Today’s coronavirus news: Bank of Canada expected to hold key rate steady; Pope uses mask, sanitizer as he appeals for public health; Fire sweeps through refugee camp on virus lockdown (Details)


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

6:04 a.m.: South Korea’s ambassador to France said his country managed to enforce a quick response to the coronavirus based on its previous experiences of major epidemics, at a French parliament hearing on Wednesday.

Speaking before a Senate’s commission of inquiry into how authorities handled the COVID-19 crisis, Choi Jong-moon detailed South Korea’s effective actions to fight the spread of the virus, including quickly ratcheting up testing.

5:07 a.m.: Pope Francis wore a face mask and used hand sanitizer Wednesday as he appealed for the faithful to look out for the health of others as well as themselves during the coronavirus pandemic.

Francis took off the mask as his car pulled into the San Damaso courtyard inside the Apostolic Palace, where last week he resumed his weekly public audiences after a nearly six-month COVID-19 shutdown.

4:59 a.m.: New limits on social gatherings in England to six people are set to stay in place for the “foreseeable future,” potentially until or even through Christmas, British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said Wednesday.

Hancock said the new limit for both indoor and outdoor gatherings, which will come into force and be enforceable by law from Monday, will provide “more clarity” to people and should help keep a lid on a recent sharp spike in new coronavirus cases.

One of the reasons for the pick-up in cases is that many people have been confused over the past few months as lockdown restrictions have been eased, notably over how they relate to gatherings both in and out of the home. Scientists say a clear message is crucial in containing pandemics.

4:47 a.m.: A major overnight fire swept through Greece’s largest refugee camp, that had been placed under COVID-19 lockdown, leaving more than 12,000 migrants in emergency need of shelter on the island of Lesbos.

In dramatic night-time scenes, the migrants at the overcrowded Moria refugee camp, which was originally meant to house around 2,000 people, fled fires that broke out at multiple points and gutted much of the camp and surrounding hillside olive groves. Protests also broke out involving migrants, riot police, and firefighters. There were no reports of injuries.

4:15 a.m.: The Bank of Canada will say this morning what it will do with its key interest rate at a time when there is very little economic drama for the first time in years.

The central bank’s key rate has remained at 0.25 per cent since March when COVID-19 lockdowns plunged the economy into crisis.

Governor Tiff Macklem said in July that the rate would stay at near-zero until the country is well into a recovery and inflation is back at the bank’s two per cent target.

4:02 a.m.: The leaders of the two provinces hardest-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic are meeting in Mississauga, Ont., today to discuss economic recovery and health preparedness.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Quebec Premier Francois Legault have convened an inaugural summit to talk about what they see as key areas for co-operation.

They say the provinces plan to share lessons learned from the pandemic and work together to boost economic recovery and growth by reducing barriers to international trade.

4:01 a.m.: Students across British Columbia are getting ready for COVID-19 orientation sessions this week amid a flurry of new protocols aimed at reopening schools while the pandemic wears on.

Education Minister Rob Fleming has said districts are expecting 85 to 90 per cent of students to attend school in person, but some parents and students say they’re frustrated by the lack of remote learning options, large class sizes and inconsistent messaging about physical distancing.

4 a.m.: The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 4 a.m. EDT on Sept. 9, 2020:

There are 133,747 confirmed cases in Canada.

_ Quebec: 63,876 confirmed (including 5,770 deaths, 56,162 resolved)

_ Ontario: 43,536 confirmed (including 2,813 deaths, 39,196 resolved)

_ Alberta: 15,093 confirmed (including 247 deaths, 13,154 resolved)

_ British Columbia: 6,591 confirmed (including 213 deaths, 4,978 resolved)



_ Saskatchewan: 1,669 confirmed (including 24 deaths, 1,587 resolved)

_ Manitoba: 1,349 confirmed (including 16 deaths, 940 resolved)

_ Nova Scotia: 1,086 confirmed (including 65 deaths, 1,018 resolved)

_ Newfoundland and Labrador: 269 confirmed (including 3 deaths, 265 resolved)

_ New Brunswick: 192 confirmed (including 2 deaths, 186 resolved)

_ Prince Edward Island: 53 confirmed (including 44 resolved)

_ Yukon: 15 confirmed (including 15 resolved)

_ Repatriated Canadians: 13 confirmed (including 13 resolved)

_ Northwest Territories: 5 confirmed (including 5 resolved)

_ Nunavut: No confirmed cases

_ Total: 133,747 (0 presumptive, 133,747 confirmed including 9,153 deaths, 117,563 resolved)

1:25 a.m.: While Indonesia has recorded more deaths from the coronavirus than any other Southeast Asian country, it also has seen by far the most fatalities among medical workers in the region, leading to concerns about the long-term impact on the nation’s fragile healthcare system.

The tribulations endured by Indonesian healthcare workers are similar to others globally: long working hours, hospitals filled to capacity and a lack of resources like personal protective equipment.

Indonesia’s government has been able to provide PPE to healthcare workers after an initial shortage that saw doctors wearing plastic raincoats while working. But other issues remain in the country, where more than 200 medical workers, mostly doctors and nurses, have died from the virus.

Read Tuesday’s rolling file


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