Today’s coronavirus news: survey suggests staff are concerned about bias towards workers on site if they work remotely; COVID may be contributing to Vancouver’s rise in ‘random robberies’: experts

The latest coronavirus news from Canada and around the world on Tuesday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.

6:10 am: A new survey by technology company Cisco suggests that nearly half of Canadian workers are concerned that they will be viewed less favorably if they work remotely in a hybrid workplace.

The survey, which Cisco conducted with pollster Angus Reid, found that 46 percent of Canadians thought that in-person workers might have more opportunities for career growth than someone who works remotely.

However, 77 percent of those surveyed said flexibility is a key factor that will be part of their decisions to stay or leave a company.

Shannon Leininger, president of Cisco Canada, said the results show how important it is for employers to build a workplace culture that supports remote and face-to-face workers alike.

He said teams need to come together to define what hybrid work really means in their office, as the work model will differ from workplace to workplace.

Leninger also said managers need to consider what their offices will look like in a hybrid workspace and whether desks will be replaced by broader collaboration and meeting areas.

5:55 am: Space travel has made headlines again thanks to a recent boom in private flights boarded by the likes of William Shatner, whose career was based on fictional trips to the stars. But as some herald a new golden age of space, some experts are hopeful that as the industry boldly goes where it hasn’t gone before, everyone involved won’t forget the significance space technology can have for our health here. at home.

Lessons learned among the stars may even, they argue, help detect and track the next pandemic.

At least that’s the argument of a group of space experts, including several Canadians, in an article for Nature Medicine last month, in which they argue that current space technology is already helping to monitor and mitigate COVID-19, and could be useful for the next pandemic.

Read Alex Boyd’s full story from Star.

5:46 am: China’s capital is experiencing its worst Covid outbreak in more than eight months, fueled by tourists returning from northern provinces, where fall colors were in full bloom.

Beijing has so far reported around 20 infections in the latest outbreak, which was initially linked to a pair of retired Shanghai university professors who took a road trip through the nation’s scenic northwest in early October. A second Beijing couple were so determined to have fun once they returned that they ignored the lingering fevers and ultimately exposed hundreds of people to the virus.

The latest rash was caused in part by the second couple who failed to report to Beijing health authorities in a timely manner and played mahjong with friends despite having a high fever. The initial cluster of Covid infections turned into a nationwide outbreak in less than a week.

The situation in the heavily guarded capital city is the worst since an outbreak that began in a residential complex in a southern suburb spread to more than 30 people. Before that, an outbreak linked to a fresh market in June 2020 ultimately led to more than 300 infections.

Cross-country travelers and patients who do not stay home despite feeling ill are fueling the outbreak caused by the highly infectious delta variant. Its activity is complicating the nation’s efforts to eradicate the coronavirus within its limits and maintain its Covid Zero focus. The country is currently battling its fourth delta outbreak in the past five months.

5:44 am: The Bank of Canada is scheduled this morning to announce what will happen to its trend-setting interest rate and provide an updated forecast for the national economy.

The bank’s target overnight interest rate has been 0.25 percent since the start of the pandemic, and Governor Tiff Macklem has said the increases won’t come until next year, when the economy has recovered sufficiently from COVID. -19.

Earlier this month, Macklem suggested that the economy would not recover as quickly in that stretch as previously thought due to global supply chain problems that have become more persistent than expected, along with higher inflation rates. .

That could be reflected in the bank’s quarterly monetary policy report, which sets out the Bank of Canada’s forecast for the economy and the pace of inflation over the next year.

Economists do not expect the bank to raise rates this week, but they do expect the central bank to announce a reversal of bond purchases as part of its quantitative easing program.

BMO’s Benjamin Reitzes says there is reason to believe the central bank will reshape the QE program to stop adding stimulus and rather keep what’s already there, noting that Macklem recently delivered a speech on the details of such a move.

5:41 am: The Brazilian Senate committee recommended Tuesday that President Jair Bolsonaro face a series of criminal charges for actions and omissions related to the second highest death toll from COVID-19 in the world.

The 7-4 vote was the culmination of a six-month committee investigation into the government’s handling of the pandemic. It formally approved a report calling on prosecutors to try Bolsonaro on charges ranging from charlatanism and incitement to crime to embezzlement of public funds and crimes against humanity, and in doing so, they hold him responsible for many of the more than 600,000 deaths from COVID. -19 in Brazil.

The president has denied wrongdoing, and the decision on whether to bring most of the charges will rest with Attorney General Augusto Aras, a Bolsonaro appointee who is widely regarded as a protector. The complaint of crimes against humanity should be processed by the International Criminal Court.

Senator Omar Aziz, chair of the investigation, said he would deliver the recommendation to the attorney general on Wednesday morning. Aras’s office said the report would be carefully reviewed as soon as it is received.

Regardless of whether charges are brought, the report is expected to fuel criticism of the divisive president, whose approval ratings have plummeted ahead of his 2022 re-election campaign, largely due to the huge death toll from COVID-19 in Brazil. The investigation itself has for months provided a series of damaging allegations.

5:42 am: The German parliament will not extend the “nationwide epidemic situation” when it expires next month, but will keep certain measures in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus, lawmakers said Wednesday.

The country’s top members of the parliament, or Bundestag, said that although coronavirus infections have risen again recently, they did not see the need to prolong the “epidemic situation” that was first declared in March 2020 and has spread repeatedly since then. They said that the situation had fundamentally changed due to the fact that around two-thirds of the population had been vaccinated against the virus.

The declaration of a health emergency situation had allowed the federal and state governments to order key measures against the coronavirus without the approval of national and regional parliaments.

“There will be no more school closings, closures or curfews again,” said Dirk Wiese, the deputy head of the center-left Social Democratic parliamentary group. He added that the pandemic still needs to be managed responsibly, but that restrictions on civil rights need to be eased again.

Despite the expiration of the “epidemic situation” on November 25, some measures will be taken such as the mandatory use of masks in public spaces, entry restrictions to certain places only for those who have been vaccinated or financial support for workers who have been hard hit by the pandemic. stay in place until March. Additionally, individual states can still decide to implement stricter measures again if necessary.

Members of the three parties hoping to form Germany’s new government announced the country’s new direction on the pandemic to journalists in Berlin.

5:41 am: Vietnam began vaccinating children on Wednesday as part of an effort to reopen schools after more than half a year of closures due to COVID-19.

About 1,500 teenagers between the ages of 16 and 17 in southern Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City were among the first to receive injections before the vaccination program was rolled out across the country in November, the ministry said. health on their website.

During the first phase, Vietnam only approved the Pfizer vaccine for children. Parents or guardians must sign a consent form for their children to be vaccinated, according to the report.

“Vaccine safety for children is the top priority,” Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said during a meeting on Tuesday before the launch.

Last week, the ministry approved vaccines for children between the ages of 12 and 17, and older teens in the most populous cities were given priority for the first doses. There are around 14 million Vietnamese children in that age range.

According to the report, children will be vaccinated in their schools and those who do not attend school will be vaccinated in pediatric hospitals.

About 55% of Vietnam’s 98 million people have received COVID-19 vaccine injections, but only half of them have been fully vaccinated with both doses.

5:40 am: An increase in random assaults highlighted by Vancouver police could point to bigger problems that the pandemic could magnify, experts say.

Vancouver police said in a series of social media posts last week that there were 1,555 “unprovoked assaults by strangers” involving 1,705 reported victims between Sept. 1, 2020, and Aug. 31 this year.

“Most of the victims were just doing their day: running errands, walking or visiting our city,” read a post.

Const. Tania Visintin said that an assault is defined as random when there is no relationship between the victim and the suspect, and no event led to the attack.

“Which means there was no verbal communication or physical interaction,” he said. “It is completely random. Unexpectedly.”

Police began to notice the increase when officers compared notes at morning meetings to discuss the evening events, Visintin said.

“We need to collect this data,” he said. “And that way we know how we can use our resources to make the city safe.”

Experts say there could be a variety of reasons for the increase in random attacks, including the COVID-19 pandemic.

Colton Fehr, an assistant professor at Simon Fraser University’s school of criminology, said COVID-19 has put “many different and significant pressures” on people.

“And it’s understandable, I think, that more emotion comes to the surface and in those kinds of circumstances we could see more irrational kinds of actions, like assault,” Fehr said.

“That could be a speculative consideration.”

Statistics Canada said in a report published in July that while there were “fairly widespread declines in many types of crime” in 2020, the country saw increases in “rates of various criminal harassment and threat behaviors” compared to 2019. Threats , criminal harassment, and indecent or harassing communications.

Leave a Comment