The latest coronavirus news from Canada and around the world Monday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.
7:08 a.m. Thousands of South African students are returning to school Monday after nearly four months when their classes were closed to combat the spread of the new coronavirus.
Students in grades 6 and 11 are starting classes Monday, as the second stage of a phased reopening of schools. The first group of pupils, from grades 7 and 12, returned to classes last month.
Returning learners were required to produce indemnity forms signed by their parents granting them permission to resume classes.
South Africa’s government last week won a legal challenge permitting it to proceed with reopening schools. The lawsuit had said that schools should remain closed because of the danger of the disease spreading among learners and teachers.
However, in recent days the government has postponed plans for further grades to return to class amid a quickening speed in the rise of confirmed COVID-19 cases. South Africa has 196,750 cases as of Monday, more than 40% of all the cases reported by Africa’s 54 countries. South Africa has recorded 3,199 deaths.
At least 2,121 teachers in Gauteng province, which includes Johannesburg, South Africa’s largest city, will not be returning to schools as they have underlying illnesses that would put them at higher risk should they become infected.
Since the first phase of the schools reopening last month, 968 schools have had to close due to outbreaks and 2,400 teachers and 1,260 learners have tested positive for COVID-19.
Parents who do not feel comfortable sending their children back to school have been encouraged to register them for online schooling provided by the education department.
6:08 a.m.: Opposition parties have laid out their demands for the federal Liberal government as Ottawa prepares to update Canadians on the country’s finances after four months of COVID-19 — and where it expects the economy to head for the rest of the year.
Wednesday’s fiscal snapshot will be the first public assessment of the country’s economic and financial situation since the pandemic started in earnest in March, forcing provinces into lockdown and the Liberal government to start doling out billions in aid in lieu of a federal budget.
The snapshot is expected to give an idea of how the government sees the rest of the fiscal year playing out, including figures for a potential deficit.
But the Conservatives and NDP made clear Sunday that they want more than just numbers: they want action. That includes additions, changes and expansions to federal COVID-19 support programs along with more accountability and transparency.
6:05 a.m.: As Egyptian authorities fight the swelling coronavirus outbreak, security agencies have tried to stifle criticism about the handling of the health crisis by the government of President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi.
At least 10 doctors and six journalists have been arrested since the virus first hit Egypt in February, according to rights groups. Other health workers say they have been warned by administrators to keep quiet or face punishment. One foreign correspondent has fled the country, fearing arrest, and another two have been summoned for reprimand over “professional violations.”
Coronavirus infections are surging in the country of 100 million, threatening to overwhelm hospitals. As of Monday, the Health Ministry had recorded 76,253 infections, including 3,343 deaths — the highest death toll in the Arab world.
6 a.m.: The Philippines has seen a big recent spike in infections, raising the possibility its overcrowded capital may be placed back under a strict lockdown. The Department of Health reported 2,434 cases in recent days, the majority in metropolitan Manila, raising cases nationwide to more than 44,250, including 1,297 deaths.
6 a.m.: India has overtaken Russia to become the third worst-affected nation by the coronavirus after the country reported 24,248 new cases Monday.
India has now confirmed 697,413 cases, including 19,693 deaths. Russia has 680,283 cases. Indian authorities late Sunday withdrew a planned reopening of the famed Taj Mahal monument, after new cases were detected in the area.
India’s Culture Ministry had decided to reopen all monuments across the country on Monday after more than three months with a cap on the number of visitors and mandatory wearing of face masks.
After a strict nationwide lockdown, India has eased restrictions in most of the country except for the highest-risk areas.
6 a.m.: The hard-hit Australian state of Victoria recorded two deaths and its highest-ever daily increase in coronavirus cases on Monday as authorities prepare to close its border with New South Wales.
The death of the two men, one in his 60s and the other in his 90s, brings the national death toll from COVID-19 to 106.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said of the 127 new cases, 53 were among 3,000 people who have been confined by police to their apartments in nine public housing blocks since Saturday.
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Andrews said the high number of cases reflected a daily record number of tests exceeding 24,500.
5:50 a.m.: Ontario’s courts will resume in-person proceedings today after being shuttered for months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Ministry of the Attorney General has said courtrooms will reopen gradually, with the goal of having all courtrooms operational by November 1.
The initial plan was to have 149 courtrooms in both the Superior Court of Justice and the Ontario Court of Justice open today for trials and preliminary inquiries in 44 locations, but on Saturday the ministry announced that two of those locations were not yet ready to reopen.
It says the College Park courthouse in Toronto and the Guelph courthouse did not have the necessary health and safety precautions in place.
In the courthouses that are reopening, there will be plexiglass barriers in courtrooms, interview rooms, intake offices and at public counters.
The ministry also says everyone will be required to answer COVID-19 screening questions before entering and masks will be mandatory.
The courthouses have been closed since March 16, with some operations moving online.
2:25 a.m. A renewed Covid-19 outbreak in Australia’s second-largest city is marring the country’s reputation as a standout in suppressing the virus, and risks further damaging a regional economy that relies heavily on international tourists, students and migrants.
Melbourne, capital of Victoria state with a population of just under 5 million, has locked down 12 areas after recording 127 cases overnight, its biggest daily increase. Over the weekend Victorian authorities took the toughest control measures to date in Australia, barring 3,000 residents of nine public-housing towers from leaving their apartments.
Victoria doesn’t have the natural resources that other Australian states have, leaving it heavily reliant on population growth, international students and tourists, said Alex Joiner, chief economist at IFM Investors in Melbourne.
“Those drivers of growth aren’t coming back anytime soon,” Joiner said. “As it becomes more obvious that Victoria is suffering a different type of crisis to the other states, that would deter domestic tourism as well.”
Once known as the nation’s manufacturing powerhouse, Victoria has pivoted to international services as Australia’s economy de-industrialized. Its two largest exporters by value are the University of Melbourne and Monash University. It’s also a major tourist draw, hosting international sporting events like the Australian Open tennis championship, the Formula 1 Grand Prix and Melbourne Cup horse race.
Sunday 10 p.m.: The Blue Jays arrived in Toronto Sunday night from their spring training site in Florida, expecting to practice at the Rogers Centre on Monday.
The team and staff arrived in four buses outside of Rogers Centre just after 10 p.m.
Rogers Centre and the adjoining Toronto Marriott City Centre Hotel will be the home of the Jays’ modified coronavirus quarantine.
Earlier this week, federal, provincial and municipal governments jointly approved the Jays’ application to host their summer training camp in Toronto.
Players and staff travelled to the stadium by private, sterilized bus and will not be allowed to leave the premises throughout camp.
This content was originally published here.