The 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.

10:05 p.m.: Coronavirus cases are growing faster than ever in Mexico, Chile and Argentina, while Peru posted its deadliest day yet and a new study showed the illness may be far more widespread in Brazil than official data suggest.

Brazilian states on Friday reported 909 new deaths, bringing the nation’s total death count to 41,828, and overtaking the U.K. for the second highest number of COVID-19 fatalities. Infections rose by 25,982, pushing the toll to 828,810. Brazil now trails only the U.S. on both counts.

A study showed the illness may be far more widespread in Latin America’s largest economy than official data suggest. Researchers at the University of Pelotas in southern Brazil estimate there are six unreported cases for every one confirmed diagnosis across 120 cities studied. In Rio de Janeiro alone, where 40,000 cases are included in the federal government’s official tally, up to half a million people may have been exposed to the coronavirus since the pandemic began, they said.

“The number of people with antibodies is in the millions —not thousands,” the authors, led by university dean and co-ordinator of the study Pedro Hallal, said in a statement on Thursday.

Read the full story here.

9:10 p.m.: The warning has echoed for weeks from epidemiologists, small-town mayors and county health officials: once states begin to reopen, a surge in coronavirus cases will follow.

That scenario is now playing out in states across the country, particularly in the Sun Belt and the West, as thousands of Americans have been sickened by the virus in new and alarming outbreaks.

Hospitals in Arizona have been urged to activate emergency plans to cope with a flood of coronavirus patients. On Saturday, Florida saw its largest single-day count of cases since the pandemic began. Oregon has failed to contain the spread of the virus in many places, leading the governor Thursday to pause what had been a gradual reopening.

And in Texas, cases are rising swiftly around the largest cities, including Houston, San Antonio and Dallas.

Read the full story here

8:30 p.m.: Cases of the coronavirus continue to rise in Florida as the state’s businesses and attractions gradually reopen, with more than 2,500 new diagnoses reported Saturday by state health officials. The numbers mark the 10th out of 11 straight days in which new cases have topped 1,000. Gov. Ron DeSantis and local officials began relaxing rules on businesses, beaches, theme parks and gatherings in May.

There were 2,581 new coronavirus cases reported Saturday, the third day a new record was set. Deaths from the virus in Florida now stand at more than 3,000 with a total of 73,552 positive cases since the outbreak started.

The surge in positive coronavirus cases comes as Florida is set to become a hub for major sports leagues. The NBA, Major League Soccer, the Amateur Athletics Union Junior Olympics and others plan to hold games and events in Florida, potentially drawing thousands of people to the state from around the world.

5:20 p.m.: Ontario’s regional health units are reporting another 246 new COVID-19 cases as the rate of new infections has continued to fall sharply in the last week, according to the Star’s latest count.

As of 5 p.m. Saturday, the health units had reported a total of 33,841 confirmed and probable cases, including 2,563 deaths, up a total of just 246 new cases since Friday evening — the fourth day in a row below 250 new cases after more 60 straight days above.

Since last Saturday, Ontario has seen an average of 288 cases reported each day, the lowest for any seven-day period since March.

As has been the case this month, the majority of new infections came in the GTA. The region’s five health units saw a total of 170 new cases in 24 hours; the rest of Ontario reported 76.

But the slowdown is also being felt in the Toronto-area. On Saturday, Toronto Public Health once again reported fewer than 100 new cases, down sharply since this time last week.

Meanwhile, the 10 new fatal cases reported since Friday evening was consistent with a falling trend this week and considerably below the height of the pandemic from late April to early May, when the province saw as many as 90 deaths in a day.

Earlier Saturday, the province reported that 489 patients are now hospitalized with COVID-19, including 110 in intensive care, of whom 68 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 — 2,507 — 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.

5:15 p.m.: All Albertans are now eligible for COVID-19 testing, regardless of whether they are experiencing symptoms. Free tests can be booked online or by phone. Results will be provided by phone within a few days of the swabbing appointment.

2:15 p.m.: The latest numbers of COVID-19 cases by province, from The Canadian Press:

There are 98,368 confirmed and presumptive cases in Canada.

Quebec: 53,824 confirmed (including 5,195 deaths, 21,281 resolved)

Ontario: 31,992 confirmed (including 2,507 deaths, 26,538 resolved)

Alberta: 7,346 confirmed (including 149 deaths, 6,811 resolved)

British Columbia: 2,709 confirmed (including 168 deaths, 2,354 resolved)

Nova Scotia: 1,062 confirmed (including 62 deaths, 996 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 2 deaths, 126 resolved)

Prince Edward Island: 27 confirmed (including 27 resolved)

Repatriated Canadians: 13 confirmed (including 13 resolved)

Yukon: 11 confirmed (including 11 resolved)

Northwest Territories: 5 confirmed (including 5 resolved)

Nunavut: No confirmed cases

Total: 98,368 (11 presumptive, 98,357 confirmed including 8,106 deaths, 59,334 resolved)

2:06 p.m.: Beijing authorities shut down a major seafood and produce market and locked down several residential complexes Saturday after 53 people tested positive for the coronavirus in the city, renewing fears that China’s grip on the pandemic is not yet secure.

Nearly everyone who tested positive had worked or shopped at the Xinfadi market, a wholesale market on the city’s south side that sells seafood, fruit and vegetables, according to the Beijing health commission.

More than 10,000 people work at the market, which supplies 90 per cent of Beijing’s fruits and vegetables, according to the state media. The virus was reportedly detected on cutting boards for imported salmon there.

The developments prompted the authorities to temporarily shut down the market, to partly or completely close five others in the capital, and to lock down 11 nearby residential communities and nine schools that had reopened after lockdowns that were put in place to curb the virus. State media outlets described the effort as a “wartime mechanism.”

1:21 p.m.: The City of Toronto is reporting an increase of 87 COVID-19 cases as of midday Saturday, bringing the total to 13,236. Resolved cases account for 10,831. There have been 976 deaths in the city.

The new case number is slightly below the average of 116 cases over the previous seven days.

12:42 p.m.: Quebec now has 5,195 deaths linked to COVID-19 after adding another 47 deaths to its provincially tally today.

The province also reported 158 new cases, bringing the number of confirmed cases to 53,824.

The province is also reporting a drop of 52 people in hospital to 788 while the number in intensive care is down five to 102. Its active cases stand at 27,348 — a net drop of 347 from Friday.

11:36 a.m.: Ontario’s daily numbers reported 266 new cases — the highest number in a week — on Saturday, nine deaths and 351 new recoveries. Active cases therefore drop 94 to 2,947. Total deaths have now reached 2,507 and all-time cases have reached 31,992 — Ontario’s new cases represent a 0.8 per cent increase to that total.

11:23 a.m.: The Ontario government is easing restrictions on wedding and funeral ceremonies across the province as part of the phased reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The number of people allowed to attend an indoor ceremony is restricted to 30 per cent capacity of the venue. Outdoor events will be limited to 50 people.

The changes came into effect on Friday. However, the number of people allowed to attend all wedding and funeral receptions remains at 10.

Participants must follow health and safety protocols, including to physically distance from people not from the same household or their established 10-person social circle.

10:23 a.m.: Pharma giant AstraZeneca struck a deal Saturday with Europe’s Inclusive Vaccines Alliance to supply up to 400 million doses of an experimental COVID-19 vaccine, as efforts to boost manufacturing capacity continue at pace.

The alliance, which was forged by Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands to speed up production of a vaccine, is set to take delivery of the vaccine (now being tested by the University of Oxford) by the end of 2020. The agreement with AstraZeneca also aims to make the vaccine available to other European countries that wish to take part.

The agreement is the latest in a series to make the vaccine — even though it is not certain it will work. But so desperate is the need that scaling up of manufacturing continues despite the risk.

The Anglo-Swedish company recently completed similar agreements with Britain, the United States the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance for 700 million doses. A license also has been agreed with the Serum Institute of India for another =billion doses.

Testing of the experimental COVID-19 vaccine began in healthy volunteers in Britain in April with over 1,000 people aged 18 to 55. Another round with 10,000 volunteers began last month.

10:02 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.

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.

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“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)

– Yukon: 11 confirmed (including 11 resolved)

– Northwest Territories: 5 confirmed (including 5 resolved)

– Nunavut: No confirmed cases

Total: 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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