Federal health officials say the biggest threat from the coronavirus is now community spread….where patients have no connection with travel outside the country.
Canada’s chief medical health officer, Doctor Theresa Tam, says about half of the cases being diagnosed are now through transmission within the community, something she calls a “fundamental shift.”
She adds that’s why it’s so important that people stay at home and keep their distance from others.
Tam says most of those testing positive for COVID-19 were infected two or three weeks ago, so it will be some days yet before we know whether physical distancing policies are working.
The number of cornavirus cases across Canada is now approaching 28-hundred, with more than two dozen deaths.
Almost 200 people are now listed as recovered.
PARLIAMENT NEGOTIATING AID PACKAGE
Members of Parliament have passed the $82-billion dollar federal assistance package.
The legislation, introduced yesterday during a special session of Parliament, had been delayed over the minority Liberal government’s inclusion of new rules that would allow the Minister of Finance to make sweeping changes to tax rules without legislative approval.
The Conservatives and the NDP say the lack of oversight by Parliament is unacceptable.
Ontario is now reporting 588 cases of the coronavirus, with 58 new diagnoses reported yesterday.
Eight people have now died…the two latest were elderly residents of long-term care homes in southern Ontario.
The province’s chief medical officer of health, Doctor David Williams, has issued orders that allow long-term care facilities to refuse to let residents leave for short visits with family or friends.
It also allows the homes to change staffing hours and duties, and defer vacations, during the current pandemic.
With millions of people now staying home, the province has reduced electricity prices, charging only the off-peak weekend rate for the next 45 days.
Premier Doug Ford says that will be extended if necessary.
AROUND THE WORLD
Prince Charles has tested positive for COVID-19.
The 71-year-old and his wife, Camilla, who is one year older, are in self-isolation following the diagnosis.
He is said to be doing well.
U-S President Donald Trump says he’d like to see the American economy back up and running by Easter, which is just over two weeks away.
Administration officials say that would mean a start to lifting restrictions on travel and gatherings in the next couple of days.
The move would be contrary to the advice of health experts, who say the coronavirus is still spreading rapidly in the United States.
In India, the country’s government has locked down its 1.3-billion people, in an effort to slow the growing number of cases.
And the Italian government has announced strict new penalties to for those who violate the country’s strict rules against gatherings.
Those include up to five years in prison for those diagnosed with the virus that violate their quarantine.
Worldwide, there have been about 425-thousand infections reported, with 19-thousand deaths.