The last coronavirus news from Canada and around the world on Friday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.
6h01: Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin said on Friday she left the European Union summit in Belgium “as a precaution” and was returning home to be tested for the coronavirus.
The move came a day after European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen left the summit venue in Brussels shortly after the meeting started because one of her close associates tested positive. to COVID-19.
Marin wrote: “I left the European Council meeting as a precaution and asked Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven to represent the end of the Finnish meeting.”
Marin had attended a meeting in the Finnish parliament on Wednesday with lawmaker Tom Packalen who later tested positive for coronavirus and exhibited mild flu symptoms.
5 h 25: Coronavirus infections in the Czech Republic set a new one-day high for the second day in a row.
Figures from the Department of Health show the daily increase to 9,721 on Thursday, 177 more than the previous record set a day earlier.
The nation of more than 10 million people has recorded a total of 149,010 cases since the start of the pandemic. Almost 50,000 of them were registered last week. It has also seen 1,230 deaths.
Hospitals across the country have postponed planned non-life-saving surgeries to focus on the growing number of COVID-19 patients. The government said their full capacity could be reached by the end of October.
The Czech army will start building a field hospital at the Prague Exhibition Center over the weekend for 500 patients. A similar plan is ready for Brno’s second-largest city, as the government negotiates with neighboring Germany and some other countries to have Czechs treated there if the local health system is overwhelmed.
5 h 21: Senior British scientist says continued arguments over how and when to impose tougher restrictions to tackle COVID-19 are hurting public health and causing more economic hardship.
An infectious disease specialist who sits on the government’s science advisory committee said the UK must quickly implement tougher nationwide restrictions to slow the spread of the virus and limit the wider damage to society.
Jeremy Farrar, director of research fundraising charity Wellcome Trust, says restrictions under the government’s current three-tier strategy are not tough enough to bring the virus under control and squabbles over where and when to impose the measures may confuse the public.
“I think we need to come together as a country,” Farrar told the BBC’s Newscast podcast. “Fragmentation and frankly making it a north-south issue or party politics is a very, very dangerous path to take.
5h19: Germany for the first time confirmed more than 7,000 new coronavirus infections, its second consecutive daily record.
The Robert Koch Institute, the national center for disease control in Germany, said Friday morning that 7,334 new cases had been confirmed in the past 24 hours. This compares to 6,638 a day earlier.
Until this week, the highest figure recorded in Germany was nearly 6,300 at the end of March, although testing has grown significantly since then. The numbers tend to peak towards the end of the week, but the latest reading points to a strong upward trend in recent weeks.
Earlier this week, the state and federal governments agreed to toughen mask-wearing rules and close bars early in areas with high infections.
5 h 15: South Korea’s daily coronavirus count fell below 50 for the first time in more than two weeks despite reports of small-scale local infections.
The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said on Friday that the 47 cases added in the past 24 hours brought the country’s total to 25,035 with 441 deaths. That’s a drop from the 110 reported a day earlier, with around half of them linked to an elderly hospital in the southeast city of Busan.
Health official Son Youngrae said South Korea’s workload is currently showing a downward trend. But he says the public must remain vigilant, as cluster infections have also been sporadically detected in hospitals and other high-risk facilities.
5 h 11: India’s confirmed coronavirus death toll rose to 895 in the past 24 hours, a day after recording the lowest daily death toll of 680 in nearly three months.
The health ministry also reported 63,371 new cases on Friday, bringing India’s total to more than 7.3 million, second in the world behind the United States. . The country has experienced more than 1,000 deaths a day last month.
According to the Ministry of Health, the average number of daily cases in India fell to 72,576 last week, from 92,830 in the week of September 9 to 15, when the virus peaked. It is averaging around 70,000 cases per day so far this month.
5 am: Italy has two weeks to stop the rise in the rate of transmission of the coronavirus or it risks “following in the footsteps” of its European neighbors where the exponential gaps have canceled out severe restrictions, said a frontline virologist.
Italian health officials have said the COVID-19 resurgence has reached an “acute phase”. Massimo Galli, director of infectious diseases at Luigi Sacco Hospital in Milan, said Italy’s outbreak – which reached pandemic highs in new daily infections this week – is not the result of record tests, such as the political decision-makers suggested it, but the sign of a real return among the population most at risk.
One need only take a look at Sacco’s COVID-19 service, a few steps from Galli’s office, to sound the alarm.
“We are facing a situation that reminds us quite painfully of what we have already experienced,” Galli told The Associated Press, referring to the peak in March and April when the outbreak of infections led to a record breaking a day of 969 deaths. .
4 am: Members of Ontario’s fitness industry say they are eagerly awaiting the outcome of a provincial review of COVID-19 protocols for gyms and similar facilities.
The province’s deputy medical officer of health said this week that safety guidelines for gyms were being reviewed after a major outbreak of the novel coronavirus linked to a cycling studio in Hamilton.
Jason Sheridan, senior vice president of operations at GoodLife Fitness, said he and his colleagues at the Fitness Industry Council of Canada “would love the opportunity” to work with public health officials to create new guidelines.
“We are very open to navigate this situation with them and support the direction that we are receiving from these medical experts based on an evidence-based approach,” Sheridan said.
“We are open to hearing about the concerns surrounding gyms and coming up with solutions that would allow us to reopen.”
More than a quarter of active COVID-19 cases in Hamilton are linked to the SPINCO cycling studio outbreak.
The city’s public health unit said on Thursday that 47 positive cases were primary infections from the cycling studio, which recorded its first related case on October 5.
According to Dr. Barbara Yaffe, the provincial deputy medical officer of health, the cycling studio followed all current provincial guidelines, but they were still not sufficient to prevent the outbreak. This sparked the current review, she said.
Thursday 10:56 pm: Australia’s largest city Sydney lifted quarantine restrictions on travelers from New Zealand on Friday, while second-largest city Melbourne marked the 100th day of one of the longest lockdowns pandemics in the world.
More than 350 passengers are expected to take three flights from Auckland on Friday and will not need to be quarantined at the hotel upon arrival in Sydney.
New South Wales State Premier Gladys Berejiklian said: “This is great news for tourism. This is also great news for family reunification and grateful businesses. “
New Zealand will continue to insist that travelers from Australia quarantine in hotels for 14 days upon arrival.
The Victoria state government has resisted pressure from business and the federal government to ease a second lockdown that began when home support orders went into effect in Melbourne on July 9.
Click here for more on Thursday’s coverage.