Furby Street fire displaces 10, says City of Winnipeg

Winnipeg firefighters had to rescue people from a burning West End apartment building after a fire broke out Tuesday morning.

Crews were called to the apartment block on Furby Street near Ellice Avenue around 8:45 a.m.

The city says a second alarm was called due to the complexity of the fire, bringing a number of crews and apparatuses to the scene.

Most of the occupants were able to get out before crews arrived, but firefighters had to help others out to safety, according to a release from the city.

One person was assessed by paramedics at the scene, but no other injuries were reported.

Crews had the fire under control by shortly before 9:15 a.m., the city reports.

The fire has displaced roughly 10 people, and the city says its emergency social services team is working to find temporary housing for those affected.

An estimate on damage wasn’t immediately available, and the cause of the fire is under investigation.

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Coronavirus: Third of Canadian small businesses fear imminent closure without help, survey says

One in three businesses in Canada say they cannot survive the current coronavirus pandemic conditions for more than a month, according to a new survey.

According to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, 60 per cent of small businesses have seen a significant drop in sales, with more than a third reporting a reduction greater than 75 per cent.

“More than half of small firms have begun laying off staff, with a quarter reporting they have already been forced to lay off their entire workforce,” president Dan Kelly said.

“At this rate, the only way to prevent massive additional unemployment is for government to introduce a much larger wage subsidy program.”

The small-business advocacy group surveyed nearly 11,000 small business owners.

According to the results, the average cost of the outbreak for affected businesses has also doubled since last week to $136,000.

The organization is proposing a job-retention program that would subsidize wages of employers who are able to retain staff. This would cover at least 75 per cent of wages for all employers, up to a cap of $5,000 per worker per month, and include people who are self-employed and small-business owners.

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Cape Verde coronavirus: British tourist becomes first to die after falling ill at hotel

The unnamed Brit, the island country’s first confirmed coronavirus case, died in hospital around 11pm local time on Monday. He was taken ill after checking into the five-star Hotel Riu Karamboa on Boa Vista, one of the archipelago’s most visited islands, on March 9. He was admitted to Sal Rei Hospital on March 16 where he failed to recover from the killer virus.

Health chiefs confirmed after the holidaymaker tested positive that the hotel would go into a 14-day lockdown with 640 tourists and 210 staff inside.

Cape Verde’s Prime Minister subsequently announced the island of Boa Vista would also go into lockdown.

A 60-year-old Dutch woman at the hotel subsequently tested positive for coronavirus and her husband is being tested after starting to show the symptoms.

The Hotel Riu Karamboa complex is located on a white sandy beach a short distance from Boa Vista’s airport.

A partner of the dead Brit, whose nationality is not known, was said today/yesterday (TUE) to be showing no signs of coronavirus and is understood to have tested negative so far.

Additional reporting by Natalia Penza

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What is Hantavirus? At least one person dead as China fears new pathogen outbreak

A person from Yunnan Province in China died while on his way back to Shandong Province for work on a chartered bus on Monday. He was tested positive for hantavirus. The other 32 people on the bus are being tested to see whether the disease has made the jump from rodents to humans.

Among the early symptoms of the hantavirus include fever, headache, muscle ache, abdominal pain, dizziness, chills and abdominal problems, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrohea.

About half of all Hantavirus patients experience these symptoms.

Moreover, late symptoms include the lungs filling with fluid and shortness of breath.

In addition, some Hantaviruses can cause hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) as the disease progresses.

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Fatality ranges from 5-15 percent for HFRS caused by Hantavirus virus.

Fortunately, Hantavirus does not spread in the air, unlike coronavirus, according to the United States Centres for Disease Control, unlike coronavirus.

In fact, humans who contract the Hantavirus usually come into contact with rodents, such as rats, that carry the virus.

However the Centres for Disease Control goes on to say infection with any of the Hantavirus mutations can cause hantavirus disease in people.

The CDC website said: “Hantaviruses in the

Americas are known as ‘

New World’ hantaviruses and may cause hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS).

“Other Hantaviruses, known as ‘

Old World’ Hantaviruses, are found mostly in

Europe and

Asia and may cause hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS)”.

“Rodent infestation in and around the home remains the primary risk for hantavirus exposure.

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“Even healthy individuals are at risk for Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) infection if exposed to the virus”.

However, HPS can’t be passed on from person to person.

It can be contracted if someone touches their eyes, nose or mouth after touching rodent droppings, urine, or nesting materials.

Hantavirus is named for the

Hantan

River area in

South Korea.

An outbreak was observed and was isolated there in 1976 by Doctor Ho-Wang Lee.

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Leaked SHA document shows worst-case scenario outcome of coronavirus in Sask.

Provincial hospitals could soon be overwhelmed with patients suffering severe effects of COVID-19, according to preliminary projections outlined in a leaked Saskatchewan Health Authority document. The document includes a death toll of 15,000 in a worst-case scenario.

“In all modelling scenarios, the COVID-19 pandemic will have a significant impact on acute care health service delivery across the province,” the document said.

Titled COVID-19 Planning: Strategy for Continuity of Health Services and Surge Capacity, the plan summarizes a range of impacts the virus could have on the province’s health care system.

“This was a draft document based on early modelling and worst-case scenarios,” SHA responded to Global News via email. “Modelling is still being refined to ensure we have the best information about the additional capacity that will be needed to effectively manage COVID-19.”

The document also states, “demand for acute services will exceed existing capacity for hospital beds, ICU beds, ventilators as well as creating a major burden on other acute services, supports, HR, supplies and equipment.”

To meet the demand, SHA listed a number of measures required including increasing acute care capacity while maintaining non-pandemic related services – all while protecting the physical and mental health of frontline workers.

The internal projections estimate about 300,000 people — about 30 per cent of the population — will be infected by COVID-19. Of that, 15,000 people are expected to require ICU.

Currently, Saskatchewan has 109 ICU beds province-wide. The document also notes that “early social distancing will delay and lessen the peak of the outbreak.”

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A three-stage operational plan was outlined in the document.

The province is currently implementing stage one, which includes cancelling elective procedures, postponing non-urgent surgery and closing patient clinics.

Stage two calls for an increase in capacity for COVID-19 care which includes repurposing space in existing facilities and possibly turning community centers into temporary care spaces.

Stage three is ongoing and focuses on isolation and containing COVID-19 through continued screening and testing.

SHA also reported that Saskatoon would see an “exponential growth” of COVID-19 and will need to increase capacity to provide ventilatory support to “nearly 500-600 patients daily” at peak demand.

The leaked document says Saskatoon’s death rate will be consistent with other parts of the world.

The document refers to projections that appear to be based on situation reports from March 19 and March 20, 2020.

Responding to the leaked report, Saskatchewan NDP leader Ryan Meili said the government should better communicate the risks, so the public is well educated about what they’re facing.

“I think the government should be sharing all of the information they have,” Meili said. “If they have modelling of what’s likely to happen under different scenarios that’s something the public should see, and we should have all of that information clearly in front of us.”

COVID-19 has already started to affect hospitals in some regions of the country. In Quebec, officials said on Tuesday that there were already 67 patients in hospital, including 31 in intensive care. 

Some physicians in Toronto have also been warning on social media that they are seeing signs in their emergency rooms that the number of infected patients is likely higher than the official numbers released by provinces.

SHA is commenting on the report on Tuesday afternoon.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are asked to self-isolate for 14 days in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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Glastonbury festival donates its anti-coronavirus kit to emergency services

The organisers of the now-cancelled Glastonbury Festival have donated essential supplies to frontline emergency services to help them deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

Michael and Emily Eavis, the father-and-daughter team behind the 50 year-old festival, have given a shipment of hand sanitiser, disposable plastic gloves and face masks which had been intended for use by festival stewards to Avon and Somerset Police.

The force tweeted a photo of the kit being loaded into the back of a police van, saying: “On behalf of the A&S Local Resilience Forum we’d like to extend a huge thank you to Michael & @emilyeavis for providing frontline emergency service workers & NHS staff with thousands of litres of hand sanitiser, gloves and face masks due to be used @glastonbury 2020,”

The festival, which was set to celebrate its 50th anniversary this year with a bill that included Diana Ross, Kendrick Lamar, Sir Paul McCartney and Taylor Swift, has been postponed until 2021.

Fans who have already paid a deposit for tickets have been told that their tickets will be valid for next year’s festival, or they can choose to have a refund.

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Announcing the postponement, a statement from the festival organisers said: “The cancellation of this year’s Festival will no doubt come as a terrible blow to our incredible crew and volunteers who work so hard to make this event happen."

“There will also inevitably be severe financial implications as a result of this cancellation," the announcement continued, "not just for us, but also the Festival’s charity partners, suppliers, traders, local landowners and our community.”

Each year, the festival raises funds for charities including Oxfam and Greenpeace. In 2017 Michael and Emily Eavis confirmed that £2.35 million was given to their three “main supported organisations”, Oxfam, Greenpeace, and WaterAid.

The festival, which draws upwards of 200,000 people to Worthy Farm in Somerset, was scheduled to take place from June 24-28.

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India sets 21-day ‘total lockdown’ in fight against coronavirus pandemic

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a “total lockdown” in the country of 1.3 billion people during a televised address Tuesday night, the most extensive stay-at-home order yet in the world’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

The 21-day lockdown was set to begin at midnight.

“To save India and every Indian, there will be a total ban on venturing out of your homes,” Modi said, adding that if the county failed to manage the next 21 days, it would be set back by 21 years.

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As buildings empty, Downtown Business Association asks Edmonton police for more patrols

The Downtown Business Association is calling for the Edmonton Police Service to do more patrols in the city’s pedway system now that things have gotten very quiet with workers vacating office towers and opting to work at home.

O’Donnell said he expects that things will get even more quiet if the Alberta government follows the lead of Quebec and Ontario, where non-essential businesses have been ordered to shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Watch below: (From March 23, 2020) While social distancing and staying home continues to be the message for Albertans, businesses are trying to navigate the new normal. As Lisa MacGregor reports, some business owners are in a tough spot when it comes to staying open or not.

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South Africa's coronavirus cases reach 554, country braces for lockdown

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s confirmed number of coronavirus cases rose to 554 on Tuesday from 402 a day earlier, as businesses raced to make plans for a nationwide lockdown from midnight on Thursday.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the 21-day lockdown in an address to the nation on Monday, saying Africa’s most advanced economy needed to escalate its response to curb the spread of the outbreak.

South Africa has the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in sub-Saharan Africa, and public health experts are worried that the virus could overwhelm the health system if infection rates rise steeply.

Health officials are working to expand the country’s coronavirus testing capacity and develop a plan to ensure there are enough intensive care beds with respirators.

“The numbers, we mustn’t be shocked when we see them increase. But these measures if we all work together must turn the curve around,” Health Minister Zweli Mkhize told a televised news conference, saying South Africa could reach an inflection point in its infection curve two or three weeks after its lockdown restrictions enter into force.

Two patients are in intensive care, but there have been no deaths from coronavirus in the country, Mkhize said.

Agriculture Minister Thoko Didiza said the government had taken steps to ensure the lockdown would not affect food security.

“There is no need to embark on panic-buying, the country has enough food supplies,” Didiza said, adding the government would be monitoring food retailers to ensure sellers do not inflate prices.

Aviation company Comair, a franchise partner of British Airways (BA), said it was suspending all flights it operates for BA and services on the kulula.com low-cost airline from Thursday until April 19.

Tsogo Sun Gaming said its casinos and bingo sites would be closed by Wednesday.

A bargaining council for the clothing manufacturing industry said it had reached a collective agreement for guaranteed pay for 80,000 workers for six weeks.

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