Canadian Janine Beckie scored the opening goal in Manchester City’s 2-1 win against Barcelona in the second leg of the UEFA Women’s Champions League quarter-finals but it wasn’t enough as Barcelona advanced on aggregate, 4-2.
Beckie swept in a loose ball after a corner kick in 20th minute to give City hope of a comeback.
But just before the hour mark, Barca striker Asisat Oshoala tapped in from close range for a crucial away goal. She had earlier come close to scoring several times but had been denied by defender Lucy Bronze and goalkeeper Ellie Roebuck.
American international Sam Mewis converted a penalty in the 68th minute for City.
WATCH | Canada’s Beckie sweeps in opening goal as Man City ousted by Barcelona:
Canadian striker Janine Beckie scored the opening goal as Manchester City beat Barcelona 2-1, but fell 4-2 on aggregate scoring in the second leg of the UEFA Women’s Champions League quarter-finals. 0:43
Along with Barcelona, Chelsea also advanced to the semifinals of the Women’s Champions League on Wednesday.
Pernille Harder scored against her former team to lead Chelsea to a 3-0 win over Wolfsburg, and 5-1 on aggregate.
Chelsea will face either Bayern Munich or Rosengård — who features Canadian national team goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé — in the semifinals. Bayern defeated the Swedish club 3-0 in the first leg, and they play again Thursday in Malmo.
Barcelona awaits either five-time defending champion Lyon or Paris Saint-Germain. The Lyon-PSG second leg was moved to April 18 after a coronavirus outbreak in the Lyon squad.
The battle of French rivals features Toronto’s Kadeisha Buchanan for Lyon and the pair of Jordyn Huitema of Chilliwack, B.C., and Ashley Lawrence of Toronto for PSG.
In Budapest, Harder converted a penalty in the 27th minute and Sam Kerr doubled the lead five minutes later. Both players had scored last week in the first leg. Fran Kirby added the third goal in the second half.
Chelsea and Wolfsburg played their quarter-final legs in Budapest because of travel restrictions. Chelsea was the “away” team on Wednesday.
Harder, who joined Chelsea from Wolfsburg in September, sent a long ball for Kerr, who was taken down by defender Sara Doorsoun. From the penalty spot, the Denmark captain then sent goalkeeper Katarzyna Kiedrzynek the wrong way, rolling the ball into the corner.
Kerr scored in the 32nd minute, collecting a chipped pass with her back to the goal. The Australia striker turned and fired a right-footed shot low just inside the post.
Kirby worked a give-and-go with Ji So-Yun and beat Kiedrzynek from close range in the 81st minute. Jessie Fleming, from London, Ont., subbed into the game for Chelsea with 10 minutes to go.
The final is scheduled for May 16 in Gothenburg, Sweden.
As the Trudeau government is forced to explain delays rolling out COVID-19 vaccines, some of the world’s economic and health leaders are warning of catastrophic financial consequences if poorer countries are shortchanged on vaccinations.
At a video meeting convened by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on Monday, Secretary-General Angel Gurria predicted that rich countries would see their economies shrink by trillions of dollars if they don’t do more to help poor countries receive vaccines.
The leaders of the World Health Organization and others also bemoaned the long-term damage of continued “vaccine nationalism” if current trends continue — rich countries getting a pandemic cure at a much higher rate than poorer ones.
It was a message that could provide some political cover for the Liberals, who have been widely criticized for shortfalls in deliveries of vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna while also facing international criticism for pre-buying enough doses of vaccines to cover Canada’s population several times over.
Some international anti-poverty groups have also criticized Canada for planning to take delivery of 1.9 million doses from the COVAX Facility, a new international vaccine-sharing program that is primarily designed to help poor countries afford unaffordable vaccines, but also allows rich donor countries — including Canada — to receive vaccines.
Trudeau and his cabinet ministers on the vaccine file have repeatedly said that the pandemic can’t be stamped out for good if it isn’t defeated everywhere.
They say Canada is a trading nation that depends on the welfare of others for its economic prosperity — especially with the emergence of new variants of the virus in South Africa and Britain.
But their protestations are usually drowned out in the domestic clamour that tends to highlight unfavourable comparisons of Canada’s vaccine rollout with the United States, Britain or other countries.
On Monday, Gurria — the veteran Mexican politician who has led the OECD for 15 years — brought the full force of his political gravitas by offering up a pocketbook argument that eschewed any pretence of altruism.
“It’s a smart thing to do. It is ethically and morally right. But it is also economically right,” said Gurria.
“The global economy stands to lose as much as $ 9.2 trillion, which is close to half the size of the U.S. economy, just to put it in context, as much as half of which would fall on advanced economies, so they would lose around $ 5 trillion.”
COVAX needs another $ 5 billion at least
The OECD is an international forum of more than three dozen mainly democratic and developed countries, including Canada, that aims to help foster economic growth and trade. It also conducts comprehensive economic research and issues the world’s most authoritative annual report on what rich countries spend on foreign aid.
Canada’s former finance minister Bill Morneau, who resigned last summer during the WE funding scandal, had said he was leaving politics because he long wanted to pursue the OECD leadership when Gurria departs later this year. In January, Morneau abandoned that ambition, saying he didn’t have enough support among member countries.
Meanwhile, Trudeau said last week that Canada remains committed to helping poor countries cope with COVID-19 through its $ 220-million pledge to COVAX, and its $ 865-million commitment to the ACT Accelerator, which tries to ensure low- and middle-income countries have equitable access to medical treatments during the pandemic.
But Jorge Moreira da Silva, the OECD’s development co-operation director, said COVAX is underfunded by $ 5 billion, while the World Health Organization is predicting at US$ 27-billion shortfall for the ACT Accelerator.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO director-general, said 75 per cent of vaccine doses are being administered in 10 wealthy countries.
“It’s understandable that governments want to prioritize vaccinating their own health workers and older people first. But it’s not right to vaccinate young, healthy adults in rich countries before health workers and older people in low-income nations,” Tedros told the OECD forum.
“We must ensure that vaccines, diagnostics and life-saving therapies reach those most at risk and on the front lines in all countries. This is not just a moral imperative. It’s also an economic imperative.”
Trudeau has repeatedly said that all Canadians who want a vaccine will get one by the end of September but that it is too soon to say how the government will eventually decide to share its excess doses globally.
At Monday’s forum, a spokesman for the pharmaceutical industry said the bumps and grinds of vaccine delivery to poor countries would be transformed into “a huge success” in the coming months.
“I think it’s dangerous to talk about, you know, this is a huge moral injustice already now because … you will have significant rollout to developing countries,” said Thomas Cueni, the director-general of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations.
“I haven’t seen a single industrialized country, maybe with the exception of Israel, where young and healthy people are vaccinated.”
Independent reviews back up the idea that anyone buying an RX 5500 XT is leaving performance on the table. The average gap is small — only about 5 percent for 1440p averages and 9 percent for 1440p minimums according to TechSpot — but the relatively small average obscures an important point: The titles with the largest division between 4GB and 8GB versions of the Radeon 5500 XT tend to be newer games. TechSpot reports Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is 22 percent faster on the 8GB card compared with the 4GB. So does AMD.
It’s sometimes difficult for consumers to tell how much VRAM matters at the low end of the market. Manufacturers commonly offer GPUs with more VRAM for a higher price, but customers have no interest in paying for VRAM that their GPU isn’t powerful enough to effectively utilize. If your card isn’t powerful enough to run the detail levels required to fill 4GB of VRAM, buying 8GB will gain you nothing. Manufacturers want to sell you higher VRAM cards because the profit margin from additional VRAM is much larger than the cost of the VRAM itself.
When the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 arrive later this year, default console RAM capacity will jump to 16GB. GPUs don’t have to match that — consoles share RAM between CPU and GPU, while PCs have dedicated memory for each — but the gap between 4GB and 8GB cards is only going to widen from here.
The reason your total VRAM capacity is so important is that PCs use separate memory pools for CPU and GPU. When your GPU can’t find data in VRAM, it has to fetch it across the PCIe bus. PCIe 4.0 bandwidth is fast, but it doesn’t hold a candle to GDDR6 or HBM, and the interface isn’t optimized for low latency. This is why having less VRAM than required is so terrible for performance — you can see the system hitch as it tries to load a map or even a visual effect.
One good reason to believe the transition to 8GB over 4GB is upon us is that the 5500 XT is turning in very playable frame rates in the same titles where it winds up VRAM-bound. If a GPU scores 10 frames per second with 4GB of RAM and 15 FPS with 8GB, that’d be a 50 percent improvement and utterly useless, as far as the end-user is concerned. But that’s not what’s happening here.
If you already have a 4GB GPU, there’s no reason to panic — games aren’t going to suddenly and collectively fall off a cliff. Remember that the games in question are being tested at very high detail levels, and that certain detail settings inevitably put pressure on VRAM more than others. It’ll still be possible to play future titles on 4GB cards by reducing detail and potentially resolution settings, and while that comes with its own obvious tradeoffs, it’s still better than being kicked out of playing entirely.
One of the points I considered was whether AMD is making this argument because it specifically ships more RAM in lower price points than its competitor. I’m sure that’s part of the reason, but AMD has actually been making that argument for several years now. All the way back to Polaris, AMD has argued that its larger VRAM buffers were an asset against Nvidia’s tendency to offer narrower RAM buses and less bandwidth. What’s changed, in this case, are the games themselves. We’re starting to see pressure on the 4GB memory point, and it’s not as if games are going to suddenly start collectively using less VRAM.
Now, does this mean no 4GB GPU can be a good buy? Of course not. If you want to play Stardew Valley and Undertale in 1080p, you don’t exactly need much GPU horsepower.
We are at a point in time where 8GB GPUs are demonstrating real performance advantages over 4GB cards, but the gains are still small on average and confined to certain titles. A 4GB GPU may still be a smart purchase depending on the use-case and required gaming performance, but it’s clear that 8GB will be needed soon. Taking advantage of the imminent transition by buying an 8GB budget card today will likely improve overall performance in the future.
One last point: Different GPUs from different manufacturers can use VRAM differently. Don’t conclude that just because AMD sees this kind of jump from a 4GB / 8GB shift that it’s also automatically true for Nvidia. I’m not saying that it isn’t true — but we can’t assume that it is without testing the same game on two different versions of each card.
Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu said today Ottawa “likely did not have enough” personal protective gear in the national stockpile heading into the COVID-19 pandemic.
“To your question about whether we had enough — no, we likely did not have enough. I think federal governments for decades have been under-funding things like public health preparedness,” she said during a news conference in Ottawa Wednesday.
“I would say that, obviously, governments all across the world are in the same exact situation.”
Her statement marks a shift in tone within the federal government. As recently as last week, Trudeau said he could “assure everyone that the federal stockpiles have been sufficient to meet the needs of the provinces until this point.”
Hajdu said she didn’t have exact numbers on how large the stockpile is.
WATCH: ‘We likely did not have enough,’ Hajdu
Health Minister Patty Hajdu says that successive federal governments have for decades underfunded public health preparedness, resulting in an insufficient amount of personal protective equipment in the federal pandemic stockpile. 1:58
“The numbers change, as you can imagine, day to day as we dispense equipment across the country,” she told reporters.
The Trudeau government announced yesterday that it will spend up to $ 2 billion to procure personal protective equipment, a measure that came amid growing questions about Canada’s preparedness for a pandemic.
Health care workers across the country have been raising alarms about the lack of N95 masks, with some hospitals and workers saying they have been rationing supplies while they wait for stocks to be replenished.
On the same day that Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand said the federal government is “aggressively buying in bulk from all available suppliers and distributors,” Quebec Premier François Legault warned that his province was just days away from running out of protective supplies.
“It is an extremely competitive space right now for personal protective equipment. We are pulling out all of the stops,” said Hajdu.
“I have heard those stories myself from frontline workers, I know provinces and territories are developing different sets of rules for frontline workers around the disbursement and use of personal protective equipment, but I will tell you that we will not stop this work to get the PPE that we need.”
Guillaume Laverdure is the president of Medicom, one of the companies that has been contracted by the federal government to provide face masks. He said the problem of stockpiling is an ongoing issue.
“It’s a trend we’re seeing in a lot of countries in the world where at the end of a pandemic, there’s an appetite to stockpile but then, when there is no further pandemic, for budgetary reasons or other constraints like that, the stockpile is progressively disappearing and is not replenished,” he said.
In the short term, Laverdure said, his company will begin shipping out all the masks they have in stock — including supplies from three factories in China which reopened after being requisitioned by the government there.
In the longer term, he said, it’s looking at opening a new factory to manufacture the product here in Canada.
“It’s a highly regulated product and the reason it’s highly regulated is because it has to have a very stringent protection characteristic to make sure we protect the health care professional and the patient,” he said.
“It is a highly technical product, so not everybody can manufacture overnight.”
Health care system will be overwhelmed: Tam
Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam said today the amount of medical supplies needed to cope with the pandemic depends on the actions Canadians take now to physically isolate themselves and slow the spread of the virus.
“The really difficult message, I think, to Canadians is that on a whole range of these scenarios, this health system isn’t well-designed to cope with it if we don’t do something about it now,” she said when asked about best- and worst-case scenarios for Canada.
“Any planning scenario has us potentially overwhelming our health care system.”
The Public Health Agency of Canada serves a national coordination role in planning and preparing for health emergencies, and can do bulk purchasing on the provinces’ behalf — but Tam has said the responsibility for ensuring those inventories are adequate lies with the provinces.
WATCH: Hajdu tells Canadians if ‘we all stopped moving for two weeks’ the virus would die
Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu spoke to reporters on Parliament Hill on Wednesday 1:18
At the end of February, before the virus was named a pandemic by the World Health Organization, Tam said that while the federal government has a stockpile of some medical supplies, it’s normally reserved for rare, “high-impact” biological or radiological events.
She said in those cases, the federal government can top up provincial and territorial supplies in the event they run short.
A 2011 audit of the National Emergency Stockpile System found that some of what was in the stockpile was out of date. A spokesperson for the Public Health Agency of Canada said that since then, the system has evolved to “better align with the ever-changing risk environment and is investing in strategic assets.”
“There has been increased engagement with provincial and territorial partners and other stakeholders to increase awareness of NESS capabilities,” said PHAC’s Tammy Jarbeau in a statement to CBC.
Hajdu said all governments might want to consider reinvesting in public health and preparedness on the other end of this pandemic.
“But I will tell you that the situation right now is such that our government has the money, we have the will, we have the workforce and everybody’s focus is firmly on getting PPE and we will continue to fight for Canada’s shares in that available stock as it comes online,” she said.
Countries can’t simply lock down their societies to defeat coronavirus, the World Health Organization’s top emergency expert said on Sunday, adding that there need to be public health measures to avoid a resurgence of the virus later on.
“What we really need to focus on is finding those who are sick, those who have the virus, and isolate them, find their contacts and isolate them,” Mike Ryan said in an interview on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show.
“The danger right now with the lockdowns … if we don’t put in place the strong public health measures now, when those movement restrictions and lockdowns are lifted, the danger is the disease will jump back up.”
Worldwide, more than 307,000people have now contracted the novel coronavirus and at least 12,944 have died, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. For most, the coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms. But it can cause more severe illness in others, especially older adults and people with existing health conditions. Some 92,000 people have recovered, mostly in China, where the virus first struck late last year.
Italy on Sunday reported nearly 800 deaths in one day. The country has more than 50,000 cases and 4,825 deaths.
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged people not to mark Mother’s Day with home visits to elderly parents. The government says Britain will be facing a crisis on the scale of Italy’s in two weeks if people do not heed instructions to stay home and avoid contact with others.
WATCH | A Canadian doctor urges a mandatory lockdown from coast to coast:
Dr. Michael Warner is the medical director of critical care at Michael Garron Hospital and says Canada should have enforced a mandatory lockdown from coast to coast a while ago. 6:25
A worldwide group representing Olympic hopefuls is calling on the International Olympic Committee to postpone the Tokyo Olympics until the coronavirus pandemic is under control.
“As the world unites to limit the spread of Covid-19 virus, the IOC … must do the same,” Global Athlete said in a news release Sunday. The Games are scheduled to run from July 24 to Aug.9. The IOC is in consultation with the World Health Organization and has stuck to the position that it’s too early for drastic decisions.
Athletes want to be part of a solution to ensure the Games are a success,” the Global Athlete statement said. “But under the current global restrictions that are limiting public gatherings as well as closing training facilities and borders, athletes do not have the ability to appropriately prepare for these Games, and their health and safety must come first.”
IOC President Thomas Bach has insisted the Games will go ahead as planned, telling told Germany’s SWR broadcaster on Saturday, they “cannot be moved like a football game.” He also ruled out cancelling the Games.
“A cancellation of the Games would be the least fair solution. A cancellation would destroy the Olympic dream of 11,000 athletes of 206 Olympic committees,” he said.
As countries around the globe scramble to stop the spread of the virus, slamming shut borders and cutting off international travel, Canadians woke up Saturday to a new reality: the world’s longest undefended border is no longer open for routine, casual traffic between Canada and the United States.
Snowbirds urged to come home
The ban on non-essential cross-border travel went into effect at midnight ET and will stay in place for at least 30 days as both countries scramble to curb the rapid spread of COVID-19. Foreign Minister François-Philippe Champagne says Canadian snowbirds living in the U.S. should come home now and the border will remain open for them.
Champagne said additional flights are in the works to bring Canadians home from Peru and Spain. Negotiations are also underway with governments in India, the Philippines, and Ecuador, Champagne said.
WATCH | Will Canada’s $ 82-billion COVID-19 aid package be enough?
The CBC News business panel takes a close look at the details of the Canadian government’s $ 82-billion bailout package and how it compares to what’s been unveiled in the U.S. and U.K. 13:23
In Ottawa, Parliament will reconvene on Tuesday with just a few MPs from each party, just enough to form a quorum. The recall is to adopt the government’s proposed multi-billion-dollar emergency economic measures announced last week. The aid package is to soften the blow of the pandemic on businesses and individuals. The Senate will be called back Wednesday to pass the bill. Royal Assent is expected the same day.
Canada has ramped up testing for COVID-19 dramatically in the last week, with more than 83,000 tests now completed, more than 80 per cent of them since March 14. That includes more than 20,000 tests conducted on Thursday and Friday.
WATCH | ‘We want to go home,’ says Canadian stranded in Peru
Greg Bestavros, one of hundreds of Canadians stranded in Peru, urges the Canadian government to take swift action before Peruvian borders close. 8:00
Schools are now closed in most of the country, restaurants and bars mostly open only for take-out service, and movie theatres, concert halls and other public gathering spaces locked up.
Dr. Howard Njoo, Canada’s deputy chief public health officer, said Saturday Canadians who have so drastically changed their daily lives to try and do their part to stop COVID-19, deserve a big thanks, but he warned people not to let up any time soon.
In Canada, there are now more than 1,200 confirmed cases, and at least 19 deaths, including four deaths announced at the same Quebec care home.
According to airline tracking data, an Air Canada flight has landed in Montreal, bringing 444 Canadians home from Morocco as borders shut down around the world.
Read on for a look at what’s happening in Canada, the U.S. and other areas of the world dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.
Here’s what’s happening in the provinces and territories
B.C. says it has freed up thousands of acute care hospital beds. The government said the beds were made available after it ordered the cancellations of non-urgent elective surgeries. B.C. also ordered all restaurants and bars to stop dine-in services; nightclubs, playgrounds and libraries to close; and banned gatherings of more than 50 people. Read more about what’s happening in B.C.
Ontario says it’s launching a website to help businesses retool and shift their focus to producing much-needed medical equipment. Meanwhile, Toronto’s University Health Network says it will no longer allow visitors with exceptions for compassionate grounds and for special safety needs. Read more about what’s happening in Ontario.
Quebec’s provincial police have begun a “special operation” to assist the Health Ministry in enforcing the Public Health Act. “As of now, it’s clear we’re going to constrain the people who do not respect the guidelines,” said Dr. Horacio Arruda, Quebec’s public health director. On Friday a person who tested positive for COVID-19 was arrested in Quebec City for defying quarantine orders. Read more about what’s happening in Quebec.
Nurses at three Edmonton clinics have refused to swab patients for COVID-19 because they say aren’t being provided with N95 face masks by Alberta Health Services. Roughly 30 nurses say “they need N95 to properly protect themselves,” according to their union, but AHS says they’re not required in order to perform the tests. Read more about what’s happening in Alberta.
Saskatchewan says only essential health-care workers are exempt from self-isolation restrictions. Premier Scott Moe said on Friday he was concerned some individuals who recently travelled outside of Canada were not respecting self-isolation requirements. As a result, those who violate the rules could be subject to a $ 2,000 fine. Read more about what’s happening in Saskatchewan.
Winnipeg opened its first drive-thru community screening site, marking the third such drive-thru location in Manitoba. There are 11 testing locations in total in the province. Read more about what’s happening in Manitoba.
Retired physicians in New Brunswick have offered their services should they be required. The offer comes as Premier Blaine Higgs says health officials believe the peak of viral infections could still be up to five weeks away. Read more about what’s happening in N.B.
Newfoundland and Labrador opened test centres with Western and Eastern Health on Saturday. The province’s health authority says the clinics will operate seven days a week, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., with nurses collecting samples while individuals remain in their vehicles. Read more about what’s happening in N.L.
P.E.I. is asking people to self-isolate if they’ve travelled off-island within Canada. The province will also be implementing enhanced screening measures at the Confederation Bridge, the Charlottetown airport and the ferry in Souris. Read more about what’s happening on P.E.I.
In the Northwest Territories, the chief public health officer confirmed the territory’s first case on Saturday. The person had travelled to British Columbia and Alberta, according a statement, and then returned home to Yellowknife.
Here’s a look at the number of cases — including deaths and recoveries — by province:
British Columbia: 424 confirmed cases, including six recovered and 10 deaths.
Ontario: 377 confirmed cases, including six recovered and three deaths.
Alberta: 226 confirmed cases, including three recovered and one death.
Quebec: 181 confirmed cases, including one recovered and five deaths.
Saskatchewan: 44 confirmed and presumptive cases.
Manitoba: 19 confirmed and presumptive cases.
New Brunswick: 17 confirmed and presumptive cases.
Nova Scotia: 21 confirmed and presumptive cases.
Prince Edward Island: Two cases the province lists as positive.
Newfoundland and Labrador: Six confirmed and presumptive cases.
Northwest Territories: one confirmed case.
Repatriated Canadians: 13 confirmed cases.
Presumptive cases are individuals who have tested positive, but still await confirmation with the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg. Not all provinces are listing figures on those who have recovered. The recent COVID-19 related death in Japan is not currently included in the province-by-province tally of cases.
Here’s what’s happening in the U.S.
From Reuters and The Associated Press, updated at 8:45 p.m. ET
U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence and his wife tested negative for the virus, his spokesperson said Saturday night, after a member of his staff tested positive.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed an executive order on Saturday mandating that all non-essential retail businesses close stores and almost all state residents stay home. The order follows similar moves by Illinois, New York and California.
The sweeping state-by-state public health restrictions, unprecedented in breadth and scope, added to the distance being experienced among ordinary Americans even as the pandemic seemed to close in on the highest levels of power in the nation’s capital.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that starting Sunday, all workers in non-essential businesses must stay home as much as possible and all gatherings of any size will be banned in the state of more than 19 million people, which has seen more than 11,000 cases and 56 deaths. He acted after California all but confined its 40 million residents to their homes.
WATCH | New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is worried about the lack of hospital ventilators:
‘The numbers are going up at such a rate, it’s more than double the capacity of the hospital system,’ Gov. Andrew Cuomo says. 1:58
Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. Senate on Saturday scrambled to complete a deal on a $ 1 trillion-plus bill aimed at stemming the coronavirus pandemic’s economic fallout for workers, industries and small businesses.
But after a second day of marathon closed-door negotiations, there was no sign of an overarching deal between negotiators
Meanwhile, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first rapid coronavirus diagnostic test, with a detection time of about 45 minutes. The test’s developer, California-based molecular diagnostics company Cepheid, said on Saturday it had received an emergency use authorization from the FDA for the test, which will be used primarily in hospitals and emergency rooms. The company plans to begin shipping it to hospitals next week, it said.
The total number of known U.S. coronavirus cases has risen exponentially in recent days, climbing past 19,500 in a surge that health officials attributed in large part to an increase in diagnostic testing.
Here’s what’s happening in Europe
From The Associated Press and Reuters, updated at 7:00 a.m. ET
Spain’s death toll from the coronavirus epidemic increasedto 1,720 on Sunday from 1,326 the day before, according to multiple media outlets citing the latest health data. The number of registered cases in the country rose to 28,572 on Sunday from 24,926 in the previous tally announced on Saturday, the reports added. As the second worst-hit country in Europe, Spain will be extending its 15-day state of emergency and lockdown order announced last week for another 15 days.
In Cyprus, a police spokesperson says authorities have turned away a boat carrying around 100 migrants, citing government directives banning the entry of foreign nationals.
France reported 78 new deaths on Friday, taking the total to 450, an increase of 21 per cent. The Alsace region has been struggling with a surge of infections overwhelming hospitals, prompting the neighbouring southwestern German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg to offer to take in some of its patients.
In Germany, the number of confirmed cases rose above 20,000, with 70 deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. Germany’s official Robert Koch Institute listed 16,662 case and 47 deaths, but officials have acknowledged that their count lags behind figures provided by regional health authorities.
Some German states, such as Bavaria, have stepped up measures to contain the outbreak by further restricting the reasons people can leave their homes. That’s prompted some criticism about stricter curfew measures.
Britain still lags behind Italy, Spain and France in the spread of the virus, but the country’s overstretched health system is creaking.
The state-funded National Health Service has about 4,000 critical-care beds and some 5,000 ventilators, and officials say that’s far fewer than will be needed as the number of cases spikes in the coming weeks. Britain, which has recorded more than 5,000 confirmed cases and 233 deaths, has already asked 65,000 retired nurses and doctors to return to work.
Here’s what’s happening in Asia
From Reuters and The Associated Press, updated at 6:00 a.m. ET
Vietnam will bar entry for all foreigners starting Sunday, except for those on “diplomatic and special purposes,” the government said on Saturday, as the country’s cases rose to 94 with no deaths. Those allowed to enter will be subject to quarantine and will need approval from the ministries of police, health and foreign affairs.
Thailand partially closed all shopping malls in the capital Bangkok and nearby provinces on Sunday as the country reported its largest daily increase in coronavirus infections. The city’s malls, except for supermarkets and pharmacies, are closed for 22 days beginning March 22. The measures come as Thailand reported 188 new cases of the coronavirus on Sunday, bringing its tally to 599, with the majority of cases in Bangkok.
Japan has recorded 1,055 cases of domestically transmitted cases of coronavirus as of Sunday, up 40 from the previous day, according to public broadcaster NHK. The number passed the 1,000 milestone on Saturday as the nation battles to avoid a health crisis ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.
WATCH | China sees imported cases rise:
China is celebrating its defeat of the coronavirus outbreak while diligently monitoring for cases being brought into the country, which are on the rise. 1:50
In India, the typically boisterous streets of the capital New Delhi fell silent on Sunday as the country observed a 14-hour “people’s curfew” that Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for in a national address to stem the rising coronavirus caseload. No commercial airplanes from abroad are allowed to land in India for a week starting Sunday, and four states sealed their borders to public and tourist buses. Most businesses were expected to be closed except for essential services like hospitals.
India currently has more than 300 confirmed cases and four deaths from COVID-19.
Indonesia on Sunday confirmed 64 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number to 514.
The Chinese health authority said Sunday it received reports of 46 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on the Chinese mainland, of which 45 were imported from abroad. The overall confirmed cases on the mainland, where the epidemic erupted in December, had reached 81,054 by the end of Saturday. That number includes 5,549 patients who were still being treated, 72,244 patients who had been discharged after recovery, and 3,261 people who died of the disease.
Though the epidemic erupted in China in December, and South Korea at one stage had the second-most infections, both subsequently succeeded in stifling domestic transmission of the virus.
South Korea reported 147 new coronavirus infections on Saturday, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The new cases bring the country’s total to 8,799. The country’s election commission says all voters will be required to wear masks and use disposable gloves at ballot booths during the April 15 parliamentary elections.
Here’s a look at some other developments around COVID-19
Canadian consumers are still snapping up supplies, leaving some store shelves empty, despite efforts to restock. Some grocery stores have implemented limits on essential items while others have not. The Retail Council of Canada, an industry group that represents big chains like Loblaw, Sobeys and Walmart, says it doesn’t plan to advocate for any rationing or limits per person.
El Salvador declared a 30-day curfews in response to the virus.
Iran’s death toll from the coronavirus outbreak rose on Saturday by more than 100 to 1,556, and the total number of people infected now exceeds 20,000, a health ministry official said.
Africa’s cases of the coronavirus rose above 1,000 on Saturday. Angola and Uganda announced their first cases; Congo and Ghana reported their first deaths; and Burkina Faso reported two new ones — that country now has the most COVID-19 deaths of any country in sub-Saharan Africa. Many African countries have already shut their borders, closed schools and universities and barred large public gatherings.
Brazil is the hardest-hit country in Latin America, with the health ministry saying on Saturday 18 people have now died and over 1,100 are infected. The state of Sao Paulo alone has recorded 15 deaths, six of them reported on Saturday. That led Sao Paulo state Gov. Joao Doria to announce a two-week, statewide partial shutdown — a first in Brazil. Bars, restaurants and non-essential shops may not open, but people will be allowed to go outside.
Australia has ratcheted up its social distancing regulations to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, demanding indoor venues provide at least four square metres of space per person. The space constraint announced Friday follows a ban on Wednesday of non-essential indoor gatherings of more than 100 people, including weddings and restaurants. Gatherings considered essential include schools, supermarkets and workplaces, which are exempt. Australia has also tightened regulations on travel to and from remote Indigenous communities in a bid to spare them COVID-19 outbreaks.
Netflix is launching a $ 100M US relief fund for workers in the creative community as the film and television industry suffers. The fund will be distributed to “third parties and nonprofits providing emergency relief to out-of-work crew and cast in the countries where we have a large production base,” according to a statement. That includes $ 1 million to be shared between the AFC, formerly known as the Actors Fund of Canada, and Fondation des Artistes in Canada.
Turkey announced 12 more deaths, bringing the death toll to 21. Ankara took its strictest measures so far Saturday, banning people over 65 and those with chronic health problems from leaving their homes. The interior ministry ordered all restaurants shut to customers except for deliveries and pickups. Earlier, the ministry banned picnics and barbecues as Turkish citizens ignored warnings to remain at home.
Vanessa Bryant, wife of the late Kobe Bryant, offered her first public comments since Sunday’s helicopter crash that took the lives of the basketball star, daughter Gianna and seven others.
Vanessa thanked the millions of fans who offered their support in wake of the tragedy in an Instagram post.
“Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them. We are completely devastated by the sudden loss of my adoring husband, Kobe — the amazing father of our children; and my beautiful, sweet Gianna — a loving, thoughtful, and wonderful daughter, and amazing sister to Natalia, Bianka and Capri.
“We are also devastated for the families who lost their loved ones on Sunday, and we share in their grief intimately.
“There aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now. I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved. We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever. They were our beautiful blessings taken from us too soon.”
The tragic death of Bryant, along with his 13-year-old daughter and seven others in the helicopter crash Sunday, has sparked an outpouring of grief and tributes for the basketball great who helped lead the Los Angeles Lakers to five NBA titles during his 20-year career.
Married in 2001, Kobe and Vanessa had four daughters together: Natalia, 17; Gianna, who was 13; Bianka, three; and seven-month Capri. The Bryants would have celebrated their 19th wedding anniversary this April.
Vanessa also announced the creation of the MambaOn Three Fund to support the other families affected by the tragedy.
“I’m not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it’s impossible to imagine life without them. But we wake up each day, trying to keep pushing because Kobe, and our baby girl, Gigi, are shining on us to light the way. Our love for them is endless — and that’s to say, immeasurable. I just wish I could hug them, kiss them and bless them. Have them here with us, forever.”
There has been no announcement on funeral or memorial plans yet for Kobe and Gianna Bryant. Vanessa Bryant asked for a continued respect of her family’s privacy as they begin to “navigate this new reality.”
The Los Angeles Lakers franchise also its first public comments since Sunday in a statement posted to Twitter.
“Words cannot express what Kobe means to the Los Angeles Lakers, our fans, and our city. More than a basketball player, he was a beloved father, husband, and teammate. Their love and light will remain in our hearts forever.”
An assault weapons ban. A federal gun buyback program. Stricter background checks. Banning high-capacity magazines. The list of proposals from the 2020 field of Democratic presidential candidates to address gun violence in the United States reads like an advocate’s wish list.
But will any of it get passed? Will the bloody weekend in which 31 people were killed and dozens injured in separate mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio represent a turning point in the debate?
Gun control advocates say they’ve seen the tragic pattern — shock, grief, sadness, anger, a call to action, and then nothing — play itself out too many times to know that one moment will not immediately change everything.
“It just takes a long time for the culture to slowly shift and change,” said Mark Barden, whose seven-year-old son Daniel was one of 20 children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in 2012.
“It’s a slow progression of these horrible tragedies, coming at too great a cost, that creates this continuum of slow change.”
According to Barden, the first step to saving lives is sitting in the lap of U.S. senators right now: A bipartisan bill, passed in the House of Representatives in February, calling for stricter background checks on a greater number of gun sales.
Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Tuesday called on his Republican counterpart to hold an emergency session to pass the legislation but so far, Mitch McConnell hasn’t shown an interest in debating the bill.
Another measure that has strong public support is extreme risk protection orders, or so-called “red flag” laws, which allow families or law enforcement to temporarily remove firearms from anyone deemed a risk to themselves or others.
“I think we have gone past that tipping point and our elected officials are behind the curve now,” Barden said.
According to Andrew Patrick, with the Washington-based Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, Trump is following a standard pattern of shifting the attention away from guns.
“The inaction is not working and the American people recognize that,” he said.
Patrick agrees that things are shifting — but at a glacial pace. “The movement continues to go in the direction we want to see. Is it going fast enough? Hell no.”
Pushing the boundaries of the gun control discussion is the vast field of Democratic presidential candidates.
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker has one of the most ambitious plans to curb gun violence, calling for all gun owners to be licensed. His proposal is echoed by fellow candidate Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who released his own comprehensive plan to combat gun violence on Tuesday.
The ideas across the board have a similar theme, varying only in the details — a sign of how far the Democratic Party has come on the issue, says Matt Glassman, with the Government Affairs Institute at Georgetown University.
“Ten years ago, the Democratic Party still included a lot of pro-gun southern conservative Democrats. And they have basically disappeared from the party at the congressional level,” he said.
He notes, however, that the nearly two dozen presidential candidates pushing gun control platforms are trying to appeal to the activist base of Democratic voters who will go to the polls in the upcoming primaries. Those ideas may not translate to the general election, Glassman said, where Democrats are likely to see health care, education and the economy as more pressing issues.
Focus on shooters, not guns
Some gun rights advocates admit the mood in the country has shifted and there is an appetite for legislative change, but they warn there are limits to what gun owners will accept.
The focus for change must remain on people’s ability to obtain guns, not limiting the supply of guns themselves, says Jon Stokes, a contributing editor with The Firearm Blog.
“I don’t think there will ever be support for a ban for registration — certainly not for any kind of confiscation or buyback,” he said.
“People are not going to support restrictions on that because then where does it stop? We all live in the same world and so we’re nervous in public, like everybody else,” he said. “But we’re also nervous about our rights.”
Stokes said he does believe there is support for strengthened background checks and red flag laws.
Solving everyday gun violence
Some experts say the U.S. needs to treat gun violence as a public health crisis in order to deal with it the way society has worked to address drunk driving and smoking.
Louis Klarevas, author of Rampage Nation: Securing America from Mass Shootings, says no one solution will work, and he’s not optimistic that this recent round of shootings will spur immediate action.
A piecemeal approach also won’t work, he said, noting it will take bans, background checks, licensing changes and red flag laws to collectively make a difference.
“It’s going to take all of those coming together — and tinkered and tailored in a way that they’re most effective — to significantly reduce gun violence in America.”
Barden, who works on violence prevention through a group he co-founded called Sandy Hook Promise, says his fight isn’t just about stopping high-profile mass shootings, but rather the everyday gun violence that plagues communities.
“We need to get folks to prioritize this issue and become vocal and active by petitioning their elected officials to vote the right way on this, or to vote them out,” he said.
As the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo nears the one-year mark, one of the Canadian scientists who helped design a vaccine for the deadly disease says there isn’t enough of the precious preventive tool.
In 2016, the drugmaker Merck, which manufactures the vaccine, entered into an agreement with the Vaccine Alliance in Geneva to maintain a stockpile of 300,000 doses in case of an outbreak.
But “300,000 doses is not enough anymore,” said microbiologist and researcher Gary Kobinger, who has been tracking the outbreak from the Centre for Research in Infectious Diseases at Laval University in Quebec City.
“You would need to reach a million, if not two million [people].
“You cannot just offer it and say, ‘That’s it, we’re done, we don’t have anything anymore.’ You need to make sure you have enough to cover 100 per cent of the people if 100 per cent of the people ask for it.”
Merck confirmed Friday that it met with the World Health Organization and the Vaccine Alliance in June to discuss supply concerns.
Merck spokesperson Skip Irvine said the company decided to nearly triple the stockpile within the next 18 months.
“We’ve amplified our commitment now to this greater number of around 850,000 [doses],” said Irvine.
He said they arrived at the figure after consultations with WHO, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and “other interested parties as to what they believe will be needed in the event that the outbreak continues.”
Irvine said Merck has another 250,000 doses ready to ship.
Outbreak began in August 2018
Congo’s health ministry first declared the new outbreak on Aug. 1, 2018. WHO reports nearly 147,000 people have received the vaccine since then. But demand is high and growing as health workers try to treat those who have come into contact with people who have been infected.
The rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine was partially developed by a team in the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg and showed promising results when it was used in 2015, during the largest Ebola outbreak in history in West Africa. The vaccine is now manufactured by Merck and takes nearly a year to produce.
Ebola is highly infectious. To contain it, health workers use a ring vaccination method. First they vaccinate the immediate circle — those who had direct contact with an infected person. Then they move out, offering the vaccine to everyone in contact with those in the first ring.
Trish Newport, a nurse with Doctors Without Borders who hails from Whitehorse and is currently based in Geneva, said medical professionals “don’t see the outbreak diminishing at all.”
“We see still these high numbers of cases every week. And so with every new case, you have another ring, you have more people to vaccinate.”
Newport witnessed the demand for the vaccine firsthand when she worked in Butembo, the epicentre of the outbreak.
“It’s clear that we need to have more vaccine and those 300,000 doses are being used very quickly,” she said. “It’s such a great, huge tool, and I can’t imagine the outbreak if we didn’t have it. So it’s scary to think about what happens if we run out of it.”
Supply not the only problem
According to the World Health Organization, nearly 2,400 people have been infected and more than 1,600 have died from the hemorrhagic fever in Congo. There are new worries it could spread into neighbouring countries, after an infected woman arrived near the Ugandan and South Sudanese border last week.
The woman travelled more than 460 kilometresfrom her hometown of Beni, Congo, to the busy border hub. Upon falling ill, she disclosed that her children had all recently succumbed to Ebola. She then died herself in what’s called the Ariwara Health Zone, which shares a border with Uganda’s Arua district.
A supply of the vaccine isn’t the only problem health workers face. Lack of trust in the region has been a big issue, Newport said. The area was rocked by ethnic violence in December when the United Nations said at least 890 people were killed over a three-day period.
Newport said that violence has hindered trust between foreign health workers and the local population, and made it difficult to get complete lists of who infected people have come into contact with.
“Can you imagine? You don’t trust the government. You have a history of massacres and you don’t necessarily know who was responsible,” Newport said.
“Then you get sick with Ebola and either someone from the government or someone from a foreign organization comes to you and they say, ‘Everyone that is really close to you in your life, I’m going to make a list so I can follow them closely,”‘ Newport said. “I understand completely why they wouldn’t give me that list.”
Newport said in the last week, 40 per cent of the new confirmed cases were not listed as having had any contact with known cases of Ebola.
“This is extremely extremely concerning, because it means that there are cases that are not being identified,” Newport said. “It’s one of my most serious concerns, because it means there can be a spread of the disease. It means it can go across provinces, across health zones, even across country borders.”
He said about 72 per cent of the population needs to be immunized to block the spread of the infectious disease.
“You can have a vaccine that is 100 per cent effective, but if you only vaccinate 10 per cent of the population that is susceptible to get the disease … you cannot expect the vaccine to have a strong impact.”
TORONTO – They’ve put up life-sized murals of Kawhi. Fans chant M-V-P over and over throughout the playoff games. Toronto restaurants are offering him free meals for life.
The #HeStay movement has been gaining momentum – since day one, Raptors fans have been doing everything they can to keep Kawhi Leonard in the city for maybe, just maybe, one more season.
It’s hit a different level during this playoff run. And with each Kawhi basket, block, steal and slam, coupled with post-season wins, Toronto Raptors fans want to believe just a little bit more that the all-star will stick around.
Leonard is having one of the most memorable playoff performances in the history of the game. He’s single-handedly guided the Raptors to a handful of victories. On Tuesday night, Leonard and the team kept the good times rolling with a dominant 120-102 win to even the Eastern Conference finals with Milwaukee at 2-2.
WATCH | Raptors bench comes alive to tie series against Milwaukee:
Toronto’s bench combined for 48 points in an impressive 120-102 victory over the Bucks in Game 4. 2:08
“Kawhi if you’re listening to this – we appreciate you,” said Shahin Shamshiri. “The energy he’s given to this city is something else. The city is alive. It’s changed.”
Shamshiri is the co-founder of OD Toronto. The façade of the black-bricked building on Queen West has become famous of late because of the Kawhi murals that grace the front of it. Prior to the Philadelphia series, a mural of him went up.
And then a new one went up – the buzzer-beater shot, with Kawhi’s tongue sticking out as he arched the now famous shot at the basket. And inside the building, that other famous photo of the same play – Kawhi squatted on the baseline watching the ball drop, etched on the wall.
“Everybody is trying to get down here to get a photo,” Shamshiri said. “Snoop was here last night. He saw the mural and had to do a full photoshoot.”
Nuthin’ But a ‘G’ Thang. <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/WeTheNorth?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#WeTheNorth</a><br><br>📸: <a href=”https://twitter.com/SnoopDogg?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@SnoopDogg</a> / IG <a href=”https://t.co/jHpwG4idHv”>pic.twitter.com/jHpwG4idHv</a>
Shamshiri says should the Raptors make it to the championship series, they’ll be putting up yet another new mural.
“Whatever Kawhi wants and whatever photos he has,” he said. “Even a baby photo, send it over and we’ll put it up.”
But will it all be enough?
The belief that Kawhi will stay continues to blossom after every playoff win, but according to a San Antonio Spurs’ writer, not even that will be enough to keep him in Toronto.
“I’ve seen how this movie ends before. And it ends in heartbreak,” said Tom Petrini. “The way things ended in San Antonio were really bad. He’s called a snake to this day.”
Petrini covered Kawhi’s days in San Antonio. He writes for the Project Spurs website and is quick to heed caution to any Toronto fan who wants to believe he’ll stay in a Raptors uniform next year.
“The bottom line is, if Kawhi Leonard didn’t care about San Antonio why would he care about Toronto,” Petrini said.
Petrini goes on to talk about how much people adored Kawhi in San Antonio – they too put up murals across the city when he guided the team to an NBA championship in 2014.
“People worshipped him like a God,” explains Petrini. “This guy was the chosen one to take the torch. Everybody in San Antonio was ecstatic.”
And that, says Petrini, is why it hurt so much for Spurs fans when he left.
“He basically ghosted the entire city. We never got any explanation why he wanted out,” he said.
In a lot of ways, Kawhi Leonard is a misunderstood individual – his reserved and quiet demeanour allows for fans to come up with their own ideas of who he is.
“He’s so quiet and everyone could project their own ideas onto him,” Petrini says. “Even if we really never knew what was going on in his head, we had our own ideas.”
The idea Spurs fans came up with is that he’d be theirs for all his playing days. And left.
Petrini sees the same situation playing out in Toronto.
“I can’t think of one reason why he would stay there,” he said. “He’s a southern California boy. I’m sure he’d like to be back in L.A. It’s nothing against Toronto. They have a pretty good team. A lot of good players. It’s a beautiful city.”
A year later, Kawhi leaving the Spurs in the fashion he did still stings Petrini.
“Yes I’m salty,” he admits. “And Toronto fans will be too in like a month.”
Shamshiri sees it differently. He says he’ll respect whatever Kawhi decides to do – because during the Spring of 2019, Raptors fans got a taste of what it’s like to have a superstar on their team. And in the process collected basketball memories that will last a lifetime.
“Even if he leaves, we’re not mad,” Shamshiri said. “We can’t be mad. What he’s done for the city is Toronto history now.”
Shamshiri, along with tens of thousands of Raptors fans across Toronto and across Canada, hope there’s still a little bit more history to come. And a few more murals of Kawhi, too.