Coronavirus news today: Toronto holds first Easter parade since 2019

The latest coronavirus news from Canada and around the world Monday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links for longer stories if available.

7 am Runners were preparing for the Boston Marathon on Monday, ushering in the prestigious race’s return to the spring venue for the first time since the pandemic began.

Race director Dave McGillivray sent a group of about 20 people from the Massachusetts National Guard who march the course annually at 6 a.m., announcing the start of the 126th Boston Marathon in Hopkinton. He told them that “the return is greater than the setback.”

“It’s the new normal,” McGillivray said in an interview, with some pandemic protocols still in place, such as requiring participants to be vaccinated or showing an exemption, “but it’s normal.” He said he’s using the famous phrase because we’re “about to see it come to life.”

“We realize we are not quite out of the woods. We are still sensitive to the virus and require vaccinations.” We are really not back to normal at the moment, but this is the new normal. The key is to keep everyone safe.”

6:05 am China’s economic growth rose to 4.8 percent still weak over the previous year in the first three months of 2022 as it shut down industrial cities to combat the coronavirus outbreak, threatening to disrupt global trade and manufacturing.

Government data showed, on Monday, that growth in the world’s second largest economy has crept from the previous quarter of 4 percent in the wake of the recession caused by tighter controls on the use of debt by China’s huge real estate industry. Compared to the previous quarter, as measured by other major economies, growth slowed to 1.3 percent from 1.4 percent.

“More pain will emerge” in the current quarter, ING’s Iris Pang said in a report, adding “more effects from the closures are imminent.”

5:50 am After rearranging her home and borrowing from friends and family to keep her business alive during the pandemic, Caroline Hatfield is happily struggling to keep up with demand from pet owners looking for day care for their coronavirus-infected dogs.

The owner of The Canine Social Company Ltd. said: In an interview: “We’re booked for evaluations until June.”

Like many in the pet industry whose businesses have been upended by COVID, Hatfield’s biggest challenge now is managing the growing anxiety of separating workers and their pets as more people return to the office.

She has carefully screened the dogs to ensure they are a perfect fit for her doggie daycare facility east of Greektown in Toronto. While most dogs were approved in the years before COVID, at least 40 percent of applicants are currently accepted because their high stress would upset other clients.

Read more from the Canadian press.

5:30 am Shanghai authorities on Monday reported the first death from COVID-19 in the latest outbreak in China’s most populous and wealthiest city.

Wu Ganyu, inspector of the city’s health commission, told reporters that the three people who died were elderly and had underlying diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure and had not been vaccinated against the coronavirus.

The deaths bring to 4,641 the number of people China says have succumbed to the disease since the virus was first detected in the central city of Wuhan in late 2019.

5:25 am Marching bands, ballerinas and the significant appearance of the Easter bunny brought smiles to children and adults alike during the Toronto Beaches Lions’ Easter Parade that set out on Queen Street East on Sunday afternoon.

“It’s a local event. “It’s fun being in the community and my kids somewhere trying to collect candy, it’s a perfect family event,” said Alison Rutherford, who was attending the show with her children aged 8-10, with her mother.

“It’s actually a bigger crowd than last time, before COVID,” she said.

The parade began on Monroe Park Avenue and Queen Street East at 2 p.m. Sunday and continued west along Queen Street East to Woodbine Street. This was the first time the show had taken place since 2019 due to previous pandemic restrictions.

Read more from star Olivia Bowden.

5:15 am COVID-19 brought hardship to much of Canada’s pet industry as kennels sat empty and owners working remotely began walking their dogs, but demand soared for veterinary services.

With up to 35 percent of Canadians adding pets during the pandemic and additional safety protocols restricting the number of patients in clinics, vets have faced significant challenges, says Dr. Scott Weiss, a veterinary internal medicine specialist and professor at the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College.

“You have owners who are frustrated because they can’t get in as quickly as they used to and vets who can’t take in new clients because they’re too busy with their old clients,” he said in an interview.

Vets have adapted, increasingly consulting over the phone and offering sidewalk service.

Read more from the Canadian press.

5 am Cypriot authorities on Monday eased travel to the eastern Mediterranean island nation as the summer tourism season begins by eliminating the need to undergo any COVID-19 tests before boarding or upon arrival.

According to the new regulations, only unvaccinated people who have not contracted and recovered from the coronavirus must undergo a PCR test 72 hours before boarding or a rapid test 24 hours before departure.

All passengers bound for Cyprus are no longer required to fill out a form – also known as a Cypriot passport – that provides information that enables authorities to trace them if they test positive for COVID-19 during their stay.

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