KEY FACTS

India reports more than 61,000 cases on Monday

South Korea counts 11th straight day of triple-digit daily jumps

Masks will be mandatory in most indoor public spaces across Newfoundland and Labrador starting Monday

The latest coronavirus news from Canada and around the world Monday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.

9:08 a.m. Anxiety over the uncertainties of going back to school or participating in sports or other extracurricular activities is hitting young people in the gut. Children’s Health in Dallas is currently seeing an increase in patients with stomach issues, including chronic diarrhea and constipation, caused by high levels of anxiety.

And experts say that as parents weigh whether to send their children back to school or get involved in sports, they should consider the emotional health of the child as well as the physical risks.

Some children will get “very, very stressed out” at the prospect of going back to school and attending in-person classes “because the anxiety of ‘Oh, I’m going to get COVID and die,’ is just so pervasive,” said Dr. Rini Sanghavi, a pediatric gastroenterologist at Children’s Health.

The anxiety-induced, or psychosomatic, pain, can take the form of headaches, as well as abdominal or lower back distress. In extreme cases, the pain causes havoc in the lives of those affected. Some are elite athletes, who can’t go back to their sport or dance. And some even become wheelchair-bound because the pain is so crippling.

Stomach problems are a common symptom of stress and anxiety. Everybody at some point feels “butterflies in the stomach,” but severe anxiety can cause debilitating pain that limits mobility.

Read the full story

8:30 a.m. (updated) South Korea counted its 11th straight day of triple-digit daily jumps in coronavirus cases Monday and health officials pleaded for people to follow guidelines or risk further restrictions or strains on hospitals.

Most of the 266 new cases reported by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were in the Seoul metropolitan area, home to half of the country’s 51 million people, but new infections were also reported in other major cities, including Busan, Daejeon and Sejong.

KCDC director Jeong Eun-kyeong said it’s likely the country will continue to report huge infection numbers in coming days as health workers scramble to trace and test contacts of virus carriers.

She pleaded people to stay home unless for essential reasons, wear masks if they do, and maintain distance between other individuals so that “students could continue to learn, small merchants could continue to do business and to prevent the medical system from collapsing.”

The 397 new cases reported on Sunday was South Korea’s highest single-day total since March 7, during an outbreak that was largely limited to its southeastern region and was stabilized by April. Officials consider the current outbreak South Korea’s biggest crisis since the emergence of COVID-19, given the population density of the capital region and the spread of the virus among more varied sources.

The country since Sunday has banned larger gatherings, shut down nightspots and churches and removed fans from professional sports nationwide.

7:44 a.m. A tsunami of job cuts is about to hit Europe as companies prepare to carry out sweeping downsizing plans to offset a collapse in business from the outbreak. Government-backed furlough schemes that have helped keep around one-third of Europe’s workforce financially secure are set to unwind in the coming months.

As many as 59 million jobs are at risk of cuts in hours or pay, temporary furloughs, or permanent layoffs, especially in industries like transportation and retail, according to a study by McKinsey & Co.

Governments are warning that millions will soon lose paychecks, and the European Central Bank last week said unemployment was likely to surge and stay high even when a recovery from the pandemic unfolds.

“Europe has been successful at dampening the initial effects of the crisis,” said John Hurley, senior research manager at Eurofound, the research arm of the European Union. “But in all likelihood, unemployment is going to come home to roost, especially when the generous furlough programs start to ease off,” he said.

“There’s going to be a shakeout,” he added, “and it’s going to be fairly ugly.”

Compared with the United States, which lost more than 20 million jobs in April alone, the furlough programs in the EU have prevented unemployment from going off the charts. Germany, France, Denmark and Britain are among countries that have employed so-called short-work schemes, effectively nationalizing the paychecks of about 60 million private-sector employees.

7:22 a.m. Global stocks and U.S. equity futures advanced Monday, putting the S&P 500 index on track to hit an all-time high, as investors’ optimism about a potential treatment for the coronavirus buoyed markets.

Futures tied to the S&P 500 rose 0.9 per cent, suggesting that the U.S. stocks benchmark may open higher after closing at a record on Friday. Overseas, the pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 climbed 1.7 per cent, while most major Asian markets closed higher.

The Food and Drug Administration on Sunday said it authorized use of convalescent plasma, the antibody-rich blood component taken from recovered Covid-19 patients, for the treatment of serious coronavirus cases. The emergency-use authorization falls short of a full approval, FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said, adding that the agency will evaluate more evidence.

Investors and economists also continue to weigh data on new coronavirus infections in a bid to determine how sustainable any economic recovery may prove. The number of new cases in the U.S. declined from a day before, reaching its lowest level in more than two months and notching a ninth straight day with fewer than 50,000 new cases.

6:22 a.m.: When demand for PPE was at its highest, the pandemic had compromised global supply chains, but these Hamilton scientists stepped up. Now this innovative centre at McMaster University is paving the way for what the future of masks, shields and gowns should look like.

Read the full story from the Star’s Johanna Chisholm.

6:21 a.m.: A lack of child care and a culture that praises perfect attendance made toughing it out, from kindergarten on, the norm in a pre-COVID world.

But those days are over. The threat of outbreaks looms over this September, especially as nearly two-thirds of GTA families plan to send kids back to in-person learning.

A student with even one minor symptom — from a sore throat to an upset stomach — could jeopardize an entire school. A new zero-tolerance regime will mean many more absences and huge challenges for families as they try to navigate the shift. But it could also bring some unexpected silver linings if school boards, and employers, can be flexible.

Read the full story from the Star’s May Warren here.

6:20 a.m.: Canadian health authorities should allow controversial human “challenge” trials of unproven COVID-19 vaccines to speed up the global search for a vaccine that works, says a group of MPs and Canadian medical experts.

Nearly a dozen infectious disease specialists and members of Parliament — some also physicians — signed an op-ed published Monday by the Toronto Star urging Ottawa to give the green-light to human “challenge trials” that would deliberately expose healthy volunteers to the coronavirus after being injected with as-yet unapproved vaccines.

Although medical ethicists question the risks to participants and the overall value of such trials, advocates argue it could lead to swifter conclusions about the effectiveness of vaccine candidates and prevent millions of deaths that could occur while the world awaits the results of conventional clinical research trials.

“Being overly cautious can also cost lives,” they wrote.

Read the story from the Star’s Tonda MacCharles here.

6:18 a.m.: A young child died due to complications from coronavirus in June, the first confirmed death of a minor in Iowa during the pandemic, the state health department belatedly announced Sunday evening.

The Iowa Department of Public Health said the state medical examiner’s office concluded its case investigation Aug. 6 into the death of the child, who was under the age of 5. But the death wasn’t reported in the state’s statistics until Saturday, more than two weeks later.

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“The child’s death was publicly reported this weekend after ensuring the individual’s identity would remain protected and notifying the family,” the department said in a statement. “We have made every effort to protect the identity of this child, while the family grieves this devastating loss. Again, we send our sincerest condolences.”

The confirmation of the state’s first child death comes one day before dozens of school districts are prepared to begin the school year on Monday — a development that has many educators and parents already on edge.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has ordered schools to reopen for at least 50 per cent in-person instruction, despite a pandemic that has already killed 1,036 people and seen infections soar in recent days.

6:20 a.m.: India registered 61,408 additional cases Monday, driving the country’s virus tally past 3.1 million. The Health Ministry also reported 836 deaths in the past 24 hours, taking total fatalities up to 57,542.

India has been recording at least 60,000 new infections per day from the last two weeks. Western Maharashtra state and three southern states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka are the worst-hit regions. The country has largely reopened its economy, though with restrictions mainly in place for infection hot spots.

6:17 a.m.: The lockdown of New Zealand’s largest city has been extended by four days as authorities try to stamp out a coronavirus outbreak.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the two-week lockdown of Auckland, which was due to end Wednesday, will continue through Sunday. She said authorities need to be sure they have found the perimeter of the outbreak and that few cases occur outside of those detected by contact tracing. Masks will be mandated on public transit beginning next week. Ardern said the restrictions in place for the rest of the country would continue for now. New Zealand went 102 days without any community transmission of the virus before the Auckland cluster surfaced this month. Health authorities on Monday reported nine new virus cases.

6:16 a.m.: South Korea counted its 11th straight day of triple-digit daily jumps in coronavirus cases Monday after social distancing restrictions were tightened nationwide.

Most of the 266 new cases reported by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were in the Seoul metropolitan area, home to half of the country’s 51 million people, but new infections were also reported in other major cities, including Busan, Daejeong and Sejong.

KCDC director Jeong Eun-kyeong said it’s likely the country will continue to report huge infection numbers in coming days as health workers scramble to trace and test contacts of virus carriers.

Officials consider the current outbreak South Korea’s biggest crisis since the emergence of COVID-19, given the population density of the capital region and the spread of the virus among various sources.

The country since Sunday has banned larger gatherings, shut down nightspots and churches and removed fans from professional sports nationwide.

6:15 a.m.: Masks will be mandatory in most indoor public spaces across Newfoundland and Labrador starting today.

The rule applies to retail stores, public transportation, fitness centres and movie theatres, among other places where physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The province says anyone above the age of five will need to wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth in these settings.

Authorities have set out some exemptions to the rule, including for people with health conditions.

The mandatory mask regulation aims to stem the potential spread of COVID-19.

Newfoundland and Labrador last reported a case of COVID-19 on Aug. 10 and there were no active cases in the province as of Sunday.

5:34 a.m. Chicago’s tourism season may wrap up early as hotels and some city attractions, struggling with fewer visitors and revenue losses, consider shutting down for the remainder of the year.

The Chicago Athletic Association hotel has shut down again, with plans to reopen in the first quarter of 2021. Wendella Sightseeing Co. said it’s considering winding down its seasonal boat tours early. And on Tuesday, Navy Pier announced it would close Sept. 8 until the spring. Industry leaders say the effect of the early closures will ripple through the local economy.

Michael Jacobson, president and CEO of the Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association, said Navy Pier’s closure is a “precursor to other tourism entities.”

“As in the case with Navy Pier, they tried to reopen but the math doesn’t add up. We’re heading into the winter months, and it won’t make sense for some of these places to stay open,” he said.

Jacobson said social distancing recommendations, which are likely to continue through the end of the year, and the coming colder weather will make it harder to attract travelers. Chicago’s quarantine rules regarding states with high infection rates further hinders hotels’ chance to rebound, he said.

“It won’t surprise me if they don’t open until next year. Some might choose not to reopen until the demand is there. Hotels might be losing more money to stay open,” Jacobson said.

Read Sunday’s rolling file



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