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



The latest:

Ontario and Quebec, the two provinces hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, both reported daily case counts of the respiratory illness beyond 2,000 on Sunday — with the latter setting a new single-day record — while Nunavut reported its first two COVID-19-related deaths.

Ontario which registered 2,316 more confirmed cases on Sunday, topping 2,000 cases for the sixth consecutive day  — is poised to impose a province-wide lockdown starting Christmas Eve, sources tell CBC News.

In Quebec, health officials reported a record 2,146 new cases on Sunday and 21 more deaths.

Nunavut‘s health authorities on Sunday confirmed the territory’s first-ever deaths from COVID-19. They said a resident of Arviat and another from Rankin Inlet died of complications related to COVID-19 on Saturday.

The new figures come a day after Canada surpassed the half-million mark in reported cases of COVID-19, and New Brunswick became the last province to launch its inoculation program.

The latest 100,000 cases were recorded across the country over just 15 days — the shortest growth period since the pandemic was declared in March.

It took six months for Canada to register its first 100,000 cases of the virus, another four to reach 200,000, less than a month to hit 300,000 and 18 days to hit 400,000.

What’s happening across Canada

As of 5:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, Canada’s COVID-19 case count stood at 507,795, with 76,859 of those cases considered active. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC’s reporting stood at 14,228.

In British Columbia, the RCMP say they have served tickets totalling $18,400 to representatives from three places of worship in Fraser Valley for violating public health orders.

Alberta announced 1,286 new COVID-19 cases and 10 additional deaths on Sunday.

A person wears a face mask while skating in Edmonton on Sunday. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press)

Saskatchewan reported 226 new infectionss and three new fatalities. The province also declared two new outbreaks at long-term care homes.

Manitoba registered 229 new cases and 13 more deaths. Meanwhile, the government said it is expanding the criteria for front-line health-care workers to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

New Brunswick‘s active caseload fell by four after the province reported no new infections and removed four previous cases from its tally — two due to false positives and the other two attributed to out-of-province cases.

Newfoundland and Labrador recorded two new cases on Sunday, but the province’s active caseload remains at 31 as two recoveries were also announced. 

Nova Scotia added two more cases. On Monday, restrictions are being eased or tightened in parts of the province.

The Northwest Territories says the government will foot the cost of self-isolation for residents returning from education or training programs outside the territory.

What’s happening around the world

As of Sunday, more than 76.5 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, with more than 43.1 million of those cases considered recovered or resolved, according to a COVID-19 tracking tool maintained by Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. The global death toll stood at more than 1.6 million.

In Europe, a number of countries have suspended travel to the U.K. after a new strain of the virus was discovered.

Countries including the Netherlands, Israel, Belgium, Austria, France and Italy said Sunday they would halt flights to the U.K. after the government imposed tough new coronavirus restrictions on large areas of southern England to curb what officials described as a fast-moving new strain of the virus.

WATCH | Multiple countries halt travel to and from the U.K.:

With a new strain of coronavirus sweeping across southern England, several EU countries have stopped travel to and from the U.K. 3:27

In Asia, South Korea has recorded more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases for the fifth consecutive day, with about 70 per cent of the new infections coming from the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area. 

The pace of the spread has already met government conditions for raising physical-distancing rules to their highest level, but officials have been reluctant to move forward with the measure out of worries for the economy.

A worker sprays disinfectant at a COVID-19 testing site in Seoul on Sunday. (Lee Jin-man/The Associated Press)

In the Americas, shipments of Moderna Inc.’s COVID-19 vaccine began leaving U.S. warehouses early on Sunday, heading for health-care facilities around the country in a push to distribute the nation’s second approved coronavirus vaccine.

Employees at distribution centres in the Memphis area of Tennessee and in Olive Branch, Miss., could be seen boxing up the vaccine. The first shots were expected to be administered starting as early as Monday, just three days after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized their rollout.

Boxes containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are prepared to be shipped at a distribution center in Olive Branch, Miss., on Sunday. (Paul Sancya/Reuters)

In Africa, the South African government has said it identified a new variant of the coronavirus that is driving a second wave of infections. The World Health Organization said it is working with researchers in the country to see if the variant is more transmissible and how it will affect future diagnosis, treatment and vaccine development.

Meanwhile, Israel and Germany have said they are restricting travel to and from the country over concerns about the new strain.

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Pfizer tells Canada it will not receive any Covid-19 vaccine doses next week – CNN



Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sought to reassure Canadians that vaccine deliveries would pick up again in a few weeks and that the overall goal, to have every willing Canadian vaccinated by September, would remain on track.
But it was Ontario’s Premier Doug Ford who bluntly voiced the frustration of many provincial leaders as Pfizer continues to cut its vaccine delivery schedule to Canada.
“We got to be on these guys like a blanket, I’d be outside that guy’s house. Every time he moved, I’d be saying, ‘Where’s our vaccines?’ Other people are getting them, the European Union is getting them, why not Canada? That’s my question to Pfizer, we need your support,” said Ford during a Tuesday news conference.
Canada’s supply of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine comes from the European allotment and not from nearby manufacturing facilities in the US, since the Trump administration made it clear vaccines would not be exported.
“There’s a plant, a Pfizer plant, six hours in Kalamazoo, Michigan, with the Americans,” Ford said. “My American friends help us out, we need help once again as we did with the PPE. You have a new President, no more excuses we need your support, and we look forward to your support and that’s a direct message to President (Joe) Biden, ‘help out your neighbor.'”
Ford made a direct plea to President-elect Joe Biden for a million vaccines for Canada.
The incoming Biden administration is unlikely to release vaccine doses for export in the short term as Biden transition officials have stated they are uncertain of the current supply of vaccines available in the US.
Canadian government officials made it clear Tuesday that the shortfall in deliveries from Pfizer would result in a “major reduction” in vaccinations in the coming weeks.
“There will be a considerable impact across all provinces,” said Major Gen. Dany Fortin, the Canadian commander in charge of the vaccine rollout, adding, “the overall impact over the next month is in the range of a 50% decrease of expected allocation.”
The pandemic curve in Canada is beginning to show signs of bending downward after weeks of lockdowns. But hospitalizations remain high, and officials say the overall death toll during this second wave could eventually be more dire than the first.
“We’re all contributing to reducing the burden on the health system, supporting our health care workforce in the difficult task of planning and implementing mass vaccine rollout and giving vaccines a longer runway to begin to work as access expands to reach all Canadians,” said Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer during a Tuesday news conference.
Tam added on average, about 140 virus-related deaths are reported in Canada each day.

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COVID-19: No Moderna or Pfizer vaccine deliveries for B.C. in last week of January – Vancouver Sun



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The provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, said that 40 per cent of B.C.’s Moderna doses had been used so far. Moderna vaccine is stored at a higher temperature than Pfizer’s so is easier to deliver outside Metro Vancouver.

So far, 80 per cent of the roughly 92,000 doses delivered in B.C. have been from Pfizer and the rest from Moderna.

There were 465 cases of COVID-19 reported on Monday and 12 deaths.

There are 4,331 active cases, with 329 being treated in hospital, including 70 in intensive care.

There were no new outbreaks in health care facilities or in the community. An outbreak at The Emerald at Elim Village in Surrey is over with no deaths, leaving 58 active outbreaks in health care facilities.

B.C.’s provincial state of emergency was extended until Feb. 2.

There have been 693 tickets with fines issued, that include 548 for people refusing to comply with a directive, 119 for unlawful gatherings and 26 for violation of provincial health officer liquor rules.

Authorities have issued 85 tickets for people who breached the mandatory two-week quarantine for anyone entering B.C. from outside Canada.

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Pfizer to halt COVID vaccine deliveries to Canada next week, making worse already slow rollout – National Post



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Conservative health critic Michelle Rempel Garner said the Liberals had to come clean about the full details of the rollout, so Canadians could see how it stood up to scrutiny.

“When they say that every Canadian will have a dose of vaccine by September, what assumptions have they made on approval, timelines, and availability of other vaccine candidates and if those don’t come to pass what’s plan B?”

She said she wanted the government to succeed, so Canadians could get back to a normal life, but that clearly had not happened.

“I really don’t take any pleasure in saying that they haven’t delivered.”

According to the Bloomberg news service, as of Monday, Canada was 12th in the world on vaccines delivered on a per capita basis. Behind countries like Israel, the U.K. and the United States and the United Arab Emirates, as well as several small European countries.

Israel is the world leader so far having administered first doses to more than 25 per cent of its population primarily using the Pfizer vaccine. Several reports indicated the country had paid more for the vaccines than other countries. it also had agreed to share anonymized patient data from its health system with Pfizer.

The United Kingdom has approved the AstraZeneca vaccine and made it a major part of its rollout. The vaccine, which is not yet approved in either Canada or the United States, does not need to be kept frozen and is easier to distribute. Some countries, like the United Arab Emirates, that are ahead of Canada are using a vaccine from Sinopharm, a Chinese state company.

Trudeau was asked Tuesday why Canada hadn’t ordered more doses for the first quarter of the year. He said there were only so many doses available from the two approved candidates Pfizer and Moderna, before the vaccines were approved and manufacturing could ramp up.

“The challenge is, as of December 1, 2020, there were none of these vaccines being produced anywhere in the world for general use. They were all in testing and trials in the scientific community,” he said.

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