COVID-19 Government and International Response: April 1, 2020

What to Know

In the past 24 hours 100,000 new cases of COVID-19 have been reported. There are now more than 920,000 global cases of COVID-10. Canada’s cases have grown to 9,538. As of 10:30 this morning, Ontario reports 2,392 cases, up from 1,966 yesterday. The province has now tested 57,874 individuals and is now only reporting 3,135 tests currently under investigation.

A group of Canadian researchers, students, activists and web developers who want to help with the country’s COVID-19 response have launched COVID-19 Resources Canada. The group aims to be a central hub designed to help those involved in COVID-19 R&D in Canada to locate human resources, expertise, reagents and equipment in a timely manner.

A DART & Maru/Blue Poll finds 90% believe “we should stay the course” and keep things locked down as much as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Federal

Finance Minister Bill Morneau, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade Mary Ng, and Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, Navdeep Bains, held a news conference this afternoon to provide further detail on the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy. Minister Morneau said the program will cost $71-billion, but since it will keep more Canadians on payroll, it will reduce dependency on the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, which will now cost $24-billion. The Minister Morneau also said there will be “severe penalties” for fraudulent use of the funds.

Prime Minister Trudeau will recall Parliament to pass the government’s latest aid package. The government is now working with the opposition to determine when the house will be recalled to pass the legislation.

Health Minister Patty Hajdu had a clear message for Canadians today: If we all stopped moving for two weeks and nobody talked to anybody for two weeks and we just stayed put, in fact we would see this virus die. That is the reality.

Provincial

The Ontario government launched a new $50 million Ontario Together Fund to help businesses retool their operations to manufacture essential supplies in the fight against COVID-19. The government will be looking for the most viable, innovative proposals that can quickly provide critical goods and services and the greatest benefit to the people of Ontario. The fund is time-limited and will be available to companies and organizations across the province.

Premier Doug Ford also announced he will order the closure of more businesses and services in the coming days. The current list of essential workplaces will be updated when more information is available.

Toronto

Yesterday, Mayor Tory announced all city-led major events, festivals, conferences and cultural programs would be cancelled until June 30. The City is now working with event organizers to help mitigate the impacts of cancellations when possible. Events impacted include Canadian Music Week, the Toronto Jazz Festival, Pride, Hot Docs, and others.

This morning, the City’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa imposed mandatory quarantine rules for the next 12 weeks. Dr. de Villa announced mandatory home quarantine for people with COVID-19, anyone who believes they have COVID-19 and anyone who has had close contact with someone with the disease. The new measures come amid new data and modelling from the province showing, what Dr. de Villa called, “not a favourable trajectory.” Toronto’s cases have grown more than 500 per cent over the past two weeks. More information from Dr. de Villa’s presentation here.

International

  • There are now 207,637 cases of COVID-19 in the United States, up from 180,000 cases yesterday. 83,712 of those cases are in New York State, which now reports more cases than China.
  • China is reporting 81,544 cases.
  • India, still on lockdown, now reports 1,834 cases.
  • Italy is reporting 110,574 cases, another 5,000 case daily increase. Spanish cases have grown by 8,000, now reaching 102,136, and Germany is reporting 76,544 cases.
  • The UK has 29,474 cases, up from 25,150 cases yesterday.
  • Brazil now reports 5,812 cases of COVID-19 while Chile reports more than 3,000 cases.