Countries across Europe are scrambling to accelerate coronavirus vaccinations and outpace the spread of the more infectious delta variant, in a high-stakes race to prevent hospital wards from filling up again with patients fighting for their lives.
The urgency coincides with Europe’s summer holiday months, with fair weather bringing more social gatherings and governments reluctant to clamp down on them. Physical distancing is commonly neglected, especially among the young, and some countries are scrapping the requirement to wear masks outdoors.
Incentives for people to get shots include free groceries, travel and entertainment vouchers, and prize drawings. The president of Cyprus even appealed to a sense of patriotism.
The risk of infection from the delta variant is “high to very high” for partially or unvaccinated communities, according to the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC), which monitors 30 countries on the continent. It estimates that by the end of August, the variant will account for 90 per cent of cases in the European Union.
“It is very important to progress with the vaccine rollout at a very high pace,” the ECDC warned.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is also concerned. The variant makes transmission growth “exponential,” according to Maria Van Kerkhove, its technical lead on COVID-19.
Daily new case numbers are already climbing sharply in countries like the United Kingdom, Portugal and Russia.
In some countries, the virus is spreading much faster among younger people. In Spain, the national 14-day case notification rate per 100,000 people rose to 152 on Friday. But for the 20-29 age group, it shot up to 449.
Those numbers have triggered alarm across the continent.
The Dutch government is extending its vaccination program to those aged 12-17 to help head off a feared new surge. Greece is offering young adults 150 euros ($219 Cdn) in credit after their first jab. Rome authorities are mulling the use of vans to vaccinate people at the beach. And Poland last week launched a lottery open only to adults who are fully vaccinated, with new cars among the prizes.
Portuguese authorities have extended the hours of vaccination centres, created new walk-in clinics, called up armed forces personnel to help run operations, and reduced the period between taking the two doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine from 12 weeks to eight weeks.
“We’re in a race against the clock,” Cabinet Minister Mariana Vieira da Silva said.
The emerging variants have shone a light on the unprecedented scale of the immunization programs. The ECDC says that in the countries it surveys, 61 per cent of people over 18 have had one shot and 40 per cent are completely vaccinated.
What’s happening across Canada
As of 3 p.m. ET on Saturday, Canada had reported 1,416,612 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 6,240 considered active. A CBC News tally of deaths stood at 26,348. More than 38 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered so far across the country.
In British Columbia, 78.5 per cent of eligible residents have been administered their first COVID-19 vaccine shot. About 33 per cent of those eligible have received a second dose.
In the Prairies, Saskatchewan logged 49 new COVID-19 cases and Manitoba added 48 and an additional death, according an update on its online dashboard.
Manitoba is no longer issuing coronavirus news releases on weekends, so no further details were included about the death. The dashboard’s death total is sometimes adjusted when deaths are removed due to data errors.
WATCH | Man. looks into why COVID-19 hit the health-care system so hard:
Ontario registered 209 new cases and nine additional deaths on Saturday.
Starting Monday at 8 a.m., residents 12 to 17 years old will be eligible to book an appointment to receive their second shot of Pfizer through the provincial booking system. They must wait 28 days between doses, as recommended by the Ontario health ministry.
In Quebec, operating hours of the Olympic Stadium vaccination clinic in Montreal will be extended on July 5 given the nearby screening of Game 4 of the Stanley Cup final, which will be played at the Bell Centre. People who wish to get vaccinated at the site can do so from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Monday.
In Atlantic Canada, New Brunswick saw no new cases; and Nova Scotia, which added eight infections on Saturday, says international travellers can start entering the province again on Monday. In Prince Edward Island, more than 82 per cent of eligible residents have been administered their first vaccine dose, with just under 24 per cent fully vaccinated.
In the North, Yukon health officials are now reducing the number of visitors to long-term care homes as the territory records 31 infections over the past two days. Nunavut reported 10 new infections; and in the Northwest Territories, mask requirements and appointments at many Yellowknife institutions — such as the public library and pools — will be lifted on Monday.
What’s happening around the world
As of Saturday, more than 183.1 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported around the world, according to data published by Johns Hopkins University in the United States. The reported global death toll stood at more than 3.9 million.
WATCH | Delta variant forces shutdowns around the world:
In Asia, Malaysia will ease a coronavirus lockdown in five states next week in a bid to allow a quicker reopening of its economy.
In Africa, South Africa registered more than 24,000 cases on Friday, its highest tally of new infections since the pandemic began.
In the Americas, U.S. President Joe Biden says he’s concerned lives will be unnecessarily lost to COVID-19 as unvaccinated people contract and transmit the coronavirus over the Fourth of July holiday.
Have questions about this story? We’re answering as many as we can in the comments.
What Canada did on Saturday at the 2020 Tokyo summer Olympic games – CTV News
Michael Woods came agonizingly close to opening Canada’s medal account on the first full day of competition at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Take a look at what Canada did on Saturday at the 2020 Tokyo summer Olympic games:
Men’s individual — Crispin Duenas, Toronto, finished 16th in the ranking round with a score of 665.
Mixed team — Canada (Stephanie Barrett, Mississauga, Ont., and Duenas) placed 17th overall in the ranking round with 1,295 points, just missing a berth in the main draw by two points.
Mixed doubles — Josephine Wu, Edmonton, and Joshua Hurlburt-Yu, Toronto, lost their group-stage match 2-0 to Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai of Thailand.
Women’s doubles — Rachel Honderich, Toronto, and Kristen Tsai, Burnaby, B.C., were defeated by Selena Piek and Cheryl Seinen of the Netherlands, 2-1.
Men’s doubles — Jason Ho-Shue, Markham, Ont., and Nyl Yakura, Pickering, Ont., lost 2-0 to Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia.
Women — Melissa Humana-Paredes, Toronto, and Sarah Pavan, Kitchener, Ont., won their opening group-stage match 2-0 (21-16, 21-14) over Katja Stam and Raisa Schoon of the Netherlands. Heather Bansley, Waterdown, Ont., and Brandie Wilkerson, Toronto, lost 2-1 (18-21, 21-15, 15-11) to the Chinese team of Fan Wang and Xinyi Xia.
Men’s welterweight (63-69 kg) — Wyatt Sanford of Kennetcook, N.S., lost 5-0 to Merven Clair, Mauritius, in the round of 32.
Men’s road race — Michael Woods, Ottawa, placed fifth overall in a time of 6:05:26, one minute, seven seconds behind the winner; Guillaume Boivin, Montreal, was 65th (6:21:46); while Hugo Houle of Ste-Perpetue, Que., 85th (6:25:16).
Individual — Chris von Martels, Ridgetown, Ont., and his horse, Eclips, were seventh in their qualifier group after the first day with a score of 68.059.
Team — Following the first day, Canada is ranked 11th with 2,191 points, with the other riders (Brittany Fraser-Beaulieu, Saint-Bruno, Que., and Lindsay Kellock, Toronto) to compete in the coming days.
Men’s individual sabre — Shaul Gordon of Richmond, B.C., lost 15-10 in the round-of-32 to Mojtaba Abedini of Iran.
Men — Keegan Pereira of Pickering, Ont., had the lone goal as Canada (0-1) lost 7-1 to Germany.
Men’s floor exercise — Rene Cournoyer, Repentigny, Que., placed 68th in qualifying with a score of 11.766, did not advance.
Men’s horizontal bar — Cournoyer, was 36th in qualifying (13.266), did not advance.
Men’s parallel bars — Cournoyer, 63rd (12.333), did not advance.
Men’s pommel horse — Cournoyer, 55th (12.800), did not advance.
Men’s rings — Cournoyer, 33rd (13.666), did not advance.
Men’s vault — Rene Cournoyer, 44th (13.866), did not advance,
Individual all-around — Cournoyer placed 55th overall (77.697), did not advance.
Women’s lightweight double sculls — Jennifer Casson, Kingston, Ont., and Jill Moffatt, Bethany, Ont., were second in their qualifying heat in seven minutes, 11.3 seconds to earn a berth in the semifinals.
Women’s pairs — Caileigh Filmer, Victoria, and Hillary Janssens, Cloverdale, B.C., won their heat (7:18.34) and advance to the semifinals.
Women’s fours — Canada (Stephanie Grauer, Vancouver; Nicole Hare, Calgary; Jennifer Martins, Toronto; Kristina Walker, Wolfe Island, Ont.) finished third in their race (6:40:07) and will need to advance through the repechage stage.
Women’s eights — Canada (Susanne Grainger, London, Ont.; Kasia Gruchalla-Wesierski, Calgary; Kristen Kit, St. Catharines, Ont.; Madison Mailey, Lions Bay, B.C.; Sydney Payne, Toronto; Andrea Proske, Langley, B.C.; Lisa Roman, Langley, B.C.; Christine Roper, London, Ont.; Avalon Wasteneys, Campbell River, B.C.) placed second in their qualifier (6:07.97) and will race in the repechage.
Men’s lightweight double sculls — Patrick Keane, Victoria, and Maxwell Lattimer, Delta, B.C., were third in their heat (6:27:54) and will go to the repechage.
Men’s pairs — Kai Langerfeld, North Vancouver, B.C., and Conlin McCabe, Brockville, Ont., finished third (6:40.99) and qualified for the semifinals.
Men’s fours — Canada (Jakub Buczek, Kitchener, Ont.; Will Crothers, Kingston, Ont.; Luke Gadsdon, Hamilton; Gavin Stone, Brampton, Ont.) were fifth in their heat (6:05.47) and will be in a repechage.
Women — Janine Beckie, Highlands Ranch, Colo., scored both goals as Canada downed Chile 2-1, to improve to a win and a draw.
Canada beat Australia 7-1 to improve to 2-1 in the group stage.
Women’s 100 butterfly — Margaret MacNeil of London, Ont., posted the fifth-best time in qualifying (56.55) to advance to the semifinals.
Women’s 400 individual medley — Tessa Cieplucha, Georgetown, Ont., was 14th in qualifying (4:44.54), did not advance; Sydney Pickrem, Halifax, did not start.
Women’s 4×100 freestyle relay — Canada (Penny Oleksiak and Kayla Sanchez, Toronto; Taylor Ruck, Kelowna, B.C.; Rebecca Smith, Red Deer, Alta.) posted the third-best time in qualifying (3:33.72) to earn a berth in the final.
Men’s 100 breastroke — Gabe Mastromatteo, Kenora, Ont., was 38th in qualifying (1:01.56), did not advance.
Mixed doubles — Mo Zhang, Richmond, B.C., and Eugene Wang, Toronto, lost in the round-of-16 to Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen of China, 4-1.
Women’s flyweight (49 kg) — Yvette Yong, Toronto, lost her round-of-16 match to T.K. Truong of Vietnam, 19-5.
Women’s singles — Leylah Annie Fernandez, Laval, Que., def. Dayana Yastremska, Ukraine, 6-3, 3-6, 6-0, in her opening match and will play Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic in the second round.
Women’s doubles — Gabriela Dabrowski, Ottawa, and Sharon Fichman, Toronto, were eliminated after losing their first-round match to Laura Pigossi and Luisa Stefani of Brazil, 7-6 (3), 6-4.
Men — Canada lost to Italy 3-2 (26-28, 18-25, 25-21, 25-18, 15-11) in its opening group stage match.
Monika Eggens of Pitt Meadows, B.C., scored three goals but Canada (0-1) lost to Australia, 6-5.
‘Shadow pandemic’ of femicide looms, experts warn as Canada prepares to reopen – Global News
After more than a year of quarantines, lockdowns and separations due to COVID-19, Canada is slowly reopening. But experts say another pandemic, of femicide and domestic violence, has been quietly raging across the country.
The proof is in the reports. Preliminary findings from the Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability’s (CFOJA) mid-year report found 92 women and girls were killed, mostly by men, between January and June of this year.
Femicide is the killing of a girl or woman because of their gender. Men were identified as the accused in 79 out of 92 killings in the first half of 2021.
Indigenous women were over-represented in this year’s report, making up 12 per cent of femicide victims, despite comprising just 5 per cent of Canada’s overall population.
Experts say the data is unsurprising.
“We, as in violence against women organizations, advocates and survivors, have been naming that there is a shadow pandemic happening and that is gender based violence,” says Farrah Khan, a gender justice advocate and manager of Ryerson University’s Office of Sexual Violence Support and Education.
Numbers have been steadily rising since the COVID pandemic began. CFOJA, which tracks femicides across the country, said 160 women and girls were victims of femicide last year, an uptick from the 118 who were killed in 2019.
Khan said the health crisis that has led to repeated lockdowns across the country has “set women up” for unhealthy relationships that could result in their deaths. Women, who were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, accounted for more than 35 per cent of job losses across the country and make up a majority of Canada’s minimum wage workers.
She says this could have prompted many women to move in with potentially abusive partners to save on costs that left them trapped and unable to leave when things began to escalate in an unsafe way. Things like child-care problems and food insecurity, also rampant during the pandemic, are also reasons women end up trapped with their abusers.
“The lockdown has increased the abusers’ access to them, has increased their ability to control their mobility, increased their ability to set strict rules about who they interact with,” she said of women during the pandemic, including those with abusive family members.
“I worry about the people also that are living through it right now that are not reaching out to services, are not feeling safe to do so because someone is monitoring their phone, somebody is monitoring their computer.”
Of the 160 women killed according to the report, researchers said 128 women and girls were killed by men. A majority of them were killed in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut accounting for 13.68 per cent and 5.21 per cent respectively.
Increase in domestic violence reported during lockdown
Victims of abuse could see more challenges in rural and remote areas, Khan says, because of isolation and the lack of mobility sometimes present in those communities.
“Already mobility is challenged. Already there’s no computer in the house that doesn’t have spyware on it,” Khan said, adding that “what’s needed in Toronto is different than what’s going to be needed in rural and remote areas.”
Numbers are also stacking up in more densely populated provinces.
In Ontario alone, femicide has increased by more than 84 per cent in the first half of 2021, according to the latest report from the Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses (OAITH).
“[When] we compare that to the prior year, there’s been an increase every single month,” Marlene Ham, executive director of OAITH, told Global News. “To have six months in a row show an increase in the number of femicides, that does surprise us, but it also really concerns us.”
From December 2019 through June 2020, the report found 19 confirmed femicides throughout the province. The next year, they reported 35.
Younger women between the ages of 18 and 35 accounted for a majority of this year’s femicides at 30 per cent, while younger men between 18 and 35 years accounted for 50 per cent of all perpetrators this year. Researchers found intimate partner cases made up 80 per cent of femicide cases in 2021.
In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ham said OAITH began noticing more femicides in Ontario when the province reopened, likely as a result of women trying to leave their abusers.
“When survivors leave or make a plan to leave, for some of them that can be the most dangerous time,” she said.
If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, resources are available. In case of an emergency, please call 911 for immediate assistance. For a more comprehensive list of resources, click here.
Assaulted Women’s Helpline
Toll-free TTY: 1-866-863-7868
Shelter Safe: Network of women’s shelters across Canada
Canadian Family Law Lawyers Network
Legal Aid Domestic Abuse Hotline
Women’s Multicultural Resource and Counselling Centre of Durham
Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic
Phone: 416-323-9149 ext. 234
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
Fauci says prospect of open border for fully vaccinated Canadians part of active U.S. talks – CBC.ca
U.S. President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci says the prospect of opening the U.S. border to fully vaccinated Canadians is part of an “active discussion” in the White House.
“I can tell you that the border situation and letting Canadians in who are fully vaccinated is an area of active discussion right now in the U.S. government,” he told CBC News Network’s Power & Politics in an exclusive Canadian interview.
“As a public health official, sometimes it’s difficult to figure out why policies haven’t changed.”
Earlier this week, the U.S. government issued a renewal order keeping the borders with Canada and Mexico closed until August 21.
According to U.S. Homeland Security officials, the move is part of the government’s efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 and the more contagious delta variant.
The delta variant has been wreaking havoc south of the border, where infections and hospitalizations are up in nearly all 50 states.
Fauci said the delta variant now accounts for 83 per cent of cases in the U.S. Those cases are concentrated in southern states, where vaccination rates are lower than the national average.
“In some of the southern states where the level of vaccination is very low and the level of the transmission of the virus is very high, we’re seeing a significant surge in cases,” Fauci said.
“This virus has an extraordinary capability of efficiently spreading from person to person.”
The White House has enlisted the help of celebrities and athletes to encourage Americans to get vaccinated, particularly in states led by Republican governors. In recent days, high-profile conservative figures such as Fox pundit Sean Hannity have encouraged Americans to get vaccinated.
Concerts, vaccines, bobbleheads, and even <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/ManCrushMonday?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#ManCrushMonday</a>: watch Olivia Rodrigo and Dr. Fauci read fan tweets. <a href=”https://t.co/NnwKwrkNWW”>pic.twitter.com/NnwKwrkNWW</a>
Fauci said the U.S. must increase its vaccination rate to end current outbreaks of COVID-19.
“We’re seeing some of them starting to come around, which is a really good thing, because we’ve got to realize and act on it, that the common enemy is the virus,” he told Power & Politics.
“The virus doesn’t have any idea who’s a Republican or a Democrat or an Independent.”
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