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Canada shatters record for new coronavirus cases as new travel rules are announced – Global News

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Another 7,471 cases of the novel coronavirus have been detected in Canada, marking the highest single-day increase since the pandemic began.

The new cases bring the country’s total number of infections to 572,525.

More than 8,000 new cases were reported on December 26, however, several provinces reported cases detected over 48 hours, because of the Christmas holiday.

Provincial health authorities also confirmed 94 more people have died, pushing Canada’s death toll to 15,472.

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484,583″ readability=”37.880794701987″>However, since the pandemic started, 484,583 people have recovered from COVID-19 infections, and 18,332,176 tests for the virus have been administered.

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Canada to require all arriving air passengers to show negative COVID-19 test

The new cases and deaths come as the federal government announced Canada will now require all air passengers to obtain a negative COVID-19 test three days before arriving in the country.

The new rules are expected to come into effect in the next few days.

“We strongly advise against travel unless absolutely necessary,” Public Safety Minister Bill Blair told reporters at a news conference in Ottawa on Wednesday.

“If you must travel, understand that upon your return, you must follow guidelines and quarantine for 14 days,” he said. “It’s not just the right thing to do — it’s the law. And if you don’t, it can result in serious consequences.”

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Coronavirus: Airline passengers now required to show negative test results

In a series of tweets Wednesday afternoon, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam, said while Canadians can be “hopeful heading into 2021 as vaccines are being administered, we must remember that until they are more widely available, following proven #PublicHealth measures is key to #SlowtheSpread.”

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Tam said the country remains on a “trajectory for resurgence” adding that COVID-19 infections rates “remain very high in many areas.”

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She said this means we must celebrate New Year’s Eve “differently and resolve to carry on with effective public health practices” in the new year.

Thousands of new cases in the provinces

In Ontario, a record 2,923 new cases of the virus were detected, and provincial health authorities said another 19 people have died.

To date, Ontario has seen 178,831 infections and 4,474 fatalities related to COVID-19. 

Meanwhile, in Quebec, 2,511 new cases were detected, marking the highest single-day increase since the pandemic began.

The new cases bring the province’s total case load to 199,822. Forty-one more fatalities mean a total of 8,165 people have died in Quebec after testing positive for the virus.

Read more:
Could Moderna be authorized as a one-shot vaccine? Here’s what we know

Saskatchewan reported 138 new cases of the coronavirus, and three more deaths.

So far, the province has seen 15,160 infections and fatalities.

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Health officials in Manitoba said 130 new cases have been detected, and two more people have died, bringing the total number of infections and fatalities to 24513 and 661 respectively. 

Four new cases were detected in Atlantic Canada on Wednesday.

Nova Scotia added three new cases, while New Brunswick saw one new infection, bringing the total number of cases in the provinces to 1,483 and 946 respectively.


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Coronavirus: Airline passengers now required to show negative test results

Newfoundland and Labrador did not report any new infections, meaning its case load remained at 390.

Prince Edward Island did not release any new COVID-19 data on Wednesday, however the latest numbers issued on Dec. 29 said the province has seen 96 cases of COVID-19, 90 of which are considered to be resolved.

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None of the Maritime provinces, or Newfoundland and Labrador reported any new fatalities associated with the virus on Wednesday.

Alberta added 1,287 new infections and health authorities confirmed 18 more deaths have occurred.

Since the pandemic began, the province has seen 100,428 cases and 1,046 people have died after falling ill. 

In British Columbia, 485 new cases were detected, five of which are considered epidemiologically-linked meaning they have not yet been confirmed by a laboratory.

Eleven new deaths mean 893 people have died in B.C. since the pandemic began.

The new cases bring the total confirmed number of infections to 50,843, along with an additional 457 epidemiologically-linked cases.

No new cases in the territories

The Yukon did not report any new cases or fatalities. To date, the territory has seen 60 cases — 59 of which are considered to be resolved — and one death related to COVID-19.

Read more:
Canada still awaiting data from AstraZeneca as U.K. approves new coronavirus vaccine

Nunavut did not report any new cases or deaths on Wednesday, either, meaning the territory’s case count and death toll remained at 266 and one, respectively.

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The Northwest Territories has not reported a new case of the novel coronavirus since Dec. 18.

To date, 24 people in the territory have contracted the virus, but all have since recovered.

Global deaths top 1.8 million

Since the virus was first detected in Wuhan, China late last year, it has infected 82,510,560 people around the world, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University.

By 7 p.m. ET, the virus had claimed 1,800,400 lives globally.


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Coronavirus: Canada hasn’t identified any cases of new coronavirus variant seen in U.K., Dr. Tam says


Coronavirus: Canada hasn’t identified any cases of new coronavirus variant seen in U.K., Dr. Tam says – Dec 22, 2020

The United States remained the viral epicentre with over 19.6 million confirmed cases and more than 341,300 deaths.

India has reported the second-highest number of infections, with over 10.2 million cases, and over 148,400 fatalities.

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Latest worldwide spread of the coronavirus

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Russia has tightened curbs in major cities as authorities blame the new Delta variant for spiking cases and deaths, while neighbouring Ukraine has registered its first two cases of the more infectious virus type.

DEATHS AND INFECTIONS

* Eikon users, see COVID-19: MacroVitals https://apac1.apps.cp.thomsonreuters.com/cms/?navid=1592404098 for a case tracker and summary of news

EUROPE

* The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has said the more contagious Delta variant, first identified in India, will represent 90% of all SARS-CoV-2 viruses circulating in the European Union by the end of August.

* Spain has vaccinated half of its 47 million population with at least one dose and nearly 32%, or over 15 million people, have been fully inoculated.

* The share of infections caused by the Delta variant of the coronavirus has doubled in Germany in a week and is likely to gain more traction over other variants.

* Greece will end the mandatory wearing of face masks outdoors and ease other remaining restrictions.

ASIA-PACIFIC

* Japan is suspending approval for companies to inoculate staff amid concerns that an increase in such applications will hamper smooth delivery of vaccines.

* Alcohol, high-fives and talking loudly will be banned for the reduced numbers of Olympic ticket holders allowed into venues.

* Australia’s largest city of Sydney reintroduced “soft touch” curbs to contain a widening outbreak of the Delta variant.

AMERICAS

* A Brazilian Senate committee has formally approved a request to call representatives of Google, Facebook and Twitter to testify in an ongoing probe into the government’s handling of the pandemic.

* Canada will further relax border restrictions in the weeks to come as long as the science supports such a move, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said.

* Federal authorities have seized at U.S. airports unauthorised versions of remdesivir destined for distribution in Mexico, the Wall Street Journal reported. [nL2N2O51U0]

MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

* South Africa’s health regulator said it had received documentation for China’s Sinopharm vaccine and will evaluate the data to assess the efficacy of the shot.

* Israel empowered health officials to quarantine anyone deemed to have been exposed to the especially infectious Delta variant.

* Bahrain will extend by three months a government support program for businesses hard hit by the pandemic.

MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS

* Rare cases of heart inflammation in adolescents and young adults are likely linked to vaccination with the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna shots, a group of doctors advising the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

* Vaccines made by AstraZeneca and the Pfizer-BioNTech alliance remain broadly effective against Delta and Kappa variants. [nL3N2O43IN]

* The University of Oxford said it was testing anti-parasitic drug ivermectin as a possible treatment for COVID-19.

ECONOMIC IMPACT

* Wall Street and global equity markets were broadly higher on Wednesday after reassurances from U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell that the central bank is not rushing to hike interest rates, while European stocks remained under pressure. [MKTS/GLOB]

* A period of high inflation in the United States may last longer than anticipated but should still ease over time as the economy settles back to normal, two U.S. Federal Reserve officials said.

* Euro zone business growth accelerated at its fastest pace in 15 years in June as the easing of lockdown measures unleashed pent-up demand and drove a boom in the dominant services sector but also led to soaring price pressures.

(Compiled by Ramakrishnan M. and Juliette Portala; Edited by Arun Koyyur)

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Canada’s M&A boom fuels hiring spree, higher pay

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Record-breaking dealmaking in Canada is encouraging investment banks to beef up staffing, but the increased demand for bankers is forcing some to pay up in unique ways to attract new hires.

Canadian mergers and acquisitions (M&A) year to date surged to a record $206.5 billion and IPOs hit an all-time high of $5.6 billion, according to Refinitiv, after the pandemic crushed dealmaking in the first three quarters of 2020.

HSBC, JPMorgan Chase & Co and National Bank of Canada are expanding their M&A teams.

“It continues to be an active market with lots of active discussions with clients going on as well, and so that has absolutely spurred on a need to fortify the ranks within the teams,” said Scott Lampard, head of global banking for HSBC Bank Canada.

HSBC plans to boost overall investment banking headcount by 20%-25%, mainly at the analyst level to support pitching and executing deals, Lampard said.

PENT-UP DEMAND

With the pace of transaction expected to continue at pace, banks are paying more to hire and retain existing teams, offering a range of new services, like sending in a consultant to create the ideal home office, recruiters say.

“We’ve been doing this for nearly 20 years and we’ve never seen a market like this,” said Bill Vlaad, CEO at recruitment firm Vlaad and Company. “Everybody is scrambling,”

“Many of the banks have increased base salaries quite dramatically, mostly in 2021,” he said, adding salaries had increased 20%-40% across M&A roles.

“Now if you want to attract, you have to put something else on the table.”

To poach talent, banks are adding signing bonuses, extra vacation days, healthcare increases, special programs for mental wellness and home office perks, all tailored to individual requests, Vlaad said.

TD Securities, Barclays, CIBC World Markets are the top M&A advisers year to date. All three declined to comment on hiring plans.

Of the top deals announced this year, Rogers Communications Inc’s C$20 billion ($16.2 billion) bid for Shaw Communications Inc and Canadian National’s bid $33.6 billion offer for Kansas City Southern are the two biggest.

Despite the pandemic, five of the top six Canadian banks paid an average of C$3.1 billion ($2.50 billion) in total bonuses last year, up from C$2.9 billion ($2.34 billion) in 2019, an analysis of filings by Reuters showed.

Headcount at National Bank Finance will be up by four or five people in M&A versus the same time last year, David Savard, head of M&A at the bank, told Reuters.

That put the team at 28 for the large-cap M&A team and 10 for the mid-market team, he said, adding both areas were “booming”.

“There seems to be some pent-up demand for entrepreneurial-led companies and private companies doing M&A coming out of COVID,” he said.

David Rawlings, CEO for JPMorgan Canada, agreed headcount would be likely higher in the near future.

“We think activity will continue to be strong and are currently looking to selectively hire with a particular focus on senior diverse candidates,” said Rawlings.

($1 = 1.2453 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by Maiya Keidan; Editing by Denny Thomas and Lisa Shumaker)

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French court overturns ruling saying sale of cannabidiol is illegal

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France’s highest appeals court on Wednesday overturned a ruling that stores in the country can’t legally sell cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychotic compound related to cannabis that is being researched for a variety of medical applications.

Based on the free trade of goods within the European Union, the Cour de cassation ruled that judges could not find the sale of CBD in France illegal if it had been legally produced in a member state of the bloc.

The Court of Justice of the EU ruled last year that no national law can prohibit the sale of CBD legally produced in a member state, the French court also said.

“Without considering whether the substances seized had not been legally produced in another member state of the European Union, the court failed to provide a basis for its decision,” it said, referring to a ruling of a lower appeals court.

The Cour de cassation did not rule whether selling CBD in France was legal or not, and ordered a lower court to rule again on a case involving the owner of a shop selling CBD.

“We are happy”, CBD shop owner Mathieu Bensa, who was not involved in the case, told Reuters after the ruling.

“We did not understand why France was the last country in the European Union that had not given access to the sale of hemp plants”, he said.

Derived mainly from the hemp plant, CBD is increasingly used as a relaxant.

Cannabis stocks have attracted growing interest on world stock markets, particularly on the Toronto stock exchange after Canada became one of the first major economies to legalise the recreational use of marijuana.

Cannabis use is outlawed in France but the country has one of Europe’s highest consumption rates.

(Reporting by Matthieu Protard, Benoit Van Overstraeten and Ardee Napolitano; Editing by Mark Potter)

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