Federal minister says big-city businesses need extra help; Ontario’s regional health units report fewest new COVID-19 cases since March for three straight days; India hits 300,000 infections

Federal minister says big-city businesses need extra help; Ontario’s regional health units report fewest new COVID-19 cases since March for three straight days; India hits 300,000 infections

By Star staff and wire servicesSat., June 13, 2020timer6 min. readThe latest coronavirus news from Canada and around the world Saturday (this file wil

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By Star staff and wire servicesSat., June 13, 2020timer6 min. readThe latest coronavirus news from Canada and around the world Saturday (this file will be updated throughout the day). Web links to longer stories if available.9:18 a.m.: Ontarians outside of Greater Toronto began rejoicing on Friday, grateful to be allowed to meet at restaurants for the first time in months, and raising a glass to toast the arrival of Stage 2.“Oh my god, I’m so excited the patio is open. I’m beyond words,” said Diane Emmerson. The Palmerston resident drove into Kitchener today for an appointment and stopped in at the patio at Moose Winooski’s on Heldmann Road shortly after it opened.“There’s something about eating outside,” she said, looking off toward the groups spaced out around the building. Servers wore black masks and seemed to give customers space when they approached the table.Bill Siegfried, the restaurant’s vice-president of operations, said when Premier Doug Ford announced Monday that Waterloo Region would be entering Stage 2 of reopening, the reservations came flooding in. “As soon as he said patios could open on Friday, the phone started ringing.”Friday marked the next steps in Ontario’s plan to reopen after shutting down in March to control the spread of COVID-19, but the GTA, home to a plurality of new COVID-19 cases, is excluded for now.8:06 a.m.: The federal minister in charge of regional economic development says more needs to be done to help companies in the centre of Canada’s biggest cities so they can stay open through and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. Melanie Joly says cities like Toronto and Montreal continue to bear the brunt of the pandemic.Joly says her officials are delving deeper into the regional data as they craft the next phase of pandemic-related aid, moving from liquidity measures toward helping companies connect with customers. As she put it in an interview this week, it will be like coming out of the “fog of war” during the early days of the pandemic towards a reopening and recovery.That will include looking at the uptake on the $962 million given to regional development agencies for companies that can’t access the larger programs the Liberals have rolled out, and whether there is a need to support certain regions hit harder than others.A report this week from BMO Capital Markets forecasted single-digit economic declines in all provinces this year due to the pandemic, but noted the drop in GDP will be deeper and the jobless rates above the national average in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador due to lower oil prices.7:38 a.m.: India reported more than 11,000 new coronavirus infections on Saturday, another single-day high for the country, as it passed the grim milestone of 300,000 cases.The Health Ministry reported 11,458 new cases, driving the toll to 308,993, the fourth-highest in the world. It also reported 386 deaths, raising the number of fatalities to 8,884.India’s caseload has jumped by about 100,000 in a week, coinciding with the reopening of shopping malls, houses of worship and restaurants. The government had imposed a nationwide lockdown in late March.In New Delhi, the capital, most public hospitals are full, and crematoriums and graveyards are struggling to manage a rash of bodies.New Delhi’s government has projected that cases in the capital area alone could expand to more than half a million by late July, and is considering taking over luxury hotels and stadiums to convert into field hospitals.7:30 a.m.:The latest numbers of confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 4 a.m. on June 13, 2020:There are 97,943 confirmed and presumptive cases in Canada.- Quebec: 53,666 confirmed (including 5,148 deaths, 20,823 resolved)- Ontario: 31,726 confirmed (including 2,498 deaths, 26,187 resolved)- Alberta: 7,346 confirmed (including 149 deaths, 6,811 resolved)- British Columbia: 2,709 confirmed (including 168 deaths, 2,354 resolved)- Nova Scotia: 1,061 confirmed (including 62 deaths, 995 resolved)- Saskatchewan: 663 confirmed (including 13 deaths, 627 resolved)- Manitoba: 290 confirmed (including 7 deaths, 289 resolved), 11 presumptive- Newfoundland and Labrador: 261 confirmed (including 3 deaths, 256 resolved)- New Brunswick: 154 confirmed (including 1 death, 125 resolved)- Prince Edward Island: 27 confirmed (including 27 resolved)- Repatriated Canadians: 13 confirmed (including 13 resolved)Get the latest in your inboxNever miss the latest news from the Star, including up-to-date coronavirus coverage, with our email newslettersSign Up Now- Yukon: 11 confirmed (including 11 resolved)- Northwest Territories: 5 confirmed (including 5 resolved)- Nunavut: No confirmed casesTotal: 97,943 (11 presumptive, 97,932 confirmed including 8,049 deaths, 58,523 resolved)Friday 6:55 p.m.: Ontario’s regional health units have reported the fewest new COVID-19 cases since March for three straight days as the rate of new infections continues to fall, according to the Star’s latest count.As of 6 p.m. Friday, the health units had reported a total of 33,595 confirmed and probable cases, including 2,553 deaths, up a total of just 214 new cases since Thursday evening.Friday one-day total was again down from the previous day and was once again the province’s lowest since March 29, when the health units reported 204 cases amid a period of rapid, exponential, growth before cases first peaked in mid-April.Since last Friday, Ontario has seen an average of 290 cases reported each day, the lowest for any seven-day period since April 1.As has been the case this month, the overwhelming majority of new infections reported since Thursday evening came in the GTA. The region’s five health units saw a total of 160 new cases; the rest of Ontario reported 54.But the slowdown is also being felt in the Toronto-area; the total of just 86 new cases reported by Toronto Public Health Friday was the lowest since April 6.Meanwhile, the 10 new fatal cases reported since Thursday evening were also down from recent trends and considerably below from the height of the pandemic from late April to early May, when the province saw as many as 90 deaths in a day.Earlier Friday, the province reported that 527 patients are now hospitalized with COVID-19, including 114 in intensive care, of whom 84 are on a ventilator — numbers that have fallen sharply since early May. The province says its data is accurate to 4 p.m. the previous day. The province also cautions its latest count of total deaths — 2,498 — may be incomplete or out of date due to delays in the reporting system, saying that in the event of a discrepancy, “data reported by (the health units) should be considered the most up to date.”The Star’s count includes some patients reported as “probable” COVID-19 cases, meaning they have symptoms and contacts or travel history that indicate they very likely have the disease, but have not yet received a positive lab test.Friday 3:45 p.m. There are 86 new cases of COVID-19 in Toronto, Dr. Eileen de Villa, medical officer of health for the City of Toronto.De Villa unveiled a COVID-19 monitoring dashboard to share data on the City’s progress in getting on top of the disease at the City’s Frinday press conference.De Villa said the City will use the data “to direct and focus our attention” in battling the disease.Joe Cressy, City councillor for Ward 10, Spadina-Fort York, and chair of the City’s Board of Health, said the dashboard was designed to show where Toronto is at in the fight against COVID-19 and to establish public trust in the City’s decision-making through “radical transparency.”Cressy noted the lockdown is 19 weeks old and that the hardest part of the pandemic is reopening Toronto.“The new normal is living with COVID,” he said.He said Torontonians cannot be expected to stay in their homes forever. But they need to be sure the City’s decision-making is based on facts.“We can’t expect you to follow our advice if you don’t trust it,” Cressy said.
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