Coronavirus: Canada has close to 20,500 active COVID-19 cases, feds report | FULL

Chief Public Health Officer of Canada Dr. Theresa Tam on Friday announced the country’s latest coronavirus numbers — 191,732 total cases of COVID-19, 9,699 total deaths due to the virus and close to 20,500 active COVID-19 cases nationally.

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau held a press conference, alongside Tam, and Deputy Chief Public Health Officer of Canada Dr. Howard Njoo to discuss the government’s ongoing response to the coronavirus pandemic.

During the press conference, the prime minister addressed the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Trudeau said he spoke with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan to “express our concern about the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh” — the region of conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan — adding that Canada will “continue to work with all our allies” to put an end to the ongoing violence.

He also added that he will be speaking with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan later on Friday. The prime minister said they will be discussing export permits that Canada has suspended over concerns they’ve been used by Turkey to purchase Azerbaijan arms amid the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Plus, Trudeau also said his government will not stop standing up for human rights in China — or calling out Beijing for its coercive approach to diplomacy, even as Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig remain detained in China. These remarks come after comments made Thursday by China’s ambassador, which some take as a threat toward Canadians in Hong Kong.

When asked by a reporter, he responded to Sipekne’katik First Nation Chief Michael Sack’s remarks calling the RCMP “useless” in the handling of the violent conflicts between Nova Scotia commercial and Mi’kmaw fishers and the government will be “looking at” how the situation is being handled “very closely.” Trudeau said the federal government recognizes the rights of Indigenous communities to “moderate livelihood fishing.”

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