The latest coronavirus news from Canada and around the world Wednesday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.
6h32: Thousands of Ontarians unexpectedly found themselves in vaccination limbo Tuesday afternoon, following an announcement that the province was suspending AstraZeneca use following an increase in rare complications of blood clotting.
Over 850,000 doses of the beleaguered British vaccine have been administered in the province so far, many to jubilant Gen X geniuses who turned out in droves after the vaccine eligibility age was lowered to 40 last month.
Many of these people wonder what this announcement means to them, especially with the time of a second dose quickly approaching. What shall we do now?
Read Star’s full Alex Boyd story here.
6.30 a.m.: India has confirmed 4,205 more deaths, setting another daily record and pushing its official COVID-19 toll to 250,000 as it battles a fierce outbreak of infections.
About 370,000 new cases have been added in the past 24 hours, bringing India’s total to 23 million, according to the health ministry. Numbers are considered large undercounts due to insufficient testing and records, among other factors.
Authorities on Tuesday warned that nearly 90% of the country’s districts had a high positivity rate, raising concerns that the virus could spread rapidly in rural areas.
India’s recent outbreak has been blamed on more contagious variants as well as government decisions to allow massive crowds to assemble for religious festivals and political rallies.
Even though daily cases showed very early signs of flattening, experts have warned authorities not to let their guard down. With nearly 4 million cases still active, healthcare systems remain under strain with limited hospital beds, oxygen and medication.
Many states have imposed their own restrictions to fight infections, and southern Telangana state became the latest to announce a 10-day lockdown on Tuesday. Calls and pressure for a nationwide lockdown have increased.
6.30 a.m.: Coronavirus infections in Pakistan have been on the decline for more than two weeks after rising for more than two months amid a nationwide lockdown.
Pakistan has reported less than 3,000 cases in the past 24 hours, showing a steady decline in COVID-19 cases. But experts say it’s too early to assume Pakistan has peaked.
In an effort to contain the spread of the virus, the Pakistani government last week imposed a lockdown ahead of Eid al-Fitr, which is expected to be celebrated on Friday subject to moon sight.
Pakistan has also expanded its vaccination program to protect people against the coronavirus by offering free vaccinations to those who are 30 years of age or older.
Pakistan has reported 104 deaths in a single day in the past 24 hours.
As of last year, Pakistan has reported 19,210 coronavirus deaths out of 867,438 COVID-19 cases.
6h29: An independent panel of experts that reviewed the World Health Organization’s response to the coronavirus pandemic said the United Nations health agency should be granted “guaranteed access rights” in countries to investigate emerging outbreaks, a controversial idea that would give it more power and require member states. abandon some of their own.
In a report released on Wednesday, the panel criticized countries around the world for their slow response to COVID-19, saying most wait to see how the virus spreads until it is too late to contain it, leading to catastrophic results. The group also criticized the lack of global leadership and restrictive international health laws that have “hampered” the WHO’s response to the pandemic.
Some experts criticized the panel for failing to hold the WHO and others accountable for their actions during COVID-19, describing it as “an abdication of responsibility.”
Lawrence Gostin of Georgetown University said the panel “fails to denounce bad actors like China, continuing the WHO’s dysfunctional diplomatic tradition of openness, transparency and accountability. “
The panel was chaired by former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, who were approached by the WHO last year to review the UN agency’s response to COVID -19 after having bowed to a request from member countries.
“The situation we find ourselves in today could have been avoided,” said Johnson Sirleaf.
6h28: Coronavirus cases are exploding in Asia and the Pacific with more than 5.9 million new infections confirmed in the past two weeks, more than all other regions combined, the International Federation of the Red Cross said on Wednesday.
He warned that the outbreak was pushing hospitals and health systems to the brink of collapse.
Seven out of 10 countries in the world that are doubling the number of infections the fastest are in Asia and the Pacific, according to the report. Laos took just 12 days to see its cases double, and the number of confirmed infections in India doubled in less than two months to more than 23 million, the Red Cross said in a statement.
He said Oxford University’s Our World in Data reported more than 5.9 million new COVID-19 infections in Asia and the Pacific in the past two weeks. The official figures for much of the region are generally thought to be underestimated.
“COVID-19 is exploding across much of Asia, crushing hospitals and healthcare. More people have been diagnosed with the disease in Asia in the past two weeks than in the Americas, Europe and Africa combined, ”said Asia-Pacific Red Cross director Alexander Matheou.
6h27: A summer of barbecues and picnics in the park?
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says it’s possible if people continue to roll up their sleeves and relax public health restrictions related to COVID-19 until cases are resolved.
“We can have this summer, we can have a one-dose summer … And a one-dose summer prepares us for a two-dose fall where we can talk about back to school, work and a return to more normalcy,” said -he.
“This is what the coming months could look like. This is what excites me.
Canada took an important step on the road to herd immunity to COVID-19 on Tuesday, with 40% of Canadians – 15.2 million people – now vaccinated with at least their first dose.
Chief public health officer Dr Theresa Tam said 75% was the target for the first doses, so lifting the restrictions does not result in a fourth wave.
The news comes even as Ontario and Alberta announce they will no longer be giving the first doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
The supply of this vaccine has been restricted recently and there have been concerns about the risk of blood clots associated with this type of injection.
6h25: Alberta Justice Minister says he was wrong to accuse Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government, Alberta opposition NDP and the media of supporting COVID-19 to weaken the system of health in his province.
“I would like to apologize for my recent comments on my personal Facebook account,” Kaycee Madu wrote on Twitter Tuesday evening.
“Alberta is facing an unprecedented public health crisis. My comments were wrong because all Canadians want this global pandemic to end as soon as possible.
“I fully support the Prime Minister’s recent call to avoid divisive political rhetoric during what we all hope will be the last part of this pandemic and I will continue the important work of the government to protect Albertans from this virus.
The apology came a day after Madu spokesman Blaise Boehmer told reporters in a statement that Madu was upholding his accusations, adding, “The minister will not apologize for stating the obvious.”
Earlier Tuesday, before Madu’s apology, Trudeau dismissed the charges.
4 am: The latest COVID-19 immunization figures in Canada at 4 a.m. ET on Wednesday, May 12, 2021.
In Canada, provinces report 340,259 new vaccines administered for a total of 16,597,932 doses administered. Nationwide, 1,285,391 people, or 3.4% of the population, have been fully immunized. The provinces administered doses at a rate of 43,794,851 per 100,000 people.
To date, 1,698,558 new vaccines have been delivered to provinces and territories, for a total of 19,853,152 doses. The provinces and territories used 83.6% of their stock of available vaccines.
4 am: The last number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Canada at 4 a.m. ET on Wednesday, May 12, 2021.
There are 1,299,572 confirmed cases in Canada (78,039 active, 1,196,819 resolved, 24,714 deaths). The total number of cases includes 13 confirmed cases among repatriated travelers.
There were 5,373 new cases on Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 205.34 per 100,000 people. In the past seven days, there have been a total of 49,623 new cases. The seven-day moving average of new cases is 7,089.
There were 32 new deaths reported on Tuesday. In the past seven days, 321 new deaths have been reported. The seven-day moving average of new reported deaths is 46. The seven-day moving average death rate is 0.12 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 65.03 per 100,000 people.
There were 32,867,352 tests performed.