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

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The latest:

  • Canadians who had allergic reaction to first vaccine dose can safely get second, advisory committee says.
  • The House of Commons vaccine rule puts O’Toole in an awkward spot.

Members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) will be deployed to Saskatchewan to help battle the province’s fourth wave of COVID-19.

The CAF said Saturday that up to six critical care nursing officers will be deployed to intensive care units in the province, and that it will “provide aeromedical transport” for patient transfers within and outside Saskatchewan.

“We are expecting to support the province until November 17, but are prepared to extend if necessary,” the CAF said.

On Friday, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair said on Twitter that the federal government approved “a request for federal assistance to support the people of Saskatchewan” and that “we will have more to say on the situation in Saskatchewan shortly.”

The province submitted its formal request for federal assistance last Monday, a spokesperson for Public Safety Canada told CBC News on Saturday, adding that work is to continue over the weekend to identify what resources are needed.

Earlier this month, eight CAF critical care nurses began work at an Edmonton hospital after the Alberta government also requested help.

Saskatchewan reported 231 new cases and five additional deaths on Saturday. Hospitalization are at 288, and 77 are in intensive care.

Starting early next week, up to three intensive care unit patients a day will transferred from Saskatchewan to hospitals in Ontario. As of Friday evening, seven have already been transferred.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority said Friday it may activate the next stage of its triage plan, as COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to overwhelm the health-care system.

WATCH | Sask. transfers more ICU patients out of province amid calls for restrictions: 

Sask. transfers more ICU patients out of province amid calls for restrictions

2 days ago

Saskatchewan has already sent six ICU patients to Ontario and more transfers are expected this weekend to try to ease the burden on hospitals. But doctors say COVID-19 restrictions are needed as the health-care system gets closer to collapse. 2:03

Derek Miller, the authority’s chief of emergency operations, said a committee made up of doctors and ethicists is set to prepare a formal recommendation to move to the second stage of triage.

The province has been operating under the first stage for several months, which involves cancelling surgeries to free up bed space and health-care workers to focus on COVID-19 cases. The second stage would involve doctors consulting with ethicists about who does and does not get life-saving care.

“It’s absolutely shocking, and there’s no other way to describe the direction Saskatchewan is headed,” Dr. Katharine Smart, president of the Canadian Medical Association, said from her home in Whitehorse.


What’s happening across Canada

A person has their COVID-19 vaccine information checked outside a bar in Vancouver on Friday. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)

  • Alta. officials look to dispel myth that vaccination lead to sexual dysfunction.
  • P.E.I. launches fund for organizations needing tablets to verify Vax Pass.
  • Need help setting up a vaccine passport? N.L. Public Libraries has you covered.
  • New rules for indoor gatherings take effect in the N.W.T.

What’s happening around the world

As of Saturday, more than 243.1 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to a case-tracker maintained by Johns Hopkins University. The reported global death toll stood at more than 4.9 million.

In Africa, Congo received 756,000 doses of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine, according to the Africa CDC.

In Europe, Austria’s chancellor has warned that unvaccinated people could face new lockdown restrictions if coronavirus case numbers continue to rise.

In Asia, Sri Lanka announced plans to offer booster shots to front-line workers and the elderly as the island nation gears up to ease restrictions further.

In the Americas, White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci says Americans can choose a COVID-19 booster shot that is different from their original inoculation but the recommendation is to stick with the vaccine they got first if it is available.

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U.S. to revoke terrorist designation for Colombia’s FARC, add breakaway groups

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The United States will revoke its designation of the Colombian group the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia as a foreign terrorist organization on Tuesday while designating two breakaway groups as such, a senior State Department official said on Friday.

A review of the terrorist listing – required every five years under U.S. law – found that the leftist organization known by the Spanish acronym FARC should no longer be listed, The official said.

But the two dissident groups that have formed out of FARC, La Segunda Marquetalia and FARC-EP, or People’s Army, would be designated as foreign terrorist organizations, the official said.

“It’s a realignment to address these current threats,” the official said. “The FARC that existed five years ago no longer exists.”

Founded in 1964, FARC was responsible for summary executions and kidnappings of thousands of people, including Americans.

On Tuesday, Reuters reported that the United States was preparing to remove FARC from the list five years after the group signed a peace agreement with Bogota.

The State Department notified the U.S. Congress on Tuesday of its planned delisting of FARC. The Colombian government was formally notified on Wednesday.

The government of Colombia did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The decision will allow U.S. government agencies like the U.S. Agency for International Development to work on peace implementation in parts of Colombia where demobilized FARC soldiers are located, the official said.

“This is a priority for the Colombian government in the implementation of the peace agreement,” the official said.

 

(Reporting by Daphne Psaledakis and Simon Lewis in Washington; Additional reporting by Oliver Griffin in Bogota; Editing by Mark Porter and Leslie Adler)

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Tunisian police say they shot, wounded extremist trying to attack them

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Tunisian police on Friday shot and wounded an extremist who sought to attack them with a knife and cleaver in the capital, authorities said.

The 31-year-old man, whose identity was not disclosed, shouted, “God is great. You are infidels,” as he ran toward police officers near the interior ministry, the ministry said in a statement.

Witnesses and local media said police shot the man in the leg and arrested him. The man, who was previously labelled an extremist by the government, was taken to hospital and is being investigated by an anti-terrorism unit, officials said.

Tunisian security forces have thwarted most militant plots in recent years and they have become more efficient at responding to those attacks that do occur, Western diplomats say.

The last major attacks in Tunisia took place in 2015 when militants killed scores of people in two separate assaults at a museum in Tunis and a beach resort in Sousse.

(Reporting by Tarek Amara; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky, Frances Kerry and Cynthia Osterman)

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At least 19 killed in bus crash in central Mexico

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At least 19 people were killed and 20 more injured on Friday when a passenger bus traveling on a highway in central Mexico crashed into a house, authorities said.

The brakes on the bus, which was heading to a local religious shrine in the state of Mexico, failed, according to local media reports. State authorities did not disclose the possible causes of the accident.

Assistant state interior secretary Ricardo de la Cruz Musalem said that the injured had been transferred to hospitals, including some by air.

The state Red Cross said 10 ambulances had rushed to the area.

 

(Reporting by Sharay Angulo; writing by Laura Gottesdiener)

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