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

Top headlines:

  1. AstraZeneca’s vaccine is now recommended for those 30 and older; Ontario won’t expand eligibility until more supply arrives
  2. India reports the world’s highest daily tally of new COVID-19 cases as country’s hospitals are overwhelmed
  3. Just 0.3 per cent of vaccines administered globally have gone to low-income countries, the World Health Organization says

In the last 7 days, 59,114 cases were reported, down 3 per cent from the previous 7 days. There were 322 deaths announced, up 11 per cent over the same period. At least 4,352 people are being treated in hospitals and 1,045,237 others are considered recovered.

As of April 23, 13,692,894 doses have been distributed, 11,526,709 doses have been administered and at least 982,717 people have been fully vaccinated. That’s about 2.6 per cent of Canada’s population.

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 chartsTracking vaccine dosesLockdown rules and reopeningVaccine distribution planFour vaccines approved in CanadaEssential resources

Photo of the day

New Yorkers receive COVID-19 vaccines under a 94-foot-long, 21,000-pound model of a blue whale at the American Museum of Natural History on April 23, 2021. Appointments are no longer necessary at any of the vaccine sites run by New York City as supple for the shots increases.Richard Drew/The Associated Press

Coronavirus in Canada

In Ottawa, Canada’s top doctor said that there are signs the spread of COVID-19 is slowing, even as average case counts have more than doubled over the past month.

  • Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam said the success of the vaccine rollout will likely determine whether restrictive COVID-19 measures can be lifted this summer.
  • To ease restrictions without overwhelming hospital capacity, at least 75 per cent of Canadian adults will have to receive their first shot, and 20 per cent will have to be fully vaccinated, according to the federal forecasts.
  • Dr. Tam estimated that Canada could reach this goal around mid-July to August, but said that depends on whether vaccine shipments arrive on schedule.

Also today, a national advisory panel has recommended Canadians 30 and older can get the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine if they don’t want to wait for an alternative, but some provinces say they don’t have enough supply to expand eligibility.

Coronavirus around the world

  • India reported more than 330,000 new COVID-19 infections today – the world’s highest daily tally – with a record 2,263 deaths in the last 24 hours. Officials in the country warn that most hospitals are full and running out of oxygen, as police are deployed to secure supplies.
  • The head of the World Health Organization said that COVID-19 vaccines remain out of reach in the poorest countries, again denouncing inequities in distribution and calling on wealthier countries to share excess doses. Low-income countries have received just 0.3 per cent of the 900-million COVID-19 vaccines distributed globally, Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

Coronavirus and business

The largest private sector union in Canada is calling for provinces to mandate paid time off for workers to get the COVID-19 vaccine, saying most employers won’t provide it unless governments require it.

  • Saskatchewan and Alberta have mandated up to three hours of paid time off for workers to get inoculated.
  • British Columbia, which allows workers to take unpaid time off to receive the vaccine, plans to amend its Employment Standards Act to ensure up to three hours of paid leave for each vaccine dose.
  • Workers in the rest of the country must depend on their employers to let them take time off work to get the shot.

Also today: Pfizer and Moderna say their COVID-19 vaccines are effective at preventing serious illness and death from the variants first associated with New York.

And: Splurging during the pandemic? You’re not alone. 5 tips to get ready for the post-COVID world

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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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