Connect with us

News

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

Published

 on


The latest:

  • Canada could see 20,000 COVID-19 cases per day by end of year, new modelling shows.
  • Ontario premier to announce ‘tough’ new measures in COVID-19 hot spots today.
  • Quebec has outlined its guidelines for the holidays — see what the experts say here.
  • New restrictions on private gatherings take effect in Manitoba.
  • WHO advises against treating hospitalized COVID-19 patients with remdesivir.
  • Pfizer seeking emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine in U.S.
  • Have a coronavirus question or news tip for CBC News? Email us at COVID@cbc.ca.

New modelling released Friday morning shows Canada could see 20,000 COVID-19 cases per day by the end of the year if people maintain their current number of personal contacts. Meanwhile, Ontario is set to announce new public health restrictions in its hardest-hit areas.

On Thursday, CBC News saw the modelling charts prepared by the Public Health Agency of Canada, which also project a worse-case scenario of 60,000 a day by the end of December if Canadians increase their current level of contact with other people.

Conversely, limiting interactions to essential activities while maintaining physical distancing and adhering to other public health guidelines could bring that number to under 10,000 cases a day by that time, according to the modelling.

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam offered detailed projections on potential infections and deaths at 9 a.m. ET Friday.

Meanwhile, Ontario is expected to issue more stringent restrictions for its COVID-19 hot spots — Toronto, and Peel and York regions — as Premier Doug Ford says there are “difficult but necessary decisions to make.”

At a press conference on Thursday, the premier didn’t specify what those measures would be as they still needed to go before cabinet, saying only that they will have to be “tough” in the hardest-hit areas.

Dr. Lawrence Loh, Peel’s medical officer of health, said he thinks further closures and restrictions are warranted at this time to “reduce the number of contacts and interactions” occurring in the region.

WATCH | Further restrictions needed in Peel Region, says medical officer of health:

Dr. Lawrence Loh says “some sort of pause” is necessary for Peel Region to curb its daily growth in COVID-19 cases. 2:08

Ontario reported another 1,210 cases of COVID-19 and 28 more deaths on Thursday, with Toronto and Peel Region each seeing over 300 of those cases.

While the number of people in hospitals with COVID-19 fell by nine to 526, admissions to intensive care jumped considerably up to 146, an increase of 19, with 88 of those people on ventilators.


What’s happening across Canada

Canada’s COVID-19 case count — as of 7 a.m. ET Friday — stood at 315,753, with 52,194 of those considered active cases. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC’s reporting stood at 11,265.

In Atlantic Canada, New Brunswick has moved the Moncton health region back to the stricter orange phase due to the growing number of cases in that region.

The province reported four new cases on Thursday. Meanwhile, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador both reported one new case.

WATCH | Moncton region goes back to orange phase as cases rise:

Dr. Jennifer Russell announced Thursday that Zone 1, the Moncton region, will return to the orange phase of recovery 4:24

Quebec reported 1,207 new cases and 34 more deaths on Thursday, as Premier François Legault proposed a “moral contract” with residents in order to facilitate some holiday cheer.

Legault said residents can have small gatherings — with no more than 10 friends and family members — around Christmas if they voluntarily quarantine themselves for a week before and after.

Manitoba introduced new COVID-19 restrictions on Thursday that ban people from having anyone inside their home who doesn’t live there, with few exceptions, and businesses from selling non-essential items in stores.

The new measures were announced as the province reported 475 new cases, eight more deaths and a record high of 263 in hospital

WATCH | Manitoba tightens shopping restrictions as COVID-19 cases spike:

With cases still spiking, Manitoba has announced stiff new COVID-19 restrictions, including what officials call the toughest retail restrictions in Canada, meaning Manitobans will soon find it hard to buy anything not deemed essential. 2:27

Saskatchewan reported 98 new cases on Thursday, as health officials said they estimate that, at best, the province will nearly double its total number of cases over the next six months.

Alberta on Thursday saw a record single-day increase of 1,105 new cases, as well as eight more deaths.

British Columbia is bringing in wide-ranging new rules for controlling the spread of COVID-19, including mandatory masks in indoor public and retail spaces and restricting social gatherings to household members only for everyone across B.C.

The move came as the province recorded 538 new cases and one additional death on Thursday. There were 6,929 active cases of the virus and 217 patients in hospital — both record highs for the province.

In the North, Nunavut health officials reported four more cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the number of cases in the territory to 74. 

A two-week territory-wide lockdown is currently in effect in an effort to get a handle on the outbreak and avoid overwhelming Nunavut’s small, isolated health-care centres.

Yukon said it will “divorce” B.C. from its COVID-19 travel bubble as case counts rise in that province. A new case was confirmed in Whitehorse on Wednesday evening, which brought the territory’s case total since the start of the pandemic to 26.

Meanwhile, the Northwest Territories has renewed a state of emergency for Yellowknife to clear the way for an emergency warming shelter in light of capacity limitations at other facilities amid the COVID-19 pandemic.


What’s happening around the world

As of early Friday, there were more than 57 million reported cases of COVID-19 worldwide, with more than 36.6 million of those cases listed as recovered, according to a COVID-19 tracking tool maintained by Johns Hopkins University. The global death toll stood at more than 1.3 million.

In the Americas, California and Ohio ordered nightly curfews on social gatherings as the number of patients hospitalized in the United States jumped nearly 50 per cent in two weeks.

Mexico has registered 100,000 confirmed coronavirus deaths within days of passing one million infections. It is the fourth country to reach that death toll, after the U.S., Brazil and India.

Relatives visit the grave of a family member who died in August of COVID-19 in Mexico City this week. Mexico has surpassed 100,000 deaths from the virus. (Edgard Garrido/Reuters)

In Europe, Portugal’s parliament has voted by a comfortable margin to extend the country’s state of emergency by two weeks amid the pandemic. The state of emergency has allowed the government to impose nighttime and weekend curfews across most of the country.

Patriarch Irinej, the head of the Serbian Orthodox Church, has died after contracting the coronavirus. The patriarch was hospitalized with the virus early in November, soon after attending the funeral of the head of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro, Bishop Amfilohije, who also died from complications caused by the COVID-19 infection.

Ukraine said on Friday it hoped to receive eight million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine — enough vaccine for up to 20 per cent of its population — in the first half of next year, as it reported 14,575 new coronavirus infections, passing the previous day’s record of 13,357. The country has now recorded more than 598,000 cases, with more than 10,000 deaths.

In Asia-Pacific, Australia’s once hard-hit state of Victoria has gone three weeks without a new COVID-19 case for the first time since February. The state has also decided to close its border with neighbouring South Australia, which was in its second day of a six-day lockdown on Friday as it experiences a new spike in cases.

Sri Lankan officials announced that they will suspend all passenger trains for two days as COVID-19 cases surge in Colombo and its suburbs. The authorities have locked down many parts of the capital and its suburbs since last month when the virus surged.

Inmates stage a protest on the roof of the Welikada prison in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo on Wednesday to demand their early release from custody to avoid contracting the coronavirus. (Lakruwan Wanniarachchi/AFP/Getty Images)

India’s total number of coronavirus cases since the pandemic began has crossed nine million. While the country’s new daily cases have seen a steady decline for weeks now, authorities in the capital of New Delhi are fighting to head off nearly 7,500 new cases a day while ensuring that the flagging economy doesn’t capsize again.

South Korea’s prime minister has urged the public to avoid social gatherings and stay at home as much as possible as the country registered more than 300 new virus cases for a third consecutive day.

Hong Kong reported a spike in daily cases to 26, two days before an arrangement with Singapore to allow a limited number of passengers to fly both ways without having to go through quarantine kicks in.

In Africa, one player in the South Africa cricket squad has tested positive for the coronavirus ahead of a six-game limited-over series against England, and two others have also been isolated after being in close contact with him.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

News

Trudeau expects most Canadians could be vaccinated by September 2021 – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

Published

 on


Cassanda Szklarski, The Canadian Press


Published Friday, November 27, 2020 12:34PM EST


Last Updated Friday, November 27, 2020 1:32PM EST

Beset by ongoing questions about Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine strategy, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tried to assuage the public with assurances most Canadians could be inoculated by September 2021, with distribution led by a former NATO commander.

Trudeau faced a barrage of questions about when and how such a rollout would unfold at a morning press conference on Friday, acknowledging public anxiety amid alarming infection rates and hospitalizations that have already scuttled holiday hopes for much of the country.

But while promising vaccine news offered “light at the end of the tunnel,” Trudeau said “we must hold on a little longer.”

“What really matters is when we get across the finish line … The fact that the doctors highlighted that if all goes according to plan, we should be able to have the majority of Canadians vaccinated by next September, puts us in very good stead,” he said, offering the government’s most specific timeline yet.

“We’re going to continue to do everything we can to deliver for Canadians, listening to experts working with top people to make sure that we’re doing this right, and quickly and safely.”

Trudeau said Canada has turned to Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin to lead distribution and handle logistics that include cold storage requirements, data sharing, and reaching Indigenous communities. He insisted Ottawa was committed to working with the provinces and territories on securing safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines as quickly as possible.

That wasn’t good enough for Ontario Premier Doug Ford, who later Friday roasted Trudeau for failing to give provinces and territories specific information they need for a potential vaccine launch.

Ford said a conference call Trudeau held with premiers Thursday night was sorely lacking.

“I didn’t get the answer we wanted to hear, none of the premiers got the answer they wanted to hear,” said Ford, who appeared at a Friday press conference alongside the new head of the Ontario’s vaccine distribution task force, retired Gen. Rick Hillier.

“I can’t emphasize enough to the prime minister: The clock is ticking. We’re going to be hopefully getting these vaccines sometime – again, hopefully – in January. I asked him the three simple questions: When are we getting it? What type of vaccine are we getting? And how much of that vaccine are we getting? To have Gen. Hillier make a proper plan, we need to know.”

Ontario called on the federal government to immediately disclose its allocation plan, noting reports that other countries have already announced plans to receive doses.

U.S. officials have said 6.4 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine could reach some priority citizens within 24 hours of regulatory clearance, while Moderna’s vaccine could be available by the end of the year, although the general public likely wouldn’t get doses until the spring.

No matter when a vaccine arrives in Canada, Hillier said Ontario’s vaccine distribution plans would be ready on Dec. 31.

In Ottawa, Procurement Minister Anita Anand also faced questions over a precise delivery date but insisted she is in constant contact with suppliers to make sure they can be deployed as soon as they are approved for use.

“This is a complex process. This is an uncertain environment. But we are on top of it,” said Anand.

“I personally will make sure that we have vaccines in place in Canada when Health Canada has provided the regulatory approval.”

Trudeau‘s September timeline was echoed by deputy chief public health officer Dr. Howard Njoo, who had last week suggested the possibility of a fall goal line for vaccinating the majority of Canadians.

Njoo said Friday the Prime Minister’s prediction is “in the same ballpark” as previous rollout plans, and a good target to work towards.

But he cautioned there are still “a lot of unknowns.”

“Certainly we’ve always been sort of optimistic, cautiously optimistic, about what the vaccination rollout will look like,” said Njoo.

“Right now it’s a bit of a moving target. We have two vaccines which are very promising but they’re still in the process of going through the regulatory process. If all goes well, and they are approved, then they’re the first two out of the pipeline.”

The news follows more alarming daily COVID-19 case numbers from Ontario, which reported a record 1,855 new cases, and 20 more deaths on Friday.

Quebec reported 1,269 new COVID-19 infections and 38 more deaths linked to the virus, including nine that occurred in the past 24 hours.

Ottawa has finalized agreements with five vaccine makers and is in advanced negotiations with two more.

The deals would secure 194 million doses with the option to buy another 220 million, according to Public Services and Procurement Canada.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

News

'The clock is ticking': Ontario calls on federal government to provide clear timelines for COVID-19 vaccines – CTV Toronto

Published

 on


TORONTO —
Ontario Premier Doug Ford is calling on the federal government to provide a clear timeline on when the province will receive the first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, saying that is “impossible” to plan distribution without that critical information.

The premier made the comments on Friday afternoon alongside Health Minister Christine Elliott and retired Gen. Rick Hillier, the new head of the province’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution task force.

“Make no mistake, this will be a monumental effort,” Ford told reporters. “When you look at a province the size of Ontario, with as many variables as we’re facing, without proper planning or the proper information, this can be a logistical nightmare.”

“That’s why, as we continue planning, we need certainty from the federal government. We need to know which kind of vaccines we’ll be getting, because each vaccine will come with unique requirements and potential challenges. And we also need to know how many vaccines we will receive each week. We need a clear line of sight into the timelines of the shipments.”

Ford said it is “impossible” to plan distribution of the vaccine, including staffing and storage of doses, without that timeline and “the clock is ticking.”

“I asked (the prime minister) three simple questions. You know, when are we getting it, what type of vaccine are we getting, and how much of that vaccine are we getting,” he said. “To have General Hillier make a proper plan. We need to know.”

Doug Ford, Rick Hillier

The comments come hours after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau refused to provide a clear timeline for when Canadians will have access to a vaccine, saying only that he hopes to have more than half of Canadians vaccinated by September 2021.

“We have continued to work with the provinces on vaccine delivery and logistics since last spring,” Trudeau said.

“I can understand the eagerness with which people want to know, ‘When is this going to be over? When are we going to get the vaccines?’ What we can say is, we are working extremely hard to deliver as quickly and as safely as possible… if all goes according to plan, we should be able to have the majority of Canadians vaccinated by next September,” Trudeau said.

Elliott has previously said the province is likely to roll out the first doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccine between January and March of 2021, followed by a second batch from March until “about” July.

But since then the government has rolled back their vaccine rhetoric, saying that it is not clear if those targets will be achieved.

The COVID-19 vaccines have not yet been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, but they could receive the stamp of approval as early as two weeks from now.

Doug Ford and Rick Hillier

Hillier said that while questions remain, the COVID-19 vaccine distribution task force is working to be ready for the new year.

“Our mission is clear,” Hillier said while speaking publicly for the first time since being named head of the task force. “The team is being built. It is largely present and in place and they’re building on the work that’s been done.”

“I’m not an over-the-top optimist, I’m the pragmatic person, but we’re going to be ready on 31 December for what the people of Ontario will need from us.”

Ontario health officials reported a new single-day record of COVID-19 cases on Friday, logging 1,855 new infections and 20 more deaths.

The total number of lab-confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus now stands at 111,216, including deaths and recoveries.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

News

Top general to lead vaccine rollout, aims to immunize majority by September: PM – CTV News

Published

 on


Canada has tapped former NATO commander Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin to lead the national vaccine distribution effort, as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced his target of immunizing more than half of all Canadians by September, 2021.

“Canadians can expect that if all goes well, to have more than half of us vaccinated by next September,” said the prime minister, adding this “significant positive news” comes straight from Canada’s federal health experts.

“I can understand the eagerness with which people want to know, ‘When is this going to be over? When are we going to get the vaccines?’ What we can say is, we are working extremely hard to deliver as quickly and as safely as possible… if all goes according to plan, we should be able to have the majority of Canadians vaccinated by next September,” Trudeau said.

Trudeau also spoke more about the government’s vaccine strategy of procuring up to 414 million doses from seven different pharmaceutical companies — enough to vaccinate every person in this country more than a few times over. Because COVID-19 is a new disease and there are different approaches to tackling it, Canada wanted to keep its options open, he said.

“Some are going to work better than others, and some are going to be speed bumps along the way that cause extra challenges, and we knew that creating an array of opportunities for Canadians was one of the best ways of making sure that we would get through this the best possible way,” Trudeau said.

Asked what the biggest question on his mind is ahead of administering the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to a Canadian, Trudeau said it’s concerning safety.

“I think the question we all have is: is it going to be safe? Is it going to be effective? That’s what our scientists are looking at very, very carefully right now… There are jurisdictions and countries around the world that have banked everything on one or maybe two different vaccines… Whatever vaccines end up being the right ones to get through this pandemic, Canadians have a very good chance of having access to millions of doses of those,” Trudeau said.

Health Canada will need to evaluate each candidate before it can be administered to Canadians, and on Thursday that agency’s chief medical adviser said that the first COVID-19 vaccine approval could happen before Christmas, in line with expected approvals in the U.S. and Europe.

“We are expecting to make a final decision on the vaccines around the same time,” Dr. Supriya Sharma told reporters Thursday, during the first of what will be weekly public briefings on the status of procurement and rollout plans.

This means Canada could see first approvals in December, initial prioritized groups vaccinated between January and March, and expanding out to more Canadians over the following months.

“And then we’re going to have to figure out all of those shipments,” she said.

That’s when the military is expected to play a role.

TOP MILITARY GENERAL TAKES LEAD

As first reported by CTV News ahead of Trudeau’s Rideau Cottage address on Friday, Fortin will be in charge of overseeing what is set to be a massive logistics-heavy operation of delivering the vaccine.

Trudeau called it the “greatest mobilization effort Canada has seen since the Second World War.”

There are already Canadian Armed Forces military logistics teams working with the Public Health Agency of Canada on planning for the rollout of vaccines to millions of Canadians in the coming months. This work has quietly been underway for months but with positive vaccine trial news coming out in recent weeks, the country’s attention has been largely seized with assessing where Canada stands.

According to the military, there are currently 27 staff working out of the national public health agency, including operational planners, pharmacists, health-care administrators, engineers, and IT experts, with more expected to follow.

Known as the National Operations Centre, Fortin will head up the logistics and operations within the centre. He is being named Vice President Logistics and Operations at PHAC, and will be assisted by Brig.-Gen. Simon Bernard and Brig.-Gen. Krista Brodie with logistical planning and co-ordination.

“This will be the biggest immunization in the history of the country,” Trudeau said. “We must reach everyone who wants a vaccine, no matter where they live.”

Fortin most recently served as the Chief of Staff for the Canadian Joint Operations Command, but has also served as the commander of NATO’s Iraq mission between 2018-19. He graduated from the Royal Military College Saint-Jean in 1991, and has also spent time working for the U.S. Army and with the United Nations in Bosnia.

“The Canadian Armed Forces will assist on planning, including to meet challenges like cold storage requirements, data-sharing, and reaching Indigenous and rural communities,” Trudeau said.

[embedded content]

Further complicating the tall task of distributing millions of vials across the country, a number of the vaccine candidates being tested—including the Pfizer vaccine— require two doses and must be stored at very cold temperatures.

The government has begun procuring freezers that are able to stay cold enough to keep the vaccine supply stable, and the procurement process is underway for a contract tender to ship, fly, and drive doses to all regions of the country.

The military says it is helping “synchronize” vaccine deliveries, put in place “risk-mitigation tools” and conduct “a series of exercises” ahead of vaccines being administered.

Right now the military isn’t set to play a role in actually administering needles to the public, but Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam said if the provinces indicate they need assistance, it could be considered.

The prime minister spoke with provinces again Thursday evening about the COVID-19 response and said the federal government is offering the latest information it can, after frustration and confusion about timelines and plans bubbled over this week.

“We have continued to work with the provinces on vaccine delivery logistics, since last spring. We’ve been engaged, understanding that a vaccine was the way we were going to get through this pandemic,” Trudeau said.

‘TOUGHEST DAYS OF THIS PANDEMIC’

Noting that Ontario hit a new record for the highest number of COVID-19 cases reported in a single day on Friday, and Canadians from coast to coast are adjusting to new levels of restrictions in the face of the second wave, Trudeau said that Canada is in “some of the toughest days of this pandemic.” Trudeau restated that as the country waits for vaccines, the standard public health measures still need to be taken.

As Tam reported on Friday, Canada is now averaging 5,300 new daily cases a day, with continued “rapid growth,” in many parts of the country. She said Canada is on track to double the new daily case counts within a week or two if Canadians don’t limit their outings and interactions to those that are essential.

“We’re in this together, and the more we work as a team, the better we’ll all do,” said the prime minister on Friday.

With files from CTV News’ Michel Boyer and Solarina Ho

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending