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The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada for Thursday, April 1 – Coast Reporter



The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times Eastern):

6:10 p.m.

British Columbia is reporting 832 new COVID-19 cases and five deaths. 

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says B.C.’s total number of deaths has now reached 1,463 people. 

She says 296 people are in hospital being treated for COVID-19, with 79 people in intensive care. 

Henry started her update today answering questions she says she has received from members of the public, including questions about B.C.’s vaccine strategy.

4 p.m.

Saskatchewan is reporting 199 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday, 115 of which are in the capital city, which has become a hot spot for variants of concern. 

Health officials warned that the number of faster-spreading variants is also beginning to rise elsewhere in southern Saskatchewan, particularly Moose Jaw and Weyburn. 

The province is expanding vaccine eligibility to people 58 and older as of Friday. 

So far, 200,633 doses have been administered.

3:05 p.m.

Prince Edward Island is reporting one new case of COVID-19 today.

Health officials say the case involves someone under 19 who is a contact of a previously reported infection.

Prince Edward Island has 13 active reported cases of COVID-19.

The province has reported a total of 160 infections and no deaths linked to the virus.

2:15 p.m.

Health officials in New Brunswick are reporting 10 new cases of COVID-19 in the province today.

One case is in the Moncton region, and the other nine are in the Edmundston region.

There are now 141 active cases, and four patients are hospitalized, including three in intensive care.

Following a recent confirmed case of COVID-19, health officials have declared an outbreak at Foyer St-Jacques, a special care home in Edmundston.

2:05 p.m.

Ontario is imposing a four-week “shutdown” to combat rising COVID-19 infections.

Premier Doug Ford says the measures will take effect Saturday and remain in place across the province for at least four weeks.

Retail stores will see limits on capacity while restaurants will be restricted to takeout, delivery and drive-thru service.

Ford made the announcement hours after his government’s science advisers said a stay-at-home order is needed to control the third wave driven by deadlier and more infectious variants.

1:55 p.m.

Two women in their 40s in Manitoba have died from COVID-19 and there are 52 more cases of the virus. 

Screening has also identified three more cases that are variants of concern for a total of 270. 

There are 148 people in hospital due to COVID-19 and 30 are in intensive care.

1:05 p.m.

Health Canada says almost three in four Canadians over the age of 80 have now received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, as have one in three people between 70 and 79.

Overall, almost one in six Canadians have now been given at least one dose, with 5.1 million people vaccinated as of Thursday morning. 

About 690,000 of those have received both doses.

Health Canada also issued new data by province today, showing Quebec ahead of the rest of the country in vaccinations, with 17.5 per cent of the adult population in Quebec vaccinated with at least one dose, followed by Saskatchewan at 14.9 per cent, Alberta at 14.6 per cent and Ontario at 13.9 per cent. 

Nova Scotia trails way behind at 5.6 per cent, with Manitoba second-to-last at 11 per cent.

1 p.m.

Newfoundland and Labrador health authorities are reporting one new case of COVID-19.

Officials say the case involves a man between 20 and 39 years old and his infection is related to travel within the country.

Public health says contact tracers are still trying to chase down the source of another infection announced Wednesday.

Newfoundland and Labrador hasn’t reported a case of COVID-19 whose source wasn’t quickly traced to travel or an existing infection since an outbreak swept through the St. John’s region in February.

1 p.m.

Ontario is now offering Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines to residents aged 55 and older.

It’s also expanding the roster of pharmacies offering shots to include locations in every public health unit.

The province is expecting 583,400 shots of the vaccine to arrive today.

It says pharmacies could start offering the vaccine as early as Saturday.

12:20 p.m.

Canada’s first deliveries of vaccine from the international vaccine sharing program known as COVAX will begin in the next few days.

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, the military commander overseeing Health Canada’s vaccine delivery logistics, says Canada is preparing to pick up 300,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in the coming days and they will be delivered to provinces next week.

Canada is to get 1.9 million doses through COVAX by the end of June.

11:10 a.m.

Nova Scotia is reporting three new cases of COVID-19.

Two of the cases are in the Halifax area, with one related to travel outside of Atlantic Canada and the other being a close contact of a previously reported case.

Health officials say the third case is in the western health zone and is also related to travel outside of the Atlantic region.

The province is reporting a total of 24 active cases of novel coronavirus.

11 a.m.

Quebec is reporting 1,271 new cases of COVID-19 and nine more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus, including one in the past 24 hours.

Health officials say hospitalizations rose by two, to 487, and 119 people were in intensive care, a drop of one.

The province says it administered 41,406 doses of vaccine Wednesday, for a total of 1,391,649, representing 16.4 per cent of the population.

Quebec has reported a total of 312,362 COVID-19 infections and 10,676 deaths linked to the virus; it has 9,038 active reported cases.

10:30 a.m.

Ontario is reporting 2,557 new cases of COVID-19 and 23 more deaths linked to the virus.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says there are 743 new cases in Toronto, 484 in Peel Region, and 311 in York Region.

She also says there are 131 new cases in Ottawa, 119 in Hamilton and 107 in Durham Region

Ontario says 84,060 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine were administered since Wednesday’s update.

10 a.m.

Ontario’s science advisers say stay-at-home orders will control the third wave of COVID-19, which is being driven by rising rates of the more deadly variants of concern.

The Ontario Science Advisory Table makes the findings in its latest pandemic modelling data.

Dr. Adalsteinn Brown, co-chair of the group, says short-term case projections will depend entirely on the public health measures implemented by the government and vaccination rates.

He says the province’s vaccine rollout is not reaching the highest risk communities, which is delaying its impact as an effective strategy to fight the pandemic.

7:15 a.m.

The Canadian Press has learned that Ontario is expected to announce a 28-day provincewide “shutdown” today to stop the spread of COVID-19.

A source with knowledge of the restrictions says the final details of the new measures are still being worked out.

The source, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the announcement, says schools will remain open after the Easter weekend.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 1, 2021.

The Canadian Press

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version had an incorrect number of active cases in Quebec.

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Factbox-Latest on the worldwide spread of the coronavirus



(Reuters) -A recent surge in COVID-19 cases could see major parts of Japan slide back into states of emergency with authorities in Tokyo and Osaka looking at renewed curbs, while quarantine-free travel started between Australia and New Zealand for the first time in more than a year.

DEATHS AND INFECTIONS * Eikon users, see COVID-19: MacroVitals for a case tracker and summary of news.


* The number of coronavirus patients in intensive care units in France edged up on Sunday, amid a nationwide lockdown to try to stem a third wave of infections.

* British scientists launched a trial which will deliberately expose participants who have already had COVID-19 to the coronavirus again to examine immune responses and see if people get reinfected.

* Italy will ease curbs in many areas from April 26, warning caution was still needed to avoid any reversals in the reopening of many long-shuttered activities.


* Just more than half of U.S. adults have now received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed on Sunday, with nearly 130 million people aged 18 years or more having received their first shot.

* Dr. Anthony Fauci on Sunday predicted that U.S. health regulators will end the temporary pause on distributing Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine, adding he expects a decision could come as soon as Friday.

* Canada will present a budget with billions of dollars for pandemic recovery measures as COVID-19 infections skyrocket, C$2 billion ($1.6 billion) toward national childcare, and new taxes on luxury goods.

* The Canadian province of Ontario will begin offering AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday to people turning 40 or older this year.

* Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Sunday the government has made a second payment to the World Health Organization’s COVAX initiative to access around 11 million COVID-19 vaccines.


* India’s capital New Delhi recorded 25,500 coronavirus cases in a 24-hour period, with about one in three people tested returning a positive result, its chief minister said, urging the federal government to provide more hospital beds to tackle the crisis.

* Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla has agreed to Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s request to supply additional doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, the vaccine minister of Japan said on Sunday.


* The coronavirus variant discovered in South Africa can break through the protection provided by Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine to some extent, a real-world data study in Israel found.

* Vaccination against COVID-19 is a requirement to perform the Umra pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi state TV said on Sunday, citing a government official.

* Tunisia on Saturday announced the closure of all schools until April 30, as well as restrictions on movement, to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.


* China’s Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine was 67% effective in preventing symptomatic infection, data from a huge real-world study in Chile has shown, a potential boost for the jab which has come under scrutiny over its level of protection against the virus.


* Asian shares hovered near 1-1/2 week highs on Monday, helped by expectations monetary policy will remain accommodative the world over, while COVID-19 vaccine rollouts help ease fears of another dangerous wave of coronavirus infections. [MKTS/GLOB]

(Compiled by Krishna Chandra Eluri, Devika Syamnath and Milla Nissi; Edited by William Maclean, Anil D’Silva and Subhranshu Sahu)

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New Zealand says ‘uncomfortable’ with expanding Five Eyes



new zealand

SYDNEY (Reuters) – New Zealand said it is “uncomfortable” with expanding the role of the Five Eyes, a post-war intelligence grouping which also includes the United States, Britain, Australia and Canada, recently criticised by China.

China is New Zealand’s largest trading partner, and Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta said in a speech that New Zealand sought a predictable diplomatic relationship.

New Zealand will find it necessary to speak out on issues where it does not agree with China, including developments in Hong Kong and the treatment of Uyghurs in Xinjiang, she said in a speech on Monday to the government-funded New Zealand China Council.

In later comments to media reported by New Zealand’s Newshub, Mahuta said New Zealand didn’t favour invoking the Five Eyes for “messaging out on a range of issues that really exist out of the remit of the Five Eyes”.

“We are uncomfortable with expanding the remit of the Five Eyes,” she said.

China’s foreign ministry has repeatedly criticised the Five Eyes, after all members issued a joint statement about the treatment of Hong Kong pro-democracy legislators in November.

Last month, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said “the Five Eyes have taken coordinated steps to gang up on China”, after Australia and New Zealand issued a joint statement on Xinjiang.

Last year, the Five Eyes discussed cooperation beyond intelligence sharing, including on critical technology, Hong Kong, supply chains and the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a statement by Australia’s Foreign Minister Marise Payne in 2020.

Mahuta’s office told Reuters it couldn’t provide a copy of her comments on the Five Eyes.

Payne will travel to New Zealand on Wednesday for meetings with Mahuta and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, the first diplomatic visit between the neighbouring countries since borders reopened both ways.

Canberra has recently endured a rockier relationship with Beijing than Wellington, with Australia’s trade minister unable to secure a call with his Chinese counterpart as exporters were hit with multiple trade sanctions from China.

A diplomatic dispute between China and Australia worsened in 2020 after Canberra lobbied for an international inquiry into the source of the coronavirus pandemic.

China and New Zealand upgraded a free trade agreement in January, when, Mahuta said, trade ministers had held a “constructive” call.


(Reporting by Kirsty Needham; Editing by Michael Perry)

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Australia to hold inquiry to examine military suicides



By Colin Packham

CANBERRA (Reuters) – Australia will hold a Royal Commission to examine suicides among serving and former military personnel, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Monday, bowing to public pressure to find ways to stem a mounting toll.

More than 500 have died from suicide since 2001, government data shows, a statistic that has fuelled public anger, including among the prime minister’s own Liberal party.

“I think and I hope it will be a healing process,” Morrison told reporters in Canberra, as he announced his call for a commission to be set up.

“I hope it will be a process by which veterans and families can find some comfort, but it obviously can’t replace the loss.”

The issue became prominent in Australia following a high-profile campaign by Julie-Ann Finney, whose son David, a former naval petty officer, committed suicide in 2019 after he had earlier been deployed to Iraq, East Timor and Bougainville.

Australian troops have been involved in conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and deployed for humanitarian missions in the Pacific.

The United States, Britain and Canada are also exploring ways to reduce suicide rates among serving and former military personnel.

Morrison said he hopes the Royal Commission will begin hearings later this year. Final recommendations are expected in 2023, he said. A permanent national commissioner will be tasked with ensuring the recommendations are enforced.


(Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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