Coronavirus News Today: COVID-19 Vaccine Arrives in Remote First Nations in Canada; More than 380 epidemic cases south of Beijing

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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.

8h00: Frederik Andersen has an interesting way of looking at the upcoming season in the NHL:

“It will be both a sprint and a marathon,” said the Maple Leafs goaltender.

He’s not wrong. It will count as a full season, but it will only be 56 games, 26 games shorter than usual. The specter of COVID-19 will weigh on the heads of teams, the possibility of postponed games or games played with fewer players than normal.

There will be constant testing. Repeated quarantine. A taxi team of four to six players, including an additional mandated goalkeeper, existing outside the salary cap and training with the regular squad, designed to be ready to fill at any time.

“Obviously we’re going to be counting on more guys,” Andersen says. “There will be fewer games in a very tight schedule. It’s going to put a lot of pressure on the guys who have to work hard, perform and play well when we get a chance to play.

Read the full story here: The NHL believes it can face a pandemic. Here’s how the league plans to go about it

5 h 13 More than 380 people have tested positive in a growing outbreak of COVID-19 south of Beijing in China’s Hebei Province.

Hebei health officials said 40 new cases were confirmed as of Sunday morning, bringing the total to 223. 161 other people have tested positive but have not shown any symptoms. China does not include these asymptomatic cases in its official tally.

The outbreak has raised particular concern because Hebei borders the nation’s capital. Travel between the two was restricted, with workers in Hebei having to show proof of employment in Beijing to enter the city.

Almost all of the cases are in Shijuazhuang, the provincial capital, located about 260 kilometers southwest of Beijing. A handful were also found in the town of Xingtai, 110 kilometers (68 miles) further south.

The two cities carried out mass tests on millions of residents, suspended public transport and taxis, and limited residents to their communities or villages for a week.

Earlier on Sunday, China’s National Health Commission reported that 69 new cases had been confirmed nationwide the day before, most in Hebei. The others included 21 people who had recently arrived from overseas.

Beijing had one new case, bringing the number of confirmed cases to 32 in a smaller outbreak that surfaced about three weeks ago. Almost all of the cases have occurred in Shunyi, in the northeastern suburb of the city.

In other developments in the Asia-Pacific region:

Japanese opposition lawmakers criticized the government’s declaration of emergency as too late to stem the surge in coronavirus cases. They also insisted on more testing, which has been lagging behind in Japan, being expensive and difficult to obtain unless the people taking it are seriously ill. “It is essential to consider the worst possible scenario, but the answer has always been based on an overly optimistic outlook,” Yukio Edano, former Minister of the Economy, told NHK TV public broadcaster.

Opposition lawmakers Toranosuke Katayama and Kazuo Shii also criticized the state of emergency as being too limited in scope, scope and duration. The statement, which began on Friday, focuses on asking restaurants to close at 8 p.m. It lasts a month and focuses on the Tokyo area. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga defended the measure and pointed out that the upward curve will flatten in a month.

COVID-19-related deaths totaled around 4,000 nationwide. Concerns are growing about the scarcity of hospitals. Tokyo’s cases recently jumped to over 2,000 a day. Other urban areas have also asked the central government for similar emergency measures.

Sunday 4:01 am: First Nations across Canada have started receiving doses of COVID-19 vaccines as provincial immunization programs are underway and Indigenous leaders encourage people to roll up their sleeves.

Six of Vancouver Island’s 14 Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations received priority doses of the Moderna vaccine last week, said Mariah Charleson, vice-chair of the approximately 10,000 Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council. members.

The council employs nurses who are among those who administer the vaccines so that people see a familiar face they know and trust, she said.

Health officials must work with communities to ensure that the COVID-19 vaccination program is culturally appropriate, she said, given the impacts of the residential school system and discrimination in communities. health care, as noted in a recent report by former judge Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond.

“There are many people in our communities that our nurses may never have seen because (they) will never go for help,” Charleson said.

Released in November, the Turpel-Lafond report sheds light on widespread racial profiling based on damaging stereotypes that affect the care of Indigenous patients in British Columbia. Of more than 2,700 Indigenous people interviewed for the survey, 84% said they had experienced some form of discrimination in health care.

It’s understandable that many are reluctant to trust Canadian health officials, said Charleson, who encourages people to get vaccinated.

“If you don’t do it for yourself, do it for the elders in the community and the vulnerable,” she said in an interview.

Chief Simon John of Ehattesaht First Nation said he noticed some hesitation about COVID-19 vaccines among residents of the Ehatis reserve on the northwest coast of Vancouver Island.

The community of around 100 members has been hit by a COVID-19 outbreak that has spread to 28 people last month, so when John learned they would be getting Moderna’s vaccine soon, he decided to show The example.

“For us as a Council, doing it first was our priority,” he said.

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John said he received his first dose last Monday along with about 30 other residents of Ehatis and 40 people in the nearby village of Zeballos, including elders and band members living off reserve.

British Columbia has allocated 25,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to at-risk members of remote First Nations for distribution by the end of February. As of Monday, 10,700 doses of Moderna vaccine were available for First Nations and 5,300 had been distributed in 18 communities.

As of Friday, Indigenous Services Canada had confirmed nearly 10,000 cases of COVID-19 in First Nations communities across the country, including 3,288 active infections, 452 hospitalizations and 95 deaths.

The Canadian Advisory Committee on Immunization has identified Indigenous communities as priority groups for vaccines with limited supply.

In Alberta, remote First Nations residents and people 65 years of age or older living in First Nations or Métis communities are among those the province is prioritizing for its third phase of immunization starting in February.

In Saskatchewan, 4,900 doses of Moderna vaccine have so far been sent to northern areas, where healthcare workers, staff and residents of long-term care homes, and people aged 80 and over. are the first to be vaccinated, including those living in First Nations communities.

Initially, “First Nations were not really involved in the allocation of this vaccine,” said Dr. Nnamdi Ndubuka, medical officer of the Northern Inter-Tribal Health Authority.

More recently, communication about vaccine distribution has improved between communities and the Saskatchewan Health Authority, he said.

The province said it expected to receive an additional 5,300 doses of the Moderna vaccine this week, with small towns serving as regional distribution centers.

Manitoba, meanwhile, began shipping 5,300 doses of Moderna vaccine last week to reach people from 63 First Nations across the province.

Saturday 9.45pm: The surge in coronavirus cases after Christmas is worsening in Los Angeles County, a much-feared scenario that officials say will lead to increased overcrowding in already overwhelmed hospitals and increased deaths. LA County reached new milestones in the pandemic on Saturday: more than 12,000 deaths from COVID-19 and more than 900,000 cases of coronavirus.

The next few days are expected to be crucial in determining the severity of this outbreak and how it will affect conditions in hospitals.

The average number of new coronavirus cases in LA County Thursday, Friday and Saturday was 17,879 – significantly higher than last week’s average of 14,000.

Saturday 8:55 p.m .: A small demonstration broke out in the Plateau district of Montreal shortly before the curfew came into effect. Some chanted “freedom,” while one carried a sign urging people to disobey the lockdown.

A helicopter dragged the group through the residential area and police cruisers lined the streets.

It ended after about 15 minutes, as officers arrested some of the protesters and others dispersed to a nearby park.

Saturday 8 p.m .: A curfew intended to stop the spread of COVID-19 has now come into effect across Quebec.

Prime Minister François Legault said the 20-hour curfew was necessary to prevent the gatherings that fueled the endemic spread of the virus.

The rules will see most residents face police questions or heavy fines if they go out between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m.

There are exceptions for essential workers, dog walkers, and those with medical reasons for time off, such as a doctor’s appointment.

According to the rules, grocery stores and convenience stores will have to close at 7:30 p.m. in order to allow workers and customers to return home. Stores connected to gas stations can remain open to serve essential workers.

Click here for all of Saturday’s COVID-19 coverage.

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