COVID-19: Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s mother-in-law diagnosed with COVID-19 in long-term care
An emotional Ontario Premier Doug Ford vowed Thursday during his daily news conference to strengthen long-term care homes after revealing that his 95-year-old mother-in-law had tested positive for COVID-19.
“I’m pushing the system constantly, constantly on all fronts,” Ford said at Queen’s Park.
“Our family is going through it, along with 70,000 other families that have a loved one in these homes and it’s very difficult. I recognize that the system is broken and we’re going to fix the system,” said Ford.
Ontario has 12,879 confirmed cases with a death toll of 713.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Thursday $1.1 billion for a national medical and research strategy to fight COVID-19 at his daily briefing from Rideau Cottage, his official residence in Ottawa.
The plan includes three components. The first component includes $115 million being put into research for vaccines and treatments being developed in hospitals and universities.
The second component focuses on clinical trials in Canada with a budget of $662 million. It will “evaluate safety of a potential cell therapy to reduce the impacts and severity of acute respiratory distress associated with COVID-19.”
Finally, the third component includes funding of $350 million to expand national testing and modelling for COVID-19.
It also includes “creating the COVID-19 immunity Task Force” which will be headed by Dr. David Naylor, Dr. Catherine Hankins, Dr. Tim Evans, Dr. Theresa Tam, and Dr. Mona Nemer.
The task force will focus on serology testing, a blood-based test that is used to determine if someone has already been exposed to the virus.
“But these drugs will take months to develop, test fabricate and roll out. So, until we have something ready, we need to control the spread of the virus,” Trudeau said.
With 20,000 tests being conducted every day, “Testing must increase even further before we can reopen and restart our normal activities as a country,” he added.
Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Howard Njoo said Canada has “41,190 confirmed cases, including, sadly, 1974 deaths.” Labs across Canada have “tested over 620,000 people with over 6.5 per cent of these testing positive.”
Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam said the country needs to triple the number of COVID-19 tests being conducted daily in order to reach a target of 60,000 tests a day.
Federal health officials instilled hope in Canadians by ending their reports with a positive message. “In a world that is connected and united towards a goal, and where brainpower that is funded, supported and trusted, we can reach a whole new level of capacity to respond to infectious disease threats now and into the future. Go science!”
The commercial-free special will be airing on Sunday, April 26 at 6:30 p.m. in support of all frontline workers fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. It will feature Canadian talents such as Amy Poehler, Ryan Reynolds, Serge Ibaka and Justin Beiber to name a few.
It was announced today that viewers can donate to Food Banks on their official website believing in the message that we are #StrongerTogether.
‘Senseless act of pain and pure evil‘
Toronto Mayor John Tory began the day with a virtual commemoration for the 10 people killed and 16 injured on April 23, 2018. On one of the darkest days for the city in modern times, a man deliberately drove a rented van down a busy sidewalk on Yonge Street, striking people.
The van attack anniverstry is even more difficult this year owing to the recent shooting rampage in Nova Scotia and to the COVID-19 pandemic, Toronto Mayor John Tory said live on YouTube.
Around the world
The global count of coronavirus has reached 2,649,680 with a death toll of 184,643 and 721,349 recovered cases.
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said life in the country is unlikely to go back to normal soon.
“Social distancing and limiting our contacts with others will be a fact of life for a long time to come, certainly until treatments and ultimately a vaccine offer different solutions. So that means possibly for the rest of this year, and maybe even beyond,” she said at a news conference on Thursday.
Scotland has 6,067 confirmed cases of coronavirus with no reported deaths and recovered cases.
Elsewhere, the Transport Ministry of Indonesia announced a ban on domestic air and sea travel temporarily with a few exceptions in light of COVID-19 to prevent further spread of coronavirus.
The ban will come into effect starting from Friday. The ban on air travel will end by June 1 while the ban on travel by sea will continue until June 8.
Currently, Indonesia has 7,775 positive cases of coronavirus with 647 deaths.
Australia called for an investigation of wildlife wet markets where fresh food such as meat and fish are sold. The Australian government said many such markets need to be “phased out” since they are “biosecurity and human health risk.”
The country is asking the G20 countries to take action on wildlife wet markets. “China themselves reported this to the World Organisation for Animal Health, that that was the cause of COVID-19,” said agriculture minister David Littleproud in an interview with ABC.
Currently, Australia has 6,661 COVID-19 cases with 75 deaths.