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.
7 a.m.: India’s coronavirus caseload topped 3 million on Sunday, with the country leading the world in new infections as the disease marched through impoverished rural areas in the north and the wealthier but older populations of the south.
Health authorities reported 69,239 new cases and 912 deaths, bringing the total to 3,044,940.
Cases have levelled off in India’s two largest cities, with serological surveys showing widespread prevalence among the residents of the capital, New Delhi, and financial centre Mumbai.
5:50 a.m.: South Korea has added 397 new coronavirus cases, counting its tenth straight day of triple-digit increases as the speed of viral spread nears the levels the country saw during the worst of its outbreak in spring.
The resurgence, which began in the densely populated capital area before spreading to practically every major city and provincial town over the past week, is a major setback for the country that had been eager to tout its hard-won gains against the virus.
After avoiding stringent social distancing measures because of concerns over a fragile economy, officials have now banned large gatherings, closed nightspots, beaches and churches and removed fans from professional sports in a desperate effort to stem transmissions.
Sunday’s daily jump in infections marked the third-consecutive day of over 300 and the highest since the 483 cases reported on March 7, when the country was dealing with a spike of transmissions in its southeastern region.
5:15 a.m.: Sicily’s governor is ordering all migrants who reach the island by sea be transferred from the Mediterranean island as part of measures to combat the spread of COVID-19.
The ordinance, signed by Gov. Nello Musumeci, went into effect Sunday and stipulates that all centres housing migrants awaiting processing of asylum applications be shut down by the end of Monday.
His order, effective through Sept. 10, also forbids any boat, including charity vessels, to bring migrants to the island.
5 a.m.: Pakistani authorities on Sunday reported only four new COVID-19 deaths in the past 24 hours, the country’s fewest number of fatalities since March.
The announcement raises hopes that Pakistan is on the right path to fully containing the coronavirus despite having a fragile health system.
The National Command and Control Center also reported 591 new cases, increasing the country’s caseload to 275,836, including 6,275 deaths.
Pakistan witnessed a sudden spike in infections and deaths in June, but confirmed cases and fatalities have gradually declined since then. The latest development comes days after Pakistan’s drug regulatory agency approved final-phase testing of a Chinese-made coronavirus vaccine.
Saturday 7:30 p.m.: The U.S. House of Representative, in a rare August Saturday session, passed legislation that would reverse operational changes at the U.S. Postal Service made since the start of the year, and provide the agency with $25 billion (U.S.) to help sustain service levels through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said his chamber won’t take up the House bill, but that Republicans are open to considering Postal Service funding as part of a COVID-19 relief package.
The White House issued a veto threat, saying the House bill “seeks to exploit the COVID-19 pandemic as a pretext for placing counterproductive restrictions on USPS’s already limited operational flexibilities.”
Saturday 6:30 p.m.: Ryan Imgrund, a biostatistician at Newmarket’s Southlake Regional Health Centre, has been tracking the effective reproduction number — or how many others a person with COVID will typically infect — for Ontario throughout the pandemic. It should be below one in order to keep infections low.
Since July 29, the number in the province has jumped from 0.8 to 1.35. Said Imgrund: “That does concern me.”
Read the full story by the Star’s May Warren here
Click here to read more of Saturday’s coverage.