Here’s what you need to know surrounding the novel coronavirus in British Columbia on March 27, 2020:
Future projections for BC coming today
Health officials are expected to release models today projecting the possible future of COVID-19 in the province. Health Minister Adrian Dix says the report will give an idea of how many people may become infected with the virus. The figures will also include modelling for the worst-case scenario” in the province, according to Dix. Dix along with Dr. Bonnie Henry are set to make an announcement at 10:30 a.m. on CHEK’s Facebook Page or YouTube channel.
Victoria Police salute healthcare workers
On Thursday night, the Victoria Police Department paid tribute to hospital staff with a 15-car salute. According to VicPD, officers began their night shift by visiting the Royal Jubilee Hospital to acknowledge the health care workers for all they have been doing during the COVID-19 pandemic. A full watch of patrol officers circled the Royal Jubilee Hospital in their police cars with their lights activated around 7 p.m. The officers got out of their vehicles outside the emergency room bay and took a moment to clap and celebrate the work of hospital staff and health care workers. Chief Del Manak says as first responders, they recognize their “incredible” work during the crisis.
At 1900 hours we wanted to join our community in acknowledging all the hard work been done by hospital staff, paramedics, community nurses, and other healthcare workers. We appreciate all you are doing!! pic.twitter.com/ZL4N96D4py
— VCPU (@VicPD_Union) March 27, 2020
Bank of Canada slashes key interest rate…again
The Bank of Canada is cutting its key interest target by half a percentage point to 0.25 per cent in an unscheduled rate announcement. The move is intended to provide support for the Canadian financial system and the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. In a statement on its website, the central bank says its decision to lower rates is aimed at cushioning the economic shocks from COVID-19 and a sharp drop in oil prices by easing the cost of borrowing.
Parliamentary watchdog projecting big deficits from COVID-19
Parliament’s budget watchdog is projecting that the federal deficit for the coming fiscal year could be $112.7 billion, a jump of $89.5 billion from previous forecasts as government spending climbs to combat the economic fallout from COVID-19. The report made public this morning also warns that the deficit for the current fiscal year, which closes March 31, could be $26.7 billion, which would be an increase of $5.5 billion compared to the budget officer’s November forecast. The projected deficit for the 2020-2021 fiscal year doesn’t include extra spending the Liberals announced on Wednesday in the form of a new benefit for affected workers.
Across The Border: U.S. cases rocket to over 82,000
The United States has now become the country with the most cases of the novel coronavirus with over 82,000 testing positive, surpassing China and Italy. The death toll has also now climbed above 1,200. New York City, the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak recorded more than 100 deaths in one day. According to a report from Bloomberg, the city’s medical services are receiving record numbers of 911 calls – volumes they haven’t seen since September 11, 2001 following the terrorist attacks.
Overseas: U.K. Prime Minister tests positive
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for the new coronavirus and is now self-isolating and working from home. The 55-year-old was tested for COVID-19 after showing mild symptoms including a fever and a persistent cough. Johnson is the highest-profile political leader to have contracted the virus. His positive test comes at the end of a week when he effectively closed down much of the British economy.
With files to Canadian Press