Coronavirus: What’s happening in Canada and around the world on Saturday


The latest:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has urged Canadians to hold off on travelling abroad until mass vaccinations against COVID-19 can be administered.

“If you’ve got [a trip] planned, cancel it, and don’t book a trip for spring break. We need to hang on and hold tight for the next few months and get through to the spring in the best shape possible,” Trudeau said on Friday.

The federal government is mulling a mandatory 14-day quarantine in hotels for returning travellers, as well as other measures that could make it more difficult to re-enter the country, he said.

WATCH | The challenges of vaccinating the vulnerable in Canada’s North:

Some of the country’s most remote communities are getting access to the Moderna vaccine. Limited resources for these areas means it’s critical to get people vaccinated fast. Challenges on the ground though are not just logistical — there’s also the matter of convincing people vaccines are safe. 3:05

“We could be bringing in new measures that significantly impede your ability to return to Canada at any given moment without warning,” Trudeau warned.

Public Health Agency of Canada figures show 153 flights have arrived from outside Canada over the last two weeks on which at least one passenger later tested positive for COVID-19.

Transport Canada now requires people flying into the country to present a negative test result conducted within 72 hours of boarding a plane.

Health Minister Patty Hajdu on Friday said 50,000 tickets for international travel have been cancelled since the new rule was announced on Dec. 31.

Trudeau said these requirements are starting to convince Canadians to stay put.

WATCH | Biden implements COVID-19 travel restrictions on first full day in office:

On U.S. President Joe Biden’s first full day in office, he signed an executive order for new international travel restrictions, which will make it tougher for Canadians to cross the border. Biden is expected to lay out more details tomorrow, during his phone call with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. 2:38

The prime minister added that the next few weeks will be challenging for vaccine supply as Pfizer-BioNTech slows deliveries to Canada and other countries while the company retools its plant in Belgium. Trudeau said Pfizer-BioNTech has committed to ensuring Canada will receive four million vaccine doses by the end of March.

Provinces have reported that a total of 738,864 vaccine doses have been administered so far. That’s about 80 per cent of the available supply.

British Columbia’s oldest residents will be able to pre-register to receive a vaccine against COVID-19 starting in March after the most vulnerable groups have been immunized, according to a plan announced Friday.

WATCH | British Columbia lays out details of COVID-19 vaccine rollout:

British Columbia releases a detailed plan on how it hopes to vaccinate the province’s population. It involves four phases, more than seven million doses of COVID-19 vaccine and mobile units to reach remote areas. 2:04

April is when the vaccine becomes available for the general population in B.C., starting with the oldest residents and descending in five-year increments until age 18 by September. People who register for the plan will get a reminder to book appointments when eligible,

The province is currently administering the vaccine to people living in long-term care homes and those who look after them or their essential visitors, people waiting for long-term care, people in remote Indigenous communities and hospital workers caring for patients with COVID-19.

They will be followed in February and March by seniors over 80, Indigenous seniors over 65, Indigenous elders, more health-care workers, vulnerable populations and nursing home staff.


What’s happening across Canada

As of 10 a.m. ET on Saturday, Canada had reported 739,766 cases of COVID-19, with 65,032 cases considered active. A CBC News tally of deaths stood at 18,880.

In Atlantic Canada, New Brunswick reported 30 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday. The Edmundston region in the northwest will go into lockdown on Saturday at midnight amid climbing case numbers and a series of outbreaks.

Nova Scotia reported four new cases — and Premier Stephen McNeil said the province also detected two variants of the virus in cases previously reported in December. Newfoundland and Labrador reported one new case on Friday; there is currently one person hospitalized due to COVID-19 in the province.

Quebec reported 1,631 new cases and 88 additional deaths on Friday, 18 of which occurred in the last 24 hours.

There were 1,426 people hospitalized due to COVID-19, with 212 in intensive care. Premier François Legault said on Thursday that there were still too many COVID-19 patients in hospital to consider lifting the provincewide curfew.

Ontario reported 2,359 new COVID-19 cases and 52 more deaths on Saturday. That’s down from 2,662 new COVID-19 cases and 87 more deaths reported on Friday.

While epidemiologists told CBC News that public health measures seem to be working as Ontario nears four complete weeks under “lockdown” conditions, they cautioned that the province is still far from ready for a return to normalcy.

WATCH | Research into coronavirus variants still early, epidemiologist says: 

Dr. Christopher Labos says research on mutated strains of the virus is too preliminary to draw firm conclusions. 1:38

Meanwhile, local public health officials are expressing concern about a yet-to-be identified variant of COVID-19 at a Barrie, Ont., long-term care home.

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit said the unusually rapid spread of the virus at Roberta Place Long Term Care earlier this month, with 55 people at the nursing home becoming ill within 48 hours of the first COVID-19 case being identified, prompted officials to start testing for a variant strain.

The variant was identified in six cases, and further results are expected in the coming days, the unit said.

At least 122 of 130 residents at Roberta Place have tested positive for COVID-19, the home said in a statement to CBC Toronto on Thursday. Since the outbreak, 19 residents have died and 69 staff are infected.

WATCH | Ontario criticized for delaying vaccine rollout for long-term care homes:

An Ontario panel says the province failed residents of long-term care homes by not prioritizing them for COVID-19 vaccinations and the decision cost hundreds of lives. 1:58

Manitoba reported 173 new COVID-19 cases and two more deaths on Friday. The province also announced it will immediately halt bookings of new appointments at its immunization supersites in Winnipeg and Brandon after the federal government advised of another reduction in shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

Saskatchewan reported 312 new cases and eight deaths on Friday, while Alberta reported 643 new cases and 12 deaths.

British Columbia reported 508 new cases of COVID-19 and nine more deaths on Friday.

In the North, Nunavut reported one new case of COVID-19 on Friday, the territory’s first case since Dec. 28.

The positive result is in Arviat and was part of followup surveillance testing in response to the earlier outbreak, said Dr. Michael Patterson, Nunavut’s chief public health officer.

Here’s a look at what’s happening across the country:


What’s happening around the world

As of Saturday morning, more than 98.2 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, with more than 54.2 million of the cases considered resolved or recovered, according to the coronavirus tracking tool maintained by Johns Hopkins University. The global death toll stood at more than 2.1 million.

In Asia, thousands of Hong Kong residents were locked down in their homes on Saturday in an unprecedented move to contain a worsening coronavirus outbreak.

Government workers wearing personal protective equipment prepare to conduct COVID-19 testing in an area under lockdown in the Jordan district of Hong Kong on Saturday. (Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)

Authorities said 16 buildings in the city’s Yau Tsim Mong district would be locked down until all residents were tested. Residents would not be allowed to leave their homes until they received test results.

The restrictions, which were announced at 4 a.m. in Hong Kong, were expected to end within 48 hours, the government said.

Hong Kong has been grappling to contain a fresh wave of the coronavirus since November. More than 4,300 cases have been recorded in the last two months, making up nearly 40 per cent of the city’s total.

WATCH | CBC goes inside unique inoculation site in U.K:

CBC News gains access to a unique inoculation site in the U.K., where vulnerable groups are being prioritized. 1:51

In Europe, French doctors have new advice to slow the spread of the virus: stop talking on public transport.

The French Academy of Doctors issued guidance on Friday saying people should “avoid talking or making phone calls” in subways, buses or anywhere in public where physical distancing isn’t possible. Masks have been required since May, but travellers often loosen or remove them to talk on the phone.

A nurse administers a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre in Le Cannet, southern France, on Thursday. (Daniel Cole/The Associated Press)

Infections in France are gradually rising this month, at more than 20,000 per day. France currently has the longest virus curfew in Europe, from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., and restaurants and tourist sites have been closed since October.

France has seen 72,647 virus-related deaths.





Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>