Coronavirus: What’s happening in Canada and around the world on Wednesday

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The latest:

Manitoba’s health system still has capacity and is not yet at its breaking point, the health minister said Tuesday as the number of active COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations increased. 

The province reported 184 new cases — a new daily record — and three new deaths on Tuesday. Hospitalizations increased to 83, while ICU numbers stayed steady at 15.

Health Minister Cameron Friesen said the province is bringing in extra contact tracers through an agreement with the Red Cross and is planning for all scenarios, including the possibility of moving less severe patients and cancelling elective surgeries.

“If the numbers continue to go in the wrong direction on COVID-19, then we have to think about how we would curtail those in order to keep people safe and be able to concentrate our efforts elsewhere,” he said.

The question of how health systems will cope with a second wave is not just an issue in Manitoba. The Canadian Medical Association released a study this week looking at the impact of the first wave of COVID-19 on six procedures, including CT and MRI scans, knee and hip replacements and cataract surgery. 

Dr. Ann Collins, president of the national association of physicians, said Canadians could “very well see a backlog on a backlog if we do not start addressing it, given what we are very possibly looking at with a second wave.”


What’s happening in Canada

WATCH | Canada could be poised to follow Europe’s COVID-19 trends, says expert: 

Reflecting on Canada’s ‘grim milestone’ of 10,000 deaths from COVID-19, respirologist Dr. Samir Gupta says the number of deaths has increased to 20-30 people a day during the second wave, sparking concerns that Canada may be following some of Europe’s COVID-19 trends in the coming months. 3:08

As of 11:20 a.m. ET on Wednesday, Canada had 224,650 confirmed or presumptive coronavirus cases, with 26,537 of those active. Provinces and territories listed 188,090 as recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC’s reporting stood at 10,023.

British Columbia announced 217 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, bringing the number of active cases in the province up to 2,322. There were 84 people hospitalized, with 27 in the ICU.

Alberta reported 422 new cases on Tuesday, bringing the number of active cases in the province to 4,738. Hospitalizations ticked up to to 123, with ICU numbers steady at 16.

In Saskatchewan, Premier Scott Moe said Tuesday that targeted measures focused on COVID-19 in bars and nightclubs could come this week after dozens of cases were linked to several bars and clubs. The province reported 58 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the number of active cases to 652. Health officials reported 24 hospitalizations, with six in ICU.

Ontario reported five additional deaths and 834 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, bringing the number of active cases in the province to 26,478 active cases. The province reported that 312 people were in hospital, with 71 in intensive care.

Ontario’s premier said he’s accepted the apology of a Niagara-area MPP who has faced criticism after being captured in a close group photo at an indoor event in which nobody wore masks. “Everyone makes mistakes. He apologized. He’s not going to do it again,” Doug Ford said Tuesday of Sam Oosterhoff.

Quebec reported 929 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, and 17 deaths (including four that occurred in the last 24 hours). The province reported 526 people in hospital with COVID-19, including 89 in ICU.

Premier François Legault, who recently extended COVID-19 restrictions in hard-hit regions of the province, defended his government Tuesday against an opposition charge that mixed messaging around public health restrictions is sowing unrest in the province.

WATCH | COVID-19 antibodies may disappear quickly, new study finds:

A new study out of the U.K. has found COVID-19 antibodies can disappear quickly from people who’ve had the virus, which experts say makes herd immunity unlikely without a vaccine. 3:33

In Atlantic Canada, New Brunswick reported three new cases on Wednesday, one in the Campbellton region and two in the Fredericton region. The province, which has seen six deaths since the pandemic began, has 47 active cases, officials said.

There were no new COVID-19 cases reported in Nova Scotia or Newfoundland and Labrador. 

Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, Newfoundland and Labrador’s chief medical officer of health, announced some changes to the province’s testing criteria, saying as of Monday people with a single symptom would be able to get tested — if that symptom was either a new or worsening cough or a fever. 

There were no new cases reported in Prince Edward Island on Tuesday.

In the North, there were no new confirmed cases in Yukon or Nunavut. In the Northwest Territories officials reported a presumptive positive case in Inuvik, but said in a statement that public health “has determined there is no risk to the public as the individual has been self-isolating appropriately since returning from travel.”


What’s happening around the world 

WATCH | Researchers examine whether vitamin D could help treat COVID-19:

Several clinical trials are trying to determine whether vitamin D could be effective in helping to treat or prevent COVID-19, while a new study shows many patients in a Spanish hospital had a vitamin D deficiency. 1:58

A database maintained by U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University tracking COVID-19 cases worldwide stood at more than 44 million cases worldwide as of Wednesday morning, with more than 29.8 million considered resolved. The number of deaths reported around the world stood at more than 1.1 million.

In the Americas, nearly half a million people have contracted COVID-19 in the United States over the last seven days, according to a Reuters tally, as new cases and hospitalizations set records in the Midwest.

A member of the White House coronavirus task force says the increase in U.S. cases isn’t just because of more testing. Admiral Brett Giroir says the proof of the increase is the uptick in hospitalizations and deaths nationwide from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

President Donald Trump has been saying the U.S. is “rounding the turn” on the pandemic. The president also contends the news media spends too much time focused on the health crisis.

Giroir, who was put in charge of coronavirus testing by Trump, says the nation is at “another critical point” in the response to the pandemic. He is urging people to keep wearing masks, wash their hands and practice social distancing. Giroir says a safe and effective vaccine is “around the corner.”

Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said on Tuesday she had tested positive for COVID-19 but was feeling well and had not developed symptoms of the disease.

A doctor calls a patient for a COVID-19 triage consultation at a wholesale market in Mexico City on Tuesday. Mexico has reported more than 900,000 cases and nearly 90,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. (Alfredo Estrella/AFP/Getty Images)

The situation in Europe, where coronavirus infections are surging, is “serious and alarming” and the bloc must be more efficient with testing, contact tracing, vaccine and quarantine policies, the EU Council president said.

“We need more efficiency in intercepting [the virus] before citizens infect each other. We need strong planning. Otherwise we will have systematic lockdowns in coming months,” Charles Michel told Italian daily La Stampa in an interview published on Wednesday.

Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia all reported daily records of coronavirus cases on Wednesday as concern mounted in much of Europe.

Italy, which pledged more than €5 billion (roughly $7.7 billion Cdn) in new support measures for businesses hit by the latest restrictions, has seen repeated clashes between police and protesters in cities from Naples to Turin as well as bitter criticism from restaurant owners and business groups.

WATCH | Protesters against COVID-19 restrictions clash with police in Rome:

Police move in on supporters of a far-right party protesting anti-COVID-19 measures in Rome, one of several demonstrations across Italy over the past week. 3:52

Some Czechs rallied in Prague to protest the restrictive measures imposed by the government, a day after the nation hit a record 15,663 coronavirus cases. On Wednesday, a nationwide night curfew will begin and all stores will close on Sundays.

In Africa, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced he’s in quarantine after contact with a dinner guest who has tested positive for the coronavirus. The president’s spokesperson said the contact occurred at a fundraising dinner of 35 people in Johannesburg last weekend.

He said Ramaphosa is not showing any symptoms and the guest who tested positive is getting medical care. South Africa is the hardest-hit country in Africa, with nearly 718,000 reported cases and more than 19,000 deaths.

In the Asia-Pacific region, India’s tally of confirmed coronavirus cases moved closer to eight million, with 43,893 new cases reported in the latest 24-hour period.

The total reported Wednesday includes the highest single-day number of cases for New Delhi, the Indian capital — 4,853. The Health Ministry also reported 508 fatalities from COVID-19 across India in the past 24 hours, raising the total to 120,010.

The Philippines closed cemeteries and memorial parks late Wednesday to enforce a ban aimed at preventing the annual influx of millions of Filipinos on All Saints’ Day, which could spark coronavirus outbreaks.

Authorities in Sri Lanka have closed several museums as a new wave of coronavirus cases is detected in different parts of the country.

In the Middle East, the Iranian government said people are being too lax in complying with restrictions, as the hardest-hit Middle Eastern country faced new daily records of infections and deaths.



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