Pope Francis said Saturday that the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged many assumptions.
In a message ahead of the 4th World Day of the Poor, which will be marked on Nov. 15, the pope said that “we feel poorer and less self-sufficient because we have come to sense our limitations and the restriction of our freedom.”
He said the loss of jobs along with the chance to spend more time with loved ones “suddenly opened our eyes to horizons that we have long since taken for granted,” and that the period of lockdown allowed many to rediscover “the importance of simplicity, and of keeping our eyes fixed on the essentials.”
He also said that the pandemic “has made us all the more aware of the presence of the poor in our midst and their need for help” and that its sudden arrival sparked “a powerful sense of bewilderment and helplessness” that also demonstrated “our own need for an outstretched hand.”
The novel coronavirus has infected more than 7.7 million people worldwide and killed more than 427,000, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.
What’s happening with COVID-19 in Canada
As of 1 p.m. ET on Saturday, there were 98,371 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases in Canada, with 59,334 cases considered recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial data, regional health information and CBC’s reporting stood at 8,157.
A person wearing a protective face mask walks by a mobile COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal on Saturday. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)
Read on to see what’s happening around the world.
South Korea has reported 49 new cases, mostly in the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area, where health authorities have been struggling to slow transmissions linked to entertainment and leisure activities, church gatherings and low-income workers who can’t afford to stay home.
The figures released Saturday brought national totals to 12,051 cases and 277 deaths.
The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Jung Eun-kyeong is urging residents in the capital area to stay home over the weekend, saying there is “high concern” that increased public activity will lead to widespread circulation of the virus.
WATCH | South Korea’s largest water park reopens with COVID-19 rules:
South Korean thrill-seekers trade boredom at home for the pleasures of the park, but only after meeting COVID-19 protocols. 0:58
In China, Beijing has locked down 11 residential communities near a wholesale food market to try to stem a new outbreak of COVID-19.
Beijing officials said Saturday that 45 workers at the Xinfadi market tested positive for the coronavirus, though they showed no symptoms. That was in addition to an earlier announcement of seven people with symptoms, including six who had visited or worked at the market. Forty environmental samples taken at the market also tested positive, city officials said.
The city, which had not had a locally transmitted infection in more 50 days, reversed some recent moves to relax coronavirus restrictions. Authorities delayed the planned reopening of schools on Monday for first to third graders and suspended athletics events.
Police stand guard outside an entrance to the Xinfadi wholesale food market district in Beijing on Saturday. (Mark Schiefelbein/The Associated Press)
African leaders say China will ensure the supply of 30 million testing kits and 10,000 ventilators each month for the continent as the coronavirus pandemic accelerates there.
A statement by the South African president’s office says the supplies will be available for purchase via a new continental platform that African nations set up to negotiate cheaper prices for urgently needed medical equipment amid intense global competition.
The head of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said each African nation will be given a quota based on its population and number of virus cases. The South African statement says Canada, the Netherlands, South Korea and France also have been partners in the effort.
Parents are handed educational documents from teachers at a makeshift drive-thru near Johannesburg on Saturday. (Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters)
India reported another record daily spike in infections as the country passed the grim milestone of 300,000 cases. The Health Ministry reported 11,458 new cases on Saturday and 386 deaths, driving total fatalities to 8,884. India’s total caseload reached 308,993, the fourth-highest in the world, including more than 150,000 recoveries.
India’s caseload jumped by about 100,000 cases in a week, which coincided with the reopening of shopping malls, houses of worship and restaurants.
In the capital of New Delhi, most public hospitals are full, and crematoriums and graveyards are struggling to manage a rash of bodies. 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.
A worker sprays disinfectant inside government offices in Chennai, India, on Saturday. (Arun Sankar/AFP via Getty Images)
Ukraine has recorded its highest daily count of new coronavirus infections for the third day in a row, more than double the count earlier in the month.
The Health Ministry on Saturday reported 753 new cases, compared with 683 the previous day.
In early June, Ukraine was recording fewer than 350 new cases a day. Overall, Ukraine counts 30,506 confirmed infection cases and 880 deaths.
A flight attendant wearing personal protective equipment checks the temperature of a passenger at the door of an aircraft at the Boryspil International Airport outside Kyiv on Saturday. (Genya Savilov/AFP via Getty Images)
In the U.S., daily coronavirus hospitalizations in Texas have reached a new high for a third time in four days as state officials continue to loosen restrictions on public activities.
Health officials said Friday that 2,166 patients were in Texas hospitals with COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus. That is 13 more than the previous high reached Wednesday. Nineteen more COVID-19 deaths also were reported Friday, bringing the state’s overall toll to 1,939.
Officials said almost 2,100 new coronavirus infections had been confirmed, bringing the state’s total to 83,680.