Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Saturday

Canada, U.S., other countries take tentative steps toward relaxing some COVID-19-related restrictions

Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Saturday

Canada, U.S., other countries take tentative steps toward relaxing some COVID-19-related restrictions

25 April 2020 - 23:40 ( 2020-04-25 23:40:52 ) - Update: 28 April 2020 - 22:07

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says it's premature to talk of so-called "immunity passports" for Canadians because the science is unclear about whether people who have recovered from COVID-19 are protected from catching it a second time.

As some provinces begin opening up their economies from COVID-19 lockdowns, Trudeau said on Saturday none of those recovery plans hinge on people being immune to catching COVID-19 twice.

 

Trudeau said he spoke to premiers Friday and they discussed a basic framework that provinces will use as they reopen businesses, schools and other institutions. The focus, he said, is on preventing the spread of the virus through physical distancing and personal protective equipment.

"It is very clear that the science is not decided on whether or not having had COVID once prevents you from having it again," he told reporters. "It's something we need to get clearer answers to and until we get those clearer answers, we need to err on the side of more caution."
 

Trudeau was responding to a recent World Health Organization brief stating there is no evidence that people who have recovered from the virus have antibodies that protect them from getting infected again.

The WHO issued the brief in the context of certain countries announcing the possibility of providing so-called "immunity passports" or "risk-free certificates" to citizens who have already been infected.

Sask. and N.B. unveil multiphase plans

As the global death toll from COVID-19 topped 200,000 on Saturday, countries and jurisdictions around the world took cautious steps toward easing some lockdowns, while fears of infection made even some pandemic-wounded businesses reluctant to reopen.

At his regular news conference at Rideau Cottage on Saturday, Trudeau said any plans to reopen the economy will be based on science, data and expert advice.

 

Trudeau said Canada shouldn't be reopening any sector without a plan to protect workers, which hinges on adequate supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE). He says planeloads of PPE are expected in the coming weeks, and domestic production will be on line soon.

In addition to multiphase plans unveiled by New Brunswick and Saskatchewan this week, the federal government has circulated a set of draft guidelines that could form the basis of the joint document. The federal guidelines were prepared largely by the Public Health Agency of Canada and include feedback from provincial medical officers.


The framework will provide a "gradual and measured approach" to opening up, Ford said, adding that health and safety will "always come first."
 

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer has called for a national plan, expressing concern about a "possible patchwork approach across the country."

Higgs said New Brunswick's plan would begin immediately with the loosening of physical distancing restrictions to allow two-household gatherings. Post-secondary students, who require access to their campus to fulfil their course requirements, will be able to do so, but elementary, middle and high schools won't reopen until at least September.
 

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer has called for a national plan, expressing concern about a "possible patchwork approach across the country."

Higgs said New Brunswick's plan would begin immediately with the loosening of physical distancing restrictions to allow two-household gatherings. Post-secondary students, who require access to their campus to fulfil their course requirements, will be able to do so, but elementary, middle and high schools won't reopen until at least September.


 

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's chief public health officer, has urged people to behave as though there is coronavirus in their community, even if there aren't any officially recorded cases. There are no proven treatments or cures for the novel virus. 

Read on for a look at what's happening in Canada, the U.S. and around the world.


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Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Saturday


Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Saturday


Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Saturday


Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Saturday

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