https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2022/05/16/covid-19-coronavirus-updates-toronto-canada-march-19.html

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.

11:30 a.m. Quebec is reporting five more deaths linked to COVID-19 and an 11-patient drop in the number of hospitalizations associated with the disease.

The Health Department says 1,611 people are in hospital with COVID-19 after 64 patients were admitted in the past 24 hours and 75 were discharged.

It says 51 people are in intensive care, a drop of four from the day before.

The province is reporting 457 new cases of the disease confirmed through PCR testing, with 6.7 per cent of tests analyzed coming back positive.

9:30 a.m. The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 hit 1 million on Monday, a once-unimaginable figure that only hints at the multitudes of loved ones and friends staggered by grief and frustration.

The confirmed number of dead is equivalent to a 9/11 attack every day for 336 days. It is roughly equal to how many Americans died in the Civil War and World War II combined. It’s as if Boston and Pittsburgh were wiped out.

“It is hard to imagine a million people plucked from this earth,” said Jennifer Nuzzo, who leads a new pandemic center at the Brown University School of Public Health in Providence, Rhode Island. “It’s still happening and we are letting it happen.”

Some of those left behind say they cannot return to normal. They replay their loved ones’ voicemail messages. Or watch old videos to see them dance. When other people say they are done with the virus, they bristle with anger or ache in silence.

Read more from The Associated Press.

9 a.m. China’s factory and consumer activity fell even more than expected in April under anti-virus controls, official data showed Monday, but a Cabinet official said the economy is reviving as anti-virus curbs ease and its commercial capital of Shanghai reopens.

The slump in the second-biggest economy fueled fears global manufacturing and trade might be disrupted after most business in Shanghai were shut down and its 25 million people confined to their homes starting in late March. That adds to complications for President Xi Jinping in a year when he is expected to try to extend his time in power.

Retail sales tumbled 11.1 per cent from a year ago after shops, restaurants and other consumer outlets in Shanghai and other cities closed, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. Manufacturing sank 2.9 per cent as factories closed.

5:45 a.m. A new study offers a closer look at possible factors that may lead to some hospitalized COVID-19 patients being readmitted within a month of discharge.

At roughly nine per cent, researchers say the readmission rate is similar to that seen for other ailments, but socio-economic factors and sex seem to play a bigger role in predicting which patients are most likely to suffer a downturn when sent home.

Research published Monday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal looked at 46,412 adults hospitalized for COVID-19 in Alberta and Ontario during the first part of the pandemic. About 18 per cent — 8,496 patients — died in hospital between January 2020 and October 2021, which was higher than the norm for other respiratory tract infections.

Among those sent home, about nine per cent returned to hospital within 30 days of leaving, while two per cent died.

Read more from The Canadian Press.

5:30 a.m. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un criticized officials over slow medicine deliveries and mobilized the military to respond to a surge in suspected COVID-19 infections, as his nation struggled to contain a fever that has reportedly killed dozens and sickened nearly a million others in a span of three days.

North Korean health authorities said Monday that eight more people died and an additional 392,920 were newly found to have feverish symptoms. That brings the death toll to 50 and illnesses to more than 1.2 million, respectively. It’s a sharp jump from six dead and 350,000 sick reported last Friday, a day after the North said that it found that an unspecified number of people in capital Pyongyang tested positive for the omicron variant.

Kim has acknowledged that the fast-spreading fever, highly likely driven by COVID-19, is causing “great upheaval” in the country, and outside experts say the true scale of the outbreak is likely much bigger than what’s described in the state-controlled media.

5:15 a.m. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 40 people walked through the doors of Across Boundaries daily, looking for anything from art therapy, to literacy lessons, to a healthy meal for breakfast or lunch.

But as the virus began to spread, the mental health agency focused on helping racialized communities in Toronto’s northwest quickly began losing touch with many of the people it helped.

“Some of our staff called us and said, ‘I can’t reach my clients because they don’t have a phone,’” recalled executive director Aseefa Sarang. The agency, which serves around 900 people annually, then moved quickly to give out a few prepaid devices to those who didn’t have one. It also began delivering meals directly to people’s doors.

Two years and six pandemic waves later, Across Boundaries has now given out more than 300 phones to clients who otherwise had no access to a device connecting them to services offered virtually because of COVID-19. The need for these devices has persisted well into today, Sarang said, signalling one of many challenges facing Toronto’s newcomer and racialized communities, who were hardest hit by the virus, as the city looks to pandemic recovery.

Read more from the Star’s Nadine Yousif.

5 a.m. Most of Shanghai has stopped the spread of the coronavirus in the community and fewer than 1 million people remain under strict lockdown, authorities said Monday, as the city moves toward reopening and economic data showed the gloomy impact of China’s “zero-COVID” policy.

Vice Mayor Zong Ming said 15 out of Shanghai’s 16 districts had eliminated virus transmission among those not already in quarantine.

“The epidemic in our city is under effective control. Prevention measures have achieved incremental success,” Zong said at a news briefing.

Supermarkets, malls and restaurants were allowed to reopen Monday with limits on the numbers of people and mandated “no contact” transactions. But most of the city’s 25 million people remain under some form of restriction, movement around the city is highly limited and the subway train system remains closed for now.