The last 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.
6h15: Venezuelan authorities say new cases of coronavirus have exceeded 10,000 nationwide, with an alarming number of recent illnesses discovered in the capital of Caracas.
President Nicolás Maduro on Tuesday ordered strict quarantine measures in Caracas, where most of the 303 new daily cases have been diagnosed.
Venezuela has been quarantined nationwide for 121 days, starting shortly after the diagnosis of the first cases in mid-March. Authorities report less than 100 dead.
The South American nation has not been invaded by the virus like neighboring Brazil and Ecuador, which experts attribute to the isolation of Venezuela after years of economic and social crisis.
6 h 05: Russian authorities have lifted the mandatory two-week self-quarantine for those arriving under relaxed restrictions on coronaviruses.
Beginning on Wednesday, Russian and international travelers will need to provide coronavirus test results at the border or pass a test within three days of arriving in Russia. Auto-quarantine will remain mandatory for those who test positive for the virus or whose health deteriorates upon arrival.
It is one of the stages in the reopening of the country after health officials begin to report a slowdown in infections. Last month, authorities authorized trips abroad for work, study, medical treatment or the care of relatives. They also allow foreigners with a work permit or those seeking medical treatment or taking care of family members to enter the country.
5 h 56: The French tourism industry received new impetus on Wednesday with the partial reopening of Disneyland Paris and the opening of the top floor of the Eiffel Tower.
Disneyland Paris, the busiest seaside resort in Europe, partially reopens its doors to the public, four months after its closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Marne-la-Vallée park, east of the French capital, opens its doors gradually from Wednesday with Disneyland parks and Walt Disney studios.
5h25: Voters in North Macedonia are wearing masks to participate in the general elections after months of delay due to the pandemic.
Polls opened on Wednesday but there were fears of a low turnout in the middle of a spike in the country’s coronavirus cases. The country of approximately 2 million people has registered more than 8,200 confirmed coronavirus infections and 385 deaths.
Authorities have minimized the health risks from visiting polling stations. All electors must wear masks – remove them briefly for identification purposes – and stand 2 meters (6.5 feet) from other people.
The management of the pandemic – and its devastating economic impact in a country where half the population lives on the edge of poverty – dominated the debate before the elections called following the resignation in January of Prime Minister Zoran Zaev after the failure of the European Union to set a date for North Macedonia to start accession negotiations.
5h19: Tokyo Coronavirus Task Force Members Raised Levels of Caution in the Japanese Capital on a Scale of Four and Urged Officials to Secure More Hospital Beds, Increase Testing and Raise Awareness urgency of the situation.
Governor Yuriko Koike asked residents to avoid unnecessary trips outside of the city, but did not request the closure of businesses. Norio Ohmagari, a member of the task force, said the infections appeared to be increasing, with an increasing number of cases not found. He said the infections no longer concentrate in the nightlife areas and spread to workplaces, restaurants, households, nursing homes and daycare centers. Tokyo reported 8,189 cases on Tuesday, including 325 deaths.
5 h 15: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described her government plan to contain future community epidemics in the South Pacific nation, which has had no local spread for 75 days.
His two new cases registered on Wednesday and all 27 of his active cases are people quarantined after traveling abroad. Ardern stated that a local or regional locking system would be used and that a national locking would be a last resort. Local locks can relate to buildings, suburbs or a city. “Our priority will be to control all cases with the least intrusive measures and on the smallest area possible,” said Ardern.
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5 h 08: Coronavirus cases in India have jumped from 29,429, and authorities are reimposing closures in high-risk areas. The new cases brought the national total to 936,181.
The health ministry also reported 582 deaths, bringing the total death toll to 24,309. A two-week lockout was imposed Wednesday in eastern Bihar and its population of nearly 128 million. Almost 2.5 million poor migrant workers have returned to the state after losing their jobs in other parts of the country. The main technology center in southern India, Bangalore, was also subject to a week-long lockout on Wednesday.
5h01: China is further easing restrictions on domestic tourism after reporting no new local cases of COVID-19 in nine days. A directive from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism dated Tuesday said that tourist sites could allow 50% of their daily accommodation capacity, against 30%, and that interprovincial group visits could resume.
4 h 45: Renewed restrictions went into effect in Hong Kong on Wednesday, with restaurants limited to take-out after 6 p.m. as the Asian financial center fights a resurgence of the coronavirus.
The wearing of the mask was made compulsory on public transport for the first time, with fines of up to 5,000 Hong Kong dollars ($ 650). Public gatherings are again limited to four people, after the limit was relaxed last month to allow up to 50 people.
Semi-autonomous Chinese territory has seen a return of locally transmitted cases in the past 10 days after a long period without them. About 300 new cases have been reported since July 6, including more than 220 that were not imported.
The city has canceled plans to allow major public events, postponing a very popular annual book fair scheduled to open on Wednesday. Hong Kong Disneyland, which reopened last month, has closed again under new restrictions.
Gyms and beauty salons have been closed and restaurants are not allowed to offer catering services from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. The schools have already been closed since Monday.
Tuesday 10 p.m .: Two City of Toronto employees from the Parks, Forestry and Recreation Department tested positive for COVID-19.
In a press release issued Tuesday evening, the City said it had been informed of the employees’ diagnosis earlier in the afternoon.
The workers were exposed to the virus between July 6 and 10, the city said. Toronto Public Health advised employees to self-isolate for 14 days.
The city said no children in CampTO programs, which started on Monday, were directly exposed to employees.
Toronto public health officials advised employees to isolate themselves for 14 days, the city said.
Through contact tracing, the city also identified 23 other employees who were in contact with the two workers. All were asked to be tested and isolated for 14 days, the city said.
The City said it was informing families, employees, the union and the public about these cases “for the sake of public transparency”.
Toronto Public Health reports that the risk of COVID-19 for children and families from this CampTO program is very low.
Click here to learn more about Tuesday’s coverage.