COVID-19 Government and International Response: October 23, 2020


Global COVID-19 cases have reached 42,334,795, up from 39,456,909 at 3:30 p.m. on October 16, 2020. Canada now reports 209,148 cases, up from 193,497 cases of COVID-19 on October 16. Ontario reports 68,353 cases, up from 62,908 cases on October 16.

The Province reports 826 (1.2%) new cases since yesterday. Of the province’s total cases, 58,799 have been resolved (86%) and there have been 3,080 deaths (4.5%). The province has now completed 4,825,851 tests and reports 35,436 tests are currently under investigation. More information here.

A province-by-province breakdown of Canada’s COVID-19 case count can be found here.


The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced an investment of up to $173 million through the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) in Quebec City-based Medicago to support Canada’s response to COVID-19 and future preparedness. The project, valued at a total of $428 million, will advance Medicago’s virus-like particle vaccine, developed on the company’s unique plant-based production platform, through clinical trials. It will also establish a large-scale vaccine and antibody production facility to increase Canada’s domestic biomanufacturing capacity. More information here.

The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, yesterday participated in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation’s (APEC’s) ministerial meeting on small and medium-sized businesses, focused on best practices for mitigating the impact of COVID-19 and advancing business digitalization to build the foundation for the economy of the future. The Minister reiterated Canada’s belief that the way forward to economic recovery is by strengthening and expanding global trade to benefit everyone. More information here.

Canada’s oil and gas sector is an important part of Canada’s economy, and workers in the sector have been significantly affected by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. By working together with the sector, the government can help it rebound, create good jobs for workers and reduce its carbon footprint. On October 22, the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, joined by the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Natural Resources, and the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, announced an investment of $100 million over four years, provided through the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF), to help the oil and gas sector grow, create jobs and greatly reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. More information here.

A joint pilot program from the Government of Alberta and the Government of Canada – the first of its kind in the country – will safely test an alternative to the current 14-day quarantine requirement for international travellers while continuing to protect Canadians from COVID-19. The new pilot announced October 22 will explore the feasibility of using a rigorous testing and monitoring program as a strategy to reduce the mandatory quarantine period, while keeping Canadians safe. More information here.

On October 20, during Small Business Week, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, announced an investment of $12 million in the Canada United Small Business Relief Fund. Canada United is a national fundraising campaign created by the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) in collaboration with private sector partners and provincial and territorial chambers of commerce, including the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC). This investment builds on the Government of Canada’s continued support for small and local businesses through a wide range of COVID-19 emergency programs, such as the expanded Canada Emergency Business Account, the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and the new Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy. More information here.


On October 22, the Ontario government announce it is introducing a package of legislative and policy measures that would, if passed, accelerate the building of key infrastructure projects to create jobs and lay the foundation for a strong economic recovery. The Ontario Rebuilding and Recovery Act, 2020 would support the construction of better-connected highways and public transit networks, transit-oriented communities, and affordable housing. The proposed legislation, introduced by Minister Mulroney, would reduce barriers in the planning, design and construction of major infrastructure projects like highway and public transit networks, and support the growth of transit-oriented communities. More information here.

Ontario is launching an online survey as part of its commitment to improve passenger rail and bus services between Toronto, North Bay, Timmins and Cochrane. Responses to the Northeastern Ontario transportation survey will be used to explore options for passenger rail services and help inform the future transportation plan for Northern Ontario.

The Ontario government is introducing the Supporting Ontario’s Recovery Act, 2020, that if passed, will provide liability protection for workers, volunteers and organizations that make an honest effort to follow public health guidelines and laws relating to exposure to COVID-19. At the same time, it will maintain the right of Ontarians to take legal action against those who willfully, or with gross negligence, endanger others. More information here.

The Ontario government released an action plan to make government services simpler, easier to use, and more convenient and accessible during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Ontario Onwards: Ontario’s COVID-19 Action Plan for a People-Focused Government includes more than 30 projects that will improve the way people and businesses interact with government, saving them both time and money. The Action Plan is a roadmap to make public sector services more customer-focused and digital- and data-driven, while increasing the speed of government operations and decision-making. More information here.

The Ontario government welcomes the decision by Roche to invest $500 million over five years to establish a Global Pharma Technical Operations site to oversee its global supply chain in Mississauga. This investment is expected to create 500 jobs ― 200 by the end of 2020 and up to 300 more by the end of 2023. It will enhance Ontario’s competitiveness and leadership in the life sciences sector. The Global Pharma Technical Operations site will be responsible for supporting Hoffmann-La Roche Limited’s global manufacturing and supply chain operations, including monitoring safety, quality and distribution of pharmaceutical products shipped around the world. More information here.


Toronto Public Health (TPH) is pleased to partner with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) local athletes and coaches to raise awareness on actions residents can take to reduce COVID-19 spread and help keep everyone safer as we live with this virus. Through this partnership, a series of public service announcements are being launched on social media to promote these important health messages at a critical time. More information here.


Toronto Public Health (TPH) launched the annual online flu vaccine booking system to help residents schedule their appointments for TPH’s annual flu vaccine clinics. This year, in response to local COVID-19 circumstances, TPH flu vaccine clinics will only be available through online appointments to ensure that appropriate physical distancing and infection prevention and control measures can be followed to reduce the potential risk of virus spread and keep residents safer. More information here.


Country Total cases at 3:30 p.m. Total cases Oct 16 at 3:30 p.m. Increase from previous Active Cases (Increase decrease) Cases per million Total recovered Total deaths
Global 42,334,795 39,456,909 2,877,886 9,850,364 5,431 31,337,682 1,146,749
United States 8,695,451 8,250,481 444,970 2,797,871 26,222 5,668,816 228,764
India 7,810,405 7,429,233 381,172 683,115 5,643 7,009,382 117,908
Brazil 5,332,634 5,176,524 156,110 391,341 25,033 4,785,297 155,996
Russia 1,480,646 1,369,313 111,333 335,870 10,145 1,119,251 25,525
Spain 1,110,372 982,723 127,649 23,746 34,752
Peru 879,876 859,740 20,136 49,173 26,572 796,719 33,984
Mexico 874,171 834,910 39,261 149,886 6,758 636,391 87,894
United Kingdom 830,998 689,257 141,741 12,221 44,571
Iran 556,891 522,387 34,504 78,221 6,604 446,685 31,985
Chile 498,906 488,190 10,716 13,719 26,029 471,343 13,844
Italy 484,869 391,611 93,258 186,002 8,023 261,808 37,059
Germany 415,073 355,010 60,063 94,795 4,949 310,200 10,078
Saudi Arabia 344,157 341,495 2,662 8,315 9,839 330,578 5,264
Canada 210,881 193,497 17,384 23,691 5,572 177,307 9,883
China 85,747 85,646 101       248 60 80,865 4,634
Australia 27,484 27,371 113 1,410 1,074 25,169 905