Coronavirus: What’s happening in Canada and around the world on Thursday

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The latest:

Health officials in Nunavut reported the territory’s first confirmed case of COVID-19 in weeks on Wednesday, while Yukon’s top doctor said that the P1 variant of concern has been detected in the territory.

Nunavut’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Michael Patterson said the person with COVID-19 is isolating and “doing well.” The case — the first in Iqaluit — prompted officials to issue guidelines around gatherings and order all non-essential businesses and government offices in the city to close.

“We have initiated immediate contact tracing within the community and are working to identify all potential high-risk contacts quickly,” Patterson said. 

Nunavut last reported a case in late March, part of an outbreak of cases in the remote community of Arviat.

Meanwhile, Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brendan Hanley reported that the P1 variant of concern, which was originally reported in travellers from Brazil, had been identified in the province.

Hanley raised the issue as he gave an update about recent cases in a “family household cluster” linked to a group that travelled to Yukon from out of territory.

-From CBC News, last updated at 7:20 a.m. ET


What’s happening across Canada

WATCH | COVID-19 vaccine supply management questioned as Ontario appointments cancelled:

There are questions about how Ontario is managing its COVID-19 vaccine supply as thousands of appointments, in some of the hardest hit neighbourhoods, were abruptly cancelled because of vaccine shortages. 2:54

As of early Thursday morning, Canada had reported 1,087,158 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 80,204 considered active. A CBC News tally of deaths stood at 23,445.

In Atlantic Canada, health officials reported 21 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday in three provinces, including:

In Quebec, health officials reported 1,559 new cases of COVID-19 and seven additional deaths on Wednesday. Hospitalizations in the province stood at 660, with 152 people in intensive care.

Ontario on Wednesday reported 4,156 new cases and 28 additional deaths. Health officials in the province reported 1,877 COVID-19 hospitalizations, including 642 in ICU “due to COVID-related illness.”

In the Prairie provinces, Manitoba reported 86 new cases and three additional deaths on Wednesday. Health officials in Saskatchewan, meanwhile, reported 193 new cases and one additional death.

In Alberta, the number of new cases reported Wednesday was 1,412, with eight additional deaths. Hospitalizations in the province stood at 420, with 92 in ICU.

British Columbia reported 1,168 new cases of COVID-19 and six additional deaths on Wednesday, as hospitalizations in the province hit a record high. 

The province reported Wednesday that 397 people are in hospital due to the virus, surpassing a previous high of 374 seen in December. The number of people receiving intensive care stood at 120.

From CBC News and The Canadian Press, last updated at 7:15 a.m. ET


What’s happening around the world

A Northwell Health nurse inoculates a Local 28 Sheet Metal Worker with the first dose of the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine at a pop-up vaccination site at Belmont Park on Wednesday in Elmont, N.Y. (Mary Altaffer/The Associated Press)

As of early Thursday morning, more than 138.3 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to a Johns Hopkins University database. The reported global death toll stood at more than 2.9 million.

In the Americas, Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine remained in limbo as a U.S. health panel called for more data before making a decision on how and whether to resume use of the one-dose shot, putting off a vote for a week or more.

Argentina’s government will tighten pandemic restrictions in and around the capital Buenos Aires to rein in a sharp spike in COVID-19 cases, including shutting schools and imposing a curfew from 8 p.m. to limit social activity.

In Africa, South Africa has agreed to onerous conditions such as non-refundable down payments to secure vaccines from Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer, its health minister said, describing the terms vaccine manufacturers had demanded as “difficult and sometimes unreasonable.”

In the Asia-Pacific region, India reported more than 200,000 new coronavirus cases Thursday, skyrocketing past 14 million overall as an intensifying outbreak puts a grim weight on its fragile health-care system.

Hong Kong is expanding its vaccination drive to include residents below 30 as it sought to boost the city’s slower-than-expected uptake of COVID-19 vaccines.

A health worker waits to screen passengers for COVID-19 at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj train terminus in Mumbai on Thursday. (Rajanish Kakade/The Associated Press)

In Europe, Serbia has announced it will begin packing and later producing Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, which would make it the first European state outside Russia and Belarus to begin manufacturing the jab.

In the Middle East, Iraq’s reported COVID-19 case count was approaching 950,000, according to Johns Hopkins University, with a reported death toll of more than 14,800.

-From The Associated Press, Reuters and CBC News, last updated at 7 a.m. ET



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