Today’s coronavirus news: Ontario residents 40 and older can book COVID vaccines Thursday; Provinces issued more COVID-19 tickets during second wave, CCLA report says

The latest coronavirus news from Canada and around the world Thursday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.5:35 a.m. Muslims celebrated Eid al-Fitr in a subdued mood for a second year Thursday as the COVID-19 pandemic again forced mosque closings and family separations on the holiday marking the end of Islam's holiest month of Ramadan.Worshippers wearing masks joined communal prayers in the streets of Indonesia's capital, Jakarta. The world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation allowed mosque prayers in low-risk areas, but mosques in areas where there was more risk of the virus spreading closed their doors, including Jakarta’s Istiqlal Grand Mosque, the largest in Southeast Asia.Indonesians and Malaysians were banned for a second year from traveling to visit relatives in the traditional Eid homecoming.“I understand that we all miss our relatives at times like this, especially in the momentum of Eid,” Indonesian President Joko Widodo said in televised remarks. “But let’s prioritize safety together by not going back to our hometowns.”Despite the similar ban a year ago, the number of daily cases in Indonesia had picked up by 37% three weeks after the holiday. Similar patterns followed other holidays in the country that has counted 1.7 million infections and more than 47,600 fatalities from COVID-19.The Jakarta governor also ordered malls, restaurants and leisure destinations usually packed during the holiday period to shut.With no congregational prayers at mosques, no family reunions, no relatives bearing gifts and cookies for children, “Eid is not a grand event anymore,” Jakarta resident Maysa Andriana said. “The pandemic has changed everything... this is too sad!” she said.While police set up highway checkpoints and domestic flights and other modes of transportation were suspended, anxiety lingers that people will defy the prohibition. Television reports showed city dwellers hiding on disguised trucks or fishing boats and officers at roadblocks being overwhelmed by desperate motorists.“We followed the government decision that banned us visiting my parents for Eid last year, it’s enough! Nothing can stop me now,” said factory worker Askari Anam, who used alleys and shortcuts to avoid being stopped from visiting his hometown.“Of course I’m worried,” he said when asked about possibly contracting the virus. “But I leave it to God.”Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin expressed concern of a virus spike and feared people would travel despite the ban.5:34 a.m. Rodrigo Cokting hadn’t been to the grocery store in more than eight months.The 34-year-old digital marketer lives in a Mississauga postal code that is a hot spot for COVID-19. Cokting, whose chronic asthma and weight put him at higher risk, knows his chance of surviving the virus is relatively poor.Since March of last year, he’s lived most of his daily life in fear, weighing the risk of every little choice, wondering if it could lead to illness and death. The second wave of the virus left him even more isolated.But May 4 was a turning point: Cokting received his first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The fear that clouded his life dissipated.Cokting now goes grocery shopping, taking the time in the fruit aisle to choose perfectly ripe honeycrisps.“If you asked me a year ago, would I be this excited about picking my own apples? No,” he said. “But that’s how your perception changes after going through something like this.”While one dose is only the first step toward full protection against COVID-19, it has nonetheless been an important step for many. Those who have received the first jab said they’ve felt relief, euphoria and a renewed sense of hope for the first time in months. This, despite case counts still high and safety protocols like mask-wearing and distancing remaining necessary. Full protection from a second dose for the majority of Ontarians is also months away.Read the full story from the Star’s Nadine Yousif5:32 a.m. Provinces became more punitive in their approach to COVID-19 infractions during the second wave of the pandemic, says the Canadian Civil Liberties Association in a report that suggests Quebec and Manitoba were particularly forceful in handing out tickets.The association is urging the federal and provincial governments to fight the pandemic by focusing on proven public-health policy interventions including paid sick leave and education rather than punitive enforcement measures."A pandemic is a public health, not a public order, crisis," says the report released Thursday."Punishing people with charges and fines misses the target – the virus itself – often in ways that exacerbate pre-pandemic inequality."The organization's director of criminal justice Abby Deshman said the group was able to obtain data documenting the number of tickets issued for alleged violations of COVID-19 restrictions in British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia.The report examines the policing

Today’s coronavirus news: Ontario residents 40 and older can book COVID vaccines Thursday; Provinces issued more COVID-19 tickets during second wave, CCLA report says

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

5:35 a.m. Muslims celebrated Eid al-Fitr in a subdued mood for a second year Thursday as the COVID-19 pandemic again forced mosque closings and family separations on the holiday marking the end of Islam's holiest month of Ramadan.

Worshippers wearing masks joined communal prayers in the streets of Indonesia's capital, Jakarta. The world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation allowed mosque prayers in low-risk areas, but mosques in areas where there was more risk of the virus spreading closed their doors, including Jakarta’s Istiqlal Grand Mosque, the largest in Southeast Asia.

Indonesians and Malaysians were banned for a second year from traveling to visit relatives in the traditional Eid homecoming.

“I understand that we all miss our relatives at times like this, especially in the momentum of Eid,” Indonesian President Joko Widodo said in televised remarks. “But let’s prioritize safety together by not going back to our hometowns.”

Despite the similar ban a year ago, the number of daily cases in Indonesia had picked up by 37% three weeks after the holiday. Similar patterns followed other holidays in the country that has counted 1.7 million infections and more than 47,600 fatalities from COVID-19.

The Jakarta governor also ordered malls, restaurants and leisure destinations usually packed during the holiday period to shut.

With no congregational prayers at mosques, no family reunions, no relatives bearing gifts and cookies for children, “Eid is not a grand event anymore,” Jakarta resident Maysa Andriana said. “The pandemic has changed everything... this is too sad!” she said.

While police set up highway checkpoints and domestic flights and other modes of transportation were suspended, anxiety lingers that people will defy the prohibition. Television reports showed city dwellers hiding on disguised trucks or fishing boats and officers at roadblocks being overwhelmed by desperate motorists.

“We followed the government decision that banned us visiting my parents for Eid last year, it’s enough! Nothing can stop me now,” said factory worker Askari Anam, who used alleys and shortcuts to avoid being stopped from visiting his hometown.

“Of course I’m worried,” he said when asked about possibly contracting the virus. “But I leave it to God.”

Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin expressed concern of a virus spike and feared people would travel despite the ban.

5:34 a.m. Rodrigo Cokting hadn’t been to the grocery store in more than eight months.

The 34-year-old digital marketer lives in a Mississauga postal code that is a hot spot for COVID-19. Cokting, whose chronic asthma and weight put him at higher risk, knows his chance of surviving the virus is relatively poor.

Since March of last year, he’s lived most of his daily life in fear, weighing the risk of every little choice, wondering if it could lead to illness and death. The second wave of the virus left him even more isolated.

But May 4 was a turning point: Cokting received his first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The fear that clouded his life dissipated.

Cokting now goes grocery shopping, taking the time in the fruit aisle to choose perfectly ripe honeycrisps.

“If you asked me a year ago, would I be this excited about picking my own apples? No,” he said. “But that’s how your perception changes after going through something like this.”

While one dose is only the first step toward full protection against COVID-19, it has nonetheless been an important step for many. Those who have received the first jab said they’ve felt relief, euphoria and a renewed sense of hope for the first time in months. This, despite case counts still high and safety protocols like mask-wearing and distancing remaining necessary. Full protection from a second dose for the majority of Ontarians is also months away.

Read the full story from the Star’s Nadine Yousif

5:32 a.m. Provinces became more punitive in their approach to COVID-19 infractions during the second wave of the pandemic, says the Canadian Civil Liberties Association in a report that suggests Quebec and Manitoba were particularly forceful in handing out tickets.

The association is urging the federal and provincial governments to fight the pandemic by focusing on proven public-health policy interventions including paid sick leave and education rather than punitive enforcement measures.

"A pandemic is a public health, not a public order, crisis," says the report released Thursday.

"Punishing people with charges and fines misses the target – the virus itself – often in ways that exacerbate pre-pandemic inequality."

The organization's director of criminal justice Abby Deshman said the group was able to obtain data documenting the number of tickets issued for alleged violations of COVID-19 restrictions in British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia.

The report examines the policing of COVID-19 orders in these jurisdictions between roughly September 2020 to March 2021, with the exact dates depending on provincial data available. It also compares first-wave ticketing to that of the second wave.

Deshman said the number of tickets in four out of the five provinces increased from the first wave and some of the jumps were "quite substantial." Several provinces introduced laws that allowed for more enforcement and higher fines, she noted.

"The provinces have now reached over $24 million in fines issued since the outset of the pandemic, which is really an astounding amount of money," Deshman said.

5:30 a.m. Political turmoil has returned to Nepal, which has had eight different governments in a decade and is experiencing its worst COVID-19 surge with acute shortages of health facilities and oxygen for patients.

Their hopes for stability lost, the people are angry at the government and the politicians they elected.

“The leaders have failed us again while people are dying in their homes, street and hospital parking lots while the politicians are fighting on who gets to be the prime minister,” said Hari Sah, a plumber who was trying to buy rice and lentils for his family in the two hours people are allowed to shop during an ongoing virus lockdown.

“These politicians are monsters who come to us for votes but when we really need their help they are busy hatching plans to grab power and indifferent to our sufferings,” said Narayan Magar, a driver who has been without work for months.

Khadga Prasad Oli became prime minister in 2018 with strong support from two-thirds of Parliament, but two splits in his ruling party this year helped push him out of office Monday. No political party now has a majority, and they're unlikely to agree to a coalition government anytime soon.

It is likely to be weeks before a new government is formed while the country struggles to cope with the pandemic.

The Himalayan nation has seen its highest new cases and deaths for the past few days, on Tuesday recording 9,483 new cases and 225 deaths, a near-30-fold increase in infections in one month.

Several hospitals in Kathmandu have stopped taking in new patients, declaring they have run out of beds and oxygen for patients.

Grande Hospital posted a notice that it wouldn't accept new COVID-19 patients because the 100 oxygen cylinders per day the government provided was barely enough.

Government hospitals are treating patients on corridor floors, in beds on verandas and in waiting rooms while relatives line up to get oxygen.

Yet the caretaker government isn't in a position to make major decisions to bring the country through the crisis.

“At the moment, all the political forces should have been working together putting aside all past differences to work to end the coronavirus crisis, but it is unfortunate for the nation and the people that they are focused entirely on who gets to be in power," said Bhojraj Pokharel, former chief of the election commission in Nepal.

Nepal has had eight governments in 10 years, 11 in 13 years and 25 governments in the past 30 years. Oli's Nepal Communist Party winning two-third of Parliament seats in the 2017 elections was a relief for the nation's people, who finally got what appeared to be a stable government that would complete a full term and work for development of the country.

That did not last, as a party faction began to press Oli for its own leader to succeed him. The party finally split earlier this year. Another faction within the remaining party did not support Oli during the confidence motion in parliament Monday.

Oli has been criticized since the coronavirus pandemic began last year because he spent more time on his party's squabbles.

5:28 a.m. Ontarians aged 40 and older can book COVID-19 vaccine appointments across the province Thursday.

The province is opening eligibility to the age cohort through its vaccine booking portal.

People in their 40s could previously take Oxford-AstraZeneca shots at pharmacies and they can now book at other clinics.

The province stopped giving first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine this week, citing risk of a rare but serious blood clot linked to the shot.

People with at-risk health conditions and more people who can't work from home also became eligible to book shots this week.

The province is expecting millions of vaccines in the coming weeks and is aiming to get first shots to 65 per cent of adults by the end of May.

Thursday 5:25 a.m. An expert on gangs says the very public nature of a recent series of shootings in Metro Vancouver may be attributed to COVID-19 restrictions, with rivals striking at the first chance they get.

Martin Bouchard, a professor in Simon Fraser University’s school of criminology, says the pandemic has changed people’s routines and they aren’t getting out of their homes often, which could play a role in the brazen nature of shootings.

He says gang violence follows its own course regardless of what the initial motive was for the conflict.

The comments come as police leaders meet today with Solicitor General Mike Farnworth about the shootings that have left gang members dead or injured on streets, in mall parking lots and at Vancouver’s airport.

Farnworth says he expects to get an assessment of the situation from police leaders and determine what additional steps, if any, are required.

Supt. Dave Chauhan, officer in charge of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team, says there could be many reasons for the conflict, including personal vendettas or drugs and territorial disputes.

He says the police are seeing more young people forming gangs and that there are splinter groups from those leading to multiple gangs.

Premier John Horgan said this week the government wants to make sure that they’re “focused like a laser” on addressing criminality.

“The first order of business of course is to stop the flow of young people into the gang lifestyle,” he saidTuesday.

“But clearly the brazen nature of the violence we’ve seen over the past two weeks requires law enforcement intervention.”

Bouchard says he’s confident police have a good handle on the situation.

Wednesday 11:23 p.m.: Following nearly a year of calls to save them from drastic losses, the federal government is at long last opening the door to around $740 million in capital investments for airports across Canada over the next six years.

But the Winnipeg Airports Authority — which has only revealed grim financial outlooks since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic — isn’t sure how much of those dollars will be coming its way.

And neither does the local airport or other industry leaders believe it’s enough support to pull back on the massive turbulence caused since last year, due to travel restrictions and lockdowns which affected their primary source of income: passenger volumes.

“As Canada works towards recovery and travel restart post-pandemic, we’re hoping this funding will help allow our airports to remain viable and continue to provide Canadians with safe, reliable and efficient travel options, while creating and maintaining good paying jobs in the airport sector,” said Transport Minister Omar Alghabra, providing some new details of the funding at a Tuesday virtual news conference.

Alghabra did not have many specifics about how exactly the program funding will be doled out, repeating to reporters multiple times that they should “stay tuned.”

Wednesday 11:22 p.m.: Manitoba workers might soon be getting a three-hour paid leave when they receive COVID-19 vaccinations, owing to proposed changes to employment codes.

However, should those workers fall ill to the coronavirus before or after an appointment, their only hope for provincial paid leave is a volunteer program that could provide up to $600 for five days — if their bosses choose to allow that for them.

At a press conference late Tuesday afternoon, Finance Minister Scott Fielding “proudly” announced the “elimination of barriers so that Manitobans can confidently book a vaccine appointment during work hours without fear of losing out on their regular wages.”

The proposed amendments to Manitoba employment standards by the Tories would make it mandatory for employers to allow workers paid leave each time they require a dose of the vaccine. When they go get the shot, their paid wages would be fixed at regular rates; or in the case of people whose wages vary (such as those working on commission), they will receive the average earnings they’d have gotten while still at work.

Fielding said the Manitoba government looked at what other provincial jurisdictions were doing about this before putting forward its own proposals for paid leave.

Wednesday 10 p.m. The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 7:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday.

There are 1,305,770 confirmed cases in Canada: 1,305,770 confirmed cases (76,676 active, 1,204,328 resolved, 24,766 deaths). *The total case count includes 13 confirmed cases among repatriated travellers.

There were 6,189 new cases Wednesday. The rate of active cases is 201.75 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 48,431 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 6,919.

There were 53 new reported deaths Wednesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 316 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 45. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.12 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 65.16 per 100,000 people.

There have been 33,001,128 tests completed.

Read Wednesday’s rolling file

Source : Toronto Star More   

What's Your Reaction?

like
0
dislike
0
love
0
funny
0
angry
0
sad
0
wow
0

Next Article

COVID Recovery: Growing Number Of Bay Area Schools Plan On In-Person Graduations

After last year's college and high school seniors had their graduation ceremonies canceled because of the pandemic, a growing number of this year's graduating seniors in the Bay Area are finding the most anticipated year-end traditions are making a return.

COVID Recovery: Growing Number Of Bay Area Schools Plan On In-Person Graduations

SANTA CLARA (KPIX 5) – After last year’s college and high school seniors had their graduation ceremonies canceled because of the pandemic, a growing number of this year’s graduating seniors in the Bay Area are finding the most anticipated year-end traditions are making a return.

“I’m so happy because I didn’t think I would get an in-person one,” said Paris DeAngelo, a graduating senior at Wilson High School. “This has been a long four years of high school.”

Last week, the Santa Clara student and the rest of the graduating class at her school learned the district decided to hold in-person, outdoor graduation ceremonies on May 28th.

DeAngelo picked up her diploma, cap and gown on Tuesday and then made her way to Levi’s Stadium to get her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Paris DeAngelo, a senior at Wilson High School in Santa Clara, takes graduation photos before receiving the COVID-19 vaccine at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara on May 12, 2021. (CBS)

“I’m actually excited, because I just want things to get back to normal and start getting out there again,” DeAngelo told KPIX 5. “Because I’m tired of being home all the time.”

As COVID-19 cases decrease and health restrictions loosen, other schools are also moving forward with in-person graduation ceremonies, including Palo Alto Unified School District and Stanford University. Each school has its own guidelines to adhere to public health restrictions.

Morgan Hill Unified School District also decided to hold in-person graduation ceremonies the first week of June. The graduating classes at each of its high schools will be split into half, according to superintendent Steve Betando.

“There’s nothing like being there listening to the speeches live, throwing up their caps at the end and everybody cheering them on,” Betando told KPIX 5.

“For the students, they’re getting to choose which graduation they go to. The early one or the late one. So each cohort will have about 150 students,” the superintendent explained. “It is fantastic, it is a great way to end a really tough year and a half of a pandemic.”

Betando said his district held vaccination clinics for local students, which meant seniors were able to get inoculated before graduation day. Another vaccination clinic is planned for this weekend, including administering second doses for many of the seniors or who received their first dose several weeks ago.

DeAngelo said she knows it will be an emotional day not only for her, but her family as well after more than a year of distance learning.

“It’s been a struggle, honestly,” DeAngelo said. “I worked hard for this piece of paper, and I just want to be proud of myself and show it off. I’m going to cry, I’m definitely going to cry.”

Source : CBS San Francisco More   

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.