The last coronavirus news from Canada and around the world on Sunday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.
9:30 am: The most recent data from the Ontario Health Coalition (OHC) revealed that seven long-term care and retirement homes in Peel Region are battling ‘major outbreaks’, where more than 10 people have tested positive for COVID-19.
The largest outbreak was reported at Tyndall Retirement Village in Mississauga. According to figures from the OHC, which were last updated on December 1, a home outbreak was declared on November 5.
By November 24, Tyndall had seen 81 residents and 57 staff tested positive for COVID-19. At least seven deaths have been recorded since the outbreak was declared.
This is Tyndall’s second COVID-19 outbreak. A total of 26 residents of the house have died from COVID-19. As of December 1, 113 residents and 74 staff have tested positive at Tyndall.
Other homes included in the report are the Port Credit Residence, King Gardens Place Retirement, Villa Forum, Woodhall Park Care, Hawthorn Woods Care, and Extendicare Brampton.
8:18: Germany is closing most shops and schools and further limiting social contact in a bid to reduce the rate of coronavirus infections which have remained stubbornly high in recent weeks.
Chancellor Angela Merkel said she and the governors of Germany’s 16 states agreed on Sunday to step up the country’s lockdown measures from December 16 to January 10 to stop the exponential rise in COVID-19 cases.
“We have to act, and we act too,” Merkel told reporters in Berlin.
Existing restrictions imposed in November failed to significantly reduce the number of new infections, she said. Germany recorded 20,200 new confirmed cases and 321 additional deaths on Sunday, a high number for the weekend when many local authorities do not release figures.
With the exception of Christmas, the number of people allowed to meet indoors will remain limited to five, not including children under the age of 14.
8h17: Chinese authorities have locked down an area of more than 250,000 people after half a dozen cases of the coronavirus were confirmed near the Russian border in northeast Heilongjiang province. Checkpoints were set up in Dongning and Suifenhe, and people were told not to leave unless necessary.
The bus service was suspended, schools closed and production interrupted in factories not meeting daily needs. Restaurants have been told to stop food service and residential communities have been told to control entry. Four cases have been confirmed since Thursday in Suifenhe and two in Dongning. China, where the coronavirus first appeared at the end of last year, has moved quickly to eradicate any recurrence of the virus.
The National Health Commission reported 24 new cases nationwide, including four in Heilongjiang and another in southwestern Sichuan Province. The remaining 19 were imported from outside China.
8h17: South Korea has set another record for its daily coronavirus total of 1,030, as authorities struggle to suppress the spread of the virus.
The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said on Sunday that the additional cases, including two deaths, had brought the national case count to 42,766 with 580 deaths. About 80% of the new cases were discovered in the densely populated Seoul area, where authorities have closed nightclubs and other high-risk places, banned late-night meals and taken other measures to slow down the propagation.
But these measures had little effect. Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun on Saturday said his government may have to enforce its social distancing rules at the highest level if the virus does not slow down. Such restrictions would ban an assembly of more than 10 people, close schools, theaters and department stores, and suspend professional sports leagues.
8h17: Daily coronavirus cases in Japan topped 3,000 for the first time, as the government delays tougher measures for fear of hurting the economy ahead of the holiday season.
The 3,030 new cases, including 621 in Tokyo, brought Japan’s national total to 177,287 with 2,562 deaths, the health ministry said on Sunday.
Experts say severe cases are on the rise across the country, weighing down hospitals and affecting the daily medical treatment of other patients. They urged authorities to take measures such as suspending travel outside the city and requesting early closings of stores.
Recent media polls show support ratings for Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s government have fallen by around 20 points, down from around 70% in his first three months in office amid public discontent with his management of the coronavirus.
Japan declared a non-binding state of emergency in the spring and survived previous spikes in infection without lockdown. Experts say the continued resurgence of the cold, dry season would be a bigger challenge.
8h15: The first trucks carrying a COVID-19 vaccine for widespread use in the United States were due to leave a Michigan manufacturing plant on Sunday, with the shots critical to stopping the coronavirus outbreak in the country intended to reach the states a day later .
An assembly line of workers began early in the morning removing doses from a freezer, packaging the vaccine and loading the units onto pallets so they could be placed on trucks at a Pfizer plant in Michigan. Dry ice, shipping labels and packing tape were on hand as workers – wearing masks, face shields and gloves – assembled packages inside the warehouse.
A forklift driver transported the boxes to a loading area where a second forklift driver transferred the pallets from inside the facility to a semi-trailer.
Pfizer vaccine shipments will set in motion the largest vaccination effort in U.S. history at a critical time in the pandemic that has killed 1.6 million people and sickened 71 million worldwide.
Initially, around 3 million doses were expected to be sent, and priority is given to healthcare workers and nursing home residents as infections, hospitalizations and deaths skyrocket in the United States. likely to worsen during the holidays, the vaccine offers a place in the fight against the pandemic that has killed nearly 300,000 Americans.
9:20 p.m. Saturday: 9 p.m. (update): Saskatchewan reported its largest one-day increase in COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic began on Saturday, as police fined protesters opposed to public health measures to contain the pandemic.
Police said a man and woman they identified as the organizers of an ‘anti-mask rally / convoy’ in Regina on Saturday were each issued a ticket for contravening public health orders relating to the COVID pandemic -19.
The tickets were each fined $ 2,800.