The latest coronavirus news from Canada and around the world Thursday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.
7:15 a.m. India’s capital New Delhi is considering a nighttime curfew amid the latest coronavirus surge that has battered the city’s healthcare system and overwhelmed its hospitals.
The New Delhi government on Thursday told this to a court that had questioned the administration on the measures being taken to control the spike in daily cases.
The court was hearing a plea seeking to ramp up COVID-19 testing facilities in the capital, which is recording the most number of cases from any state in India for the last three weeks and more than 100 fatalities on an average every day for two consecutive weeks.
India’s new overall infections have declined steadily after peaking in mid-September, but the situation in the capital remains worrying.
The surge in the national capital had started at the end of October and reached record highs this month. On Nov. 11, the city saw 8,593 new cases, an all-time high.
According to the official data, New Delhi has recorded almost 2,300 deaths due to coronavirus in the last month.
India has recorded 9.26 million cases of coronavirus, second behind the U.S. More than 135,00 Indians have died because of the virus so far.
6:15 a.m. Ontario is moving to cap the fees third-party delivery apps impose on restaurants in regions where indoor dining is prohibited, a senior government source says.
The Progressive Conservative government is poised to introduce legislation today that would give the province the authority to temporarily limit how much apps such as UberEats and DoorDash can charge restaurants in the grey or lockdown COVID-19 restriction zone for their services, according to the source.
Documents obtained by The Canadian Press say companies who contravene the proposed law could face fines of up to $10 million.
The source says the limit has not yet been set but the province is looking at something similar to what was done in New York City, which recently capped delivery app commission fees at 20 per cent to help restaurants weather the pandemic.
5:12 a.m. As coronavirus cases surge again nationwide the Supreme Court late Wednesday barred New York from enforcing certain limits on attendance at churches and synagogues in areas designated as hard hit by the virus.
The justices split 5-4 with new Justice Amy Coney Barrett in the majority. It was the conservative’s first publicly discernible vote as a justice. The court’s three liberal justices and Chief Justice John Roberts dissented.
The move was a shift for the court. Earlier this year, when Barrett’s liberal predecessor, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, was still on the court, the justices divided 5-4 to leave in place pandemic-related capacity restrictions affecting churches in California and Nevada.
The court’s action Wednesday could push New York to re-evaluate its restrictions on houses of worship in areas designated virus hot spots. But the impact of the court’s action is also muted because the Catholic and Orthodox Jewish groups that sued to challenge the restrictions are no longer subject to them.
5:08 a.m. Russian authorities have reported a record number of coronavirus deaths for a third straight day.
The government coronavirus task force registered 524 new deaths on Thursday, the highest daily toll in the pandemic. Previous records of 507 and 491 deaths were reported on Wednesday and Tuesday. A total of 38,062 people have died of coronavirus in Russia, according to the task force.
Russia has been swept by a rapid resurgence of the outbreak this fall, with numbers of confirmed COVID-19 infections and deaths hitting new highs almost daily and significantly exceeding those reported in the spring. On Thursday, officials reported 25,487 new infections, another record number.
5:04 a.m. Germany has passed the grim milestone of more than 15,000 deaths from the coronavirus.
The Robert Koch Institute, the country’s disease control centre, said Thursday that another 389 deaths were recorded overnight, bringing the total since the start of the pandemic to 15,160.
Germany has seen 983,588 total cases of the coronavirus after adding 22,368 overnight, the agency said.
Germany embarked on a so-called “wave-breaker” shutdown on Nov. 2, closing restaurants, bars, sports and leisure facilities but leaving schools, shops and hair salons open.
5 a.m. China on Thursday reported nine new coronavirus cases in the vast Inner Mongolia region, where authorities have closed schools, suspended flights, shuttered public venues and banned banquets and other gatherings.
The cluster has been centred on Manzhouli, a city of more than 200,000 along the border with Russia.
Authorities ordered nucleic acid testing of all residents to detect new cases after the country’s latest local outbreak first emerged late last week. Ground transport to and from the city has been largely cut off and movement around the city restricted.
Thursday 4 a.m. Ontario health officials are expected to release new COVID-19 projections today.
It will be the first time they have released such data since sending the province’s two biggest virus hot spots — Toronto and Peel Region — into lockdown earlier this week.
Two weeks ago, the province unveiled modelling that showed Ontario could see as many as 6,500 new daily cases of COVID-19 by mid-December unless steps are taken to limit the spread of the virus.
It said the province would reach 2,500 new daily cases by that time if the growth rate was at three per cent, or 6,500 if the growth rate was at five per cent.
At the time, Dr. Adalsteinn Brown, one of the experts behind the projections, said a five per cent growth rate was “slightly optimistic.’’
Premier Doug Ford announced he would lower thresholds for imposing stricter COVID-19 measures under the province’s colour-coded restrictions system the following day.
Wednesday 10:03 p.m.: South Korea has recorded more than 500 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours for the first time in about eight months as health authorities struggle to contain a third surge of infections.
The Asian nation has been experiencing a spike in cases since it relaxed stringent social distancing rules last month. To deal with the latest surge, the country on Tuesday reimposed tough distancing guidelines in Seoul and some other areas.
South Korea’s cases initially peaked last February and March, with officials reporting hundreds of fresh cases daily, mostly tied to a religious sect. Its second major outbreak came during the summer, and was mostly tied to the greater Seoul area.
Officials say the latest outbreak is worrisome because there are many cluster infections tied to a variety of sources.