The last coronavirus news from Canada and around the world on Sunday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.
7h06: Domestic air travel in Wuhan, the epicenter of the global coronavirus outbreak, has returned to pre-pandemic levels, authorities say.
The virus was first detected in Wuhan late last year, and the city suffered a draconian 76-day lockdown as its hospitals struggled to cope with a tidal wave of cases that required the rapid construction of field hospitals to manage overflow.
Since the reopening in early April, life has gradually returned to normal and the number of domestic flights serving the city, as well as the number of passengers, had fully recovered, according to the operator of Wuhan Tianhe International Airport. On Friday, 64,700 passengers were carried on 500 domestic flights.
7h03: India recorded a single-day peak of 94,372 new confirmed coronavirus cases, bringing the country’s overall total to 4.75 million.
The health ministry also reported 1,114 deaths in the past 24 hours on Sunday, bringing the total number of deaths to 78,586.
Even though infections are growing faster in India than anywhere else in the world, the number of people recovering from the virus has also risen sharply. The country’s recovery rate is 77.77% and nearly 70,000 recoveries were reported each day in September, according to the health ministry.
The ministry has attributed the pace of recovery from COVID-19 in India to aggressive testing and rapid monitoring, but experts say India needs to test more due to its huge population. It became the second most affected country behind the United States, and now tests more than a million people every day.
6h50: A prominent Israeli minister resigned on Sunday to protest an expected government decision to impose a nationwide lockdown this week ahead of the Jewish New Year due to the increase in coronavirus cases.
Housing Minister Yaakov Litzman, who served as health minister during the initial outbreak of the virus in Israel, criticized the anticipated lockdown measure as extreme and said it would cause undue suffering to the public.
Litzman, who heads an influential ultra-Orthodox faction in the coalition government, has expressed particular anger at restrictions that will prevent observant Jews from attending community prayers in synagogues during the upcoming holidays.
6h41: South Korea says it will ease social distancing rules in the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area following a drop in the number of new coronavirus cases.
Health Minister Park Neung-hoo said in an online briefing Sunday that the greater Seoul area recorded around 80 to 110 new cases of the virus each day last week, up from 110 to 180 the week before.
Under relaxed rules that are in effect from Monday for two weeks, Park said authorities would lift the ban on eating at restaurants after 9 p.m. in the Seoul area. They have only been allowed to provide take-out and deliveries after 9 p.m. since late August.
6h35: The Austrian leader said his country was witnessing the start of a “second wave” of coronavirus infections. He calls on his compatriots to abide by the newly tightened rules to reduce infections.
Chancellor Sebastian Kurz announced on Friday that the government would reimpose measures such as requiring masks to be worn in stores to curb the rise in new infections. Austria recorded 859 new infections on Friday, the highest daily figure since the end of March.
Kurz stepped up his rhetoric on Sunday. He told the Austrian news agency in a written statement that “what we are experiencing right now is the start of a second wave”. He added that developments in the capital, Vienna, are “particularly dramatic”, with the city accounting for around half of the new cases.
Kurz said Austria will soon hit the 1,000-a-day mark. He called on Austrians to reduce social contact, wear masks and keep their distance “as well as possible”.
Saturday 7:30 p.m .: Some First Nations in the Interlake region of Manitoba are reporting that members of their community have tested positive for COVID-19.
The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs said in a recent statement posted to Facebook that there had been a total of 29 laboratory-confirmed and probable First Nations COVID-19 cases in Manitoba, but so far, all were off the reserves.
However, the Fisher River Cree Nation said on its website Friday that a community member tested positive after being exposed in Winnipeg and returned to Fisher River while asymptomatic.
The First Nation says the test was sent to the provincial public health lab for confirmation.
Click here for more on Saturday’s coverage.