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COVID-19 concerns ramp up as feds announce more aid

Last Updated Mar 11, 2020 at 8:55 am PDT

Workers wearing protective gears disinfect as a precaution against the new coronavirus at a subway car depot in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, March 11, 2020. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
Summary

B.C. has now recorded close to 40 cases of COVID-19

The virus has forced a number of event cancellations, some school closures around the Lower Mainland

Prime minister has announced $1-billion in coronavirus funding

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – As COVID-19 continues to spread globally, B.C. has recorded 39 confirmed cases of the virus since the outbreak began.

That includes the death of a man in his 80s who was living at a care home in North Vancouver on Sunday — Canada’s first casualty related to the novel coronavirus.

It’s also forced a number of school closures, with yet another reported for Wednesday due to what it’s calling “health reasons.”

Notre Dame Regional Secondary in East Vancouver has cancelled all classes for the day due to the new coronavirus. Meanwhile, Coast Meridian in Surrey also cancelled classes and closed on Wednesday after it received word Tuesday night that a “member of the Coast Meridian community” tested positive for COVID-19.

Canada has confirmed more than 90 cases of COVID-19 since the outbreak began.

As the country sees a growing number of cases, on Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a $1-billion COVID-19 response fund to help provinces, workers, and businesses harmed by the outbreak.

The package includes specific measures to help people affected by quarantine, as well as funding to cushion impacted industries and the health care system.

Trudeau called the funding “significant” at the announcement on Wednesday.

The prime minister has already created a cabinet committee to help deal with the novel coronavirus, and the feds have also announced funding for things like research.

Worldwide

Expanding clusters of the virus on multiple continents are reshaping everything from the U.S. presidential race to Pope Francis’ travel schedule.

Italy’s 62-million people are under strict new rules, with police enforcing measures to keep people in public places a safe distance apart and making sure certain business close by nightfall.

The death toll in Italy has risen to 631, with more than 10,000 cases confirmed of COVID-19 in the country.

In China, where virus outbreak first began in December, the situation is easing slightly, with signs that areas which had been placed on lockdown were slowly returning to a sense of normalcy. The number of people infected in China remains high, however, the number of new cases has not been growing as rapidly as was the case just a month ago.

Meanwhile, in a reversal of positions, China is actually seeing new cases be brought in from overseas. In Beijing, the capital, all the new cases of COVID-19 reported on Wednesday came from outside the country — five from Italy and one from the United States.

In the U.S., more than 1,000 people have been infected and outbreaks on both sides of the country are stirring alarm.

In Washington state, which has seen its fair number of cases and was the first state to be hit by COVID-19, Governor Jay Inslee is expected to announce Wednesday morning that gatherings of more than 250 people will be restricted — that includes sporting events and concerts.

Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders, who are vying to take on Donald Trump in the presidential election, abruptly canceled rallies Tuesday and left open the possibility that future campaign events could be impacted, too. Trump’s campaign insisted it would proceed as normal, although Vice President Mike Pence conceded future rallies would be evaluated “on a day to day basis.”

On the business side, despite Wall Street’s gains on Tuesday, markets across Asia dropped Wednesday. Investors seemed encouraged by promises made by Trump of a relief package to cushion economic pain from the outbreak. Governments around Asia and elsewhere have also announced billions of dollars in stimulus funds, including packages revealed in Japan on Tuesday and Australia on Wednesday.