“We’re seeing influenza activity increasing up to the seasonal threshold despite the opposite trends being expected this time of year,” Dr. Theresa Tam, the nation’s chief public health officer, told reporters during a federal COVID-19 update.
Without many COVID-19 health mandates like masking in effect in most places across the country, cases of the flu have increased, according to Tam.
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“One of the things we’ve learned about the use of public health measures for COVID-19 in the past two years is that they were also effective in reducing the prevalence of other infectious diseases. Our reduced contact rates may have interrupted transmission of other diseases such as influenza,” said Tam.
“Personal protective habits help reduce the spread of COVID-19 as well as other risky transactions during diseases,” she added. “This is a reminder that our efforts are still needed.”
According to a report from the federal government, cases of the flu have sharply increased since the beginning of April.
From May 8 to May 14, 2,121 laboratory detections of the flu were reported. The percentage of visits for influenza-like illness was 1.8 per cent during this time period, exceeding pre-pandemic levels typical of this time of year.
“Now because we don’t have masks, you see this huge increase of flu in the population,” Horacio Bach, clinical assistant professor affiliated with the division of infectious diseases at the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Medicine, told Global News.
Bach still recommends the use of masks and continues to double mask when in public.
As of May 20, the seven-day average of daily lab-confirmed cases sits just above 3,564, down more than 60 per cent from the rate seen a month ago.
The number of Canadians seeking treatment in hospital for COVID-19 sits at 4,880 patients, down more than 20 per cent from two weeks ago.
That includes 349 people being treated in intensive care units, a number that has now stabilized after falling through the first half of April.
The country is currently seeing an average of 63 deaths per day. The rate has stayed steady throughout early May after steadily rising over the course of April.
However, newly-confirmed COVID-19 cases have brought the national total to over 3.84 million cases and more than 40,600 deaths. More than 4,800 patients are currently in the hospital with COVID-19 including more than 340 people in intensive care.
As of May 19, more than 84,952,660 doses of approved COVID-19 vaccines have been administered across Canada.
So far, more than 34,986,036 Canadians have received at least one dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine, while 31,356,155 Canadians are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with two doses.
Since they were authorized in September 2021, 18,610,469 third “booster” doses have been administered, according to available provincial and territorial data — meaning 48.7 per cent of the Canadian population has received three doses.
As of May 19, 90.4 per cent of eligible Canadians aged five and up have received at least one dose of the vaccine, while 86.2 per cent are fully vaccinated with two shots. Vaccinations for children aged five to 11 were approved by Health Canada last November.
In Ontario, 1,412 new cases of COVID-19 and 16 new deaths were reported in the latest update on May 20.
In Quebec, there have been 612 reported new cases of COVID-19 in its latest update on May 20, with 12 new virus-related deaths.
The province has seen 15,312 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
Saskatchewan announced 465 new infections and 22 new deaths over seven days in the latest update on May 19 and Alberta reported 3,614 new COVID-19 cases and 61 new deaths over seven days in the latest update on May 18.
In Nova Scotia’s latest update, 2,513 new COVID-19 cases and 24 new deaths were reported over seven days.
Newfoundland and Labrador reported 264 new COVID-19 cases and one new death over five days in the latest update on May 18.
There are currently 14 patients in hospital with COVID-19, up from the last update, with two people in intensive care.
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The Northwest Territories reported 31 new COVID-19 cases over seven days in the latest update on May 16 and Prince Edward Island reported 792 new COVID-19 cases and one new death over seven days in the latest update on May 17.
Although Manitoba has seen a decline in the number of daily cases, it has seen an increase in the number of hospitalizations and ICU admittances over the past week. The same is true for British Columbia.
“This is a reminder that our efforts are still needed,” Tam said on Friday, speaking about elevated hospitalization levels.
As of May 18, Yukon reported four new cases of COVID-19. There have been 4,339 cases to date, 4,290 of whom have recovered. The territory has seen 25 deaths from COVID-19.
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Tam remains “cautiously optimistic” that COVID will continue to reprieve slightly in Canada over the next few months.
“But, anything can happen and we just need to remain vigilant,” she said.
— with files from Sean Boynton
© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
‘McGregor-Mayweather rematch in the making’
Mayweather beat McGregor in their huge clash back in June 2017 but McGregor has hinted at a possible rematch in a post on his Instagram account.
The UFC superstar posted a cryptic post hinting at a second bout by sharing a picture of their 2017 clash and writing, “I accept.”
However, it’s uncertain as to whether a rematch between the pair would be another exhibition bout, or whether Mayweather would make it one more professional fight.
Meanwhile, YouTuber, Jake Paul, has repeatedly claimed that Mayweather still hasn’t paid him following last year’s exhibition bout. Their eight-round exhibition bout went to a draw as Mayweather was unable to knockout Paul, “Floyd Mayweather is broke. I have been saying it all the time. I think he probably spent it on the girls he pays to be around him. He’s hard to hit, but even harder to collect money from. Who should I fight next?”
However, Mayweather has since dismissed the accusations claiming that Paul has suggested that the pair should have a second exhibition bout.
“This is the guy who said he didn’t get paid, which we know is truly false, which is why I don’t entertain the bull*** a lot of the time. We know he got paid and if he didn’t get paid he wouldn’t be trying to get another payday. It is so crazy that Logan Paul wants to do an exhibition again but it is the same guy that said he didn’t get paid. It is what it is,” said Mayweather.
Mayweather was expected to earn US$64 million from the fight, with Logan receiving US$18.5 million of the purse.
G7: Canada to elevate small Commonwealth nations' concerns – CTV News
KIGALI, Rwanda –
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau headed to the G7 summit in Germany on Saturday without a consensus from the Commonwealth to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but with a chorus of countries calling for help to overcome the fallout of the war.
Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly arrived in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, on Wednesday for the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting, which has been dominated by the concerns of nations that are suffering from food scarcity. Trudeau departed for the G7 talk slater in the day.
In the final communique from the Commonwealth summit, the 54 participating countries said they discussed the conflict in Ukraine, ” underscored the need to respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all states,” and ” emphasized that all countries must seek peaceful resolution to all disputes in accordance with international law.”
The countries stopped short of condemning Russia, as Trudeau and United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson have done throughout the summit.
“I can assure you that the topic of standing up for Ukraine was much discussed,” Trudeau said at a press conference following the conclusion of the summit, referencing “strong language” in the communique.
Most Commonwealth Nations condemned Russia’s actions at a United Nations vote in March, but 10 abstained. Among them was India, whose Prime Minister Narendra Modi opted not to attend the Commonwealth summit and instead spoke virtually with the leaders of Russia, China, Brazil and South Africa.
Trudeau said Russian President Vladimir Putin has run a disinformation campaign and has even been “telling outright lies,” including blaming the food security crisis on Western sanctions against Russia.
He said food shortage stems from Russia’s illegal actions, including blockade at key ports, as well as the deliberate targeting of Ukrainian grain storage facilities through cruise missile strikes.
“I was very clear with our friends and partners around the table, and not just clear on Russia’s responsibility, but on how Canada and the West are stepping up,” Trudeau said.
Canada will be raising the growing threat of famine at the G7 in Schloss Elmau Germany, Joly said.
She said Canada was in “listening mode” at the Commonwealth meetings, where leaders of smaller nations were able to speak without the dominating presence of the United States, Russia and China.
“What is clear to us is that Russia is weaponizing food and putting a toll on many countries around the world, and putting 50 million lives at risk,” Joly told reporters Friday in Rwanda.
Trudeau had attempted to meet with the chair of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, for several days during the Commonwealth summit but the sit-down was repeatedly postponed and eventually cancelled.
Shortly after Trudeau arrived in Rwanda, the government announced Canada would dedicate a new ambassador to the African Union, which has suffered from the food shortages inflicted on the continent as a result of the warin Ukraine.
Both Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Putin have met with representatives of the African Union, with Russia blaming sanctions against its government for stopping the flow of grain.
At the conclusion of the Commonwealth summit, Trudeau announced $94 million in funding for various education initiatives and $120 million to support gender equality and women’s rights in Commonwealth countries.
Some of the other voices the prime minister has promised to centre at his international meetings, including the G7 summit,
belong to youth leaders who spoke at a Saturday-morning event focused on issues facing young people around the world.
Some of the delegates spoke about the devastating effects of climate change, particularly around remote island nations where infrastructure cannot withstand natural disasters and rebuilding efforts take years. The onslaught takes a toll on education and health services, one delegate told the forum.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 25, 2022.
New federal task force to review Canada’s immigration, passport delays – Global News
The federal government has created a special task force to help tackle the major delays with immigration applications and passport processing that have left Canadians frustrated.
In a statement announcing the new task force, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the federal government knows the delays are unacceptable, and will continue to do everything it can to improve the delivery of the services in an efficient and timely manner.
Trudeau said the new task force will help guide the government to better meet the changing needs of Canadians, and continue to provide them with the high-quality services they need and deserve.
Ten cabinet members will spearhead the new committee, which will review how services are delivered, and identify gaps and areas for improvement.
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The committee will be expected to make recommendations outlining short- and longer-term solutions that would reduce wait times, clear out backlogs, and improve the overall quality of services provided.
In addition, the task force will monitor external issues, such as labour shortages around the world, which contribute to travel delays at home and abroad.
© 2022 The Canadian Press
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