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Canada to provide more funding for seniors, vulnerable amid coronavirus pandemic: Trudeau

Coronavirus outbreak: Canada to provide more funding for seniors, most vulnerable
WATCH: Coronavirus outbreak: Canada to provide more funding for seniors, most vulnerable

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced increased funding for seniors, youth and other vulnerable groups that have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Sunday, he said the government will contribute $9 million through United Way Canada for local organizations that support practical services to Canadian seniors.

These services will include grocery delivery, medications, and personal outreach to assess individuals’ needs and connect them to community supports.

READ MORE: Canada at critical juncture in coronavirus battle: Canada’s top health official

“In a country like Canada, no one should be forgotten,” he said.

The latest economic measures announced by the Canadian government will also contribute $7.5 million in funding to Kids Help Phone, which provides counselling services to children and youth.

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In a statement, the Office of the Prime Minister said Kids Help Phone had seen increased demand for its 24/7 confidential online, telephone, and text counselling services across Canada as a result of school closures and reduced access to community resources.

Addressing young Canadians directly, Trudeau said “There are people in your corner making sure you’re OK.”

Coronavirus outbreak: Trudeau asks Canadians to be ‘part of the solution’
Coronavirus outbreak: Trudeau asks Canadians to be ‘part of the solution’

The prime minister also pledged over $200 million aimed at supporting shelters throughout the country for Canadians experiencing homelessness and helping women and children fleeing violence. This measure was originally announced on March 18.

Trudeau said $157.5 million will be used to address the needs of Canada’s homeless, while $50 million would be allocated to women’s shelters and sexual assault centres to help with their capacity to manage or prevent an outbreak in their facilities. This includes funding for facilities in Indigenous communities.

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Coronavirus outbreak: Trudeau promises help for youth and seniors
Coronavirus outbreak: Trudeau promises help for youth and seniors

“If you can’t go home because it isn’t safe, because you don’t have a home, we’re not going to forget you. We’ll work with the organizations you rely on. We’ll have your back,” Trudeau said.

“If you need to get away from domestic violence or violence because of your gender, if you need somewhere to stay, there are places you can go and be safe.”

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READ MORE: Coronavirus — Canada to ban sick travellers from domestic flights, intercity trains

On Saturday, Trudeau announced that beginning Monday, domestic airlines and federally-regulated train operators will prevent anyone showing signs of illness from travelling.

“As of Monday at noon, people showing any signs whatsoever of COVID-19 will be denied boarding at all domestic flights and intercity passenger trains,” Trudeau told reporters.

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Coronavirus outbreak: The risk to children
Coronavirus outbreak: The risk to children

A press release detailing the new measures also said the restrictions would require all air operators and intercity rail companies to do a “health check,” and screen their passengers before they come on board.

During her daily update on Sunday, Canada’s chief medical officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, warned Canadians that “even if you are not hearing of cases in your community, that doesn’t mean there are no cases or that there are no exposures waiting to happen.”

Coronavirus around the world: March 29, 2020
Coronavirus around the world: March 29, 2020

As of Sunday afternoon, there were 6,232 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Canada. Tam said a total of 63 people have died from the virus.

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She said over 205,000 Canadians had been tested for COVID-19. Of those tested, adding that three per cent tested positive while over 90 per cent tested negative for the virus.

Tam said between six and seven per cent of cases need hospitalization and three per cent were critically ill. One per cent of cases so far have been fatal.

READ MORE: 65% of reported COVID-19 cases in Canada related to community transmission, latest data says

Correcting figures she provided on Saturday, she clarified 12 per cent of the patients hospitalized are under the age of 40.

New data released by PHAC said 65 per cent of reported cases in Canada were linked to community transmission, while 35 per cent were either “exposed while travelling or exposed to a traveller returning to Canada.”

As of Saturday, demographics, symptoms and outcomes were only available for 2,811 cases reported in Canada, providing a limited snapshot of who has caught the virus and how.

Coronavirus outbreak: Sophie Grégoire Trudeau says she has recovered from COVID-19
Coronavirus outbreak: Sophie Grégoire Trudeau says she has recovered from COVID-19

Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, who was diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 12, also provided an update on Saturday, saying she was feeling “so much better” and had received the “all clear” from her physician and Ottawa Public Health.

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During his daily update Prime Minister Trudeau said Sophie was “feeling great,” and confirmed that their children were also doing well.

“We’re all doing well,” he said, adding that he would continue to work from home.

–With files from Global News’ Maryam Shah and David Lao