Today’s coronavirus news: Ontario reports 209 new cases, including 20 in Toronto; Newfoundland and Labrador lifts travel ban amid pandemic

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

12:30 p.m .: A deadly fungal infection known as ‘black fungus’ that first surfaced in Indian patients with COVID-19 has been detected in Afghanistan, which is in the midst of a brutal third wave of coronavirus, Health Minister Wahid Majroh said on Saturday.

Afghanistan has recorded one death from the fungus, which was detected in two other patients, he said.

In Afghanistan, where people rarely wear masks and there is no social distancing, the number of new cases has steadily increased, with 1,272 new cases in the past 24 hours and 92 deaths. The detection rate in Afghanistan is barely 4,000 per day. Since the start of the pandemic last year, Afghanistan has recorded 124,757 cases and 5,199 deaths, although the numbers are grossly underreported.

10:55 am: The City of Toronto reports that 79,638 doses of the vaccine were given on Friday for a total of 3,553,882 injections.

10:50 a.m .: In its latest data, Ontario says 206 patients are hospitalized with COVID-19, 243 people are in intensive care due to the virus and 165 are on a ventilator.

10:15 am: Ontario is reporting 209 cases of COVID-19, Health Minister Christine Elliott tweeted in her latest daily update on Saturday.

There have been nine more deaths, according to the latest data from the province.

Locally, there are 47 new cases in Waterloo region, 22 in Halton, 20 in Toronto, 20 in Gray Bruce and 20 in Niagara region.

Elliott said nearly 17,100 tests were done as of Friday and 210,504 doses of the vaccine were given for a total of 15,365,003 doses.

Star’s Ashima Agnihotri has more details.

8:12 am: President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday that Iran could face another wave of coronavirus infections, as health officials warned of the spread of the more infectious delta variant of the virus.

Rouhani, speaking at a meeting of the national coronavirus task force, urged people to postpone their summer trips and gatherings to prevent the “spread of the virus, especially its Indian variant.” Iran has reported cases of the Delta variant in a number of towns and villages.

“There are concerns that we are heading in the direction of a fifth wave,” he said. “In the southern provinces, we should apply more treatment since the delta variant has infiltrated there. Rouhani’s website reported his comments.

Iran remains among the countries hardest hit by the virus in the world and the hardest hit in the Middle East.

The capital Tehran and more than 90 other towns and villages have been declared red zones, forcing up to 70% of office staff to work from home. It also requires the closure of public places like cinemas, gymnasiums and restaurants.

Iranian officials said on Saturday that the death toll from COVID-19 had risen by 111 in the past 24 hours, bringing the country’s total to 84,627 since the start of the pandemic last year.

Authorities said 8,341 new confirmed cases were recorded during the same period, bringing the total to more than 3.24 million. Reports say 3,207 of the patients are in serious condition and 2.91 million have recovered so far.

7:01 am: Newfoundland and Labrador began restricting travel on May 4, 2020, allowing only essential travelers to enter the province and requiring most to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival. The rules were relaxed slightly last July with the creation of the Atlantic bubble, which allowed free travel between the four Atlantic provinces. The bubble burst about four months later, as the number of COVID-19 cases increased in the region. The Canadian Civil Liberties Association unsuccessfully challenged the ban in court after Nova Scotia resident Kim Taylor was denied entry to the province in May 2020 to attend her funeral. mother.

With the number of cases declining and vaccination rates rising – 80% of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians aged 12 and over had received at least one injection on Thursday – the ban ended on July 1. Fully vaccinated travelers from across Canada can now visit without authorization, without isolation and without having to provide a negative COVID-19 test result. Partially vaccinated travelers, on the other hand, must provide proof of a negative result, or self-isolate until they can.

As a result, the sidewalk outside the St. John’s Airport was a glove of people hugging, crying and screaming Friday afternoon.

Read more from The Canadian Press.

6.30 a.m.: Ontario is ramping up second COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 12 to 17 and will open reservation slots for them Monday at 8 a.m.

Health Minister Christine Elliott said the move would help get more children vaccinated before school returns in September.

Appointments to receive the Pfizer vaccine – the only vaccine approved for this age group – can be booked through the provincial reservation system, through local health units with their own reservation systems, or from participating pharmacies.

Getting second hits is becoming increasingly important with the highly contagious Delta strain that will dominate the province this summer and with the easing of restrictions as part of the second stage of Ontario’s plan to reopen, Elliott said. .

“Vaccines are the best defense against COVID-19 and the variants, and I encourage everyone to get their first and second vaccines as soon as possible,” Elliott said in a statement Friday.

Learn more about Rob Ferguson from The Star.

6:20 am: Countries across Europe scramble to speed up coronavirus vaccinations and overtake the spread of the more infectious Delta variant in a high-stakes race to stop hospital wards from filling up again with patients fighting for their lives .

The emergency coincides with the summer vacation months in Europe, with good weather bringing more social gatherings and governments reluctant to clamp down on them. Social distancing is generally overlooked, especially among young people, and some countries are removing the requirement to wear masks outdoors.

Incentives for people to be photographed include free shopping, travel and entertainment vouchers, and raffles. The Cypriot president even appealed for patriotism.

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The risk of infection with the Delta variant is “high to very high” for partially or unvaccinated communities, according to the European Center for Disease Control, which monitors 30 countries on the continent. He estimates that by the end of August, the variant will represent 90% of cases in the European Union.

“It is very important to move forward with the deployment of the vaccine at a very high rate,” warned ECDC.

The World Health Organization is also concerned. The variant makes the growth of transmission “exponential”, according to Maria Van Kerkhove, its technical manager on COVID-19.

The number of new daily cases is already rising sharply in countries like the UK, Portugal and Russia.

In the UK, cases of the delta variant have quadrupled in less than a month, with confirmed cases on Friday up 46% from the previous week.

6h: Ontario is allowing outdoor concerts, outdoor movie screens and performing arts performances after moving to step two of its reopening plan.

Audience capacity is capped at 25% of the outdoor space or rest area, with the organizers being required to display the maximum capacity restrictions visibly in the outdoor space. All tickets must be sold as reserved seats.

Other measures also allow musicians to perform in indoor concert halls for a limited number of reasons.

Live performances are permitted, however, performances cannot accommodate any spectators.

Indoor venues can hold group rehearsals with some distancing and safety measures in place.

Restrictions have also been lowered for the film and television industry. In particular, a cap of 50 artists on a set is removed, although studio audiences are still not allowed.

Indoor cinemas and public concerts will still not be allowed with capacity restrictions until the third stage.

All of Quebec is now at the lowest green alert level as part of the province’s COVID-19 response plan as public health restrictions continue to ease.

Up to 20 people are now allowed to share a table on restaurant and bar terraces.

Outdoor gatherings on private property can also include up to 20 people. The capacity for weddings and funerals is now 250 people, but wedding receptions are limited to 25 participants indoors and 50 outdoors.

Last month, the province authorized the reopening of gyms and restaurant dining areas. Supervised outdoor sports and recreation are also permitted in groups of up to 25 people.

Quebec ended its nighttime curfew on May 28. It also lifted travel bans between regions and increased the number of people allowed to attend sporting events and festivals to 3,500.

British Columbia took the next step in its plan to reopen on Canada Day when most COVID-19 restrictions were lifted and outdoor gatherings for up to 5,000 people were granted the green light.

Restaurants and pubs no longer have limits on the number of diners, but people are still not allowed to mingle with those at other tables. Masks are no longer required and recreational trips outside the province can resume.

Casinos and nightclubs are open for the first time in 16 months, but some barriers remain in place and socializing between tables is not allowed.

Provincial health worker Dr Bonnie Henry said some companies may wish people to continue wearing masks for now, and everyone should comply with those requirements or face potential fines. .

All COVID-19 restrictions should be removed on Labor Day.


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