Coronavirus news and updates for Sunday, March 13, 2022

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

4:15 p.m.: Former US President Barack Obama said on Sunday he had tested positive for the coronavirus, despite feeling relatively healthy and his wife, Michelle, had tested negative.

“I’ve had a scratchy throat for a few days, but otherwise feel fine,” Obama said on Twitter. “Michelle and I are grateful to be vaccinated and boosted.”

Obama encouraged more Americans to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, despite the drop in the rate of infection in the United States.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 75.2% of American adults are fully vaccinated and 47.7% of fully vaccinated people have received a booster shot.

3:45 p.m.: Calgary’s mayor is calling for enforcement of anti-warrant marches in a downtown neighborhood after police said about 2,000 people took part in protest protests on Saturday.

Jyoti Gondek has posted in a series of tweets that the disturbances that occur every weekend in the Beltline neighborhood are a “parade” and not a “protest”, but he has no permit or license.

Gondek says the protests aren’t about the warrants because those are gone, and she says the “standard answer that it’s going to ‘collapse’ is ‘shameful.’

Police said in a news release that opposing protesters got involved in a standoff on Saturday, blocking 17 Avenue SE for more than an hour.

11:50 a.m.: Ontario is reporting 228 people in intensive care due to COVID-19, according to its latest report released Sunday morning. The total number of hospitalizations for COVID was not available.

Twenty-eight per cent of the province’s 2,343 adult intensive care beds remain available for new patients.

Given new provincial testing regulations that came into effect on December 31, 2021, the number of cases – reported at 1,631 on Saturday, down 24% from the previous day – is also not considered a accurate assessment of the current extent of COVID-19. Nine new deaths have been reported in the latest figures.

The province says 12,065,628 people have completed their vaccinations, meaning they have received two doses.

Read the full story by Ashima Agnihotri from The Star

9:09 a.m.: Ontario’s upcoming budget will lay out a roadmap for recovering from COVID-19, possibly serving as a Progressive Conservative campaign platform, and many are calling on the government to strengthen the health care system by looking beyond hospitals.

From hospitals to long-term care to laboratories, the healthcare sector has borne much of the brunt of the impact of the pandemic.

The government has injected more than $5 billion into hospitals to add 3,100 beds since the pandemic began and the Ontario Hospital Association has said the investments are welcome.

Now, to maintain financial stability for hospitals as they restart pandemic-delayed surgeries and procedures and continue to manage other COVID-19 pressures, they need a 3.5% increase in funding from base operations, or $735 million, the OHA said in its pre-budget submission.

9:08 a.m.: The Chinese government reacted to a spike in coronavirus infections on Sunday by closing its business center in southern Shenzhen, a city of 17.5 million, and limiting access to Shanghai by suspending service. bus.

Everyone in Shenzhen, a financial and technology hub that adjoins Hong Kong, will undergo three rounds of testing after 60 new cases were reported on Sunday. All businesses except those providing food, fuel and other necessities have been ordered to close or work from home.

8:08 a.m.: As the COVID-19 pandemic enters its third year, many experts are expressing cautious optimism that Canada has moved beyond the need for lockdowns and the widespread safety protocols that have marked much of the past 24 months.

But after two years of dealing with an unpredictable virus, they also say we must be ready to adapt at all times.

While hospitalizations and other pandemic markers appear to have declined or stabilized across the country, virologist Jason Kindrachuk says the COVID-19 crisis cannot be considered over until it calms down worldwide .

“The history of COVID-19 tells us that we should prepare for the potential of another concerning variant… Let’s at least be grateful that we have been in this situation before,” says Kindrachuk, an assistant professor at the University. of Manitoba.

“None of us want to take one step forward and end up having to take five or 10 steps back because we’re affected by what comes next.”

Jurisdictions began lifting public health measures over the past month, removing gathering limits, vaccination passports and mask mandates.

Sunday 8:04 a.m.: Shanghai ordered residents over the weekend to avoid all but essential travel in or out of the city and halted long-haul bus services on Sunday amid an outbreak of the coronavirus continued to spread in the mainland and much of mainland China.

While China still has far fewer COVID-19 cases than most countries, the daily number of infections has been accelerating rapidly. The country’s National Health Commission reported 3,122 new cases on Sunday, down from 1,524 on Saturday and 1,100 on Friday, and a few hundred a day just a week ago.

The most severe outbreaks are occurring in towns and villages in northeastern Jilin Province, which accounted for two-thirds of the cases announced on Sunday. Two mayors were removed from office on Saturday in the province, in the hard-hit city of Jilin and in Jiutai district of Changchun city.

Almost half of the cases across China that were announced on Sunday were in people who initially showed no symptoms. China attributed this partly to a very high vaccination rate, except among the elderly, and partly to the prevalence of the highly contagious variant of Omicron, which sometimes produces many cases that are at least initially asymptomatic. A few cases of the Delta variant have also been detected near Chinese borders in recent weeks.

Read Saturday’s coronavirus news.

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