Connect with us


Canada Day schedule changes in Ottawa



As you begin to plan your party for Canada’s 153rd birthday on Wednesday, here’s a look at what’s open and closed across Ottawa and eastern Ontario.

Free transit

OC Transpo will be offering “no charge service” all day on Canada Day.

OC Transpo bus service and the Confederation Line will be free all day.

OC Transpo service

OC Transpo buses will be running on a Sunday schedule on Wednesday. Night service will begin at 11 p.m. on Routes 39, 45, 57, 61, 75 and 97.

The O-Train Line 1 (Confederation Line) will operate on a reduced weekday schedule, with increased evening service until 1 a.m.

O-Train Line 2 bus service will operate on a Saturday schedule, with increased service in the evening.

For more information, visit

COVID-19 facilities

The COVID-19 Assessment Centre at Brewer Arena will be closed on Wednesday.

The Moodie and Heron COVID-19 care clinics will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Garbage, recycling and green bin collection

The City of Ottawa says there will be no curbside green bin, garbage or recycling collection on Canada Day. Pick-up will take place on Thursday, July 2 and collection will be delayed by one day the remainder of the week.

Multi-residential garbage containers will be collected on the regular scheduled day. Multi-residential recycling, green bin and bulky-item collection will be delayed by one day for the remainder of the week.

The Trail Road Waste Facility will be open.

City of Ottawa services

Ottawa City Hall and all client service centres remain closed

All beaches and splash pads will be open, weather permitting

All municipal child care centres will be closed

All Ottawa Public Library branches offering curbside returns and pick-up services will be closed on July 1.

Malls and retail outlets

The Rideau Centre will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Canada Day

The ByWard Market will be open on July 1

Bayshore Shopping Centre, Carlingwood Shopping Centre, Place d’Orleans, St. Laurent Centre and the Tanger Outlets will be closed on Wednesday.

Businesses in the Glebe are allowed to open on Canada Day

Grocery stores

The Loblaws on Isabella Street will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The Loblaws on Rideau Street will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The Whole Foods at Lansdowne will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

All other grocery stores are required to close on Wednesday.

LCBO/Beer Store outlets

All LCBO outlets are closed on Canada Day

All Beer Store locations will be closed


Source link


Should I stay or go? Canadians ponder returning home as coronavirus cases spike in U.K. –



After Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sounded the alarm in March that it was time for Canadians abroad to “come home” as the coronavirus pandemic took hold, Megan Stewart found herself faced with a difficult decision.

While her loved ones were back home in Canada, it had always been her dream to live and work in London. Having arrived in the U.K. capital in November after spending hundreds of dollars to obtain a visa, the 29-year-old was desperate to stay.

Not long after making the decision to remain in the U.K., however, Stewart, who is from Midland, Ont., faced another hurdle in keeping her London dream alive. She became one of millions of people in the U.K. to be put on furlough during the pandemic.

Under the British government’s furlough scheme, she was receiving only 80 per cent of her salary at Go Ape, an outdoor adventure company, making it difficult to afford the high cost of living in the city without tapping into her savings.

“It wasn’t enough to pay my rent and that’s not even including my phone bill or food.” 

Despite the difficulties and pressure to return home, Stewart, who celebrated her 30th birthday alone in April under London’s lockdown, said: “I was stubborn enough to stay.” 

Staff work at an outdoor bar in London on Sept. 24, 2020, after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a range of new restrictions to combat the rise in coronavirus cases in England. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/The Associated Press)

While Stewart was able to return to work over the summer, the threat of another lockdown in London, where coronavirus cases are on the rise, has left her facing a decision shared by other Canadians living in Britain: should she stay put or think about returning home?

“I’m a bit worried…. I don’t want to lose out on all that money that I had to pay to get here, but I’m being realistic about it,” she said. “If we go into another lockdown and I don’t get furlough pay, I will more than likely have to leave and that absolutely devastates me.”

‘It’s been a bit of a rough deal’

Mark Sultana has heard many stories like Stewart’s during the coronavirus pandemic. He’s an entrepreneur born in Etobicoke, Ont., and now based in the U.K. who heads up Canadians in London, a social group for expats with more than 6,500 members. 

“I think that when the pandemic happened there were a lot of people stuck and not just Canadians.”

With as many as 95,000 Canadians estimated to have been living in the U.K. in  2019, according to data from Britain’s Office for National Statistics, it’s likely many of them have faced similar scenarios.

“There were a lot of people who paid money for visas who were not able to come over,” Sultana said. 

While the British and Canadian governments have made efforts to support expats living in the U.K., including offering visa extensions, not all visa holders are able to extend. In some cases, the same visa can only be applied for once. 

People wearing masks board a bus outside Waterloo station in London on Sept. 23, 2020. (Dominic Lipinski/The Associated Press)

For those who don’t have visa concerns, Sultana said, many are desperate to be reunited with their families, if even for a short time. However, it can be difficult to decide whether to risk the flight home during a pandemic and potentially end up stuck on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.

Even Sultana has had to grapple with that question. He cancelled plans to fly home to celebrate his mother’s 85th birthday early in the pandemic.

His mother has dementia, Sultana said, and it has been hard to be far from home as her condition has “declined so much” since the pandemic started. 

Now, he said, he feels he has “missed the window” to see her during better times. 

‘A really big decision’

For Torontonian Laura Watt, 31, being far from family during the pandemic has weighed heavily on her and her boyfriend, who is also Canadian.

Having made the move to London in July 2019, Watt said the couple “stuck it out” during the first coronavirus wave. 

Now, however, coronavirus cases are rising sharply in the U.K., with the country seeing its biggest surge since the pandemic began, with 7,143 cases reported Tuesday within a 24-hour time period. Watt and her boyfriend have been struggling with the decision to stay in London. 

“My family has pressured me to return home, making it a tough decision to be here,” Watt said. 

However, she said, staying put during a pandemic feels like a responsible decision, while returning home would be “a big commitment, especially when you’ve sort of established your life here and you have a full-time job and a relationship…. It’s a really big decision to make.”

‘I’ve struggled with the idea of staying here’

Jahan Kotowski, a 29-year-old from Calgary studying Spanish at Birkbeck, University of London, is determined to put off the decision of whether to return home for as long as she can. 

While she said she loves living in London, she has struggled to justify paying high international student fees to stay in a city that is unlikely to be fully open in the coming months. 

Kotowski works part-time as a model, but her visa only permits her to work a maximum of 20 hours a week, limiting her ability to make an income.

With the possibility of a second lockdown “and with the Christmas season coming, I’ve struggled with the idea of staying here,” Kotowski said.

“I do think if [the government] was like, ‘We’re going to do a six-month or even a two-month lockdown,’ I might have to move.”

‘It’s a good thing I stayed’ 

One Canadian in London with no plans of moving back to Canada any time soon is Natasia Kalajdziovski, a 32-year-old PhD student from Toronto.

For Kalajdziovski, the decision was effectively taken out of her hands in March when she contracted COVID-19.

Having lived in London “on and off” for more than a decade, the city had long felt as much like home for Kalajdziovski as her hometown. However, when the pandemic struck, she felt the urge to return to Canada to be closer to family. 

Natasia Kalajdziovski, a 32-year-old PhD student from Toronto, had been considering returning home from London when she started to experience coronavirus symptoms at the start of the pandemic. (Chantal Da Silva/CBC)

After debating whether to fly home after hearing Trudeau’s call for Canadians to make their way back, Kalajdziovski hesitated to book a flight.

“It’s a good thing I stayed, because the week I potentially would have flown home, I ended up becoming symptomatic for COVID.” 

What began as a small cough quickly turned into something more serious, with Kalajdziovski ending up in hospital, struggling to breathe. 

Months later, the 32-year-old said she still has residual symptoms, including severe headaches. The experience of surviving the virus not only took a physical toll, but also an emotional one, she said.

“Going through something like this really does make you question the idea of your own mortality and what that looks like, especially when you’re young.” 

Knowing what might have been had she boarded a flight home unknowingly carrying COVID-19, Kalajdziovski said that with coronavirus cases rising in the U.K. and Canada, “this time around, I’m staying put.”

A ‘weird uncertainty’ 

While many expats have made the decision to remain in London during the pandemic, some have returned home, uncertain of whether their future will lie in Canada or back in Britain.

Keith Wong, a 43-year-old working in advertising, said he decided to return to Toronto’s east end in March, concluding it would be better to be “half an hour away from my family than in another time zone.”

Initially, he planned to return to Britain in May, but as the months went on and the future remained uncertain, Wong kept pushing back his return date.

Eventually, he said, he hopes to return to London, where he has built a close-knit community of friends and has had to leave the majority of his possessions in storage. The questions he struggles with most are when to go back and for how long. 

“There’s just this weird uncertainty that’s sitting on top of all us,” he said. 

“I mean, do I come back? When do I come back? It turns into a big confusing thing no one knows the answers to.” 

Until answers do become clearer, Wong said, “I’m just torn between two places.”

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Source link

Continue Reading


COVID-19 rules were relaxed. Cases soared. How do we get them down again? –



Canada is experiencing numbers of COVID-19 cases not seen since the height of the pandemic in the spring. In some provinces, they are even higher. 

Ontario registered 700 new cases of coronavirus on Monday, the most on a single day since the outbreak began in late January.  

Quebec recorded more than 800 new daily cases twice this week, including 896 on Sunday, its highest daily increase since May. 

And both Alberta and B.C. are also seeing high daily numbers with case counts in the hundreds. 

The premiers of the country’s two biggest provinces blame people that they say are socializing too much and too closely, foregoing social distancing and their bubbles. 

The question is: what will it take to get people back on board?

Mixed messaging

There is evidence that people have relaxed when it comes to observing some public health guidelines. Some analysts blame fatigue with the rules — or the feeling that certain individuals believe they aren’t at risk of becoming sick. 

But behavioural and medical experts suggest it’s more complicated than that, attributing people’s change in behaviours since the height of the lockdown on confusing and inconsistent messaging from political or health officials — and a loosening of rules that came too early. 

“If they’re saying you can have larger gatherings, isn’t that saying there’s less of a risk?” said Susan Michie, a professor of health psychology and director of the Centre for Behaviour Change at UCL in London, England. “And if it’s less of a risk, then people will relax.”

“When we have restaurants and bars open, we telegraph to people that it is okay to be in a large gathering with no masks on as long as you’re in a restaurant,” infectious disease epidemiologist Colin Furness told CBC News. “And therefore why not in your living room? The mixed messaging is a real problem.” 

WATCH | Furness says rules need to be clear and consistent:

Infectious disease epidemiologist Colin Furness says restrictions need to be tougher, messaging clearer and specific areas targetted in order to control surging COVID-19 cases in Canada. 6:02

People want to follow rules

Michie said political officials’ approach to rule-breakers is key. Most important, she said: don’t play the blame game and threaten fines.

“If [certain people] are not adhering, understand why they’re not. What are the problems? Try and solve those problems. Enforcement should only be a very last resort.”

She said it’s usually a small minority who are not following the rules; and it’s often not because they don’t want to. 

“The data shows that often people do … intend to. But it’s either a problem of again being confused about what they are, or are not, meant to be doing or it’s a case of opportunity.” 

She advises governments to consult with representatives of the groups who are most often not adhering to the rules and work from the bottom up.

(CBC News)

Approach is key

“Target especially the groups that are most challenged in terms of adhering to restrictions and work with them to co-create strategies. Listen to them… understand … what are the real barriers?”

For example, she said, some people may not self-isolate because they have to go to work to put food on the table or because they may lose their job. They may need to care for someone outside their home. Or they may want to maintain a two metre distance from others while getting outdoors, but live in a crowded city where park space fills up fast.

Officials have to be aware there are real challenges, she said. “Don’t just say we’re all in this together. Show us we are.” 

Simon Bacon agrees the approach officials take is key. The professor of behavioural medicine at Concordia University is co-leading an ongoing study into Canadians’ adherence to pandemic measures, including handwashing, distancing and avoiding gatherings. 

He said the vast majority of Canadians are adhering to the rules. 

When they were first introduced in the spring, about 90 per cent of Canadians were following them “most of the time,” he said. The messaging from health and political officials was clear. 

The practice of handwashing and social distancing slipped to about 80 per cent through June and July. But in that same time frame, avoiding gatherings dropped to 53 per cent in June, as some restrictions were loosened, he said. 

Adherence to the main measures has since come back up, but Bacon said that is likely due to the end of summer, with reduced opportunities to “hang out,” rather than a concerted effort to stop gathering.

Young people gather at the Break Water Park, near Gord Edgar Downie Pier, without any physical distancing in Kingston, Ont., Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020. (Lars Hagberg/The Canadian Press)

Reinforcement of a positive

“A lot of the messaging that has come out of most governments is, ‘you need to do these behaviours so that … you keep people safe. You don’t kill granny,'” he said. 

“What’s more motivating for people is not that, but seeing people do well,” he said, observing that most Canadians are quite altruistic and concerned about the impact the virus is having on others. “So it’s not the absence of a negative. It’s the reinforcement of a positive.”

Kim Lavoie, co-lead on the iCare project and Canada Research Chair in behavioural medicine at the University of Quebec at Montreal, also advocates a positive approach to messaging.

“You’ve got to thank everybody for their sacrifices and how difficult it’s been. You need to acknowledge sort of all the good that people are doing,” she said.

That means reinforcement of good behaviour, less calling out the bad and fewer threats of consequences, she added. “You need to make sure … the people who are adhering keep adhering. We don’t want to lose them.”

Basic human behaviour

She said it comes down to understanding basic human behaviour — that people aren’t just going to do what they’re told. 

“The government needs to have a plan,” she said. “Share the plan and delineate very clearly what’s going to happen if we stick to the plan versus not,” while explaining how it will be made possible and how the population will be supported. 

Above all, say both Lavoie and Bacon, be consistent. 

Ontario Premier Doug Ford, right, sits with Quebec Premier Francois Legault as they drink beer ahead of the Ontario-Quebec Summit, in Toronto, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press)

“Here in Quebec … if you go into a store, you’ve got to wear a face mask. If you’re on a bus or on a train, you’ve got to wear a face mask. But if you’re a kid in a class of 30 other kids, it doesn’t matter,” said Bacon.

Quebec has not mandated mask-wearing in class. Students in grade 5 and up must wear them while moving in common areas, such as hallways, but once a student is inside the classroom, the mask rule does not apply. 

Bacon said such inconsistencies create disconnects and give people the opportunity to ignore the guidelines.

“You give people the opportunity to go, wow, you know what? Wearing a mask doesn’t align with my personal desires. And you’ve just told me that perhaps they’re not that important because a large segment of society doesn’t need to use them, Bacon said. “Guess what? I’m going to align with that.”

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Source link

Continue Reading


Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Sept. 30 –



The latest:

Canadians are set to receive renewed federal help amid the coronavirus pandemic as Parliament passed legislation authorizing new financial aid, while Ontario announced more than $500 million in new funding to protect long-term care. 

On early Wednesday morning, the federal government unanimously passed Bill C-4 — legislation authorizing new benefits for workers left jobless or underemployed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The vote, which was considered a confidence measure, earned the support of the more adversarial parties, the Bloc Quebecois and the Conservatives. It passed 306-0.

The bill is intended to replace the now-defunct $500-per-week Canada emergency response benefit (CERB), which came to an end last weekend after helping almost nine million Canadians weather the pandemic’s impact.

The bill introduces a series of new COVID-19 benefits for Canadians to ease their transition away from CERB.

Millions of CERB recipients will transition automatically to employment insurance (EI). Expanded eligibility rules will also mean more people can qualify and the changes also include three new replacement benefits.

WATCH | Ottawa to buy millions of rapid COVID-19 tests after approval:

Ottawa has signed an agreement to buy millions of rapid-test devices for COVID-19, but it hasn’t been approved by Health Canada. The technology promises to detect the virus in less than 15 minutes and many are pushing to speed up its approval. 1:56

September has been a record breaking month for Ottawa as the city ends the month with 64 more confirmed cases of COVID, adding to the more than 1,300 reported over the course of the month.

On Wednesday, 43 out of 64 new cases were from people under the age of 40, most of them in their 20s and 30s.

With more than 20 deaths linked to COVID-19 so far this month, Ottawa’s medical officer of health said the city is experiencing a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

WATCH | Ontario scrambles to contain 2nd round of COVID-19 outbreaks in nursing homes:

There are at least 46 confirmed outbreaks at Ontario long-term care homes as the province scrambles to prevent a second wave of COVID-19 from getting out of control. But after almost 1,900 deaths in long-term care homes since the pandemic began, some say the province should have been able to prevent these new outbreaks. 2:11

Meanwhile in Ontario, health authorities say they are expecting new daily cases of COVID-19 to reach 1,000 in the first half of October, as the province confirmed another 625 new infections on Wednesday.

According to Adalsteinn Brown, the dean of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, the number of new cases reported daily are doubling every 10 to 12 days. That means the province could see a “remarkably high surge” in the next coming weeks.

He said the growth in infections was initially limited to the 20-39 age group, however now, cases are climbing in every age group.

“Although we see a large amount of infections among younger people right now, this is likely starting to spill over into older age groups, which is where we see the most tragic and most challenging consequences for health and for the health-care system,” said Brown.

At Alberta’s Foothills Medical Centre, some patients are being transferred to another hospital because of the COVID-19 outbreaks at the Calgary facility earlier this month.

So far, four patients have died and 60 positive cases have been identified in patients, staff and visitors. The outbreak has also caused dozens of surgeries to be postponed.

“It’s somewhat horrifying, to be honest, to see those kinds of numbers,” said Dr. Stephanie Smith, the director of infection prevention and control at the University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton.

“It severely impacts the hospital’s ability to provide care, and certainly we’re seeing that across the province in that there’s services that are being diverted to other hospitals. So it’s very concerning.”

Signs point to the Manitoba Public Insurance building, now a COVID-19 testing site, in Winnipeg on Tuesday. (Lyzaville Sale/CBC)

Residents in Manitoba are being warned about another outbreak at a personal care home. 

The Calvary Place Personal Care Home in Winnipeg is moving to red, or critical, level on the province’s pandemic response system.

Unions representing front-line staff in the province says the increase in active coronavirus cases are contributing to the burnout of health-care workers.

In a seven-week period in August and September, 61 health-care workers tested positive, making up the bulk of the roughly 100 such cases over the past six months, according to COVID-19 surveillance data from the province.

The recent uptick is adding strain to the health-care sector as employees are being required to work more overtime due to staffing shortages, said the Manitoba Nurses’ Union and the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

On Wednesday, 40 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Manitoba, bringing the total number of active cases to 599.

According to a provincial news release, more than three-quarters of the new cases — 31 — are in the Winnipeg health region.

New cases were also announced in each of the other four health regions in the province.

There are four in the Southern Health region, two in the Prairie Mountain Health region, two in the Interlake-Eastern health region and one in the Northern Health region.

What’s happening in the rest of Canada

As of 8:19 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Canada had 158,758 confirmed or presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 134,971 of those as recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC’s reporting stood at 9,333.

As the number of active coronavirus cases continue to rise across the country, Health Canada regulators approved the ID NOW rapid COVID-19 testing device on Wednesday.

The Abbott Laboratories-backed molecular devices can be administered by trained professionals at places like pharmacies, without the need for a laboratory to determine if someone is infected with the virus.

The point of care devices could give results in 15 minutes and could help improve tests for communities across Canada dealing with a surge in coronavirus cases.

To date, the vast majority of tests have been done at public health clinics, with samples then sent to laboratories for analysis — a process that can take days.

A health-care worker walks along the long lineup for a COVID-19 test at an Ottawa testing site on Sept. 15. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

Now that cold season has started, it may be time to take some symptoms off the COVID-19 checklist, says New Brunswick’s chief medical officer of health. 

Dr. Jennifer Russell said her colleagues from across the country have talked about “streamlining” testing requirements to avoid a logjam of tests for people who end up simply having a cold. 

Several of the symptoms for COVID-19 overlap with those of the common cold, including a runny nose, sore throat and headache. Those are three of the 10 symptoms British Columbia removed last week. 

She said the system can handle the current situation, but if there’s a spike in COVID-19 cases in New Brunswick, then the checklist may have to be scaled back.  

Quebec is making sure people follow its newly strengthened public health rules, especially in the province’s red zones where COVID-19 cases are surging. 

Starting Wednesday, police will be issuing $1,000 fines to those who gather in private residences or protests without wearing a mask.

“Police officers will start by trying to disperse the gatherings, but if people don’t co-operate, fines can be given,” Premier François Legault said.

Police will be authorized to demand proof of residency and if residents refuse entry, officers will be able to obtain warrants faster through a new, virtual system that was established in collaboration with the Crown, he said.

“We had to give the police the means to intervene,” said Public Security Minister Geneviève Guilbault.

Normally the process for obtaining a warrant can take a day or two, but that won’t work when police want to break up parties that very same evening, Legault said.

In addition to banning all gatherings, even outside in public parks, Quebec also has made masks mandatory for those who wish to march or protest.

Quebec reported 838 new cases of COVID-19 but no deaths Wednesday. Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 74,288 confirmed cases and 5,834 people have died in the province. 

WATCH | Critical contact tracing backlog as COVID-19 cases rise in Ontario:

Ontario has put a lot of effort into ramping up its COVID-19 testing, but experts say contact tracing is lagging woefully behind and it may be too late to fix the problem. 2:01

Officials say they have had difficulty tracing those who have been in contact with a positive case, hampering efforts to isolate potentially contagious individuals.

On Tuesday, Health Minister Christian Dubé said he was in the process of finalizing details about adopting the federal app, COVID Alert, which informs users when they have had prolonged contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole and Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet are back on Parliament Hill Wednesday after self-isolating for two weeks due to positive COVID-19 tests.

Blanchet said his personal experience should serve as a warning to everyone to take public health guidance seriously.

“Some people go through it much more painfully than I did. I was very, very, very lucky. Some people die of that thing,” he told a news conference. 

“There is no absolute protection. There [are] only ways to reduce the probability of catching the thing and giving it to someone who might be more vulnerable to it.”

What’s happening around the world

According to Johns Hopkins University, the global total of confirmed coronavirus cases stands at more than 33.7 million. More than one million people have died, while over 23.4 million have recovered.

The United Nations chief says the COVID-19 pandemic has taken “an unprecedented toll,” especially on the economies of many developing countries, and the world has not responded with “the massive and urgent support those countries and communities need.”

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is seen on a screen during a video conference in Berlin on April 28. (Michael Kappeler/Pool/AFP/Getty Images)

Secretary General Antonio Guterres said that in the United States, Canada, Europe and most of the developed world, governments have adopted packages valued in double-digits of GDP to help tackle the coronavirus crisis and its impact.

“The problem is to mobilize the resources to allow the developing countries to be able to do the same,” he told a joint press conference with Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who have been jointly spearheading high-level meetings to try to raise the resources.

Meanwhile the number of deaths and people being hospitalized for COVID-19 in Britain are rising again. On Wednesday, there were 7,108 new infections reported and 71 virus-related deaths, the same number of deaths confirmed the day before.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged people on Wednesday to continue to social distance, wear masks, wash their hands and download the coronavirus app.

“I know that some people will think we should give up and let the virus take its course, despite the huge loss of life that would potentially entail,” Johnson said on Wednesday. “I profoundly disagree and I don’t think it’s what the British people want.”

WATCH | U.K.’s Boris Johnson vows to fight and defeat coronavirus:

Saying it’s vital to protect the U.K.’s health service, Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked Britons to follow the rules around COVID-19 and help defeat the coronavirus. 1:21

As the fight against the coronavirus continues, residents in Madrid are being barred from leaving except on essential travel, Spain’s government said on Wednesday.

The capital city, with more than three million people, and nine surrounding municipalities with at least 100,000 inhabitants each, are to see borders closed to outsiders for non-essential visits.

People would be allowed to cross boundaries for work, school, doctors’ visits or shopping, but not for leisure.

Other measures include the closure of bars and restaurants at 11 p.m., from a previous curfew of 1 a.m., as well as 
shutting parks and playgrounds. Social gatherings will be limited to six people.

Madrid has 735 cases per 100,000 people, one of the highest of any region in Europe and double Spain’s national rate.

South Korea reported 113 new cases of COVID-19, its first daily increase over 100 in five days, as the country entered a holiday break that officials fear would possibly worsen transmissions.

The numbers released by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency on Wednesday brought the caseload to 23,812, including 413 deaths.

Eighty-one of the new cases came from the Seoul metropolitan area, where health workers have struggled to stem transmissions linked to various sources, including churches, medical facilities, restaurants, schools and workers.

Indonesia on Wednesday reported 4,284 new coronavirus cases, taking the total number of infections to 287,008, data from the country’s COVID-19 task force showed.

Cleaners walk down a street as the city operates under lockdown in response to an outbreak of the coronavirus disease in Melbourne, Australia, on Sept. 3. (Erik Anderson/AAP Image/Reuters)

There were also 139 additional coronavirus-related deaths reported, taking the total number of fatalities to 10,740.

Russia has completed clinical trials of a second potential vaccine against COVID-19, developed by Siberia’s Vector Institute, the RIA news agency cited Russian consumer safety watchdog Rospotrebnadzor as saying on Wednesday.

The institute completed early-stage human trials, known as Phase II, earlier this month.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday pledged $100 million US to help developing countries access a COVID-19 vaccine as World Bank President David Malpass said “broad, rapid and affordable” access to vaccines “will be at the core of a resilient global economic recovery that lifts everyone.”

Merkel also called on “those who are still dithering” to commit to the global vaccine effort.

The Czech government will limit indoor gatherings to 10 people and outdoor ones to 20 as part of new measures taking effect for two weeks from Monday to combat a surge in coronavirus cases, Health Minister Roman Prymula said on Wednesday.

Sports matches will continue but without spectators, and theatres and cinemas can still operate, but concerts, musicals and operas will be banned, Prymula said.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Source link

Continue Reading