Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to speak to provincial, territorial and Indigenous leaders today about COVID-19 — but he'll do it from self-isolation, as his wife is among the almost 160 Canadians who have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
Speaking to CBC Radio's Matt Galloway Friday ahead of his address to the public, Trudeau said that "we know there's lots more to do."
"We are going to be putting into place measures to support people," he said in an interview with The Current.
The prime minister said his government is looking at "everything" and that Ottawa doesn't want people to be worried about whether they'll be able to make rent or pay for groceries.
It was not immediately clear when the details of that plan would be available.
In a separate interview with Radio-Canada, Trudeau said Friday that his government is considering closing the border to some international travellers.
Echoing a message that's being repeated by public health officials across the country, Trudeau urged people to stay home if sick, engage in proper hygiene and take steps to help slow the rate of infection.
When asked about border security, he said the government is looking at making a recommendation that people not travel outside the country, except for "essential purposes." He said his government is co-ordinating "closely" with counterparts in the U.S.
The news of Sophie Gregoire Trudeau's positive test for COVID-19 came Thursday night, just hours after provincial officials in Ontario announced that publicly funded schools would be closing from March 14 through to April 5.
The school closure — which tack two weeks on to the upcoming March Break — was made at the recommendation of the province's chief medical officer.
Case numbers are still on the rise around the world, but there are signs of progress in the fight against the novel coronavirus, particularly in China, where the disease first emerged.
More than half of the world's 128,000 people infected have already recovered. Most patients have only mild or moderate symptoms such as a fever or cold, though severe symptoms including pneumonia can occur, especially in older adults and people with existing health problems.
Here's a look at what's happening with COVID-19 in Canada, the U.S., the global economy and some of the harder-hit regions of the world.
Here's a look at what's happening in provinces with cases of COVID-19
Schools are closing in Ontario. Provincial officials in B.C. and Quebec are cautioning residents about international travel. Even in provinces without confirmed cases of COVID-19, people are being urged by health officials to practice proper hand hygiene and take precautions like staying home when sick.
In Ontario, the latest news is that schools are closing. The premier's office said Thursday that it recognizes that the closures will have a "significant impact" on parents, students and communities as a whole, but Doug Ford's office said "this precaution is necessary to keep people safe." Read more about what's happening in Ontario, where some stores are feeling the strain as worried shoppers flood in, despite warnings not to engage in panic buying.
In B.C., the province's top doctor is cautioning against all non-essential travel outside Canada, and recommending that large events be cancelled. Dr. Bonnie Henry said Thursday that people who leave the country and return to B.C. — including people who travel to the U.S. — should stay away from work and school for a period of 14 days. Many schools in the province are about to start a two-week scheduled spring break. While some parents are calling for an extended closure of schools, the province's education ministry said Thursday that the ministry isn't considering it because the risk in schools is still low. Read more about what's happening in B.C.
In Alberta, the province's top doctor is also calling for the cancellation of events of more than 250 people. Dr. Deena Hinshaw said Thursday there's a "window of opportunity for Alberta to slow the spread of the virus." As in B.C., Albertans are being advised not to travel abroad, and are being asked to self-isolate when they return. Read more about what's happening in Alberta.
In Quebec, some school boards and universities will be shutting down, including major school boards in Montreal. The planned closures in Quebec come after Premier François Legault introduced his sweeping plan for the province, which included mandatory self-isolation for public sector workers who travelled abroad and voluntary isolation for anyone else who made a similar trip. Read more about what's happening in Quebec.
In Manitoba, there were three presumptive cases reported Thursday. The province said it was opening screening centres in Winnipeg for the novel coronavirus in a bid to increase testing. Read more about what's happening in Manitoba.
In Saskatchewan, the province reported its first presumptive case Thursday in a person with a recent travel history to Egypt. Read more about what's happening in Saskatchewan.
In New Brunswick, the top medical officer is calling for the cancellation of all events with more than 150 people. The province has reported one confirmed case of COVID-19. Read more about what's happening in New Brunswick.
The Public Health Agency of Canada says the risk associated with COVID-19 is low for the general population, but they note that could change quickly. People who are over 65, have a compromised immune system or underlying health conditions face a higher risk of "more severe outcomes" if they contract the virus — which the WHO says is mild for most who get it.
As of early Friday morning, provinces in Canada were reporting almost 160 presumptive and confirmed cases.
Nova Scotia has not yet reported any cases, but on Friday the province said it is requiring any public sector worker who travels outside Canada to self-isolate for two weeks. Children in daycares or schools who leave the country will need to do the same, the province said. Read more about how Nova Scotia is preparing for COVID-19 here.
Here's a look at what's happening in the U.S.
From The Associated Press, Reuters and CBC News, last updated at 10:30 a.m. ET
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Trump administration hoped to announce an agreement Friday on a multi-billion dollar coronavirus aid package to reassure anxious Americans by providing sick pay, free testing and other resources.
Final details were being worked out, but the top House Democrat, who held daylong talks with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, expected an announcement Friday. The House could then swiftly vote.
Mnuchin praised the bipartisan spirit of negotiations and sounded an optimistic tone as well.
But state and local officials, in addition to everyday Americans, continue to despair about the lack of testing relative to other countries.
WATCH: How scientists at Johns Hopkins University are tracking COVID-19
Dr. Anthony Fauci, infectious disease chief at the National Institutes of Health, said Friday more tests would be available over the next week, but that officials should not wait before trying to mitigate the virus's effects.
"The next few weeks, for most Americans, what you're going to see is an acceleration of cases," with the goal now to "blunt the rise in cases," he said. His remarks came after U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday morning that coronavirus testing in the United States will soon happen on a large scale, but did not provide any details on how that would be accomplished.
"The changes have been made and testing will soon happen on a very large-scale basis. All red tape has been cut, ready to go!" the president wrote in a tweet.
Schools emptied of students and workplace cubicles went vacant. Crowded gatherings were restricted from New York to California, and dozens of cultural hubs were closed. Disneyland and Disney World will close in coming days. And sports fans couldn't cheer their favourite teams from the safety of their living rooms since basketball, baseball, hockey and other leagues cancelled and postponed games.
Here's a look at what's happening in the business world
From Reuters and The Associated Press, updated at 9:50 a.m. ET
U.S. stock markets opened sharply higher on Friday after their worst daily sell-off in more than three decades as investors hoped more fiscal easing would head off a global recession.
The S&P/TSX composite index was up 483.46 points at 12,991.91 after gaining more than 700 points at the start of trading. In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 719.41 points at 21,920.03. The S&P 500 index was up 101.13 points at 2,581.77, while the Nasdaq composite was up 275.43 points at 7,477.23.
The German government is pledging at least €460 billion in guarantees to cope with the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak. Germany's economy minister, Peter Altmaier, said there was no limit to the amount the government was willing to use to support everyone from individuals, such as taxi drivers, to large companies to prevent the coronavirus pandemic from causing permanent harm to the economy.
China's government on Friday freed up additional money for lending by reducing the amount of deposits commercial banks are required to leave on reserve at the central bank.
Markets worldwide have been on the retreat as worries over the economic fallout from the coronavirus crisis deepen and the meltdown in the U.S., the world's biggest economy, batters confidence around the globe.
Here's what's happening in Europe
From The Associated Press, updated at 8 a.m. ET
The European Union urged member countries Friday to put health screening procedures in place at their borders to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, but said they must co-ordinate so people can still quickly get the medical care they need.
The virus is now present in all 27 EU countries. More than 22,000 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed across Europe, and more than 1,000 people so far have died on the continent.
With Italy at the epicentre of Europe's outbreak, neighbouring Austria and Slovenia moved to restrict traffic at their borders, raising questions about the movement of food and medical equipment. But other nations, like the Czech Republic and Poland, are taking action, too.
"What we can do, and what we should do, is to carry out health screening measures," European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said.
In Italy's hardest-hit Lombardy region, hospitals were overwhelmed with both the sick and the dead. The country's restaurants, cafes and retail shops closed in a lockdown on personal movement, though grocery stores, pharmacies and markets were allowed to operate.
WATCH: How social distancing helps slow the spread of COVID-19
France, Ireland, Denmark, Norway, Lithuania, Algeria and Slovakia shut down their schools, and Europe's most successful soccer team, Real Madrid, put all its players into quarantine after one tested positive
Spain, which is dealing with a growing caseload, is expected to declare a state of emergency. The prime minister said Friday he will mobilize the military to contain new virus cases.
Lawmakers in Denmark approved a temporary law giving authorities the ability to ban access to public places and stores and force people to undergo tests. Estonia declared "an emergency situation," meaning no gatherings in public spaces.
Here's what's happening in China, South Korea and Japan
From The Associated Press, updated at 7:30 a.m. ET
China, where the virus emerged late last year, still accounts for more than 60 per cent of global infections. But on Friday it reported just eight new cases and seven deaths. More than 64,000 people have been released from hospitals.
With China's caseload slowing, the government was helping other countries with its expertise. A Chinese medical crew was heading to Italy and surplus supplies were sent to Iran.
Chinese President Xi Jinping told the UN leader his nation wants to conduct joint research on drugs and vaccines and offer "as much assistance as it can" to countries where the virus is spreading. State media reported Xi told UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres by phone that economic and daily life are gradually returning to normal in China thanks to "arduous endeavours" at prevention and control.
South Korea reported 114 new cases and was near 8,000 overall. Officials said 177 patients were released from hospitals, making Friday the first day recoveries outnumbered new infections since the country's first patient was confirmed on Jan. 20.
Japan, which has 675 cases — not including the nearly 700 from the Diamond Princess cruise ship — enacted a controversial law Friday that would allow Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to declare a state of emergency if the coronavirus outbreak worsens in the country. Government officials in Japan said there is no immediate plan to declare a state of emergency, but Abe is expected to make a decision based on experts' latest evaluation of the outbreak.
Here's what's happening in Iran
From Reuters and The Associated Press, updated at 7:30 a.m. ET
The total number of deaths in Iran from the coronavirus outbreak has risen by 85 to 514, a health ministry official said on state TV Friday, adding that the total number of infections had increased by more than 1,000 in the past 24 hours, to 11,364.
Here's a glimpse at what's happening in some of the areas of the world that have not seen a major surge in cases:
Authorities in Kenya say a woman has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the first case in the East African country. The patient had travelled from the U.S. via London, the health minister said.
The West and Central African nations of Ghana and Gabon also announced their first confirmed cases of the disease. Ghana Minister of Health Kwaku Agyeman-Manu said two people who returned from Norway and Turkey tested positive and are in isolation. Gabon's first case of the virus is in a 27-year-old who returned after staying in Bordeaux, France.
Nepal moved to suspend all climbing permits for Mount Everest — and every other peak in the mountainous nation because of the coronavirus. China has already shuttered its side of Mount Everest.
Officials in Pakistan quarantined roughly 4,000 pilgrims in tents and buildings in the southwestern border town of Taftan upon their return from Iran, officials said Friday.
The Indonesian government announces 35 new cases of COVID-19 infections, bringing the country's confirmed cases to 69 on Friday, including two toddlers. In Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country, the government launched a cleaning campaign for 10,000 mosques. The religious affairs minister called on each mosque to roll up carpets and spray disinfectant, while also urging Muslims to not shake hands or share a kiss on the cheek to avoid spreading the virus.
Here's what's happening in the world of sports
From The Associated Press, updated at 10:35 a.m ET
In the U.S., it was announced Friday that the Masters Tournament in Augusta, Ga., the first men's golf major of the year, is being postponed. Boston Marathon organizers announced the April race has been postponed until September.
Earlier, the English Premier League has been suspended until April 3 "at the earliest," the league said, after three clubs put their entire playing squads in self-isolation because of coronavirus. England's cricket team will fly home Saturday after their March 19 test cricket match was called off.
The Greek Olympic committee says it is suspending the rest of its torch relay because of the "unexpectedly large crowd" that gathered to watch despite repeated requests for the public to stay away to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
The International Olympic Committee said Thursday that as of now, the Tokyo Games are still on for July 24. The World Cup cross-country ski event this weekend in Quebec City has been cancelled because of the COVID-19 outbreak, effectively ending the season. Earlier, the world figure skating championships scheduled for next week in Montreal were scuttled.