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Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Friday –



The latest:

Manitoba is stepping up enforcement of COVID-19 restrictions as it tries to tamp down the spread of the novel virus, while Alberta’s top doctor is warning that more restrictions could be coming there unless the province sees case numbers “decline dramatically” in the days ahead.

Premier Brian Pallister on Thursday backed away from the idea of imposing a curfew in the Winnipeg area, saying the province will spend money to step up enforcement around existing restrictions first.

“There will be consequences for people when they put others in danger, when they put themselves in danger,” Pallister said at a Thursday briefing.

Pallister said that 277 more personnel, including fire safety inspectors, motor carrier enforcement officers and municipal bylaw officers will help make sure public health orders are followed. That brings the total number of enforcers to more than 3,000.

The number of people in hospital with COVID-19 in Manitoba has more than tripled in two weeks, from 42 on Oct. 22 to 153 on Nov. 5. (Bryce Hoye/CBC)

The province has seen an uptick in COVID-19 cases in recent days — health officials reported 427 new cases and four more deaths on Thursday — and hospitalization numbers have been climbing. 

In Alberta, Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw warned that more restrictions could be coming as the province reported a record high number of new cases.

“Unless our numbers decline dramatically in the next few days, we will have to consider additional measures,” she said. 

The province wasn’t able to provide an exact number of new cases Thursday because of technical issues, but the range provided was well over its previous one-day record of 622.

“I can tell you that about 800 new cases have been identified in the last 24 hours,” Hinshaw said, noting that there are nine hospitals in Alberta dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks.

Faced with mounting case numbers, the province is looking to hire more contact tracers to help existing staff. A spokesperson for Alberta Health Services said there are currently 800 people working with the contact tracing team, and AHS is looking to hire “approximately 380 additional staff” in the coming weeks.

British Columbia also saw a record high daily case number on Thursday as health officials reported 425 new cases of COVID-19.

WATCH | Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about COVID-19 in Fraser Health region:

Dr. Bonnie Henry says there are a number of factors, including a large number of essential workers and multigenerational families. 1:50

Most of the new cases reported by B.C. health officials were in the Fraser Health region, which covers an area east of Vancouver and includes communities like Burnaby and Surrey.

A statement from public health officials said there were 97 people hospitalized with COVID-19, including 24 in intensive care. 

What’s happening across Canada

As of 11:15 a.m. ET on Friday, provinces and territories in Canada had reported a cumulative total of 253,474 confirmed or presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 208,947 cases as recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC’s reporting stood at 10,420.

In Ontario, case numbers continued to rise a day after Premier Doug Ford’s government unveiled a much-anticipated budget after months of delay attributed to the global pandemic. 

On Friday, the province reported 1,003 cases of COVID-19 and 14 new deaths.

Provincial figures updated Friday put the number of people in hospital at 380, with 86 in intensive care.

Quebec on Friday reported 1,133 new cases of COVID-19 and 25 new deaths — including five in the last 24 hours. According to the data on the provincial dashboard, there were 539 people in hospital, with 77 in ICU.

Saskatchewan also reported a record high on Thursday, with 129 COVID-19 cases. According to health officials, many of the new cases were in Saskatoon and the area around Prince Albert.

In Atlantic Canada, New Brunswick reported two new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, as did Newfoundland and LabradorNova Scotia reported one new casePrince Edward Island has no active cases of the novel coronavirus.

Across the North, there were no new cases reported in Yukon, the Northwest Territories or Nunavut.

What’s happening around the world

Soldiers from the Yorkshire Regiment prepare a mass COVID-19 testing site in Liverpool, England. The government is piloting loop mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) coronavirus testing technology, offering all Liverpool residents quick-result tests to identify who has COVID-19 and asking them to isolate. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

As of Friday morning, more than 48.8 million of cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, with more than 32.2 million of those listed as recovered, according to a coronavirus tracking tool maintained by Johns Hopkins University. The global death toll stood at more than 1.2 million, the U.S.-based university reported.

The World Health Organization is looking at biosecurity around mink farms in countries across the world to prevent further “spillover events” after Denmark ordered a national mink cull because of an outbreak of coronavirus infections in the animals.

In the Americas, the U.S. has been dealing with a surge in cases, reporting more than 100,000 new daily cases two days in a row, according to numbers reported by the New York Times.

The American job market showed a burst of strength in October, with employers adding 638,000 jobs and the unemployment rate tumbling to 6.9 per cent. Still, the pace of hiring isn’t enough to rapidly soak up the millions of Americans who were thrown out of work by the pandemic recession.

It’s far from clear that employers can maintain — let alone increase — their pace of hiring. The job market and the overall economy are under intensified pressure from the accelerating pandemic.

On Thursday, the country broke another record in the seven-day rolling average for new cases, hitting nearly 90,000. Daily new cases were also on track for another day above 100,000, with surging numbers reported all around the country, including a combined nearly 25,000 in Texas, Illinois and Florida.

A shopper wearing a face mask walks by the Christmas decorations at The Grove outdoor shopping centre in Los Angeles on Thursday. COVID-19 case numbers are on the rise in the U.S. (Valerie Macon/AFP/Getty Images)

Latin American countries, including those that have brought down coronavirus transmission rates, should take heed of the second wave hitting much of Europe, a Pan American Health Organization official said.

In Europe, Germany’s health minister has warned of hard times ahead unless the country can “break” the rising trajectory of coronavirus cases. Jens Spahn told lawmakers in parliament on Friday that “the situation is serious,” noting that the number of COVID-19 patients being treated in the country’s intensive care units has doubled in the last 10 days.

“As of today, the health system can cope with this,” he said. “But a doubling every 10 days is something the best health system in the world can’t cope with in the long term.”

A woman buys a pack of face masks from the seller at a shop in Stuttgart, southern Germany on Thursday. Germans are living with a new round of shutdowns for the cultural, leisure as well as food and drink sectors, in a bid to halt a surge in new coronavirus infections. (Thomas Kienze/AFP/Getty Images)

Germany’s disease control agency reported a new record of more than 21,500 confirmed infections in the country in the past day, and 166 further deaths.

Russia’s daily number of new coronavirus infections topped 20,000 Friday, setting a new record since the beginning of the pandemic. Russia’s tally of confirmed coronavirus cases — currently the fourth largest in the world — has exceeded 1.7 million following a quick spread of contagion since September. The government’s coronavirus task force has reported 29,887 deaths since March.

Despite new daily records, authorities insist there is no need to impose a second lockdown or shut down businesses nationwide. They argue that the health-care system is capable of handling a surge in infections. Russian media, however, have reported on overwhelmed hospitals, drug shortages and inundated medical workers in some regions, indicating that the health-care system is under significant strain.

Austria warned that all its COVID-19 intensive care beds could be full within two weeks because of the “much stronger, more serious” second wave of infections.

Italian taxi drivers and co-operative taxi workers demonstrate in Rome on Friday as part of a national strike against the government’s restriction measures taken to curb the spread of COVID-19. (Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty Images)

Oslo has shut down restaurants, cafés, bars, gyms, cinemas and theatres to help curb the coronavirus. On Friday, officials in the Norwegian capital introduced what they called a “social closure of Oslo.”

Mayor Raymond Johansen said that to bring down the infection rates, “we must shut down where people gather.” However, schools will remain open.

Slovenian police said they detained 10 people following violent protests in the capital Ljubljana against lockdown measures designed to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

In the Asia-Pacific region, South Korea has alerted about 1,000 people who attended the memorial of the late Samsung Group patriarch Lee Kun-hee last week to get tested for the coronavirus after one person at the event tested positive.

India has recorded 47,638 new cases of the coronavirus, taking its total to 8.4 million.

Deaths rose by 670 in the last 24 hours, driving total fatalities to 124,985 on Friday, the health ministry data showed. India has the world’s second-highest caseload behind the United States. Even though the country has seen a steady dip in cases since mid-September, its capital is witnessing a surge in infections.

Health authorities in Thailand on Friday announced the country’s 60th death from COVID-19, a 66-year-old Thai man who was diagnosed with coronavirus after he returned from the United Kingdom. It was Thailand’s first coronvirus death since mid-September.

The U.S. mission in Geneva urged World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Friday to invite Taiwan to a major meeting the body is hosting next week that is expected to focus on the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Africa, the coronavirus pandemic is having a knock-on effect on other vital health services as countries are forced to redirect already stretched resources, a regional head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday. Lockdowns imposed by countries to halt the spread of the virus in May, June and July contributed to a more than 50 per cent drop in services monitored by WHO.

In Nigeria, for example, more than 362,000 pregnant women missed their antenatal care between March and August.

Iran remained the hardest-hit country in the Middle East, according to the Johns Hopkins tally. The country had more than 663,000 reported cases, with more than 37,400 deaths recorded.

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Canada Energy Regulator allows resumption of Trans Mountain oil project



The Canada Energy Regulator (CER) has issued a notice allowing Trans Mountain Corp to resume work on its Trans Mountain Expansion (TMX) oil pipeline project.

The company was ordered in April to halt work on a section of the project in Burnaby, British Columbia, for four months to protect hummingbird nests.

The C$12.6 billion ($10.17 billion) TMX project will nearly triple capacity of the pipeline, which runs from Edmonton in Alberta to the coast of British Columbia, to ship 890,000 barrels per day of crude and refined products when completed late 2022.

(Reporting by Arpan Varghese in Bengaluru; Editing by David Goodman)

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Senate vote opens way for single event betting



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Canada’s Senate on Tuesday passed a bill that will open the way to legalize betting on single games or sporting events, which is currently illegal except for on horse racing.

The vote sent gambling shares higher as it is seen helping them win back customers from offshore websites and U.S. casinos.

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Trudeau nominates first judge of colour to sit on Supreme Court



Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday made history by nominating the first judge of color to sit on the country’s Supreme Court, which has only ever had white justices in its 146-year existence.

Mahmud Jamal, who has been a judge on Ontario‘s court of appeal since 2019, trained as a lawyer and appeared before the Supreme Court in 35 appeals addressing a range of civil, constitutional, criminal and regulatory issues.

“He’ll be a valuable asset to the Supreme Court – and that’s why, today, I’m announcing his historic nomination to our country’s highest court,” Trudeau said on Twitter.

Trudeau has frequently said there is a need to address systemic racism in Canada.

Jamal, born in Nairobi in 1967, emigrated with his family to Britain in 1969 where he said he was “taunted and harassed because of my name, religion, or the color of my skin.”

In 1981 the family moved to Canada, where his “experiences exposed me to some of the challenges and aspirations of immigrants, religious minorities, and racialized persons,” he said in a document submitted to support his candidacy.

Canada is a multicultural country, with more than 22% of the population comprised of minorities and another 5% aboriginal, according to the latest census.

“We know people are facing systemic discrimination, unconscious bias and anti-black racism every single day,” Trudeau said last year.

Jamal will replace Justice Rosalie Abella, who is due to retire from the nine-person court on July 1.


(Reporting by David Ljunggren in Ottawa; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

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