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Good evening, here are the COVID-19 updates you need to know tonight.

Top headlines:

  1. The country’s top doctor Theresa Tam says Canada is past the peak of the COVID-19 wave caused by the Omicron variant and is ready to move out of a crisis response
  2. The federal government says it will spend up to $1.2-billion on COVID-19 tests for travellers arriving in Canada, double the amount budgeted two months ago
  3. Police have arrested at least 100 protesters in effort to clear anti-vaccine mandate blockade from downtown Ottawa

In the past seven days, 53,986 cases were reported, down 23 per cent from the previous seven days. There were 625 deaths announced, down 24 per cent over the same period. At least 6,217 people are being treated in hospitals.

Canada’s inoculation rate is 13th among countries with a population of one million or more people.

The Globe and Mail

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.

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Photo of the day

Police officers on horses ride beside Rideau Centre, as truckers and supporters continue to protest against the coronavirus vaccine mandates, in Ottawa on Feb. 18, 2022.BLAIR GABLE/Reuters

Coronavirus in Canada

In Ottawa, chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam says Canada is past the worst of the Omicron wave, and is ready to move out of a crisis response.

  • Tam said while there are reasons to hope, COVID-19 is still spreading at high levels and hospitals remain stretched thin. Easing public health measures could still lead to resurgence, so people should continue to take precautions such as avoiding crowded places and wearing a mask when necessary.

Canada: Also in Ottawa, police have been carrying out a massive operation to remove, and in some cases arrest, protestors who continue to block streets as they fight protective COVID-19 health measures.

Housing: Toronto was Canada’s only major city to see apartment vacancies rise last year as pandemic lockdowns continued across the country. The report on vacancy rates provides another indicator of the pandemic’s impact on low-wage earners, many of whom worked in the services industry and lost their jobs when COVID-19 lockdowns shut down the economy.

Coronavirus around the world

Coronavirus and business

Finance leaders of the world’s biggest economies called Friday for a cautious and well co-ordinated approach to navigating recoveries from the pandemic.

  • Finance ministers and top central bankers of the Group of 20 industrial nations agreed on a need to carefully calibrate moves by the U.S. and other countries to combat inflation by raising interest rates and unwinding other measures to buffer economies from repeated waves of coronavirus outbreaks, said Indonesian central bank Gov. Perry Warjiyo.
  • Meetings like the one held Thursday and Friday in Jakarta lay the groundwork for a summit of G20 leaders later in the year.

Also today: There was good news in Canada for retail sales as January numbers came in, showing a rebound from December’s decline.

Globe opinion

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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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