The latest news on coronaviruses from Canada and around the world on Thursday (this file will be updated throughout the day). Web links to longer stories if available:
6:42 a.m .: Oxfam is warning that half a billion people in the developing world may be plunged into poverty due to the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
Oxfam calls on world leaders to agree on ‘economic rescue package for all’ to keep poor countries and communities afloat in a report based on research from King’s College London and the Australian National University poor. Among the measures he recommends is the immediate cancellation of $ 1 trillion in debt payments to developing countries in 2020.
Jose Maria Vera, Acting Executive Director of Oxfam International, said: “For the poor in poor countries who are already struggling to survive, there are almost no safety nets to keep them from falling into poverty.”
4:47 a.m .: Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, has banned alcohol sales for a week and a half to prevent social gatherings that could spread the virus that causes Covid-19.
The ban runs from April 10 to April 20 and is the metropolitan area’s last effort to contain an outbreak of infections since early March.
4:32 a.m .: The Turkish government will ban layoffs for three months and provide a daily allowance of almost 40 lire ($ 5.8) to those who are not eligible for unemployment benefits and have lost their jobs after March 15, NTV reported on Wednesday. , citing a bill proposed by the AK Party decision. The proposal grants President Recep Tayyip Erdogan the right to extend the ban for up to six months, said NTV.
4:19 a.m .: The United States and China should work together to show “honest leadership” or risk turning the pandemic into a more serious crisis, said the head of the World Health Organization in particularly harsh comments on the two superpowers.
At the height of the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union united again to fight and eradicate smallpox, said Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. He urged all countries, political parties and the media to stop trying to use the coronavirus problem to divide people.
“If you don’t want a lot more body bags, then you don’t want to politicize it,” Tedros said in a briefing in Geneva on Wednesday. “Do not use COVID-19 to score political points. “
Tedros said that WHO is trying to treat everyone the same and will assess successes and failures later. The organization officially informed all member states of the outbreak on January 5 and gave advice on how to detect it before January 10.
WHO plans to update its strategy and give an estimate of financial needs for the next phase in the coming days, said Tedros. Financial resources will not be a problem as long as the countries are united, he added.
“When there are cracks nationally and globally, this is where the virus works,” said Tedros.
4:01 a.m .: Federal officials to hold technical briefing revealing their best and worst assumptions about the number of Canadians likely to be infected with the deadly virus, the number of people likely to die and the time it will take to contain it .
4:01 a.m .: The National Statistics Agency of Canada is expected to release a labor force snapshot this morning starting in March, as the COVID-19 virus plunged the country into economic uncertainty.
The report will provide a picture of employment for the third week of March just as businesses have started closing a store and laying off workers to curb the spread of the new coronavirus disease.
Statistics Canada says it has reorganized some of its usual measures to better assess the effects of COVID-19 on the labor market because its traditional definitions of employed, unemployed and inactive “may not fully capture certain aspects of the ‘impact’ of the pandemic.
The survey, for example, will exclude the most frequently observed reasons for absent workers – such as vacation, weather, parental leave or a strike or lockout – to better isolate the effect of the pandemic.
The government says it received 966,000 requests for the Canadian emergency response benefit on Monday alone – the first day a new web portal for requests was opened.
In addition to what the government says, nearly 3.7 million Canadians have become eligible for employment insurance since March 15, and whose claims are now automatically transferred to CERB.
3.57 a.m .: The World Bank says sub-Saharan Africa is set to enter recession for the first time in a quarter of a century.
The bank’s new report predicts growth in nearly 50 countries this year will drop from 2.4% to at least 2.1% or even at least 5%. It indicates that countries that depend heavily on oil and mining production will be particularly affected. And the largest economies – South Africa, Nigeria and Angola – which were already sluggish, will experience even more pain.
Africa has experienced some of the most dynamic economies in the world in recent years. The World Bank says African nations will need “debt service shutdown” and other financial aid. African leaders have called for debt relief, warning that the pandemic will continue to threaten the world if a region runs out of support.
3:38 a.m .: Police wearing protective gear climbed aboard a cruise ship to seize evidence and interrogate the ship’s crew members linked to hundreds of coronavirus infections and 15 deaths in Australia.
Approximately 2,700 passengers disembarked from the vessel on March 19 in Sydney and it has since become the largest source of coronavirus infections in Australia. More than 600 COVID-19 cases and 15 deaths are linked to the ship, the Ruby Princess.
New South Wales police, who boarded the ship Wednesday night at Port Kembla south of Sydney, said they would stay in port for 10 days with their 1,040 crew members subjected to medical assessments. About 200 crew members showed symptoms of COVID-19, while 18 tested positive for the virus that causes it. The workers remaining on the ship are from 50 countries.
3:38 a.m .: Prime Minister Boris Johnson spent a third night in the critical care unit where his condition was improving, as officials worked out plans to extend the lockout to control the growing UK coronavirus crisis.
Never miss the latest Star news, including up-to-date coronavirus coverage, with our free email newsletters
Johnson has been at St Thomas Hospital in London since Sunday after struggling to get rid of the symptoms of the virus, including a cough and fever. He continues to “progress steadily” and remains in intensive care, said 10 Downing Street Wednesday evening.
“The latest addition to the hospital is that the Prime Minister remains in intensive care where his condition improves,” said Finance Minister Rishi Sunak on Wednesday. “He sat down and engaged positively with the clinical team.”
3:24 a.m .: Iran’s supreme chief suggested Thursday that mass rallies in the Islamic Republic could be banned during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are going to be deprived of the public gatherings of Ramadan,” said Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in a television address. “These gatherings are meetings to pray to God or listen to speeches that are truly precious. In the absence of these meetings, be sure to consider your prayers and devotions in your loneliness. “
Ramadan is expected to start in late April and last for most of May.
3:08 a.m .: China has said it plans to officially ban the consumption of dogs after the species has been omitted from a list of animals approved for human consumption.
The agriculture ministry released a draft list on Wednesday which specifies which animals will be allowed to be raised for meat, fur and medical purposes, and includes species such as deer, ostriches and foxes. The ministry is seeking public comments on the draft list until May 8, the statement said.
In its statement, the ministry specifically noted the omission of the dogs, saying that public concern about it and growing awareness of animal welfare had contributed to the abandonment of the species. Cats were also omitted, although this was not specifically addressed by the ministry.
12.42 a.m .: According to the Centers for Korea Control and Disease Control and Prevention, the coronavirus could “reactivate” in people who are cured.
About 51 patients classified as having been cured in South Korea have again tested positive, the CDC said in a briefing on Monday. Rather than being re-infected, the virus may have been reactivated in these people because they tested positive again shortly after being released from quarantine, said Jeong Eun-kyeong, general manager Korean CDC.
“While we are putting more emphasis on reactivation as a possible cause, we are doing a thorough study of it,” said Jeong. “There have been many cases where a patient during treatment will be negative one day and positive another.”
A patient is considered fully recovered when two tests performed with an interval of 24 hours show negative results.
The Korean CDC will conduct an epidemiological investigation into the cases, said Jeong.
9:35 p.m. (updated): The Toronto Caribbean Carnival is canceled for the first time in 52 years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In consultation with our stakeholders … and given the large crowds attending the events pose a huge risk regarding the spread of the virus, it is therefore unanimous that the priority must be the health and safety of our customers and, after having weighed all these considerations, there is no choice but to cancel the festival this year, “said the festival’s board of directors in a statement.
The festival, a celebration of Caribbean culture formerly known as Caribana, which features elaborate costumes, music and food, takes place in July and August. Canceled events include the Junior King and Queen Show, the Junior Parade, the Adult King and Queen Show, Pan Alive and the grand finale, the Grand Parade which takes control of Lake Shore Blvd. with floats, costumed dancers and marching bands.
The festival management committee says that if circumstances change and license restrictions are lifted by July 1, it will seek to organize a non-traditional celebration over the weekend of August 1.
8.45 p.m .: Canada has received its first shipment of N95 masks from 3M, which includes 500,000 masks, Prime Minister Doug Ford said in a statement Wednesday evening.
In addition to this, Ford said construction hours have been extended so that COVID-19 hospitals and assessment centers can be built 24 hours a day.
The province says it will also hire more inspectors and more staff for their telephone lines to ensure that employers of essential workers comply with health and safety regulations.