United Nations increases demand for humanitarian aid from $ 29 billion to $ 41 billion in ongoing pandemic – .

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United Nations increases demand for humanitarian aid from $ 29 billion to $ 41 billion in ongoing pandemic – .


The latest coronavirus news in Canada and around the world Thursday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.

6h02 : Sudbury & Districts Public Health reported 30 new cases of COVID-19 in its service area on Wednesday.

According to the health unit’s website, 22 of the new cases were confirmed in Greater Sudbury, three in the Sudbury District and five in the Manitoulin District.

Public Health has also reported 37 resolved cases.

There are now 285 active cases of COVID-19 in the health unit service area, including 244 in Greater Sudbury, 30 in the Sudbury District and 11 in the Manitoulin District.

Public health has reported 3,888 COVID-19 cases and 39 COVID-related deaths since the start of the pandemic.

In addition, 1,898 cases confirmed or suspected to be variants of concern have been identified in the region.

Public Health declared a new COVID-19 outbreak at Northstar Recreation in Greater Sudbury on December 1.

6h01 : Health Sciences North said in a statement on Wednesday that it had laid off 53 employees who refused to comply with its mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy.

A spokesperson for the hospital said the number of layoffs was “within the range HSN expects” based on the experience of other Ontario hospitals.

A total of 14 full-time, 32 part-time and seven casual workers representing 1.4 percent of all hospital staff saw their jobs end on November 29 and 30.

The hospital’s mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy for all existing employees, accredited professional staff, learners and volunteers came into effect on November 1.

“HSN respects the decision of those unvaccinated employees who, for reasons of their own, have chosen to leave the organization,” said Jason Turnbull, head of communications and community engagement at HSN.

Turnbull said HSN has required full proof of vaccination for all new hires – including employees, certified professional staff, learners and volunteers – since early September.

6 a.m : President Joe Biden is set to launch a more urgent campaign for Americans to receive COVID-19 booster injections on Thursday as he unveils his winter plans to tackle the coronavirus and its omicron variant with improved availability of injections and vaccines but without major new restrictions.

The plan includes a requirement for private insurers to cover the cost of home COVID-19 testing and tightened testing requirements for people entering the United States regardless of their vaccination status. But as other countries close their borders or reimpose closures, officials have said Biden will not impose additional restrictions beyond his recommendation that Americans wear masks indoors in public places. .

Biden said on Wednesday the next strategy, which will be unveiled during a speech at the National Institutes of Health, would tackle the virus “not with closures or blockages but with vaccinations, boosters, testing and more. widespread ”.

The White House released details of Biden’s plan early Thursday, ahead of the speech.

The Biden administration has come to view the widespread adoption of booster shots as its most effective tool in tackling COVID-19 this winter. Medical experts say boosters offer improved, longer-lasting protection against COVID-19, including new variants.

5h58 : South Korea on Thursday broke its daily record for coronavirus infections for the second day in a row with more than 5,200 new cases, as pressure mounted on a healthcare system grappling with an increase in hospitalizations and deaths.

The rapid delta-induced spread comes amid the emergence of the new omicron variant, which is considered potentially more contagious than previous strains of the virus, and has fueled concerns about prolonged pandemic suffering.

South Korea confirmed its first five cases of omicron linked to arrivals from Nigeria on Wednesday evening, prompting the government to tighten border controls.

The country will require all passengers arriving from overseas in the next two weeks to be quarantined for at least 10 days, regardless of their nationality or vaccination status. South Korea had already banned short-term foreign travelers from eight southern African countries, including South Africa, since Sunday, and has now extended the same rules to foreigners from Nigeria.

5h56 : Federal government could be heading towards a temporary shutdown as Republicans set to block a must-have fundraising bill in their efforts to force a debate in Congress on rescinding the administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates Biden for some workers.

Conservative Republicans in the House and Senate who oppose Biden’s vaccine rules want Congress to take a strong stance against mandatory shots, even if that means shutting down federal offices over the weekend.

But not all Republicans are on board. One GOP senator after another left a private luncheon on Wednesday expressing fears that they would be blamed for even a brief shutdown by the federal government that will not play well with the public.

Friday is a government funding deadline, and objections from Republicans – particularly in the Senate, where any senator can delay the process to block a vote – could delay passage of legislation necessary to maintain federal operations.

5h54 : When the United Nations made its last appeal for humanitarian aid funding before the pandemic, it asked donors for around $ 29 billion. But in the past year alone, the number of people needing help has increased dramatically. And so the UN is asking for more aid – $ 41 billion.

As the pandemic enters a third year and the toll of conflict and climate change increases, the UN said on Thursday it must help 183 million people in 63 countries suffering the consequences. This compared to 100 million people at the time of the last call, in 2019.

More than 1% of the world’s population is now displaced by conflicts and disasters, Martin Griffiths, United Nations emergency relief coordinator, told reporters in Geneva when announcing the organization’s 2022 fundraising campaign. Around 45 million people are now facing famine, some due to climate change.

The pandemic has already forced 20 million people into extreme poverty, he said, citing World Bank estimates, and the new variant of the omicron would further increase the economic damage. “As COVID continues to threaten us and continues to mutate, we will continue to see increased humanitarian needs,” he said.

Funding for humanitarian aid has doubled in four years and nine country programs now require aid worth more than $ 1 billion each, according to the UN. Topping the list are Afghanistan and Syria, which each need more than $ 4 billion. They are followed by Yemen, which needs 3.9 billion dollars.

5h53 : The omicron coronavirus variant was first reported in the United States on Wednesday in a traveler who had traveled to South Africa, as scientists around the world are studying whether the variant is more transmissible or virulent than its predecessors.

The patient, a San Francisco resident, is in isolation and aggressive contact tracing is underway, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement. The person was fully vaccinated, but without a booster shot, and had mild symptoms that were improving, the agency said.

The discovery prompted the Biden administration to renew calls for everyone to be fully immunized and, if eligible, to receive a booster. It also happened when the CDC asked airlines for the names and contact details of all passengers who had boarded flights to the United States since November 29 and who had been in southern Africa for the past two weeks. .

The World Health Organization has warned that the risk posed by the variant, which was first identified in South Africa on Thursday, is “very high”. More than 20 countries have detected the variant.

Thursday 5:52 am: Japan says it lifted a ban on new bookings of inbound international flights to defend against the new variant of the coronavirus just a day after the policy was announced, following criticism that it was ‘overreaction.

The Transportation Ministry on Wednesday called on international airlines to stop taking new bookings for flights to Japan until the end of December as an emergency precautionary measure to defend against the new omicron variant.

The ministry said Thursday it had withdrawn its request after receiving criticism that the ban was too strict and amounted to abandoning its own people.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said the swift policy reversal took into account the travel needs of Japanese nationals. Kishida pushed for strict precautionary measures after his predecessor Yoshihide Suga all but lost his leadership position amid public criticism that his measures against viruses were too limited and too slow.

“I have asked the Ministry of Transport to pay full attention to the needs of Japanese citizens to return home,” Kishida said.

Read Wednesday’s coronavirus news.

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