Connect with us


Northwest Territories COVID-19 case rate highest in Canada – CTV News



The Northwest Territories is grappling with an explosion of COVID-19 cases, as its residents prepare to gather with family and loved ones for Thanksgiving.

As of Friday, the territory is reporting 452 active cases, the most that it’s ever had since the start of the pandemic. According to’s tracker, N.W.T is seeing an average of 43.1 new cases per day based on the late seven days.

That works out to 960 new cases per million residents – an infection rate that is higher than any other jurisdiction in Canada. It’s also higher than every U.S. state other than Alaska.

Nearly two-thirds of the active cases are in the Yellowknife region, where the territory’s largest and capital city is located. The territorial government is urging residents of the Yellowknife region to hold virtual Thanksgiving celebrations and discouraging non-essential travel between Yellowknife and other communities.

“It’s not a good situation in the N.W.T., but we’re doing our best to contain it, and to hopefully get over the peak of this.” said Premier Caroline Cochrane in an interview with CTV News Channel on Friday.

The territory had largely been able to keep the virus at bay up until the fourth wave. Between May 22 and Aug. 15, the Northwest Territories had reported zero cases. Daily caseloads quickly ballooned from there, peaking at 66 on Oct. 7. In the last two weeks alone, there have been 529 new cases reported, representing more than a third of all COVID-19 cases in the territory

“I think that we’re a victim of our own success. As soon as COVID hit, we knew that our health-care infrastructure wasn’t up to par,” said Cochrane, noting that her territory was the first jurisdiction in Canada to implement border controls.

But as restrictions started to lift in August and September, Cochrane says that she knew that there was a potential for a surge in cases.

“It’s been a long year and a half, and the public was tired. We have a lot of family that lived down south and so we knew that once we opened up to allow people to travel, we would be looking at this potential,” she said.

“We didn’t ask for it, but we knew that we had to take care of the mental health of our residents as well. So, we’re doing the best we can with our outbreak at this point,” Cochrane added.

While around 70 per cent of COVID-19 patients in hospitals are unvaccinated, vaccinated people make up the other 30 per cent, Cochrane​ said. After the National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommended booster shots for immunocompromised people in September, the Northwest Territories began offering third doses to people over 75.

“We’ve been proactive. We’re now giving the third shot to people that are 75 and over, and we’ll be looking at watching that research as we go forward,” Cochrane said.

The Northwest Territories has received oxygen supplies from the federal government, as well as support from the military and the Canadian Red Cross. Alberta’s hospitals have also continued to treat N.W.T. residents, despite that province’s own challenges with COVID-19.

“I do have faith that the federal government will continue to be there, and I also have faith in all jurisdictions, all premiers across Canada. We’re all in this together and will continue to support each other,” Cochrane said.​

Adblock test (Why?)

Source link

Continue Reading


Overcoming scandal and PTSD, Japan’s Princess Mako finally marries college sweetheart



Japan‘s Princess Mako, the emperor’s niece, has married her commoner college sweetheart on Tuesday and left the royal family after a years-long engagement beset by scrutiny that has left the princess with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Mako and fiance Kei Komuro, both 30, announced their engagement four years ago, a move initially cheered by the country. But things soon turned sour as tabloids reported on a money scandal involving Komuro’s mother, prompting the press to turn on him. The marriage was postponed, and he left Japan for law studies in New York in 2018 only to return in September.

Their marriage consisted of an official from the Imperial Household Agency (IHA), which runs the family’s lives, submitting paperwork to a local office in the morning, foregoing the numerous rituals and ceremonies usual to royal weddings, including a reception.

Mako also refused to receive a one-off payment of about $1.3 million typically made to royal women who marry commoners and become ordinary citizens, in line with Japanese law.

Television footage showed Mako, wearing a pastel dress and pearls, saying goodbye to her parents and 26-year-old sister, Kako, at the entrance to their home. Though all wore masks in line with Japan’s coronavirus protocol, her mother could be seen blinking rapidly, as if to fight off tears.

Though Mako bowed formally to her parents, her sister grabbed her shoulders and the two shared a long embrace.

In the afternoon, Mako and her new husband will hold a news conference, which will also depart from custom. While royals typically answer pre-submitted questions at such events, the couple will make a brief statement and hand out written replies to the questions instead.

“Some of the questions took mistaken information as fact and upset the princess,” said officials at the IHA, according to NHK public television.

Komuro, dressed in a crisp dark suit and tie, bowed briefly to camera crews gathered outside his home as he left in the morning but said nothing. His casual demeanour on returning to Japan, including long hair tied back in a ponytail, had sent tabloids into a frenzy.


Just months after the two announced their engagement at a news conference where their smiles won the hearts of the nation, tabloids reported a financial dispute between Komuro’s mother and her former fiance, with the man claiming mother and son had not repaid a debt of about $35,000.

The scandal spread to mainstream media after the IHA failed to provide a clear explanation. In 2021, Komuro issued a 24-page statement on the matter and also said he would pay a settlement.

Public opinion polls show the Japanese are divided about the marriage, and there has been at least one protest.

Analysts say the problem is that the imperial family is so idealised that not the slightest hint of trouble with things such as money or politics should touch them.

The fact that Mako’s father and younger brother, Hisahito, are both in the line of succession after Emperor Naruhito, whose daughter is ineligible to inherit, makes the scandal particularly damaging, said Hideya Kawanishi, an associate professor of history at Nagoya University.

“Though it’s true they’ll both be private citizens, Mako’s younger brother will one day become emperor, so some people thought anybody with the problems he (Komuro) had shouldn’t be marrying her,” Kawanishi added.

The two will live in New York, though Mako will remain on her own in Tokyo for some time after the wedding to prepare for the move, including applying for the first passport of her life.

(Reporting by Elaine Lies; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa)

Continue Reading


EU countries splinter ahead of crisis talks on energy price spike



Divisions have deepened among European Union countries ahead of an emergency meeting of ministers on Tuesday on their response to a spike in energy prices, with some countries seeking a regulatory overhaul and others firmly opposed.

European gas prices have hit record highs in autumn and remained at lofty levels, prompting most EU countries to respond with emergency measures like price caps and subsidies to help trim consumer energy bills.

Countries are struggling to agree, however, on a longer term plan to cushion against fossil-fuel price swings, which Spain, France, the Czech Republic and Greece say warrant a bigger shake-up of the way EU energy markets work.

Ministers from those countries will make the case on Tuesday for proposals that include decoupling European electricity and gas prices, joint gas buying among countries to create emergency reserves, and, in the case of a few countries including Poland, delaying planned policies to address climate change.

In an indication of differences likely to emerge at the meeting, nine countries including Germany – Europe’s biggest economy and market for electricity – on Monday said they would not support EU electricity market reforms.

“This will not be a remedy to mitigate the current rising energy prices linked to fossil fuels markets,” the countries said in a joint statement.

The European Commission has asked regulators to analyse the design of Europe’s electricity market, but said there was no evidence that a different market structure would have fared better during the recent price jump.

“Any interventions on the market and the decoupling of [gas and power] pricing are off the table,” one EU diplomat said, adding there was “no appetite” among most countries for those measures.

Other proposals – such as countries forming joint gas reserves – would also not offer a quick fix and could take months to negotiate. A European Commission proposal to upgrade EU gas market regulation to make it greener, due in December, is seen as the earliest that such proposals would arrive.

With less than a week until the international COP26 climate change summit, the energy price spike has also stoked tensions between countries over the EU’s green policies, setting up a clash as they prepare to negotiate new proposals including higher tax rates for polluting fuels.

Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban has dismissed such plans as “utopian fantasy”, a stance at odds with other EU countries who say the price jump should trigger a faster switch to low-emission, locally produced renewable energy, to help reduce exposure to imported fossil fuel prices.


(Reporting by Kate Abnett; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

Continue Reading


Bad weather off Canadian coast preventing efforts to board container ship after fire



Bad weather off Canada‘s Pacific Coast on Monday prevented a salvage crew from boarding a cargo ship where several containers of chemicals burned over the weekend, the coast guard said.

Sixteen crew members were evacuated from the MV Zim Kingston on Saturday. Five remained onboard to fight the fire, which was largely under control by late Sunday.

The company has appointed a salvage crew “but due to the current weather, (they) have been unable to board the container ship”, the coast guard said on Twitter.

“The containers continue to smolder and boundary cooling – spraying water on the hull and on containers near the fire – continues,” it added.

The ship is anchored several kilometers (miles) off the southern coast of Vancouver Island, in the province of British Columbia. There is no impact to human health, the coast guard said.

Danaos Shipping Co, the company that manages the ship, said on Sunday that no injuries had been reported on board.


(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Sandra Maler)

Continue Reading