KEY FACTS

11:24 a.m.: Ontario reports one new COVID death, 204 cases

7:06 a.m.: Domestic air travel returns to pre-pandemic levels in Wuhan

7:03 a.m.: India’s coronavirus cases rise to 4.75 million with another spike

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

11:30 a.m.: The VRBO vacation rental site say it is implementing a months-long ban on one-night rentals in Arizona in response to concerns over large gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The single-night rental ban will run through January and was disclosed in a letter Tuesday to Gov. Doug Ducey, the Arizona Republic reported.

The site’s parent company, Expedia Group, plans to develop long-term steps to help eliminate large gatherings through changes in the reservation system and through identification “of bad actors after the fact to prevent future incidents,” the letter said.

11:24 a.m.: Ontario is reporting more than 200 new cases of COVID-19 for a third straight day, along with one new death from the novel coronavirus.

There were 204 new cases in today’s report, following 232 cases on Saturday and 213 cases on Friday.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says Toronto is reporting 63 new cases, with 47 in Ottawa and 35 in Peel Region.

She says 27 public health units are reporting five or fewer cases, with 16 reporting none.

Elliott says 64 per cent of today’s cases are in people under the age of 40.

The total number of cases has reached 44,504, with 39,841 considered resolved and 2,815 deaths.

10:41 a.m.: With the race on for a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine, the fastest route to the return of some semblance of normalcy, Canadians have been primed to fixate on the country’s efforts to procure enough doses for its own citizens.

But experts, including those on Canada’s vaccine task force, say it’s just as important to focus on what’s happening beyond our borders. A failure to achieve widespread immunity globally — whether due to inequitable access to vaccines in low-income countries, or pockets of vaccine refusers in developed ones — would hurt us, too.

Read the Star’s Kate Allen’s full story on why Canada’s ‘vaccine nationalism’ could end up jabbing us in the back.

9:40 a.m.: With increasing cases of COVID-19, Ethiopia has opened a facility to produce kits to test for the coronavirus and says its researchers are working to develop and test a vaccine.

The company producing the testing kits is a joint venture with a Chinese company, called BGI Health Ethiopia.

Ethiopia’s number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 has risen to nearly 64,000 causing almost 1,000 deaths, according to government figures. On Sunday, Ethiopia also opened a field hospital to hold up to 200 severely affected Covid-19 patients, which will start admitting patients immediately.

Ethiopia has conducted more than 1.1 million tests, making it the African country that has carried out the third-highest number of tests, according to Ethiopian health officials. The country is struggling with a shortage of testing kits, ventilators, and intensive care beds, they said.

8 a.m.: There have been fewer doorbells and more phones ringing in New Brunswick during Canada’s first pandemic election campaign.

Across the country, eyes are on the Atlantic province as the coronavirus has dictated drastic changes to the way campaigns are run.

Gone are the big rallies and the factory tours for major platform announcements. Gone, too, are the shaking of hands and kissing of babies. They’ve been replaced by lonely, outdoor announcements at podiums in the middle of fields where media sometimes outnumber prospective voters.

Also gone — or severely curtailed, at any rate — is a staple of election campaigns past: door-to-door canvassing. And that has political strategists in the rest of the country watching this election closely.

Read the full story from the Star’s Steve McKinley.

7:06 a.m.: Domestic air travel in Wuhan, the epicentre of the global coronavirus outbreak, has returned to pre-pandemic levels, authorities say.

The virus was first detected in Wuhan late last year and the city underwent a draconian 76-day lockdown as its hospitals struggled to deal with a tidal wave of cases that required the rapid construction of field hospitals to handle the overflow.

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Since reopening in early April, life has gradually returned to normal and numbers of domestic flights serving the city, as well as the number of passengers, had both fully recovered, according to the operator of Wuhan Tianhe International airport. It said 64,700 passengers were transported aboard 500 domestic flights on Friday.

7:03 a.m.: India has registered a single-day spike of 94,372 new confirmed coronavirus cases, driving the country’s overall tally to 4.75 million.

The Health Ministry on Sunday also reported 1,114 deaths in the past 24 hours, taking total fatalities up to 78,586.

Even as infections are growing faster in India than anywhere else in the world, the number of people recovering from the virus has also risen sharply. The country’s recovery rate stands at 77.77% and nearly 70,000 recoveries have been reported every day in the month of September, according to the Health Ministry.

The ministry attributed India’s COVID-19 recovery pace to aggressive testing and prompt surveillance, but experts say India needs to test more due to its huge population. It’s climbed to the second worst-hit country behind the United States, and is now testing more than 1 million people every day.

6:50 a.m.: A prominent Israeli minister resigned on Sunday in protest over an expected government decision to impose a nationwide lockdown this week ahead of the Jewish New Year due to rising coronavirus cases.

Housing Minister Yaakov Litzman, who served as health minister during the initial outbreak of the virus in Israel, criticized the anticipated lockdown measure as extreme and said it would cause undue suffering to the public.

Litzman, who heads an influential ultra-Orthodox faction in the coalition government, expressed particular ire toward restrictions that will limit observant Jews from attending communal prayers at synagogues during the upcoming holidays.

6:41 a.m.: South Korea says it will ease social distancing rules in the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area following a declining number of new coronavirus cases.

Health Minister Park Neung-hoo told an online briefing Sunday that the greater Seoul area recorded about 80-110 new virus cases each day last week, down from 110-180 in the previous week.

Under eased rules that are effective from Monday for two weeks, Park says authorities will lift a ban on dining at restaurants after 9 p.m. in the Seoul area. They’ve been allowed to provide only takeouts and deliveries after 9 p.m. since late August.

6:35 a.m.: Austria’s leader says his country is seeing the start of a “second wave” of coronavirus infections. He is appealing to his compatriots to comply with newly reinforced rules to keep down infections.

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz announced Friday that the government would reimpose measures such as an obligation to wear masks in shops to curb a rise in new infections. Austria recorded 859 new infections on Friday, the highest daily figure since late March.

Kurz stepped up his rhetoric on Sunday. He told the Austria Press Agency in a written statement that “what we are experiencing at the moment is the beginning of a second wave.” He added that developments in the capital, Vienna, are “particularly dramatic,” with the city accounting for around half of new cases.

Kurz said that Austria will soon hit the 1,000 per day mark. He called on Austrians to reduce social contacts, wear masks and keep their distance “as well as possible.”

Saturday 7:30 p.m.: Some First Nations in Manitoba’s Interlake region are reporting members in their communities have tested positive for COVID-19.

The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs had said in a recent statement posted on Facebook that there had been a total of 29 lab-confirmed and probable First Nations COVID-19 cases in Manitoba, but that so far all had been off-reserve.

However, Fisher River Cree Nation said on its website Friday that a community member tested positive after being exposed in Winnipeg and returning to Fisher River while asymptomatic.

The First Nation says the test has been sent to the provincial public health laboratory for confirmation.

Click here to read more of Saturday’s coverage.



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