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.
7:52 pm Latvia will enter a nearly month-long lockdown, including a curfew, on Thursday due to the worsening coronavirus situation in the Baltic country, where the vaccination rate is among the lowest in the European Union.
After an emergency government meeting on Monday night, Latvian Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins said the Oct. 21-Nov. 15 shutdown and accompanying drastic measures are needed as the pandemic continues to spread. rapidly, causing hospital wards to fill with COVID-19 patients. amid the scarcity of healthcare resources.
Only slightly more than half of Latvians are now fully vaccinated, and Karins admitted that his government had failed to attract enough citizens to take hits.
“There are too many people, too many people, who are not vaccinated,” Karins said, as quoted by the Latvian public broadcaster LSM.
7:30 pm Toronto Public Health has identified more than 2 linked COVID-19 cases within Michael Power – St Joseph High School, Africentric Alternative School, and John McCrae Public School. Outbreaks have been reported in these schools..
“We are carefully investigating and following our process of working with our school community to notify close contacts and ask them to stay home, monitor symptoms and get tested,” TPS tweeted Monday night.
7:25 am Students from Etobicoke’s Silverthorn Collegiate Institute return to class on Tuesday.
A week ago, Toronto Public Health (TPH) suspended in-person learning at Markland Wood High School due to a COVID-19 outbreak involving 11 students.
The city’s public health agency said nine of those cases were “related to student-to-student transmission” and recommended that everyone at the school be tested for the virus. Since then, the health unit has continued with close contacts.
The first active case of COVID-19 at Silverthorn CI was reported on October 4 and some 11th grade students had to self-isolate at home.
7:20 am On the eve of Singapore lifting quarantine restrictions for vaccinated travelers from the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the State Department warned Americans not to visit the country.
Both the CDC and the State Department cited a “very high level of COVID-19” in Singapore.
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, the Southeast Asian country has had a record 70,374 COVID cases in the past 28 days. Just over 82% of Singapore is fully vaccinated. That compares with more than 57% for the US, which has recorded more than 2.8 million cases during the same period.
Starting Tuesday, travelers from the US can enter Singapore as long as they show proof of vaccination and test negative on two PCR tests: one 48 hours before departure and one on arrival.
The State Department also urged Americans on Monday to reconsider travel to Poland, Hungary, Cyprus, Tunisia and Angola due to areas at “higher risk” from COVID-19.
6:20 am: The federal government is sending more aid to the Northwest Territories to deal with an increase in COVID-19 cases.
Public Safety Minister Bill Blair says Ottawa approved a request from the territory to provide “augmentation capacity support” for infection prevention and control, contact tracing and testing.
The support, 10 specialists from the Canadian Red Cross, will run until November 14, with the possibility of a two-week extension.
That is in addition to previous help provided through the Public Health Agency of Canada and Statistics Canada for infection control and contact tracing.
After months of zero new COVID-19 cases, the territory began to see an increase in cases in mid-August.
As of Monday, there were 263 active cases in the Northwest Territories, which last week extended a public health emergency across the territory through Oct. 26.
5:45 am: Russia posted another daily record for coronavirus deaths on Tuesday as the rapid rise in contagion increased pressure on the country’s healthcare system.
The government task force reported 1,015 deaths from coronavirus in the past 24 hours, the highest number since the start of the pandemic. That brought the total death toll to 225,325, by far the highest in Europe. It also registered 33,740 new infections in the last day.
Daily coronavirus death figures have risen for weeks and topped 1,000 for the first time over the weekend amid slow vaccination rates and the government’s reluctance to tighten restrictions.
Russian authorities have tried to accelerate the pace of vaccines with lotteries, bonuses and other incentives, but widespread skepticism about vaccines and mixed signals from officials have hampered efforts. The task force said Monday that some 45 million Russians, or 32% of the country’s nearly 146 million people, are fully vaccinated.
The Kremlin has ruled out a new nationwide lockdown like the one that occurred at the beginning of the pandemic that dealt a severe blow to the economy and eroded the popularity of President Vladimir Putin. It has empowered the authorities of the 11 time zones of the country to decide on the restrictions based on the local situation.
05:30 am: Many scientists are pressuring the British government to reimpose social restrictions and speed up booster vaccines as coronavirus infection rates, already the highest in Europe, rise further.
The UK recorded 49,156 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, the most since mid-July. New infections averaged 43,000 per day over the past week, a 15% increase from the previous week.
Last week, the Office for National Statistics estimated that 1 in 60 people in England had the virus, one of the highest levels seen in Britain during the pandemic.
In July, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government lifted all legal restrictions that had been imposed more than a year earlier to curb the spread of the virus, including indoor face coverings and social distancing rules. Nightclubs and other crowded venues were allowed to open at full capacity, and people were no longer advised to work from home if they could.
Some modelers feared a huge spike in cases after opening. That did not happen, but infections remained high and have recently started to increase.
So have hospitalizations and deaths, averaging more than 100 a day, much lower than when cases were so high, before much of the population was vaccinated, but still far too high, government critics say.
Some say the British have been quick to revert to pre-pandemic behavior. Masks and social distancing have disappeared in most settings in England, including schools, although other parts of the UK remain a bit more strict. Even in shops, where masks are recommended, and on the London transit network, where they are mandatory, adherence is uneven.
The Conservative government dropped a plan to require proof of vaccination to attend nightclubs, concerts and other mass events in England amid opposition from lawmakers, although Scotland introduced a vaccine pass program this month.
5 am: Ontario’s QR code vaccine certificates have come early, but while the system speeds up the vetting process for gym and restaurant patrons, experts worry the new system will do nothing to help prevent fraud.
The Star reported in September that Ontario’s initial vaccination certificate could easily be manipulated in Microsoft Word. Business owners responsible for verifying certificates worried that they would be hooked if they didn’t detect a forgery.
Now, even though QR code vaccine certificates are available, the original certificates will continue to be accepted as proof of vaccination against COVID-19.
Kris Klein, an attorney at nNovation LLP and an expert on privacy, access to information and information security, believes it is a “real and potentially very dangerous shame” that Ontarians can still use an easily editable vaccine certificate to access to gyms, restaurants and other places. .
Given the percentage of the population that has not yet been vaccinated, “I’m afraid there will be some fraud regarding vaccine receipts,” Klein said in an email. “I think the government should do better to recognize that fraudsters are out there and they should put safeguards in place to try to stop them.”
Read more from Rosa Saba de Star.
4:45 am: The NHL suspended San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane for 21 games for presenting a false COVID-19 vaccination card.
The league announced the suspension without pay on Monday and said Kane will not be eligible to play until Nov. 30 in New Jersey. Kane will lose about $ 1.68 million of his $ 7 million salary for this season and the money will go to the Players Emergency Assistance Fund.
The league also announced that a concurrent investigation into allegations of sexual and physical abuse made against Kane by his ex-wife, Anna, could not be substantiated.
“I would like to apologize to my teammates, the San Jose Sharks organization and all Sharks fans for violating the NHL’s COVID protocols,” Kane said in a statement. “I made a mistake, one that I sincerely regret and for which I take responsibility. During my suspension, I will continue to participate in counseling to help me make better decisions in the future. When my suspension ends, I plan to return to the ice with great effort, determination and love for the game of hockey. “
4:30 am: On Monday, Pfizer officially requested Canadian clearance for its child-size COVID-19 vaccine for people between the ages of five and 11, bringing the country one step closer to protecting the school-age population.
The news means that final data from the drug’s manufacturer has yet to be examined by experts at Health Canada, who will analyze the results of a trial conducted with thousands of child volunteers before signing.
The government is not starting from scratch, as Pfizer, which is working with German biotech company BioNTech, released a first look at its numbers earlier this month. But the official presentation means the ball is now on Health Canada’s court.
In a statement, Health Canada confirmed that it had received the presentation of the vaccine, now known as Comirnaty, but did not have a timeline for making a decision.
Read more from Alex Boyd from Star.