The Chinese city of Wuhan – where the new coronavirus outbreak appeared at the end of last year – started lifting a two-month ban on Saturday as the number of infections worldwide approached. 600,000.
Wuhan has restarted some metro services and reopened the borders, allowing a semblance of normalcy to return and families to reunite.
Authorities have taken strict measures to prevent people from entering or leaving the industrial city of 11 million people in central China. The families were confined to their homes. Bus and taxi services were closed and only essential stores were able to remain open.
The Chinese National Health Commission said on Saturday that 54 new cases of coronavirus were reported on the continent on Friday, all involving so-called imported cases. Mainland China now has 81,394 cases, with the death toll rising from 3 to 3,295, the commission said. Two days ago, China closed its national borders to most foreigners, fearing a second wave of infections.
In New York, considered the epicenter of the epidemic in the United States with more than a third of cases in the country, the Javits Convention Center has been transformed into a temporary hospital and will begin treating patients on Monday.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has said he wants four more temporary hospitals to respond to the growing number of coronavirus cases. New York State has the highest number of deaths from COVID-19 in the United States, more than 500. There are approximately 1,600 people in intensive care. Cuomo says public hospitals need 30,000 more ventilators.
In the United States, there have been around 1,600 deaths from the virus out of 100,040 cases reported on Friday, a number that exceeds the number in China.
Dr. Howard Njoo, Deputy Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, says the fight against the pandemic is far from over and may include a second wave. Friday, his comments come as the number of cases in Canada jumped to 4,757, including 55 deaths. The number of COVID-19 cases in Quebec has increased to more than 2,000, more than double the 993 cases in Ontario.
Over a dozen Canadians flight attendants are sick with COVID-19, including one recently released from an intensive care unit in Calgary, learned CBC News. Seven employees of WestJet and five of Air Transat are also confirmed cases. The Air Canada Flight Attendant Union requests complete protective suits for all crews. In the United States, last week, an American Airlines flight attendant died after contracting the virus.
WATCH | Infected Canadian flight attendants speak:
At sea, four passengers died aboard a cruise ship now anchored off the coast of Panama and two people on board the ship tested positive for the new coronavirus, the cruise line said Friday, with hundreds of passengers unsure of the length of their stay at sea.
Global Affairs Canada says it knows 248 Canadians aboard the ship – 247 passengers and one crew member.
Holland America Line confirmed that the Canadians were not among the four dead.
Holland America Line said in a message on its Facebook page that more than 130 people on board the Zaandam had reported flu-like symptoms.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Friday that there were many projections of the COVID-19 crisis – but these projections “all depend on the choices” that Canadians have made in recent days and will do in the days to come.
WATCH | Trudeau says the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic depends on the actions of Canadians:
“We know we are talking about weeks and maybe months,” said Trudeau. “But I am very optimistic that we are going to get it right, because Canadians are doing what they have to do to be there for each other and to keep us safe.”
He said the government, which previously announced a temporary 10 percent wage subsidy, will raise that figure to 75 percent for eligible businesses – a decision that many in the business world, as well as workers’ groups and opposition politicians, had asked for it.
“We are helping businesses keep employees on the payroll so workers are supported and the economy is able to recover,” said Trudeau.
The Prime Minister has declared that the subsidy for small and medium-sized enterprises will be backdated to mid-March. More details on the small business plan, including a loan program, will be released in the coming days, he said.
WATCH / According to Dr. Howard Njoo, Canada’s fight against COVID-19 could last several months:
Also on Friday, the Bank of Canada made an unexpected announcement, drop in its benchmark rate from 50 basis points to 0.25% in order to support an economy hit hard by the epidemic.
Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz said the world was affected by the COVID-19 shock, but that some economies are also affected by the competition in oil prices between Russia and Saudi Arabia. This means that the Canadian economy is facing two shocks, he said.
Here’s what’s happening in Canada’s provinces and territories
In British Columbia, people who ignore COVID-19 public health orders can be fined up to $ 25,000. The province also prohibited from reselling essential supplies, including cleaning products and personal protective equipment. Find out more about what’s going on in British Columbiaincluding a note of cautious optimism from health officials who said on Friday that physical distance restrictions succeed.
Alberta announced the immediate closure of all non-core businesses Friday, including close contact businesses such as hair and hair salons, tattoo and piercing studios and cosmetic services, and public gatherings limited to 15 people or less. Find out more about what’s going on in Alberta, including a story of Edmonton on a laptop reader aimed at connecting marginalized people during the coronavirus pandemic.
Saskatchewan publishes more information on COVID-19 cases in the province, including information on residents who have recovered after a positive test. The province, which has reported 95 cases, lists three cases as recovered. Find out more about what’s going on in Saskatchewan, which announced a new appointment test site in Regina.
Manitoba is expanding its COVID-19 tests to include symptomatic health workers, people living in group care settings (including long-term care and remote work camps), inmates and more. The province’s chief public health officer, Dr. Brent Roussin, also said that everyone living in the province’s First Nations who have respiratory symptoms will be tested. Find out more about what’s going on in Manitoba, who recorded his first death on Friday.
Toronto infectious disease specialist warns “it is almost inevitable” that hospitals in Ontario To See More COVID-19 Cases. Dr. Andrew Morris says it’s not yet clear exactly when this will happen, but said the best estimates suggest that clinicians “will start to see an increase over the next week”, and will see cases continue increase for weeks or even months. Find out more about what’s happening in Ontario, where a city has created a new live line for reporting violations of physical distance.
WATCH | World War II veteran dies from COVID-19, family unable to say goodbye:
In Quebec, Prime Minister François Legault urges everyone who can help volunteer in places like food banks, which are experiencing increased demand. And Montreal declared a local state of emergency on fears of a COVID-19 epidemic among the city’s homeless. Learn more about what’s going on in Quebec, including the story of a nurse working in one of the Montreal test sites.
WATCH: A drone video of Montreal shows formerly busy public spaces almost empty
According to the Premier of New Brunswick, between 25,000 and 30,000 people in the province have already lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We are facing a situation that we have never experienced before”, Blaine Higgs said Thursday. Learn more about what’s going on in New Brunswick, including an effort to connect laid-off workers with food manufacturers struggling to keep up with demand.
In Nova Scotia, the head of the provincial telephone health service says that anyone who receives a referral will receive a COVID-19 test. Dr. Todd Howlett, medical director of 811, said the the service adapts to meet demand created by the epidemic. Learn more about what’s going on in Nova Scotia.
Prince Edward Island has reported a total of nine cases of COVID-19, of which at least one has recovered. Learn more about what’s going on on P.E.I.
In Newfoundland and Labrador, the Minister of Health says the province’s public health emergency could last for months. “I’m pretty sure it’s going to happen in June,” Said John Haggie. “Whether or not we celebrate Canada Day, time will tell.” Learn more about what’s going on at N.L.
The Yukon government is prohibition of residential evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Air North, meanwhile, is lay off more than half of its workersand reduce service due to the epidemic. Learn more about what’s going on in Canada’s North.
Here’s what’s going on in the U.S.
From Reuters, updated at 5:00 a.m.ET
US doctors and nurses on the front line of the coronavirus epidemic were under increasing stress on Friday as the number of cases soared and hospital staff were forced to ration care for an overwhelming number of patients , one day after the United States passed a grim milestone, becoming the country with the highest number of infections in the world.
A Michigan emergency doctor said he was using a single paper face mask for an entire shift due to a shortage and that his hospital would soon run out of ventilators, machines including those suffering from COVID-19 , respiratory disease caused by the virus, to help them breathe.
After saying Thursday that he believed the number of fans requested by the states was sometimes exaggerated, U.S. President Donald Trump promised an announcement later Friday on the purchase of additional fans.
Trump signed a $ 2.2 trillion relief bill on Friday, just hours after it was approved by the House of Representatives, after being passed by the Senate earlier this week.
He also invoked emergency powers to force General Motors Co. to build much-needed fans after accusing America’s largest automaker of “wasting time” during the negotiations.
WATCH | Dr. Howard Njoo talks about staying “in your bubble”:
Here’s what’s going on in Europe
From Reuters and The Associated Press, updated at 5:30 a.m.ET
Italy On Friday, the number of deaths was the highest since the explosion of the epidemic in the country five weeks earlier, killing 969 more, bringing to 9,134 the highest number of COVID-19 in the world . Lombardy had 541.
Italy has also surpassed China in the total number of confirmed cases and is only behind the United States. But the National Institutes of Health have also said that there has been a slowdown in infections in recent days, suggesting that a national lockup begins to show an effect after 2½ weeks.
WATCH | Trump orders GM to manufacture fans:
France extends national containment for another two weeks after Tuesday’s initial end date until April 15. Saying “we are only at the beginning” of the virus wave, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced the extension on Friday. The move comes after the head of the French Federation of Hospitals stated that hospitals in and around Paris will be submerged within 48 hours, the peak not being expected before April. France has reported nearly 1,700 deaths, the fifth highest number of any country in the world, including a 16-year-old schoolgirl from the Essonne region, the youngest in the country to die from COVID-19 .
Spain The number of deaths from coronaviruses increased overnight by 769 cases to 4,858, the Ministry of Health announced on Friday, setting a new record for the number of deaths recorded in 24 hours. The total number of people infected on Friday increased by more than 7,800 to 64,059.
Ireland Friday ordered a lockout until April 12, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar telling citizens to leave the house only for groceries, short exercises or essential family visits. Travel more than two kilometers from home is prohibited, while anyone over the age of 70 is invited to “cocoon”.
“I call on each man, woman and child to make these sacrifices for the love of each other … Show that you care for your family and friends: stay home,” said Varadkar during a press conference.
In Germany, the number of confirmed cases rose to 48,582 and 325 people died from the disease, statistics from the Robert Koch Institute for Infectious Diseases showed on Saturday.
Poland temporarily closed its borders to thousands of cross-border workers. The measures take effect on Friday and require border workers to stay on one side of the border until April 11, just before Easter. With the exception of trucks and trains carrying goods, anyone crossing Poland will be quarantined for 14 days. The country has confirmed 1,244 cases of infection and 16 people have died.
In the south of Finland, police are preparing to apply new regulations to end all unnecessary human trafficking to and from Uusimaa, the region that includes the capital, Helsinki, according to Social Affairs Minister Krista Kiuru. The Nordic country has so far confirmed 958 cases of coronavirus – the vast majority of them in Uusimaa – and five deaths. This exceptional decision, which is due to end on April 19, affects the daily lives of some 1.7 million people, nearly a third of the Finnish population.
Swiss infections have surpassed 11,800, the government injecting money into the economy and army medical units helping hospitals. The Swiss authorities light up one of their most famous monuments, the Matterhorn, to show their solidarity in the fight against the coronavirus.
Here’s a glimpse of what’s going on in other parts of the world
turkey Saturday, all intercity trains were limited and domestic flights limited, the number of cases of coronavirus having jumped of a third in 5,698, with 92 deaths.
I ran confirmed another 144 coronavirus deaths and said that thousands more are in critical condition as the military completes work on a 2,000-bed field hospital in an exhibition center in the capital. Iran has reported nearly 2,400 deaths among more than 32,000 cases.
Iranian officials have repeatedly insisted on containing the epidemic, despite fears that it may overwhelm health facilities in the country. Authorities urged people to stay at home, but did not impose the extensive security restrictions seen elsewhere in the region.
From Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro said protecting the country’s economy was a priority over physical distancing measures.
“I’m sorry, some people will die, they will die, that’s life,” Bolsonaro said in a television interview Friday evening. “You can’t stop a car factory because of traffic deaths.”
He accused some of the 26 governors of Brazil of playing “a game of numbers to promote political interests” in their denunciation of the cases and said that the death toll of COVID-19 in the state of Sao Paulo seemed “too Important “in 68 of the 1223 cases.
South Korea said it would prevent any passenger with even a mild fever from entering the country from next week to counter an increase in coronavirus cases linked to arrivals from abroad. Health Ministry official Koh Deuk-Young said Friday that all airlines serving South Korea as of Monday will be required to screen passengers for fevers and deny boarding to anyone whose temperature is above 37.5 ° C. vol.
In recent weeks, South Korea has worked to strengthen border controls, including by imposing two-week quarantines on South Korean nationals and foreigners on long-term residence visas from The United States and Europe, while epidemics are increasing in the West.
Chinese leader Xi Jinping told President Donald Trump that China “understands the current situation in the United States in the face of the COVID-19 epidemic and stands ready to provide support within its means.” The official Xinhua news agency said that Xi had conveyed the message in a call to Trump on Friday, in which he also urged the United States to “take substantial steps to improve bilateral relations.”
During the phone call, Xi “suggested that the two sides work together to strengthen cooperation in fighting epidemics and other areas, and to develop a relationship of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation, “reported the official Xinhua news agency. The virus outbreak was first reported in China in December and now appears to have peaked in the country, although the government remains on guard against imported cases.
South Africa announced its first two deaths from coronavirus when the number of cases in the country exceeded 1,000. The Minister of Health said in a statement that the deaths had occurred in the Western Cape province. South Africa has the highest number of cases in Africa and at midnight it entered a three-week lockout. The military is on the streets to help enforce measures that include bans on the sale of alcohol. Water supplies are a concern in overcrowded and low-income townships.
Mexico reported 717 cases and 12 deaths Friday evening. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has been criticized for not taking the epidemic seriously enough, but in recent days he has made more efforts to urge Mexicans to stay at home and be aware of the symptoms. On Friday, he announced that 17 military-run hospitals will increase the number of intensive care beds.
Indonesia coronavirus cases surpassed 1000 in the biggest day jump as the government ordered mass tests across the country to contain the spread of the disease. The government confirmed 153 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, with 87 deaths. Indonesia plans to distribute around half a million test kits across the archipelago country, which is home to 270 million people.