KEY FACTS

9:25 a.m. Trudeau says Canada will commit additional $400 million to combat COVID-19 worldwide

6:34 a.m.: Germany says debt won’t reach financial crisis level

5:06 a.m.: UN secretary-general says pandemic toll is “mind-numbing”

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.

9:48 a.m. The pandemic has battered New York City businesses, with almost 6,000 closures, a jump of about 40 per cent in bankruptcy filings across the region and shuttered storefronts in the business districts of all five boroughs.

It’s going to get worse.

This fall, the nation’s largest city will see even more padlocked doors as companies burn through federal and private loans they tapped in March, landlords boot businesses that can’t make rent, and plummeting temperatures chill outdoor dining and shopping.

“By late fall, there will be an avalanche of bankruptcies,” said Al Togut, a lawyer who has handled insolvencies for small businesses and huge corporations like Enron. “When the cold weather comes, that’s when we’ll start to see a surge in bankruptcies in New York City.”

9:43 a.m. Botswana has extended its state of emergency for a further six months to combat the spread of COVID-19.

The southern African country will maintain several restrictions, including limits to international travellers and tourism, in contrast to neighbouring South Africa and Zimbabwe, which are opening up their economies.

Botswana, a diamond-rich, landlocked country of 2.3 million people, has reported 3,172 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 16 deaths, according to figures released Tuesday by the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“The disease burden has made it clear and imperative for us to extend the state of public emergency in the interest of the public,” said President Mokgweetsi Masisi, before parliament voted to continue the emergency on Monday night.

Botswana will continue to restrict public gatherings but it has reopened schools and allows the sale of liquor during limited hours. Facemasks must be worn in all public places.

9:39 a.m. Moscow authorities are extending school holidays by a week amid a surge of new coronavirus cases.

Mayor Sergei Sobyanin on Tuesday ordered all schools to go on holiday between Oct. 5-18 and urged parents to keep their children at home during this period.

“Children (account for) a significant share of infections, often asymptomatic,” Sobyanin said in an online statement. “When they come home, they easily transmit the virus to adults and elderly members of the family, who get sick more severely.”

Health officials on Tuesday reported 8,232 new virus cases, with 2,300 in Moscow — the highest daily number in the Russian capital since late May. Russia currently has the fourth largest caseload in the world with over 1.16 million confirmed infections. It ranks 11th in the world with a reported 20,450 deaths.

Last week, officials asked the elderly to stay at home starting on Monday and requested employers to allow as many people as possible to work from home.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday urged Russians to remain vigilant. “The fight against the epidemic is not over, it goes on. The risks remain,” Putin said.

9:25 a.m. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada will commit an additional $400 million in development and humanitarian spending to combat COVID-19.

Trudeau says the new money will go to trusted partners that are fighting COVID-19 around the world.

Trudeau made the pledge during a videoconference at the United Nations that he co-hosted with Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness.

It was the second time since the spring the three held a meeting of the UN’s High-Level Event on Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond.

Trudeau says Canada will invest more in the coming years and he will continue to advocate for debt relief for countries facing economic hardship because of the pandemic.

Trudeau says Canada will push to have the voices of those countries heard in larger forums such as the G7, G20 and the World Bank.

9:21 a.m. The Swedish government has decided to increase the number of spectators allowed to attend sporting events from 50 to 500 as of Oct. 15.

Swedish Sports Confederation chairman Bjorn Eriksson says the decision is “a step in the right direction.”

The exemption applies as long as there is no increased spread of infection in the country.

Sweden has opted for a much debated COVID-19 approach of keeping large parts of the society open. People in the Scandinavian country kept enjoying many freedoms while most of Europe locked down their populations early in the pandemic by closing schools, restaurants, fitness centres and even borders.

9:20 a.m. The Spengler Cup, has been cancelled. Organizers of the event held in Davos, Switzerland, during the December holidays cite the impact of the pandemic.

The invitational tournament was first played in 1923, and a six-team edition was won last year by Team Canada, comprising of mostly Europe-based players.

Travel to and from Switzerland “for the teams from Finland, Russia, the Czech Republic and Canada is currently only possible under strict adherence to the quarantine policies, if at all,” organizers say.

Though Swiss authorities are allowing more fans to attend hockey games from October, standing areas in stadiums cannot be used.

Spengler Cup organizers say games “in a half-empty stadium, and without standing room, has nothing in common with the hockey festival we have become accustomed to.”

9:18 a.m. One southern Philippine province and its war-battered capital will be placed under a mild lockdown starting Thursday and the rest of the country will be under more relaxed restrictions to boost the battered economy of the country counting the most coronavirus infections in Southeast Asia.

President Rodrigo Duterte announced the quarantine restrictions for October in televised remarks Monday night. Lanao del Sur province and its capital, Marawi city, will fall under a lockdown starting Thursday due to infection spikes in recent weeks.

Most of Marawi’s commercial and downtown areas were destroyed after hundreds of Islamic State group-aligned militants laid siege to the mosque-studded city in May 2017 and the military launched a massive offensive and airstrikes to quell the five-month uprising. Many residents remain displaced, now staying with relatives or in government-constructed housing units.

9:15 a.m. Public health officials in the U.S. could take heart at the end of the summer. Even as the new coronavirus continued to spread, fewer people were winding up in the hospital because of COVID-19, and fewer were dying.

Now, as the seasons turn, there are signs suggesting there will be more deaths and serious illness ahead.

Data collected by the COVID Tracking Project shows that the number of people hospitalized has plateaued at about 30,000 in the past week, after a decline from nearly 60,000 that began in late July. Deaths, meanwhile, averaged about 750 over the seven days through Sunday, higher than the roughly 600 deaths a day in the first week of July.

Scientists had hoped that a warm-weather reprieve could soften an expected reemergence of the coronavirus in the colder months. Instead, the contagion continued to spread across the country after Memorial Day, with early-summer outbreaks in Sun Belt states followed by the recent surge of new infections in the Upper Midwest and on college campuses nationwide.

Any indication hospitals are attending to more coronavirus patients is likely to reignite concerns that the health care system could be overwhelmed by new cases as the weather cools and more activities, including school and holiday socializing, move indoors.

9:10 a.m. Hundreds of thousands of elementary school students are heading back to classrooms this week as New York City enters a high-stakes stage of resuming in-person learning during the coronavirus pandemic, which is keeping students at home in many other big U.S. school systems.

Twice delayed, the elementary school reopening on Tuesday came over objections from school principals who said the city’s complicated, changing plans put them in a staffing bind.

Meanwhile, officials are worried about recent spurts in virus cases in some city neighbourhoods after a summer of success at keeping transmission fairly stable in the city as a whole.

“It’s a big moment for the city,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said on cable news station NY1 Monday night. With in-person learning for middle and high school students scheduled to begin Thursday, he noted, “as many as half a million kids could be in school in the course of this week.”

With over 1 million public school students, New York City initially had a more ambitious timeline than many other big U.S. school systems for bringing children back to schoolhouses this fall. Families have the option of choosing all-remote learning, and a growing number are doing so — 48 per cent as of Friday, up from 30 per cent six weeks earlier, according to city Education Department statistics.

7:55 a.m. The pandemic and record low mortgage rates have played out in a blockbuster summer for the Toronto region’s new construction home market, according to numbers released by the building industry on Tuesday.

August sales of single family homes — a category that includes detached, semi-detached, link and town houses (stacked town homes excluded) — soared 355 per cent year over year in August, outstripping the gains of condos, which also saw a 159 per cent year over year boost in sales last month.

Although the benchmark price of newly built and pre-construction homes dipped slightly compared to July, condos still sold for 15.7 per cent more year over year at $972,859, and single-family homes were up eight per cent annually to $1.17 million.

Read the full story from the Star’s Tess Kalinowski

7:51 a.m. With Monday’s milestone of 700 new COVID-19 cases reported, experts say to expect more days with 500-plus new cases as more people get tested and many continue to ignore public health guidelines.

And with Premier Doug Ford himself confirming that Ontario is now in its second wave of the virus, the importance of physical distancing, mask-wearing and handwashing couldn’t be more clear. While the premier said the second wave will be “worse than the first wave,” he stressed that we don’t yet know just how bad it will be.

In Ontario at least, experts say it will get worse before it gets better, with more days with new-case totals at levels not seen since the beginning of the pandemic — or even higher.

Read the full story from the Star’s Patty Winsa and Kenyon Wallace

7:32 a.m. After celebrating its 40th anniversary last year, the Toronto International Festival of Authors is beginning its fifth decade with big changes. Some we were expecting — it’s the first festival for new director Roland Gulliver — while others are driven by something entirely beyond the festival’s control: COVID-19.

TIFA will still run for 10 days, from Oct. 22 to Nov. 1. One of the biggest changes this year: it’s free. There are more than 200 events and activities and, because it is all available digitally, the festival is open to national and global audiences for the first time.

You will need to register to attend; that begins Tuesday at FestivalofAuthors.ca.

Headlining opening night is Margaret Atwood. Other high-profile events feature Desmond Cole on anti-Black racism and institutional oppression; Linwood Barclay interviewing Harlan Coben; American novelist Richard Ford interviewed by Gulliver; and Marilynne Robinson talking about her latest novel.

Read the full story from the Star’s Deborah Dundas

6:34 a.m.: Germany’s debt load won’t reach the level it did in the financial crisis a decade ago as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the finance minister said Tuesday, and it will still look better than that of Germany’s peers in the Group of Seven did before the virus outbreak.

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Olaf Scholz was presenting to parliament a draft 2021 budget that foresees significant borrowing for the second consecutive year as Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, works to limit the economic fallout of efforts to contain COVID-19.

The crisis has derailed the government’s dedication to keeping its budget balanced, long a point of pride. After six years in the black, it is borrowing a net 217.8 billion euros ($253.7 billion) this year to finance rescue and stimulus packages and cover an expected shortfall in tax revenue. Next year, it plans to borrow a further 96.2 billion euros.

5:31 a.m.: Authorities are concerned by a COVID-19 outbreak aboard a cargo ship off Australia’s northwest coast that has infected most of the crew.

Eight more members of the Filipino crew tested positive for the new coronavirus on Monday, bringing the number of infections to 17 out of a crew of 21.

Seven of the infected sailors remained aboard the Liberia-flagged bulk carrier Patricia Oldendorff, which is anchored off Port Hedland, a major iron ore export terminal, Western Australia State Health Minister Roger Cook said on Tuesday.

The seven are part of an essential skeleton crew of nine. The other 10 infected crew members were in hotel quarantine at Port Hedland. None required hospital treatment.

5:20 a.m.: Brussels authorities have decided to ban prostitution until further notice in a bid to slow the spread of coronavirus in Belgium’s capital city.

In addition, authorities have shut down three hotels hosting sex workers because social distancing measures were not respected, Wafaa Hammich, a spokeswoman at Brussels city hall told The Associated Press on Tuesday. She said police controls will be stepped up to make sure the ban is enforced.

The decision came after Brussels decided to impose a curfew on bars. Since the start of this week, all bars and cafes have to close between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. while any other businesses selling drinks or food will shut down at 10 p.m.

Brussels is facing a surge of new coronavirus infections.

5:13 a.m.: A southern Philippine province and its war-battered capital will be placed under a mild lockdown in October, while the rest of the country will have more relaxed quarantine restrictions.

President Rodrigo Duterte announced the quarantine restrictions for October in televised remarks Monday night. Lanao del Sur province and its capital, Marawi city, will fall under a lockdown starting Thursday due to infection spikes in recent weeks.

Most of Marawi’s commercial and downtown areas were destroyed in 2017 fighting between the military and Islamic State group-aligned militants.

Metropolitan Manila and five other cities will remain under general quarantine restrictions with more businesses and public transport allowed to partially operate on the condition people wear masks and stay safely apart.

5:11 a.m.: India has registered 70,589 new confirmed coronaviruses cases in the past 24 hours, maintaining a noticeable decline in daily infections.

The Health Ministry raised India’s confirmed total since the pandemic began to more than 6.1 million on Tuesday, but said the country had a little less than 1 million active coronavirus cases. It also reported 776 fatalities in the last 24 hours, which pushed the death toll to 96,318.

India is still registering the highest number of daily cases globally, but with a recovery rate of more than 82.5%, the number of recoveries has passed 5 million, the Health Ministry said.

The first two weeks of September saw India clocking 90,000 cases every day. Since then India has seen a sharp decrease in the number of new daily cases.

5:06 a.m.: United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres says the loss of 1 million people to the coronavirus is an “agonizing milestone” that has been made worse by the “savageness of this disease.”

In a statement released after the global death toll from the pandemic crossed 1 million, Guterres called it a “mind-numbing figure.”

“They were fathers and mothers, wives and husbands, brothers and sisters, friends and colleagues,” he said. “The pain has been multiplied by the savageness of this disease. Risks of infection kept families from bedsides. And the process of mourning and celebrating a life was often made impossible.”

Guterres warned “there is no end in sight to the spread of the virus, the loss of jobs, the disruption of education, the upheaval to our lives.”

5 a.m.: Israel’s health minister says the country’s nationwide lockdown is likely to be extended.

The Israeli government imposed a second countrywide lockdown ahead of the Jewish High Holidays earlier this month in a bid to halt the spread of the coronavirus.

The lockdown was initially slated to be lifted on Oct. 11, but in a radio interview on Tuesday Health Minister Yuli Edelstei said that “there is no scenario that in another 10 days we will lift everything and say ‘It’s all over, everything is OK.’”

Israel has recorded more than 233,000 confirmed cases of the virus since the pandemic began and more than 1,500 deaths from the disease, according to the Health Ministry.

While Israel garnered praise for its swift response to the arrival of the pandemic in March, the country’s reopening of the economy in May saw new infections skyrocket over the summer, and now it has one of the highest infection rates per capita in the world.

4 a.m.: The federal government’s economic recovery plan has inspired some confidence that it will create jobs and a stronger economy in future, a new poll suggests.

But, in the meantime, the vast majority of Canadians who’ve been working from home aren’t eager to rush back to their work places as cases of COVID-19 surge across the country.

Fifty-two per cent of respondents to the survey, conducted by Leger and the Association for Canadian studies, said they are very (nine per cent) or somewhat (43 per cent) confident that the recovery plan, outlined in last week’s throne speech, will create jobs and strengthen the economy in future.

Thirty-nine per cent were not very or not at all confident.

The throne speech appears to have given the governing Liberals a boost, with their support up five points over the past week, to 40 per cent of decided voters. The Conservatives had the support of 30 per cent, the NDP 17 per cent and the Greens five per cent.

4 a.m. The three main parties in the B.C. election campaign clashed Monday over the best way to help the economy recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson says he would eliminate the provincial sales tax for a year if the party wins the election on Oct. 24, which would cost the government’s coffers about $7 billion.

He said the PST would return at three per cent in the second year, down from the usual seven per cent on most goods and services, because cutting the tax would help stimulate the economy.

NDP Leader John Horgan said he hasn’t seen an assessment of the impact of the Liberals’ proposed tax cut on provincial revenues, but he hopes Wilkinson will tell voters what services would face getting cut to cover the cost.

Green Leader Sonia Furstenau also criticized Wilkinson’s proposal, describing it as “antiquated.”

She said people need economic security to help the province recover from COVID-19.

Monday 9:30 p.m.: Members of Parliament have completed their first-ever remote vote in the Canadian House of Commons, a historic occasion marked by numerous technical glitches, lengthy delays and cameo appearances by some of their kids and even a family dog.

The vote was on a Bloc Québécois sub-amendment to a Conservative amendment to last week’s throne speech, a routine matter that normally would have taken 15 minutes. It was roundly defeated by a vote of 293-33 — with help from one Bloc MP who accidentally voted against his own party’s sub-amendment “due to all the confusion” over voting by video conference.

But it took almost two hours to arrive at that result.

Right off the bat, a system failure by Microsoft delayed the vote for about 40 minutes.

For the eventual vote, only a few dozen MPs were physically present in the Commons while the rest joined in from remote locations in an excruciatingly slow, roll-call video conference vote.

Click here to read more of Monday’s COVID-19 coverage.



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