The last coronavirus news from Canada and around the world on Saturday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.
7h02: The United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly approved a resolution on tackling the coronavirus pandemic over objections from the United States and Israel, which protested a successful last-minute Cuban amendment that strongly urges countries to oppose unilateral economic, financial or trade sanctions.
The global body adopted the resolution on Friday by a vote of 169 to 2. It was a strong demonstration of unity on the part of the most representative UN body in the fight against the coronavirus , although many countries hoped for adoption by consensus.
The resolution is not legally binding. It “calls for intensified international cooperation and solidarity to contain, mitigate and defeat the pandemic” and it urges member states “to allow all countries to have rapid and unhindered access to diagnostics, therapies, quality, safe, effective and affordable medicines and vaccines. . “
7 h 00: The New York Teachers Union warns it won’t let the nation’s largest school district reopen for in-person classes this month if the city doesn’t provide protective gear, conduct tests and does not clean schools properly.
Union leader Michael Mulgrew in a video Friday accuses the city of not acting with sufficient urgency on the pandemic.
The return of public school students to classrooms has been delayed from September 10 to 21 so that coronavirus safety precautions can be deepened.
Mulgrew says the city knows what it needs to do to make schools safe and, in her own words, “if you can’t get there before the kids go to school, we won’t let you open.” these schools.
6h53: Hungary recorded another record high number of people newly infected with the coronavirus, with 916 new cases.
Saturday’s total is more than 25% higher than the previous record of 716 cases reached on Friday.
Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government is taking a less generalized approach to the pandemic during this second wave, with restrictions decided more on a case-by-case basis.
Orban said in a video posted to his Facebook page on Saturday that the goal was not only to save lives, but also to make the country work. During the second quarter of the year, the Hungarian economy contracted by 13.6%, the largest drop in the region.
6h41: US Department of Health spokesperson Michael Caputo and colleagues have asked for the right to read and suggest changes to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 weekly reports, Politico reported, citing emails and three people familiar with the subject.
Communications assistants from the US Department of Health and Human Services complained to CDC Director Robert Redfield and other officials that the agency’s reports would undermine President Donald Trump’s optimistic message on the pandemic, according to the report.
CDC employees opposed the changes, but increasingly agreed to allow policy appointees to review virus reports and agreed to change wording in some cases, Politico said.
6h21: Istanbul’s governor has banned boating companies from holding weddings and similar gatherings as part of new measures to tackle the spread of COVID-19 in Turkey’s most populous city.
The governor’s office also reintroduced a ban on concerts and festivals in open spaces. An office statement Friday evening said the restrictions were necessary as people did not adhere to enough precautions such as physical distancing and confirmed virus cases increased.
Coronavirus infections and deaths began to rise in Turkey after the government eased restrictions on public activity in June, returning to levels last seen in mid-May.
On Friday, the health ministry announced 56 additional deaths and 1,671 new cases, bringing the country’s total number of deaths in the pandemic to 6,951 and cases to nearly 290,000.
6 h: Federal officials are tweaking the details of a program to help cities buy properties left vacant due to the pandemic so they can quickly create affordable housing.
The government has been considering the home ownership program for months as it seeks to prevent people from falling into homelessness as winter approaches with temporary accommodation measures that will expire.
This could lead to overcrowding of existing emergency shelters, or push more people onto the streets and create the conditions for the new coronavirus to spread among those already vulnerable.
4 h 01: A guaranteed basic income for all Canadians has become the top policy choice for Liberal MPs, just as the Trudeau government develops its plan to help people weather the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and rebuild the ravaged economy.
The Liberal caucus is calling on the government to adopt the idea in a priority strategic resolution for consideration at the party’s next national convention.
And MPs consider it so important that they nominated it as their main resolution, ensuring it will go straight to Congress Nov. 12-15 for debate and vote.
It is among more than 50 priority resolutions of the provincial and territorial organizations of the party in power and its various commissions that will be the subject, starting today, of a two-week online discussion between the registered Liberals.
Friday 5 p.m. Ontario regional health units report highest number of new COVID-19 cases in more than a month as the province’s daily average is now higher than any point since June, according to the latest Star count.
Health units are reporting 237 more cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.
With the total – the most in a single day since July 15 – Ontario’s seven-day average for new cases is now 183 cases per day.
This is the highest measurement since June 30 and double what health units reported 23 days ago on August 19.
Even with the increases, the infection rate remains well below the worst of the pandemic; Ontario has seen the seven-day case average peak in mid-April of almost 600 cases per day.
As has been the case in recent weeks, most new cases continue to arrive in the Greater Toronto Area and Ottawa. Toronto reported an additional 74 new cases on Friday; Peel added 58; Ottawa 36; and York Region 14.
No new fatalities were reported on Friday. Meanwhile, Toronto lowered its death toll by one, citing a routine data check.
The province has now recorded a total of 46,264 confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19, including 2,855 deaths.
Click here for more on Friday coverage.