Canada will expand support programs to help people and businesses hit by the Omicron variant of COVID-19, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Wednesday, acknowledging that Canadians were fed up with the pandemic.
Theresa Tam, the country’s chief public health officer, urged Canadians to take precautions, saying in a news conference that “the situation can rapidly get out of hand anywhere.” The highly-contagious Omicron variant is spreading rapidly in Canada, prompting several of the 10 provinces to reimpose restrictions.
Trudeau, revealing that three of his staff and another three members of his security detail had tested positive for the virus, said he knew Canadians did not want to be facing another threat.
“None of us want to be here – we’re tired of COVID, we want it to just go away. But we know it’s not going to just go away unless we all do our part,” he said in the same briefing.
Canada has 2,360 confirmed Omicron cases to date. Daily new cases jumped to 11,300 on Tuesday.
“We’re especially worried about the potential impact of a sudden and strong surge on the healthcare system,” Tam said.
Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia, the three most populous Canadian provinces, have announced a range of restrictions to fight Omicron, which business associations warned would hit restaurants and bars particularly hard.
Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland told the briefing that Ottawa was temporarily expanding programs designed to cover the costs of wages and rent.
This expansion, which runs until Feb. 12, 2022, will help businesses that have seen their capacity cut by 50% or more because of measures introduced to curb COVID-19.
The total cost of the measures would be C$4 billion ($3.1 billion), which will be fully covered by a contingency fund the government announced earlier this month, Freeland said.
Ottawa said in October it would wind down much of its pandemic-related support in late October, citing the recovering economy and the success of vaccination efforts.
(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Paul Simao)
Nova Scotia reports 68 people in hospital because of COVID-19 – CBC.ca
Nova Scotia has reported that 68 people are in hospital because of COVID-19, including 10 in intensive care.
A news release from the province Sunday said the patients are receiving specialized care in a COVID-19 designated unit.
The average age of the patients admitted for COVID-19 is 65, the release states. The majority of the patients, 65, were admitted during the Omicron wave.
There are also two other groups currently in hospital related to the virus, according to the release.
- 60 people who were identified as positive upon arrival but were admitted for another medical reason, or were admitted for COVID-19 but no longer require specialized care
- 112 people who contracted COVID-19 after being admitted to hospital.
The abbreviated release did not provide the number of COVID-19 admissions and discharges.
Nova Scotia Health labs completed 3,711 tests on Saturday and 696 new cases have been reported.
There are 447 cases in the central health zone, 108 in the eastern zone, 105 in the western zone and 36 in the northern zone.
Less than than 10 per cent of Nova Scotians are unvaccinated, according to provincial statistics.
As of Friday’s update, unvaccinated Nova Scotians were about four times more likely to be hospitalized due to COVID-19 than someone with two doses of vaccine. That is based on average hospitalizations since the province started releasing the daily hospitalizations by vaccine status on Jan. 4.
Summary offence tickets
Halifax Regional Police issued 11 summary offence tickets Sunday for violations of health regulations.
Police responded to reports of a party at a Bayers Road residence shortly before 1 a.m. Sunday.
Tickets were issued to 11 occupants for failing to comply with provisions of the Health Protection Act.
The tickets carry a fine of $2,422.
Atlantic Canada case numbers
- Newfoundland and Labrador reported one death and 384 new cases Sunday. There are 5,503 active cases and 12 hospitalizations.
- Prince Edward Island reported five hospitalizations Saturday. There were 309 new cases and 222 recoveries in Saturday’s report.
- New Brunswick reported four more deaths and 115 hospitalizations Sunday. The province has 5,265 active cases.
UK’s Johnson plans to scrap COVID-19 self-isolation law – The Telegraph
The United Kingdom is drawing up plans under which people will not be legally bound to self-isolate after catching COVID-19, The Telegraph reported on Sunday.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to permanently revoke emergency coronavirus laws as Britain’s COVID-19 cases continue to fall, the report said, adding official guidance would remain but would not result in fines or legal punishment if ignored.
The plans will be worked up over the coming weeks, with an announcement expected as early as the spring, the report said.
Last week, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said COVID-19 self-isolation in England will be cut to five days from seven if someone tests negative twice.
Johnson is also set to lift Plan B COVID-19 restrictions, introduced last month to slow the spread of the Omicron variant, according to an earlier Telegraph report.
(Reporting by Maria Ponnezhath in Bengaluru; Editing by Daniel Wallis)
'Choose increased antibodies over brand': Moderna appointments still being cancelled in London, Ont. area – CTV News London
Doctors and pharmacists continue to advocate for people to get the first available mRNA vaccine for their COVID-19 booster dose.
“We have had some feedback that appointments are being canceled because people are holding out for Pfizer,” says Dr. Joyce Lock, the medical officer of health for Southwestern Public Health (SWPH).
“I strongly strongly urge everyone, particularly those over the age of 50, to choose increased antibodies over brand,” she added.
Lock made those statements during her weekly briefing on Jan 12.
“Our immunity following our original two doses is decreasing over time,” says Lock. “Our bodies don’t care what brand they receive. They follow the science, not the manufacturer. Studies show that immunity shoots back up after the booster and it doesn’t matter which brand.”
This week, First Ave. Pharmacy in St. Thomas, Ont. took to Facebook saying it had openings due to people refusing Moderna as a booster dose.“We send out a mass email saying that there’s a shortage of Pfizer and we might have to offer them Moderna and some people would cancel their appointment online or they would call us and cancel their appointments,” says Minh Nguyen, pharmacist at First Ave. Pharmacy. “Both Moderna and Pfizer are mRNA vaccines and equally effective at preventing severe illness from COVID. So I would say get whatever mRNA vaccine you can.”
Sunday, the Metrolinx Go-VAXX bus returned to London, Ont. It was stationed in the parking lot at the new East Lions Community Centre on Brydges St.
They had some appointments booked, but we were even taking walk-ins with Pfizer being administered.
“I’ve had Pfizer for my first two shots and that’s what I preferred,” says Michael Sean MacVoy, a truck driver getting his booster. “At this point, I didn’t care.”
Diane Crozman was in the same scenario, getting Pfizer a third time. “It doesn’t really make a difference to me,” she said. “They said the Moderna is going to work the same, but Pfizer that’s good because I’ve already got the other two Pfizer.”
Justin Seaward showed up for a walk-in booster, minutes after his wife went home from her booked appointment.
“I’ve had Pfizer, Moderna, then Pfizer now,” says Seaward. “It didn’t really make a difference much to me. I just wanted to be Vaxxed so I can feel safer for my family.”The Middlesex-London Paramedic Service (MLPS) had administered 2,194 doses of vaccine over the past six days since starting pop-up clinics in Middlesex County.
The percentage of people upset that Moderna was being administered is very low.
“It has happened a few times at the front door, but very rare,” says Miranda Bothwell, acting superintendent for special operations with MLPS.
They will be back on the road, continuing their pop-up clinic tour Monday in Lucan, Ont.
Nova Scotia reports 68 people in hospital because of COVID-19 – CBC.ca
Western scientists study meteorite made famous after crashing into B.C. woman's bedroom – CBC.ca
N.Korea fires two ballistic missiles from Pyongyang airport, S.Korea says
Silver investment demand jumped 12% in 2019
Europe kicks off vaccination programs | All media content | DW | 27.12.2020 – Deutsche Welle
Iran anticipates renewed protests amid social media shutdown
News4 hours ago
Back to school in 4 provinces as Omicron spreads – CTV News
Health18 hours ago
Another COVID outbreak at BGH – Brantford Expositor
News10 hours ago
Omicron: 'Let it rip' not the solution, experts say – CTV News
Tech19 hours ago
5 Year Old Game Also Named Wordle Rides The Wave, Donates Profits To Charity – TheGamer
Business10 hours ago
UK government to cut funding for BBC – Mail on Sunday report
Science3 hours ago
Roberta Bondar flew into space 30 years ago and never saw Earth the same after that – CBC.ca
News24 hours ago
Hundreds of U.S.-bound migrants in caravan stuck at Guatemala border
Tech24 hours ago
Microsoft says it observed destructive malware in systems belonging to several Ukraine govt agencies