Quebec Premier François Legault announced Tuesday the province is extending emergency measures for another week in three regions, until April 25, as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise.
That means the continued closure of schools and non-essential businesses, as well as a curfew remaining in place, in the Outaouais, Chaudière-Appalaches and Quebec City areas. The curfew in Montreal and Laval remains unchanged.
Health officials in the province on Tuesday reported 1,490 new cases and 12 additional deaths. Hospitalizations stood at 643, the province said, with 150 people in intensive care.
Across Saskatchewan, indoor private gatherings are once again limited to members of one household, effective immediately, according to a public health order issued Tuesday. Previously, that clampdown was only in place in Regina, where Health Minister Paul Merriman said case numbers have stabilized.
Ontario reported 3,670 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday and 15 additional deaths as the strain on the province’s hospitals increased and Premier Doug Ford defended the province’s vaccine rollout.
There has been confusion over how people under 50 with a postal code in one of the identified hot spots should go about booking a vaccine appointment. The province announced last week that those aged 18 to 49 would soon be eligible in those zones. But Ford clarified on Tuesday that they will have to search for a mobile or pop-up clinic — first in certain postal codes in Toronto and Peel Region.
The government said individuals can contact their local health units for details. Appointments will not be available through the provincial booking portal as some in that age group and in high-risk areas had initially believed.
Health officials in Ontario say there are now 1,822 people in hospital for treatment of COVID-19, with 626 in intensive care — a record high.
Ontario’s SickKids hospital is already caring for eight adults in ICU — a first for the Toronto hospital, though its top official noted that care for children was not being impacted.
CHEO, a major children’s hospital in Ottawa, meanwhile, announced on Tuesday that it is also readying beds for adults if needed.
What’s happening across Canada
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As of 7:20 p.m. ET, Canada had reported 1,078,568 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 78,296 considered active. A CBC News tally of deaths stood at 23,392.
In Atlantic Canada, next Monday’s planned restart of the Atlantic bubble has been delayed until May 3. That date is contingent on low case counts and guidance from the chief medical officers of health in all four provinces.
Atlantic premiers will meet again during the last week of April to review the status of outbreaks in the region and determine if a further delay to May 10 is required.
Earlier, Nova Scotia Premier Iain Rankin said at a briefing. Rankin also said border restrictions between his province and New Brunswick were being restored in the face of rising caseloads and variants of concern cases in that province.
No decision on Atlantic Bubble opening. <a href=”https://twitter.com/dennyking?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@dennyking</a> says premiers will be meeting later today but reopening April 19 would be “precarious”
Nova Scotia on Tuesday reported six new cases of COVID-19, New Brunswick reported four new cases, Newfoundland and Labrador reported one new case and there were no new cases reported in Prince Edward Island.
In the Prairie provinces, Manitoba reported 135 new cases of COVID-19 and two related deaths on Tuesday,.
Saskatchewan reported 288 new cases of COVID-19 and two additional deaths. The province has 202 people in hospital for treatment of the respiratory illness, 161 of them in ICUs
Alberta on Tuesday reported 1,081 new cases of COVID-19 and three additional deaths. The case count is down from Monday, but the number of people in hospital with COVID-19 increased by 12. Hospitalizations stood at 402, with 88 of those in intensive care.
British Columbia reported 873 new COVID-19 cases and two related deaths on Tuesday. The update came after Premier John Horgan suggested more restrictions could be coming to stem the third wave of the pandemic.
The premier said provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry will provide any update of possible new restrictions Thursday during a briefing where the province’s latest COVID-19 modelling data will be presented.
Yukon reported one new case of COVID-19 Monday night, as health officials expanded an exposure notification related to an April 3 Air North flight. There were no new cases reported in Nunavut or the Northwest Territories.
What’s happening around the world
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As of Tuesday evening, more than 137 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to a coronavirus tracker administered by Johns Hopkins University. The reported global death toll was approaching three million.
In the Americas, health officials in the U.S. are recommending a pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine as investigators look into six reports of rare blood clots.
In a joint statement Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration said all of the cases happened in women between the age of 18 and 48, the statement said, with symptoms occurring between six and 13 days after people were vaccinated.
As of Monday, the statement says, the U.S. had administered more than 6.8 million doses of the vaccine. Canada has approved the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, but has not yet received any doses.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canadian officials are “closely monitoring” the latest developments and any decision made about the vaccine’s distribution will “put the health of Canadians first and foremost.” He said Canada is still expecting the first batch of Johnson & Johnson shots by month’s end.
Meanwhile, a woman in Quebec is Canada’s first confirmed case of a condition that causes rare but potentially fatal blood clots that’s been reported in connection with the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine. Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé said she is recovering and doing well.
The World Health Organization, asked about reports of rare blood clots after vaccination with the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 shot, told Reuters on Tuesday that it was awaiting reviews by the U.S. and European regulators and monitoring global data.
In the Asia-Pacific region, Pakistan’s President Arif Alvi appealed for people to adhere to physical distancing rules after Islamabad reported one of its highest single-day totals of COVID-19 fatalities in recent months. Alvi also said on Twitter he has recovered from COVID-19 himself, but was still feeling weakness.
India reported 161,736 new coronavirus infections on Tuesday, hitting the world’s highest daily tally once again, for a total of 13.69 million cases, health ministry data showed.
In Europe, France’s prime minister has announced the suspension of all flights between Brazil and France amid concerns over coronavirus variants.
“We note that the situation is getting worse and so we have decided to suspend all flights between Brazil and France until further notice,” Prime Minister Jean Castex said. France has had 5.1 million coronavirus cases since the pandemic began, the highest number in Europe, and more than 99,000 people have died.
In Africa, South Africa, meanwhile, extended by a further three months the deadline of a loan scheme central to efforts to counter the economic impact of COVID-19.
In the Middle East, hard-hit Iran’s reported case total has risen to more than two million, with more than 64,700 reported deaths.
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