As COVID-19 cases mount around the world, the committees responsible for Canada’s involvement in Olympic and Paralympic sport have decided they won’t be sending athletes to Tokyo if the 2020 Summer Olympics go ahead as planned.
“This is not solely about athlete health — it’s about public health,” a joint statement released by the committees on Sunday night said.
BREAKING: The Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee will refuse to send athletes to the Tokyo Olympics if the event is not postponed.The 2020 Games are currently set to begin on July 24. News release: <a href=”https://t.co/NT8twsqAXI”>pic.twitter.com/NT8twsqAXI</a>
Japan has been facing increased pressure to call off or delay the Summer Games amid growing concern over the coronavirus pandemic. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday suggested that the Games could be postponed, adding that he wants to speak with International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach.
According to Kyodo News, a Japanese media outlet, Abe told a parliamentary session that if he was asked “whether we can hold the Olympics at this point in time, I would have to say that the world is not in such a condition.”
The statement from the Canadian Olympic Committee and the Canadian Paralympic Committee came the same day as a warning from the country’s health minister around travellers returning to the country.
Health minister reiterates importance of self-isolation
Speaking at a daily briefing on Sunday, Patty Hajdu said the federal government is willing to use “every measure in our tool box” to make sure people are following public health advice around self-isolating when they return home.
Hajdu reminded incoming travellers that there are “no exceptions” to the two-week isolation period.
The health minister pointed to the Quarantine Act, which allows for fines and charges against people who don’t follow self-isolation measures. But she also noted that, for now, the government is asking people to follow the rules and hoping “we don’t have to get to ordering them.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau — who has been addressing the public regularly from outside his home while he completes a two-week period of self-quarantine — is set to speak again Monday morning. Read on for a look at what’s happening in Canada, the U.S. and other hard-hit areas today.
Here’s what’s happening in the provinces and territories
British Columbia’s biggest city is warning that businesses that don’t enforce proper social distancing measures could face big fines — or closures. Vancouver city council is holding a virtual meeting Monday to pass bylaws that would allow for the imposition of what the mayor calls “significant” penalties. Read more about what’s happening in B.C.
Alberta reported another 33 cases on Sunday, bringing the total number of reported COVID-19 cases in the province to 259. Also over the weekend, a group of doctors in Calgary took to the streets to protest (standing a safe distance apart) to press for more assistance to those who work with the homeless. Read more about what’s happening in Alberta.
Restaurants and bars in Saskatchewan will be limited to offering takeout as of today after the province passed measures meant to slow the spread of COVID-19. Read more about what’s happening in Saskatchewan, which has 53 reported cases.
Manitoba’s top public health official is urging people to stay apart but still work together to “to limit the impact of this virus” on the province. Dr. Brent Roussin said over the weekend that the province is focusing for now on testing people who travelled internationally and are experiencing symptoms. Read more about what’s happening in Manitoba.
In Ontario, the province’s emergency declaration is giving hospitals more power over staffing. The associations representing the province’s nurses and doctors, meanwhile, are expressing concern over potential shortage of supplies, particularly masks. Read more about what’s happening in Ontario, including the latest from the province’s education minister.
Quebec said over the weekend that schools, restaurant dining rooms and malls would all be closed until May 1. Read more about what’s happening in Quebec.
New Brunswick is reporting 17 confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19. Read more about what’s happening in N.B.
As of Monday morning, most people coming into Nova Scotia — even from another province — will be required to self-isolate for two weeks. The premier said there are some exceptions, including for people in industries like health care or trucking. Read more about what’s happening in Nova Scotia, including the latest on the state of emergency.
Prince Edward Island reported its third case of COVID-19 over the weekend. Read more about what’s happening on P.E.I.
Newfoundland and Labrador are reporting a total of nine confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19. Read more about what’s happening in Newfoundland, including a list of what’s closed due to the coronavirus.
Yukon reported its first COVID-19 cases over the weekend, in a couple that had travelled to the U.S. for a conference. Read more about what’s happening in Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
Here’s a look at what’s happening in the U.S.
From The Associated Press, updated at 6:20 a.m. ET
Top-level negotiations between Congress and the White House churned late into the night over a now nearly $2 trillion US economic rescue package, as the coronavirus crisis deepened, the nation shut down and the first U.S. senator tested positive for the disease.
While the congressional leaders worked into the night, alarms were being sounded from coast to coast about the wave of coronavirus cases about to crash onto the nation’s health system.
As President Donald Trump took to the podium in the White House briefing room and promised to help Americans who feel afraid and isolated as the pandemic spreads, the Senate voted Sunday against advancing the rescue package. But talks continued on Capitol Hill.
“I think you’ll get there. To me it’s not very complicated: We have to help the worker. We have to save the companies,” Trump said.
Later, the Republican president suggested the remedies may be more harmful than the outbreak, vowing to reassess after the 15-day mark of the shutdown. “WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF,” he tweeted.
Inside the otherwise emptied out Capitol, the draft aid bill was declared insufficient by Democrats, who argued it was tilted toward corporations and did too little to help workers and health-care providers. Republicans returned to the negotiating table.
WATCH | States seek supplies as COVID-19 cases mount in U.S.:
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, exiting the Capitol just before midnight, struck an optimistic note: “We’re very close,” he said, adding negotiators would work through the night.
“Our nation cannot afford a game of chicken,” warned Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., his voice rising on the Senate floor Sunday night. His goal is to vote Monday. The Senate will reconvene at noon.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer sounded an optimistic note.
“This bill is going to affect this country and the lives of Americans, not just for the next few days, but in the next few months and years — so we have to make sure it is good,” he said.
‘”There were some serious problems with the bill leader McConnell laid down. Huge amounts of corporate bailout funds without restrictions or without oversight — you wouldn’t even know who is getting the money. Not enough money for hospitals, nurses, PPE, masks, all the health-care needs. No money for state and local government, many of whom would go broke. Many other things.”
But Schumer said they were making progress in dealing with those issues. “We’re getting closer and closer. And I’m very hopeful, is how I’d put it, that we can get a bill in the morning.”
Here’s what’s happening in Europe
From Reuters, updated at 6:20 a.m. ET
Hard-hit Italy, which has struggled to slow the spread of COVID-19, banned travel within the country on Sunday, as its death toll climbed to 5,476.
Britain’s health minister said stricter restrictions on movements would be brought in if people did not observe advice to avoid social interaction, warning that such measures would also have to stay in place longer.
In Germany, the number of cases has climbed to 22,672 with 86 deaths, a public health agency tally showed on Monday.
Spain sought on Sunday to extend the state of emergency until April 11 as its death toll jumped to over 1,700.
WATCH | Doctor warns against medical gloves in public, says handwashing is key:
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