The protests had calmed down before because of the coronavirus, but now we need to step up and let the world know that we haven’t given up,” said Mich Chan, who works in the legal industry. “We are still fighting for what we fought last year. “

5:15 a.m .: Officials in the Thai capital say they are preparing to ease restrictions on the coronavirus. The Bangkok metropolitan administration said on Wednesday that plans include reopening restaurants, markets, exercise areas, parks, hairdressers and barbers, clinics and nursing homes, animal hospitals and pet lounges, as well as golf courses and driving ranges.

Restaurants should keep their seats at least 1.5 meters (5 feet) apart and practice a wide range of sanitary measures. Thailand has confirmed 2,947 cases, including 54 deaths.

4:15 a.m .: The House of Commons will be asked today to quickly approve legislation authorizing promised $ 9 billion in financial assistance for students facing bleak prospects for summer jobs amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

But it is not yet known whether the Trudeau government will obtain the unanimous consent necessary to expedite the approval of the bill in a few hours today.

The government was continuing negotiations with opposition parties over the details of the bill, which were released to them this weekend.

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer said his party wanted changes that would ensure that the legislation includes incentives for young people to accept available jobs, rather than staying at home and receiving emergency aid.

Tuesday 10:40 p.m .: Three employees tested positive for COVID-19 in one of the emergency day care centers opened by the City of Toronto to care for the children of essential workers. Two other staff members and two children await the results of the tests.

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The Jesse Ketchum Early Learning and Child Care Center will be closed for the next two weeks, the city said in a statement on Tuesday.

Tuesday 10:32 p.m .: An employee tested positive for COVID-19 in a Loblaws in East York.

The Loblaws employee at 301 Moore Avenue last worked on April 27, the company said on Tuesday evening. The store will undergo a thorough cleaning and will reopen on Wednesday.

Any staff member who has been exposed is also asked to stay at home.

Learn more about Tuesday’s coverage here.



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