Good evening, here are the coronavirus updates you need to know tonight.
- Pandemic overwhelms Italy’s hospitals, including in the country’s south
- Canada’s lack of vaccine-production capabilities means other countries may get COVID-19 shots first, Trudeau says
- COVID-19′s spread may have been accelerated by an early mutation, research suggests
In Canada, there have been at least 341,329 cases reported. In the last week 34,862 new cases were announced, 4 per cent more than the previous week.
There have also been at least 272,475 recoveries and 11,603 deaths.
Worldwide, there have been at least 59,171,161 cases confirmed and 1,396,359 deaths reported.
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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Coronavirus in Canada
- Ontario has started distributing rapid tests to long-term and retirement care in the province. Meanwhile, the mayor of Windsor apologized for violating public-health rules limiting the number of diners at a meal. The province reported 1,009 new cases COVID-19 cases today, but said a technical issue meant the figure is an underestimate, and the numbers released yesterday were an overestimate.
- In Quebec, Premier François Legault announced changes on gathering restrictions for Christmas, specifying people will only be able to attend two holiday events of up to 10 people during a four-day window, and will be asked to quarantine for seven days after. The province reported 45 more deaths attributed to COVID-19 and 1,124 new cases today.
- Manitoba issues one ticket for gatherings that allegedly defied the province’s ban on public gatherings, adding to the 16 tickets issued earlier this month.
- Saskatchewan’s opposition party called on the government to create a task force to address the spread of COVID-19. The province reported 175 new daily cases of COVID-19, with 105 people in hospital, today.
In Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that because Canada lacks domestic vaccines production capabilities, it is possible other countries – the United States, Germany or Britain – may get shots first.
- The Prime Minister said the country has started to invest in domestic vaccine production capacity again, and is in talks with other countries to ensure equal access to vaccines for all.
- Trudeau reiterated that until a vaccine is widely available, the country must continue public-health best practices to avoid becoming ill.
Health: Nearly one in three Canadians say they have gained weight during the pandemic, according to a new poll.
New research: COVID-19 spread may have been accelerated by an early mutation, research suggests
Coronavirus around the world
- About two-thirds of the Italy is in some form of lockdown. Outdoor mask use and physical distancing are compulsory everywhere, bars and restaurants must close at 6 p.m., and a curfew kicks in at 10 p.m. The fear is that overloaded hospitals will be unable to cope, even though several thousand intensive-care beds have been added.
- Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine will cost less than US$20 a person on international markets and Moscow aims to produce more than a billion doses at home and abroad next year, its financial backers and developers said today.
- In the U.S., public-health officials are sounding alarms and urging Americans not to travel and limit gatherings this holiday season amid a new surge in coronavirus cases. However, the White House has planned a host of festivities, including holiday parties, which kicked off Monday with the arrival of the White House Christmas tree.
Coronavirus and business
Independent retailers, bars and restaurants in the Toronto region are scrambling to figure out how they will survive after Premier Doug Ford’s sweeping pandemic restrictions forced them to close, while some big-box stores stay open.
- Chains including Walmart and Costco, which are exempt from closing because they sell groceries, are allowed to stay open with new 50-per-cent capacity limits.
- Many businesses in hot spots now face 28 days without foot traffic, while stores and restaurants in neighbouring jurisdictions remain less restricted.
Also today: Canadian Airports Council calls for urgent aid as COVID-19 lockdown limits revenue
And: Eli Lily will supply 26,000 doses of its COVID-19 antibody drug to Canada
- Robyn Urback: “Small-business owners in Manitoba and parts of Ontario are angry, with good reason. Provincial leaders, along with the federal government, had months to plan for the inevitable second wave of COVID-19 – months to think about ways to avoid the economic devastation of the lockdowns levied the first time around.”
- Jillian Kohler and Jonathan Cushing: “In the understandable excitement, [pharmaceutical] companies in the spotlight risk overlooking a major opportunity: the chance to prioritize transparency and global health over profits, and build their credibility.”
- Fahad Razak and Arthur Slutsky: “Yet despite the most intense research focus in human history, there is only a single clearly effective treatment that reduces both symptoms and mortality: the steroid dexamethasone, based on the United Kingdom’s landmark Randomized Evaluation of COVID-19 Therapy (RECOVERY) trial.”
- COVID-19 vaccinations may be required by some countries and airlines for international travel
- COVID-19 mask innovation lands an Alberta researcher an award from Mitacs
- Two players at Canada’s junior hockey camp test positive for COVID-19
- 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. What to cook with rhubarb (aside from pie).
- Here’s what you should do if you are newly laid off; how to apply for CERB, EI, and other financial benefits; how the CRA might identify CERB fraud; and other coronavirus and employment questions answered. What to do if your employees don’t return to work because they want to collect CERB.
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.