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

Top headlines:

  1. Pfizer’s COVID-19 shots could be shipped within 24 hours after Canadian approval, BioNTech official says
  2. Britain gets ready for rollout of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine this upcoming week
  3. Inside Wuhan, ‘city of victory’: How China rewrote the story of COVID-19 to boost public faith in its system

In Canada, there have been at least 411,467 cases reported. In the last week 39,735 new cases were announced, 0.4 per cent fewer than the previous week. There have also been at least 326,689 recoveries and 12,640 deaths. Health officials have administered more than 13,568,773 tests.

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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 Mask-wearing rules Back to school guide Essential resources

Photo of the day

A model holds a card which will be given to patients following their vaccination for COVID-19 at Croydon University Hospital in south London, where the first batch of COVID-19 vaccinations has been delivered to the area.


Coronavirus in Canada

  • A vaccine jointly developed by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech is expected to be the first to secure approval in Canada. Its shipment could start within 24 hours after Canadian health authorities approve the shots, a top official of pharmaceutical company BioNTech told CBC on Sunday, comparing it with the timeline achieved in Britain.
  • Pimicikamak is one of a number of First Nations in Manitoba hit with recent outbreaks. Chief David Monias said it took five weeks to resolve all 70 COVID-19 cases from the outbreak, and Pimicikamak isn’t the only First Nation to successfully beat back an outbreak.
  • In New Brunswick, a young entrepreneur named Cortland Cronk has been blamed as the Grinch who stole Atlantic Canada’s Christmas, with people criticizing him for travelling through the region while unknowingly infected with the virus. Prince Edward Island has also now put in place a two-week “circuit breaker” to quell a small but growing outbreak first reported just one day earlier.
  • Hope for Christmas in Quebec is also dashed, as Premier François Legault announced gatherings between households would not be allowed in the regions – comprising most of the province – that have been under restrictions put in place by his government on Oct. 1.
  • B.C. Premier John Horgan says his newly re-elected government will focus on ensuring families and individuals start receiving COVID-19 recovery benefits when the legislature resumes for a shortened session tomorrow. The proposed legislation earmarks one-time, tax-free payments of $1,000 for eligible families and $500 for qualifying individuals.

Coronavirus around the world

  • Britain is preparing to become the first country to roll out the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine this upcoming week, initially making the shot available at hospitals before distributing stocks to doctors’ clinics, the government says. The first doses are set to be administered on Tuesday, with top priority being given to the over-80s, front-line health-care workers, as well as care-home staff and residents.
  • Nearly a year ago, Wuhan was the pandemic’s ground zero, and those who saw the first signs were pressed to keep quiet. Now, China has used the crisis and COVID-19′s apparent defeat to strengthen faith in their governance system
  • Russia marked its first large-scale vaccination yesterday, Moscow’s coronavirus task force said. The city began distributing the Sputnik V COVID-19 shot via 70 clinics to the most exposed groups on Saturday.

A vial with Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine in a medical room, in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020. Thousands of doctors, teachers and others in high-risk groups have signed up for COVID-19 vaccinations in Moscow starting Saturday, a precursor to a sweeping Russia-wide immunization effort.

Pavel Golovkin/The Associated Press

  • In the United States, Moncef Slaoui, the chief adviser for that country’s efforts to develop a coronavirus vaccine, says he will meet with president-elect Joe Biden this week to discuss the program before the expected first round of vaccinations later this month, Mr. Slaoui said today.
  • Also in the United States, President Donald Trump tweeted that his lawyer Rudy Giuliani has tested positive for COVID-19, after a wave of travel by the former New York mayor seeking to persuade Republican state lawmakers to overturn the election results.

Globe opinion

  • Jen Agg: “Feeling like I have absolutely no control over what is going to happen to my restaurants, or in my husband’s recovery, has been a gut punch, a complete demolition of everything I use to hold up the foundation of my mental well-being. But then I’m reminded of why I do this.”
  • Kelly Cryderman: “But there is dual-track messaging from the Premier. Albertans get some serious, public-health-focused messages from Mr. Kenney, but then they also hear the voice of the political animal.”
  • Ronald Labonté and Mira Johri: “These countries have overbought the needed supply; if all the vaccines for which Canada has committed purchase agreements prove safe and effective, we will have enough to immunize each Canadian 10 times over.”
  • Mohamad Fakih: “We understand that businesses may need to close for the time being. But if governments are going to enforce that, we need adequate and timely support.”
  • Corey Mintz: “When this crisis has passed, the chefs who terrorized their staffs, collecting accolades for their abusive personalities and credit for the group’s cooking efforts, should be afraid to go back to their previous behaviour.”

More reporting

  • Escaping the COVID-19 pandemic, new backcountry adventurers are putting pressure on rescue services.
  • Shelter workers and experts say the pandemic has made homelessness more visible in Montreal and disrupted the way people access both formal and informal services.
  • Businesses in south Florida are lamenting the loss of snowbirds for Canadafest, which has played out for nearly 40 years in the heart of a uniquely Canadian diaspora south of Fort Lauderdale, a way of saying thank you to the roughly 1.2 million people from north of the border who visit the state annually.
  • Vancouver Canucks owner cuts ties with anthem singer who planned to sing at COVID-19 restrictions protest

Information centre

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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