5:31 a.m.: UK unemployment edges up in July but much worse expected
5:15 a.m.: India adds over 83,000 cases, nears 5 million
4 a.m.: TDSB elementary schools begin staggered reopening
The latest coronavirus news from Canada and around the world Tuesday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.
7:56 a.m. The Canadian International AutoShow, the largest annual consumer show in the country that’s been held in Toronto every February for years, has been postponed until 2022, to be replaced by a virtual exhibition.
The Trillium Automobile Dealers Association (TADA), promoters of the annual event that attracts more than 330,000 people to the downtown Metro Toronto Convention Centre, made the decision to cancel the in-person event next February because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In its place, the AutoShow will present an immersive automotive showcase on a virtual platform.
The health and safety of AutoShow consumers, and all of those who work within the automotive industry, are of primary concern and the main reason behind the decision to go virtual next February, Jason Campbell, the show’s general manager, said early Tuesday in a release.
“The AutoShow has become a must-visit showcase for both new car buyers and automotive enthusiasts alike,” Campbell said. “We’re still committed to ensuring that the hundreds of thousands who would normally visit the show in person will continue to be able to engage with this great event – just in a new, more widely accessible way.”
7:21 a.m. Loblaw Companies Ltd. has signed a deal to buy a minority stake in telemedicine company Maple Corp. for $75 million.
The company says the investment will be made through its Shoppers Drug Mart Inc. subsidiary.
Maple helps people connect with doctors and medical specialists using a smartphone or computer and also provides technology for employers, insurers, hospitals and clinics.
Loblaw says Shoppers Drug Mart has been working with Maple and its virtual care is available in more than 160 Shoppers Drug Mart locations in B.C.
The two companies also worked together early in the pandemic to help enable virtual care visits.
6:41 a.m.: Ten positive cases of COVID-19 were reported in schools across the GTA on Monday, as some students headed back for their first day of in-person classes.
Among the newly added is John Fraser Secondary School in Mississauga, which a provincial database confirmed had one case of a student who tested positive.
The database is being used to track COVID-19 in schools and shows overall five additional cases in the Peel and Halton region have also been reported.
Read the full story from the Star’s Breanna Xavier-Carter.
6:30 a.m.: Millions of Pakistani schoolchildren have returned to their classrooms as education institutions reopen after a closure of about six months to fight COVID-19.
Students in wearing masks were seen entering school buildings Tuesday, greeting each other from a reasonable distance instead of shaking hands or hugging.
The government has asked teachers, school staff and students to wear masks and regularly use sanitizers.
6:15 a.m.: Nearly 1.8 million Hong Kong residents took voluntary coronavirus tests as part of a massive community testing program, resulting in 42 cases being identified, the government said Tuesday.
The two-week testing program, which ended Monday, was aimed at identifying silent carriers of the coronavirus to cut the transmission chain in a wave of cases that began in July.
Although the total number of people tested fell short of the government’s initial estimate of four to five million, officials say the program met its objectives.
“The program ended smoothly, we have met the policy objective,” Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said at a news conference. “We have identified confirmed cases, we’ve isolated them and given them treatment to cut the transmission chain.”
5:31 a.m.: Unemployment in the U.K. edged up in July even though large sections of the British economy reopened after the coronavirus lockdown, a clear signal that the jobless rate is set to spike sharply higher when a government salary-support scheme comes to an end in the autumn.
The 104,000 rise in the number of people unemployed during the three-month period to July took the total to 1.4 million, and raised the unemployment rate by 0.2 percentage points to 4.1% — the biggest increase since the pandemic began.
The increase in unemployment came even after the reopening of the hospitality sector in early July, following on from the reopening of shops selling items deemed as non-essential, such as clothes and books.
5:21 a.m.: South Korea’s daily coronavirus tally has stayed in the low 100s for a third consecutive day, maintaining a downward trajectory.
The 106 cases added Tuesday brought the country’s total to 22,391, including 367 deaths. South Korea’s daily jump has remained in triple digits for more than a month, but its caseload has recently gradually slowed down in the wake of stringent social distancing rules.
5:19 a.m.: China has reported eight new coronavirus cases, all from people who entered the country, including two Myanmar nationals who had crossed the land border at the Chinese city of Ruili.
Myanmar has seen a surge in new coronavirus cases. On Friday, the country reimposed tough measures to control the spread of the disease. Ruili was placed under lockdown on Monday evening, with people banned from leaving the city and residents quarantined at home for a week.
5:15 a.m.: India confirmed more than 83,000 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, bringing its total caseload to nearly 5 million.
The Health Ministry also reported 1,054 new deaths, driving total fatalities up to 80,776.
With 4.93 million confirmed cases, India has the second-highest total in the world after the U.S. Infections have maintained an upward surge amid an ease in coronavirus restrictions nationwide. More than 600,000 new cases have been confirmed in the last week alone.
5:10 a.m.: Momcilo Krajisnik, a former top wartime Bosnian Serb official who was convicted of war crimes by a U.N. court, has died after contracting the new coronavirus. He was 75.
The hospital in the northern Bosnian town of Banja Luka said that Krajisnik died early Tuesday “from consequences of infection with the new coronavirus.”
5:07 a.m.: Voters in New Brunswick delivered a majority win to Premier Blaine Higgs on Monday, effectively endorsing his decision to call a snap election in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic — a move described as unsafe and unneeded by his political rivals.
The closely watched campaign was the first in the country since COVID-19 hit, and though it looked much different than previous electoral races, elections officials reported few problems during the past four weeks or on voting day.
5:05 a.m.: The looming prospect of a second wave of COVID-19 this fall has governments cautiously monitoring daily infection rates as economies restart and students return to school.
A widespread return of economic and social restrictions that closed businesses and schools and cancelled public events in March is not the preferred option, but there may be no choice, say politicians and health officials.
“The last thing that anyone wants is to have to once again shut down our economies and suspend our lives to try and counter a massive second wave,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said last week.
He stressed public vigilance to fight the pandemic, frequent hand washing, mask wearing and physical distancing, because “as we’re seeing with cases rising across the country, we are not out of the woods.”
Winnipeg epidemiologist Cynthia Carr said Canadians should brace for more restrictions and shutdowns if COVID-19 cases continue to rise, even without the arrival of a second wave.
British Columbia ordered the immediate closure of nightclubs and banquet halls last week after daily COVID-19 case numbers were consistently above 100, with many infections traced to young people out socializing at events where alcohol was served.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry also ordered bars, pubs, lounges and restaurants to cut off alcohol sales at 10 p.m. and close by 11 p.m., unless serving only food.
Tuesday 4 a.m.: The Toronto District School Board will begin welcoming students back to elementary schools this morning.
Canada’s largest school board is spreading the return to class over three days as part of a staggered reopening plan.
The model will see different grades come back to school on different days, with specifics varying by school.
The board says the drawn-out reopening plan is designed to help children get used to the new safety protocols in place to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Intensive support programs will begin at all Toronto public schools today, including high schools.
The board announced Monday that it was pushing back the start of e-learning courses for all students until next Tuesday, citing a massive spike in enrolment numbers.
Monday 5:47 p.m.: A House subcommittee examining President Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic is launching an investigation into reports that political appointees have meddled with routine government scientific data to better align with Trump’s public statements.
The Democrat-led subcommittee said Monday that it is requesting transcribed interviews with seven officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health and Human Services, including communications aide Michael Caputo. Caputo has often publicly pushed back on CDC statements about the coronavirus and said falsely in a Facebook video on Sunday that the CDC has a “resistance unit” to undermine Trump, according to The New York Times. His page has since been made private.
Click here for more of Monday’s coverage.