Friday, March 24, 2023

Today’s coronavirus news: Winter storms in Ontario cause distance learning for some people; Quebec night curfew is about to end; Beijing announces first Omicron case

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

8:27 am Hospitals in Ontario are facing shortages of vital drugs to treat COVID-19 patients amid a number of cases, forcing some physicians to choose which patients receive potentially life-saving care. , while others do not have access to medicines.

In anticipation of an omicron-fueled surge in cases, in December many hospitals already began rationing key COVID therapeutics – in short supply in many areas – to patients who would benefit the most.

But drug shortages have escalated in the past week, along with the crush of COVID patients seeking care in medical wards and intensive care units, with at least one Toronto-area hospital setting up a lottery system to determine whether for which patients will receive a dose of potentially life-saving medicine.

Read more from Megan Ogilvy of Star.

8:20 am (updated) Novak Djokovic could be banned from the French Open later this year because he hasn’t been vaccinated against COVID-19, a prospect that sparked bets for the tennis star just hours after he was deported from Australia and his Australian Open. prevented from defending the title.

1-ranked player touched down in his native Serbia on Monday, closing at least the first chapter in a dizzying drama that has polarized the world of elite sports, the politics of the Australian pandemic and the coronavirus shots. There is echo. ,

Djokovic was expected to welcome a hero from his countrymen, many of whom think he was treated unfairly in Australia. But a handful of fans waving the Serbian flag greeted him at the airport in the capital, Belgrade.

6:28 am Greece on Monday implemented a vaccination mandate for people over the age of 60, as coverage remains below the EU average and a recent spike in infections has kept hospitals under pressure.

Older people who do not get vaccinated will face penalties, starting in January with a 50-euro ($57) fine and then a 100-euro ($114) monthly fine.

About two-thirds of Greece’s 10.7 million population is currently fully vaccinated – more than the EU average of 70%. Rates of death and daily hospitalization have increased following the recent spread of the Omicron variant, although the pressure on ICU capacity has eased slightly.

Health Minister Thanos Pleveris said the fine would be collected through the tax office, which would be used to fund state hospitals.

“The age factor is important because of its impact on public healthcare,” Pleveris told private Open TV on Sunday.

5:35 am (updated) Millions more Canadian students will return to school today as officials in four provinces work to keep classrooms safe from COVID-19 and threaten staff shortages run by Omicron.

Students in Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba and Nova Scotia are set to return to class after starting the new year online due to a record-high number of cases.

In Ontario, however, a winter storm is throwing a wrench in plans to reopen schools, with several boards announcing that schools will remain closed today due to heavy snow and bus cancellations. Some boards are offering online classes instead, while others are not.

The provinces had said the purpose of switching to distance learning was to put pressure on the health care system and give schools more time to improve safety measures.

Deploying rapid antigen tests in schools and upgrading air quality are among the steps they say are still some work in progress before returning to the classroom.

Still, some parents and teacher unions are expressing concerns that those efforts will not be enough to keep classrooms safe and provide enough staff to run schools.

Officials and school boards have told parents there are contingency plans in place, but expect a potential shift to online learning if the spread of the virus puts enough people in isolation.

5:35 am Some Ontario school boards scrambled to adjust their plans for reopening schools on Monday, as a winter storm began to cover the southern part of the province with snow.

The Ottawa-Carlton District School Board announced it would continue with distance learning on Monday as Environment Canada issued a winter storm warning for the region, warning that 40 centimeters of snow could fall by Monday evening. Is.

The Toronto District School Board said that if snow prevented schools from reopening, students should attend classes remotely, 180 from the plan set in December.

Meanwhile, Hamilton-Wentworth’s board announced that if buses had to be cancelled, classes would also take place online and in person.

Snowfall in southern Ontario has added a wrinkle to the province’s already controversial school reopening plan.

5:33 am Two major public health measures are set to be eased in Quebec today as residents prepare to resume life without night curfews and send their children back to individually held classes.

The provincewide curfew that requires residents to stay home from 10 pm to 5 am, which is effective December 31, will be lifted tonight.

Premier François Legault said the province’s daily COVID-19 case count had peaked last Thursday, allowing the province to end measures intended to slow the rise in infections.

Thousands of students will also return to school in person today, with province attendees required to be masked at all times indoors.

But several schools announced over the weekend they would not open their doors today because of a major winter storm approaching parts of the province.

Some parents have expressed concern that Legault’s government has not done enough to ensure student safety in the classroom amid COVID-19 infection and hospitalization rates near all-time highs.

5:32 am Israel’s Army Radio reported on Monday that a delegation of Indonesian officials recently made a rare visit to Israel to discuss coronavirus strategies, despite the countries not having diplomatic ties.

The report said Indonesian health officials aimed to “learn how to deal with the coronavirus pandemic” and met with Israeli officials. The report did not specify when the visit took place.

Israel’s foreign ministry did not confirm the report, but said Israel “believes in international cooperation in every respect in the fight against the coronavirus” and is ready to share information and experiences.

Israel and Indonesia do not have diplomatic relations, but over the years back-channels have been proposed to establish official relations. Indonesia has refused to normalize relations with Israel until the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, and has been a staunch supporter of the Palestinians.

5:31 am A 26-year-old woman in China’s capital Beijing, who has contracted the Omicron strain of COVID-19, has garnered national attention on social media for her shopping trips.

The woman, who has not been identified by name, reportedly visited high-end shops in the city before showing symptoms of having the virus.

It is not known where and how she got infected and her current condition has not been made public.

The woman’s case was widely discussed online and reflects the government’s painstaking efforts to track and isolate every virus case, as well as testing and testing anyone who has come in contact with an infected person.

The previously reported case of the Omicron version comes weeks ahead of Beijing hosting the Winter Olympic Games.

Over 13,000 people and places visited by the 26-year-old woman have been tested and her apartment complex and workplace have been sealed.

5:30 am Chancellor Karl Neheimer said Austria would impose fines on those without a COVID-19 vaccination from mid-March after the infection phase began in February.

The Austrian leader told reporters on Sunday that those unwilling to be vaccinated would face fines of up to 3,600 euros (4,108). The order would apply to all adults residing in the country, except when a medical exemption is granted.

Austria’s policy is being closely watched as a model for similar ambitions in other EU countries. Italy has implemented a vaccine mandate on people age 50 or older, Greece will start fining seniors who don’t get their shots, and French President Emmanuel Macron has made life difficult without vaccinations. has resolved.

In the first phase of Austria’s policy, those who do not get vaccinated will receive written notice. From mid-March, police and other officials will begin checking vaccine status, levying fines and ordering vaccine appointments if necessary. Continued dissent will result in a fine of another 600 euros after a month.

Getting vaccinated within two weeks of detection can result in a fine.

Monday 5:28 am Beijing’s first reported case of the Omicron edition follows the move in the nation’s capital, weeks ahead of hosting the Winter Olympic Games.

According to state media, after the positive test announced on Saturday, more than 13,000 people and all places visited by the patient in the past days have been tested. The person’s apartment complex and workplace have been sealed.

According to state media, the infected person lives and works in Haidian, the northwestern district of the city and had no travel history outside Beijing for the past two weeks.

State media reported on Monday that the capital with its 20 million residents is considering tighter travel restrictions. All transit links with Tianjin have already been severed. International flights have come down sharply and domestic passengers have been barred from being transferred to another destination before reaching Beijing.

Read Sunday’s coronavirus news.


Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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