COVID-19 cases have peaked in broader community in Ontario, model projections suggest; South Korea cases fall

COVID-19 cases have peaked in broader community in Ontario, model projections suggest; South Korea cases fall

A sign at Women's College Hospital as businesses take precautions to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Toronto on April 20, 2020.

By Star staff


Tue., April 21, 20203 min. read

The latest novel coronavirus news from Canada and around the world Tuesday (this file will be updated throughout the day). Web links to longer stories if available.

7:03 a.m. An open conflict broke out Tuesday between Tokyo Olympic organizers and the IOC over who will pay for the unprecedented year-long postponement.

Tokyo spokesman Masa Takaya said the organizing committee has asked the Switzerland-based International Olympic Committee to remove a comment from its website suggesting that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had agreed that Japan would shoulder most of the postponement costs.

Media reports in Japan estimate the year-long delay caused by the coronavirus pandemic will cost $2 billion to $6 billion. Neither side has given an official estimate, but Tokyo CEO Toshiro Muto has called the postponement costs “massive.”

“It’s not appropriate for the prime minister’s name to be quoted in this manner,” Takaya said on a 90-minute teleconference.

Almost all of the questions, mostly from Japanese reporters, centred on the IOC’s statement and the costs for Japan.

The IOC statement, on a page titled “Frequently Asked Questions about Olympic Games Tokyo 2020,” said Abe had agreed that Japan “will continue to cover the costs it would have done under the terms of the existing agreement for 2020, and the IOC will continue to be responsible for its share of the costs.”

5:30 a.m.: South Korea has reported nine new coronavirus infections and one more death, bringing its totals to 10,683 cases and 237 deaths. South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said at least 1,011 cases were linked to recent arrivals from overseas.

The country’s caseload has slowed from early March when it was reporting around 500 fresh cases a day. Infections continued to wane in the hardest-hit city of Daegu, which reported two new cases.

5:26 a.m.: Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo has banned people in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation from returning to their hometowns to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the dawn-to-sunset fasting during Ramadan.

The announcement came amid warnings from health experts that Indonesia could face an explosion of coronavirus cases that could infect more than a million people after Ramadan unless the government takes stricter measures.

4 a.m.: The latest numbers of confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 4 a.m. ET on April 21, 2020:

There are 36,831 confirmed and presumptive cases in Canada.

  • Quebec: 19,319 confirmed (including 939 deaths, 3,847 resolved)
  • Ontario: 11,184 confirmed (including 584 deaths, 5,515 resolved)
  • Alberta: 2,908 confirmed (including 59 deaths, 1,230 resolved)
  • British Columbia: 1,699 confirmed (including 86 deaths, 1,039 resolved)
  • Nova Scotia: 721 confirmed (including 9 deaths, 248 resolved)
  • Saskatchewan: 316 confirmed (including 4 deaths, 238 resolved)

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  • Newfoundland and Labrador: 257 confirmed (including 3 deaths, 191 resolved)
  • Manitoba: 246 confirmed (including 6 deaths, 143 resolved), 8 presumptive
  • New Brunswick: 118 confirmed (including 92 resolved)
  • Prince Edward Island: 26 confirmed (including 23 resolved)
  • Repatriated Canadians: 13 confirmed
  • Yukon: 11 confirmed (including 8 resolved)
  • Northwest Territories: 5 confirmed (including 5 resolved)
  • Nunavut: No confirmed cases

Sunday 7 p.m.: Willowdale Welcome Centre confirms 74 COVID-19 cases among clients, according to figures from Toronto Public Health.

Widespread testing was conducted at the North York facility over the weekend, and strikingly, a large number of those who tested positive showed few or no symptoms, according to Patricia Mueller, chief executive officer of Homes First, the agency that operates the 200-bed shelter.

Mueller said she is hopeful it will not have the same impact on refugees at Willowdale, who on average are 40 years old or younger and are in generally good health.

12:20 p.m.: Ontario modelling suggests the COVID-19 epidemic has peaked in broader community and “is coming under control,” but seems to be growing in long-term care and other congregate settings. The Star’s Kate Allen and Jennifer Yang wrote about the “two epidemics” in the province.

12:15 p.m.: Ontario has hit its predicted COVID-19 peak early thanks to stay-at-home and physical distancing measures expected to keep the total number of cases far below grim scenarios presented two weeks ago, according to new computer modelling released by the province.

“These actions are making a difference and people need to stay the course and stay strong in order to save live,” according to notes prepared for a briefing by health officials Monday.

Read more of Monday’s coverage here.

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