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Good evening, here are the coronavirus updates you need to know tonight.

Top headlines:

  1. The White House is sounding the alarm over the World Health Organization’s Wuhan investigation, saying it has “deep concerns” about the report’s findings
  2. Prince Edward Island confirmed its first case of the variant that originated in Britain, marking the mutation’s presence in all 10 provinces
  3. British Columbia’s top doctor says the Nigerian coronavirus variant has been identified in the province

In the last 7 days, 20,646 cases were reported, down 18 per cent from the previous 7 days. There were 526 deaths announced, down 28 per cent over the same period. At least 2,361 people are being treated in hospitals and 768,510 others are considered recovered.

About 97 per cent of the 1,313,225 doses of vaccine distributed to provinces have been administered. That’s 3.3 doses for every 100 people in Canada.

Sources: Canada data is compiled from government websites, Johns Hopkins and COVID-19 Canada Open Data Working Group; international data is from Johns Hopkins University.

Coronavirus explainers: Coronavirus in maps and charts Lockdown rules and reopeningCanada’s vaccine distribution planDeveloping/approved vaccinesPfizer’s vaccine, explained Essential resources

Photo of the day

A man casts his ballot at a polling station during a regional election in Catalonia, amid the coronavirus pandemic, in Barcelona, Spain, Feb. 14, 2021. REUTERS/Albert GeaALBERT GEA/Reuters

Coronavirus in Canada

In Ottawa, a new research network aimed at addressing the impact of the new variants in Canada has been set up by the federal government to quickly assess the new threats as they emerge.

  • The announcement comes just as the British coronavirus variant is identified in all 10 provinces, after PEI logged its first case.
  • Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam said the variants of concern have been spreading in Canada and warned of lifting public-health measures too soon.

Provincial procurement: Since Manitoba signed a deal to purchase vaccines directly from a Canadian manufacturer, other premiers are looking into the possibility.

Ease patent rules: As the struggle to procure and administer vaccines worsens globally, a growing number of governments and health experts are urging pharmaceutical companies to loosen their tight grip on their COVID-19 vaccine technology.

Coronavirus around the world

  • New Zealand’s Prime Minister announced a three-day lockdown in the country’s biggest city, Auckland, after three COVID-19 cases emerged.
  • China fired back at the U.S. over allegations from the White House that Beijing withheld some information about the coronavirus outbreak from World Health Organization investigators.

Coronavirus and business

New testing and quarantine measures will start Feb. 22. Air travellers will be ushered into hotels near one of the four Canadian airports currently accepting international flights, but snowbirds are decrying the new regulations.

  • The Canadian Snowbird Association has called out the additional testing and quarantine requirements, saying the cost of the hotel stay poses financial hardship for travellers.

Also today: Converting office towers into something new – whether it be to hotel rooms, condos or affordable housing – will help Calgary deal with a massive glut of empty office space. At least one developer has already started.

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Sources: Canada data are compiled from government websites, Johns Hopkins University and COVID-19 Canada Open Data Working Group; international data are from Johns Hopkins.

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