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Coronavirus: What’s happening around the world on Saturday

The latest:

  • Canadian dies of coronavirus while in U.S. immigration custody in Virginia.
  • Brazil COVID-19 deaths reach 100,000 as most cities reopen shops.
  • Face masks become mandatory in more indoor places in England, Scotland.
  • Some travellers to Germany face mandatory testing for COVID-19.
  • 1st case in Newfoundland and Labrador in nearly 2 weeks tied to TV show.
  • Toronto care centre drawing children from various schools worried about ‘too many bubbles.’

Brazil’s death toll from COVID-19 is expected to hit 100,000 on Saturday and continue to climb as most Brazilian cities reopen shops and dining even though the pandemic has yet to peak.

The country reported its first cases of the novel coronavirus at the end of February. The virus took three months to kill 50,000 people, and just 50 days to kill the next 50,000.

Led by President Jair Bolsonaro, who has played down the gravity of the epidemic and fought lockdowns by local officials, Brazilians who protested nightly from their windows in the first months of the outbreak have met the grim milestone with a shrug.

“We should be living in despair, because this is a tragedy like a world war. But Brazil is under collective anesthesia,” said Dr. José Davi Urbaez, a senior member of the Infectious Diseases Society.

He and other pubic health experts have raised the alarm that Brazil still has no co-ordinated plan to fight the pandemic, as many officials focus on “reopening,” which is likely to boost circulation and worsen the outbreak.

Two health ministers, both trained doctors, have resigned over differences with Bolsonaro. The acting minister is an army general who has abandoned the call for social distancing, which experts says is essential but the president opposes.

Bolsonaro, who has called COVID-19 a “little flu,” says he recovered from his own infection thanks to hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug that remains unproven against the coronavirus.

What’s happening with coronavirus in Canada

As of 8:45 p.m. ET on Friday, Canada had 118,985 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 103,435 of those as recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC’s reporting stood at 9,008.

A 72-year-old Canadian man from Richmond Hill, Ont., died of COVID-19 at a Virginia hospital on Wednesday, four weeks after being transferred there from an immigration detention centre that has been dealing with an outbreak of COVID-19. Now, his devastated family is speaking out, saying his death could have been avoided.

WATCH | Family speaks out after Canadian man dies of COVID-19 in ICE custody:

James Hill died of COVID-19 while in the custody of U.S. immigration enforcement while awaiting deportation to Canada. 2:11

The first new case in Newfoundland and Labrador since July 26 is tied to the television show Hudson & Rex, sources have told CBC News.

The province’s health department says there is one new travel-related case of COVID-19, a woman who was asymptomatic while travelling on a flight from Toronto to St. John’s on Thursday.

In an interview with CBC News Friday afternoon, Hudson & Rex producer Paul Pope said all COVID-19 precautions on set were followed, and that the case was found through regular private testing.

In Manitoba, the province’s second-largest city is dealing with a significant outbreak of COVID-19. The cluster has been linked to a traveller from Eastern Canada who did not self isolate when they arrived in Brandon. The 17 new cases include 10 workers at the local Maple Leaf Foods pork processing plant.

Jeff Traeger, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 832, is calling for production at the plant to be halted.

WATCH | Parents and public health agencies concerned about back-to-school safety:

As Ontario parents continue to press the government for stronger safety measures when schools reopen, public health agencies are making statements that seem to reinforce the parents’ arguments. 1:53

In Toronto, the head of a centre providing before and after-school care has expressed concerns that children are attending from different schools — creating “too many bubbles.”

Paul Parker, president of Brant Street Daycare, says the province isn’t providing enough direction, especially for childcare centres that serve several schools.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced on Friday that daycares will be able to expand their numbers to pre-COVID capacity on Sept. 1, adding that there will be strict protocols, including cleaning and requiring all childcare staff to wear masks at all times. 

In Saskatchewan, Minister of Education Gord Wyant says that as of now, mask use will not be mandatory in classrooms in September, although the province is “actively considering” their use.

What’s happening in the rest of the world

According to Johns Hopkins University, the global total of confirmed coronavirus cases surpassed 19.4 million as of 7:30 a.m. ET on Saturday. More than 721,000 people have died, while 11.7 million have recovered.

Travellers arriving in Germany from most non-European Union countries and some regions within the bloc that have high numbers of coronavirus cases will have to undergo compulsory testing, starting Saturday.

Travellers wait for a COVID-19 test at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany on Saturday. (Thomas Frey/dpa via The Associated Press)

The tests for people entering from so-called high risk regions are free for the first three days after arrival. Travellers from those countries already have to self-quarantine for 14 days or until they can present a negative test.

Germany’s Robert Koch Institute, the nation’s disease control centre, recorded more than 1,000 new infections nationwide for the third day running Saturday.

People in Britain must wear masks in most indoor settings starting Saturday as the country tries to squash a rise in coronavirus infections that has followed the easing of lockdown measures.

A sign requesting people stay two metres apart to try to reduce the spread of COVID-19 is displayed in front of ‘Out of Order,’ a 1989 red phone box sculpture by British artist David Mach in London. (Matt Dunham/The Associated Press)

England and Scotland now require face-coverings in most indoor spaces, including places of worship, museums, cinemas, banks and libraries. They were already mandatory in shops and on public transit. Fines of up to £100 ($174 Cdn) can be imposed on those who break the law.

A swath of northern England has been put under tougher restrictions that bar households from mixing, after a surge in infections that authorities blame partly on people meeting up in homes and pubs.

Britain’s official coronavirus death toll stands at more than 46,500, the highest in Europe.

WATCH | Pandemic takes toll on workers’ mental health:

Even those consistently employed during the pandemic are dealing with increased stress and isolation. 2:05

The Office for National Statistics says the number of people testing positive for the virus has risen since the end of June — just after the country began to ease its lockdown — but may have levelled off. It estimated there were 3,700 new infections a day in the community in England in the week to Aug. 2, down from 4,200 a day the week before.

In the United States, Hawaii’s public school students will begin the academic year with remote learning only, after a spike of coronavirus cases.

Gov. David Ige says students will spend the first four weeks of the school year learning online from home, putting hon hold plans to alternate between online and in-person classes.

WATCH | Survey indicates there is still vaccine hesitancy to overcome:

An Angus Reid survey has revealed that only about half of Canadians would take a COVID-19 vaccine no questions asked when one becomes available, but health officials and other experts say patience is key to winning over skeptics. 2:01

Oahu has seen the majority of new cases in recent weeks, filling up hospital beds and spurring officials to close beaches, parks and hiking trails.

Mexico has posted 6,717 newly confirmed coronavirus cases, increasing the country’s accumulated total to 469,407.

“This is going to be a prolonged pandemic,” Assistant Health Secretary Hugo Lopez-Gatell said on Friday as 794 more deaths from the infection were reported, for a total of 51,311.

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