The Dutch health council advised the government Tuesday to begin giving COVID-19 vaccine booster shots to residents of nursing homes and everybody 60 and older, saying it was seeing indications that COVID-19 protection was waning among older people.
“To get ahead of an increase in serious illness, the council advises the health minister to start offering boosters now,” the council said. The government, which was set to reimpose some COVID-19 preventive measures later Tuesday, usually follows the health council’s advice.
Other European countries already have begun giving booster shots. France started giving boosters to people over 65 two months ago.
Just under 80 per cent of adults in the Netherlands are fully vaccinated. The government already has begun giving booster shots to people with severely compromised immune systems.
COVID-19 cases have been rising sharply for weeks in the Netherlands. The country’s public health institute reported Tuesday that infections rose 39 per cent compared to the week earlier and hospital admissions were up 31 per cent amid a weeks-long rise that began soon after the government ended most remaining lockdown restrictions in late September.
Infections among nursing home residents rose to the highest level since the start of February, the public health institute said.
The COVID-19 pandemic has killed more than 18,800 people in the Netherlands, according to the Johns Hopkins coronavirus tracker.
A week ago, neighbouring Belgium also ratcheted up its COVID-19 restrictions amid a spike in infections.
-From The Associated Press, last updated at 12:40 p.m. ET
What’s happening in Canada
What’s happening around the world
As of early Tuesday afternoon, more than 247.3 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University’s COVID-19 tracker. The reported global death toll stood at more than five million.
In the Americas, Brazil registered 98 new COVID-19 deaths on Monday, according to data released by the Health Ministry, the lowest daily number since April 2020.
The United States is rolling out Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines for children aged 5 to 11 this week, but most of the 15 million shots being shipped initially are unlikely to be available before next week, the White House said.
In the Middle East, the United Arab Emirates has approved for emergency use the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children aged 5-11, the health ministry said in a statement carried by state media.
In the Asia-Pacific region, Australia’s biggest city will lift more COVID-19 curbs for vaccinated residents ahead of schedule next week, while delaying freedoms it has promised for unvaccinated Sydneysiders as officials aim to boost inoculations. Vaccinated people in the harbour city of around five million will be allowed unlimited numbers of guests in their homes from Nov. 8. Pubs and clubs will also be able to accommodate more guests and reopen dance floors, in changes that were initially planned to come into force on Dec. 1.
In Africa, South Africa on Monday reported 106 new cases of COVID-19 and two additional deaths.
In Europe, Russia’s daily COVID-19 death toll rose to a record high of 1,178 on Tuesday amid a surge that has forced officials to re-impose a partial lockdown nationwide. The government coronavirus task force also reported 39,008 new infections in the last 24 hours, including 5,736 in Moscow.
Romania, meanwhile, reported a record daily number of 591 COVID-19 deaths amid a persistently low vaccination rate. Roughly 37 per cent of Romania’s adults have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, compared to the European Union average of 75 per cent. Within the 27-nation EU, only Bulgaria has a smaller share of its population vaccinated.
Romanian authorities said Tuesday that 541 of the 591 people who had died of COVID-19 since the day before were unvaccinated. A recent wave of coronavirus infections has overwhelmed the country’s ailing health-care system. The unfolding disaster prompted authorities to impose tighter restrictions starting last week. Vaccination certificates are required for many day-to-day activities.
-From Reuters, The Associated Press and CBC News, last updated at 12:45 p.m. ET
Designer Virgil Abloh remembered at Fashion Awards
Designers and celebrities paid tribute to Virgil Abloh at the Fashion Awards in London on Monday, where the late Louis Vuitton and Off-White creative force was honoured as a leader of change within the industry.
Abloh, the American-born son of Ghanaian immigrants, who became fashion’s highest-profile Black designer, died on Sunday https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/louis-vuitton-designer-virgil-abloh-dies-2021-11-28 following a two-year battle with a rare form of cancer.
The 41-year-old, who also worked as a DJ and visual artist, had been menswear artistic director at luxury label Louis Vuitton since March 2018.
“Genius, disruptor … (he) will be missed tremendously by all,” veteran designer Tommy Hilfiger said on the red carpet. “He inspired designers as well as the public.”
Designer and television personality Tan France called Abloh “incredible and a visionary … (who) has done the most beautiful work.”
Abloh, who founded label Off-White, was known for mixing streetwear with high-end suits and gowns while at Vuitton. His influences included graffiti art and hip hop.
“Everyone here is going to be talking about Virgil, everyone here has been impacted by his brilliance,” actor Gabrielle Union said.
At the awards, where Abloh’s photo was projected on stage, the designer was among 15 individuals and brands named leaders of change for their actions in the past year helping the environment, people and creativity.
Others on the list included Balenciaga designer Demna Gvasalia, Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele, and Kim Jones, artistic director for Fendi womenswear and couture as well as menswear designer at Dior. Jones was also named designer of the year at the awards.
Michele also won the trailblazer award, while Hilfiger received the outstanding achievement award.
“I’m absolutely grateful, appreciative, humbled by it, but happy to be here and happy to still keep the business rolling,” Hilfiger, 70, said.
Demi Moore, Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Dua Lipa were among the celebrity guests attending the event, a fundraiser for British Fashion Council charities.
(Reporting by Hanna Rantala and Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Karishma Singh)
Bank of Canada to work with Indigenous groups on reconciliation
The Bank of Canada will work with Indigenous groups to understand the wounds caused by decades of discrimination and determine how reconciliation can create a more inclusive and prosperous economy for all, Governor Tiff Macklem said on Monday.
Macklem, opening a symposium on Indigenous economies, said Canadians could work to correct some of the consequences of those “ugly periods.”
Ottawa forcibly removed thousands of Indigenous children from their communities and put them in residential schools in an effort to strip them of their language and culture, a practice that continues to scar families and individuals.
“The Bank of Canada will be working with a broad spectrum of Indigenous groups to set out what reconciliation means for what we do,” Macklem said.
“Together, we’ll define what reconciliation means for the work of the Bank of Canada — toward a more inclusive and prosperous economy for everyone,” he said.
Canada‘s Truth and Reconciliation Commission called the residential school system “cultural genocide” in 2015, as it set out 94 “calls to action” to try to restore Canada‘s relationship with its Indigenous people, including economic reconciliation.
“We can’t go back and change what’s happened. But we can try to correct some of the consequences,” said Macklem, adding that it is the central bank’s job to create conditions for opportunity for all Canadians.
“Taking concrete steps toward economic reconciliation is our responsibility too. And it’s incumbent upon us to take the time to do this well,” said Macklem.
(Reporting by Julie Gordon in Ottawa; Editing by Dan Grebler)
Canada’s Trans Mountain still ‘days away’ from restarting pipeline
Canada‘s Trans Mountain said on Monday it was “still days away” from restarting the key oil pipeline at a reduced capacity as heavy rains continue to impede restoration efforts.
The pipeline, owned by the Canadian government, ships 300,000 barrels a day of crude and refined products from Alberta to the Pacific Coast. It was temporarily shut down as heavy rains and flooding caused widespread disruption in parts of British Columbia.
The operator said assessments of the impacts from the latest storm are being undertaken with a focus on the Coldwater and Coquihalla regions.
Work was interrupted at some sites on Sunday due to high water accumulation or lack of access, the company added.
The company on Friday had said it was working toward restarting the oil pipeline at a reduced capacity this week.
(Reporting by Rithika Krishna in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel and Krishna Chandra Eluri)
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