Good evening, here are the coronavirus updates you need to know tonight.
- Under a new deal, Novavax could produce vaccines in Montreal, which would make it the first company to manufacture the shots in Canada
- An Ontario doctor has been fired because of his public criticism of the provincial government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic
- A mutation of the British coronavirus variant has been discovered, raising fears it could be resistant to vaccines
In the last 7 days, 29,402 cases were reported, down 21 per cent from the previous 7 days. There were 810 deaths announced, down 29 per cent over the same period. At least 3,457 people are being treated in hospitals and 961,582 others are considered recovered.
About 86 per cent of the 1,143,341 doses of vaccine distributed to provinces have been administered. That’s 2.6 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 reopening • Canada’s vaccine distribution plan • Developing/approved vaccines • Pfizer’s vaccine, explained • Essential resources
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Coronavirus in Canada
- In Ontario, a critical care doctor in Brampton says he was let go from his job leading the intensive-care unit division over his public criticism of the government’s handling of the pandemic. Meanwhile, the province will miss its target of giving the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to all long-term care and high-risk retirement residents by Friday, owing to supply issues. And, here’s what Ontario can learn from Israel’s vaccination success.
- Quebec is expected to announce some modifications of the province’s COVID-19 restrictions. And, a new facility in in the province could be a production site for the Novavax vaccine, making it the first vaccine to be made in Canada.
- Alberta is at a standoff with a church over COVID-19 rules. Meanwhile, Chief Medical Officer Deena Hinshaw said the province will look at indicators such as new case numbers, test positivity rates and how many new infections result from each case to inform a safe reopening of more businesses and activities.
In Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the government signed a tentative deal with Novavax to produce COVID-19 vaccines in Montreal – however, doses of those vaccines will not be available for several months.
- The agreement won’t change the pressure on the government to get vaccine supply into the country as the company first has to finish building a new facility and have it certified to make the vaccines.
- Last Friday, Novavax applied for regulatory approval, but is still finishing its clinical trials and doesn’t expect to have final data for a month or two at least. “At the end of the year we will be in a position to be producing vaccines,” said Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne.
- Canada relies entirely on Europe for its COVID-19 vaccine supply, a challenge as the European Union imposes new export controls on vaccines to protect its own deliveries.
COVID-19 travel: A new poll shows 86 per cent of Canadians support the new travel restrictions imposed by the federal government.
Inconsistent testing: Testing for the variants differs considerably from province to province.
Coronavirus around the world
- Britain’s Captain Tom Moore, the Second World War veteran who raised millions of dollars for health service workers battling the coronavirus, died after he contracted COVID-19.
- Italian President Sergio Mattarella has summoned former European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi to tackle the country’s coronavirus and economic crises.
- Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine is proven to be 91.6-per-cent effective in its Phase 3 trial.
Coronavirus and business
The federal government is extending $375-million in credit to Sunwing, the Toronto-based airliner, days after it agreed to suspend flights to Mexico and the Caribbean until the end of April.
Also today: LGBTQ businesses hit hard by COVID-19 pandemic look for shifts in federal programs.
And: Pfizer forecasts about $15-billion in sales of its COVID-19 vaccine in 2021.
- Matthew Romanada: “It was #notmycat but my new found feline friend who visited through the window made isolating during the pandemic kind of meow-right.”
- Gary Mason: People are sick and tired of this bloody disease, but they’ve also had it with the incompetence of our political leaders, not to mention their shocking lack of spine.
- The Calgary Arts Development will help non-profit arts organizations wind down during COVID-19 crisis.
- Toronto’s condo market resurges as buyers eye an eventual end to the pandemic.
- ExxonMobil records first annual loss as a public company as COVID-19 hammers oil prices.
- How well do vaccines work? Here’s what you need to know.
- Rob Carrick’s 10-point checklist of things you should have done by now to protect or improve your money situation. Tips for minimizing damage to your credit score; how to manage retirement anxiety during difficult times; and things to think about if you’re considering home delivery.
- Here are the expectations for self-isolation; tips for managing anxiety and protecting your mental health; and what to do if you think you have the virus. Wash your hands. How to break a bad habit (like touching your face). Is flying safe?
- The best foods to eat to maintain an immune system-friendly diet; and how to keep a healthy diet while working from home; four eating tips when working from home; and five mistakes that might cause you to gain unwanted weight. Here are the essentials to stock up on and how to shop safely for groceries; the best pantry staples and how to stop stress-eating.
- Find answers to your coronavirus and employment questions.
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.