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Canada’s Chief Medic Says She Expects COVID-19 Resurgence Due to Restrictions Phasing Out

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam said she expects a resurgence of novel coronavirus cases in the country as the restrictive measures put in place to fight the pandemic are gradually phased out.

“As restrictive public health measures are being lifted… we expect to see some resurgence of cases,” Tam said during a technical briefing on Monday.

Tam said the key to fighting the pandemic is to keep the number of cases small through ongoing core public health practices.

She commended public and the public health system for withstanding the first wave of the pandemic, noting that the severity of the second wave will rest on collective responsibility.

However, despite the generally positive outlook, some hotspots remain in Canada. The Windsor-Essex area - affecting mostly temporary foreign workers on farms and other agricultural facilities - and some long-term care facilities in Quebec are still beset by infections.

Canadian health officials said they project more than 4,300 additional cases of the novel coronavirus disease and approximately 340 more virus-related deaths by mid-July.

The projections, released by the Public Health Agency of Canada, revealed that the number of confirmed infections will range between 103,940 to 108,130, while the number of deaths is expected to fall in the 8,545 to 8,865 range by 15 July.

As of Monday, Canada’s public health agencies have reported nearly 104,000 novel coronavirus cases and more than 8,500 virus-related fatalities.


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"Covid-19" found in March 2019 sewage sample,This may indicate that either the test is positive with any type of Corona virus, or that the virus has been here for much longer.

Coronavirus traces found in March 2019 sewage sample, Spanish study shows

MADRID (Reuters) - Spanish virologists have found traces of the novel coronavirus in a sample of Barcelona waste water collected in March 2019, nine months before the COVID-19 disease was identified in China, the University of Barcelona said on Friday.

The discovery of virus genome presence so early in Spain, if confirmed, would imply the disease may have appeared much earlier than the scientific community thought.

The University of Barcelona team, who had been testing waste water since mid-April this year to identify potential new outbreaks, decided to also run tests on older samples.

They first found the virus was present in Barcelona on Jan. 15, 2020, 41 days before the first case was officially reported there.

Then they ran tests on samples taken between January 2018 and December 2019 and found the presence of the virus genome in one of them, collected on March 12, 2019.

“The levels of SARS-CoV-2 were low but were positive,” research leader Albert Bosch was quoted as saying by the university.

The research has been submitted for a peer review.

Dr Joan Ramon Villalbi of the Spanish Society for Public Health and Sanitary Administration told Reuters it was still early to draw definitive conclusions.

“When it’s just one result, you always want more data, more studies, more samples to confirm it and rule out a laboratory error or a methodological problem,” he said.

There was the potential for a false positive due to the virus’ similarities with other respiratory infections.

“But it’s definitely interesting, it’s suggestive,” Villalbi said.

Bosch, who is president of the Spanish Society of Virologists, said that an early detection even in January could have improved the response to the pandemic. Instead, patients were probably misdiagnosed with common flu, contributing to community transmission before measures were taken.

Prof. Gertjan Medema of the KWR Water Research Institute in the Netherlands, whose team began using a coronavirus test on waste water in February, suggested the Barcelona group needs to repeat the tests to confirm it is really the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Spain has recorded more than 28,000 confirmed deaths and nearly 250,000 cases of the virus so far.


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Why is Australia still accepting international travellers when most of our coronavirus cases are from overseas?

Despite a concerning uptick in locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in Victoria, overall the majority of cases recorded in Australia have come from overseas.

Most of the people coming back to Australia or in hotel quarantine are citizens or permanent residents, but where they've come from tells a story in itself.

Here's where cases have come from over time, and where Australians making their way home are coming from.

Where are the infections coming from?

According to the latest epidemiology report published by the National Incident Room, most of Australia's cases have been acquired overseas, and the majority of those cases came from either Europe or cruise ships.

But data from the past month show the rate of infections entering Australia from those sources has dried up.

"Over the four weeks ending Sunday June 21, 2020, most overseas-acquired cases have reported a travel history to the regions of southern and central Asia, north Africa and the Middle East or at sea," a spokeswoman from the Department of Health said.

"Some cases also reported a travel history to the regions of the Americas, Europe and sub-Saharan Africa."

Coronavirus update: Follow all the latest news in our daily wrap.

According to earlier versions of the epidemiology report, in the early days of COVID-19, all cases reported in Australia had travel history in China.

But by the time case numbers began to accelerate rapidly in mid-March, most of the overseas-acquired cases being detected were coming from Europe and the Americas.