The latest coronavirus news from Canada and around the world Friday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.
4:20 p.m. Manitoba’s top doctor urged people not to look for loopholes Friday as new COVID-19 travel restrictions took effect.
A 14-day self-isolation requirement that previously applied to domestic travellers entering Manitoba from areas east of Terrace Bay in northern Ontario was broadened to include all out-of-province arrivals.
“Follow the spirit of the (public health) orders. Don’t look for ways to skirt the orders,” Dr. Brent Roussin, chief public health officer, said.
“We need to stay diligent.”
There are exceptions to the rule for essential workers, people seeking medical care and people who live in border communities and need to venture into Ontario or Saskatchewan for groceries and other goods.
4:10 p.m. Five Ontario jails are now facing serious COVID-19 outbreaks and there were a total of 207 active inmate cases across the province as of Wednesday, according to the most recent data available from the Ministry of the Solicitor General.
The recent outbreaks have resulted in the highest number of active cases in jails in the province since the start of the pandemic.
The largest ongoing outbreak remains at Maplehurst Correctional Complex in Milton where there are 97 active inmate cases and more than 40 staff cases. The jail is running over-capacity and a source with knowledge of the jail conditions told the Star that positive inmates are being triple-bunked in cells meant to only hold two people, requiring one person to sleep on the ground. Halton Public Health is reporting a total of 152 cases from the outbreak as of Friday.
The Thunder Bay Correctional Complex had 47 inmate cases and the Thunder Bay District Jail had 10 cases, according to the latest ministry data. However, Thunder Bay public health unit reported 21 new cases at the district jail and six new cases at the Thunder Bay Correctional Complex as of Friday.
Read the full story from the Star’s Alyshah Hasham: Five Ontario jails have significant COVID-19 outbreaks. Toronto South Detention Centre outbreak grows to 27 active cases
4:08 p.m. The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit is reporting 10 confirmed cases of B.1.1.7, the virus variant first identified in the U.K., while another 105 samples have preliminarily screened positive.
Two of those cases have no known connection to the massive outbreak of B.1.1.7 at Barrie’s Roberta Place long-term care home, where 227 people have been infected with COVID-19 and 51 have died, the region’s associate medical officer of health Dr. Colin Lee said Friday.
Among those B.1.1.7 test results are five residents and two staff at a different LTC in the area, Bradford Valley Care Community. The health unit is still awaiting screening results from other positive cases associated with the outbreak, which according to the home’s website has so far infected 10 residents and three staff, two of whom have recovered.
The two cases unconnected to Roberta Place suggest that the variant, which researchers have calculated is approximately 50 percent more transmissible than previous strains, is spreading locally in Ontario, rather than being exclusively imported by travellers. Health officials yesterday confirmed that B.1.1.7 is “clearly spreading in the community” and warned the variant will likely become the dominant strain of the virus in Ontario by March.
The Simcoe Muskoka health unit says a further 110 samples have been sent to the provincial laboratory for variant screening. Because capacity constrains mean that not all positive COVID-19 cases can be tested for the presence of variants of concern, the health unit says it is prioritizing samples from institutional outbreaks, vulnerable settings like hospitals, and those with a known link to another confirmed case.
At least two Ontario health units — Haldimand Norfolk and Waterloo region – reported identifying their first cases of B.1.1.7 Friday. A total of 51 cases have been confirmed province-wide through whole genome sequencing; that total doesn’t include preliminary screening results.
4 p.m. France is closing its borders to people arriving from outside the European Union starting Sunday to try to stop the spread of new variants of the coronavirus.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced the measure Friday night after an emergency government health security meeting at the presidential palace, warning of a “great risk” from the new variants.
All those arriving from other EU countries will be required to produce a negative virus test, he says. France will close all large shopping centres starting Sunday and limit travel to and from its overseas territories.
Castex ordered stepped up police checks of those who violate France’s 12-hour-a-day curfew, hold secret parties or reopen restaurants in defiance of a closure order in place since October.
3:24 p.m. Public health restrictions in Ontario will be staying in place for a while because of concern about new, more contagious variants of COVID-19: Lifting of measures “will not be considered at this time until more information on variant spread is known,” the province announced Friday.
3:10 p.m. Mandatory COVID-19 tests of incoming international travellers at Pearson airport will begin Monday at noon, Premier Doug Ford announced at a news conference Friday afternoon. Any incoming international passenger refusing a mandatory test upon landing at Pearson will face a ticket starting at $750, Ontario goverment says.
As part of the province’s six-point plan, Ontario will have COVID-19 testing at land border crossings “as soon as possible.” No date for implementing the latter was given.
The province also confirmed five cases of the new coronavirus variant first discovered in the U.K. have been identified through voluntaring testing at the airport.
2:50 p.m. Saskatchewan is reporting 328 new cases of COVID-19 and seven additional deaths due to the virus.
There are 218 people are in hospital, including 33 in intensive care.
Earlier today, the government asked the province’s ombudsman to investigate the Extendicare Parkside care home in Regina.
An outbreak at the centre in December led to more than 200 infections of staff and residents, and 38 residents died.
2:40 p.m. Quebec is ramping up its ability to identify COVID-19 variants as health officials reported Friday that eight cases of the more transmissible U.K. variant have now been identified in the province.
Quebec announced an $11-million investment to increase its capacity to identify new variants.
“The situation in some countries is worrying, and we want to make sure that we can quickly detect the emergence of variants that may have an impact on the transmissibility, but also the effectiveness of vaccines against COVID-19,” Health Minister Christian Dube said in a statement.
Officials from the Quebec Public Health Institute announced Friday that two new cases of the U.K. variant had been identified and said the plan is to move quickly to identify genetic mutations in the virus and measure vaccine response to the new variants.
“What we see is what we have in other countries — what we see in the U.K. and in other countries — where there are variants where they increase transmissibility,” Dr. Michel Roger, the institute’s chief microbiologist, told a technical briefing.
“It can go fast, but now we know it can happen. That’s why we’re putting this plan together to act fast and hoping that we stop it when it comes to Quebec.”
Roger said that with its increased capacity to sequence virus genomes, 65,000 samples from positive test results will have been analyzed bythe end of 2021, with a focus on travellers, so-called superspreader events and people who get sick despite being vaccinated.
1:42 p.m. Domtar Corp. says president and chief executive John Williams has contracted COVID-19 and will take a temporary medical leave of absence.
The pulp and paper company says chief financial officer Daniel Buron will assume Williams’s authority and responsibility until he returns.
Buron will also continue in his role as CFO.
The company says its board expects the business to continue to operate as normal.
Domtar manufactures and sells a wide variety of pulp, paper and personal care products.
The company announced a deal earlier this year to sell its diaper and adult incontinence business to private equity firm American Industrial Partners for US$920 million.
1:35 p.m. New Brunswick is reporting 16 new cases of COVID-19 and one more COVID-related death.
Health officials say the death involved a person in their 80s in the Edmundston region.
They say the province has 313 active reported cases and that four people are in hospital with the disease, including two in intensive care.
New Brunswick has reported a total of 1,218 cases and 17 deaths linked to the pandemic.
1:35 p.m. Manitoba is reporting an additional 152 COVID-19 cases and three deaths.
Most cases continue to come from the northern health region, which has seen outbreaks in some remote communities.
1:18 p.m. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada’s other vaccine supplier has to cut back on its deliveries next week.
Moderna will ship only about three-quarters of the expected supply, cutting Canada’s next shipment by more than 50,000 doses.
Canada was supposed to get more than 230,000 doses from Moderna next week, but will instead get slightly fewer than 180,000.
Moderna’s Canadian manager said in a written statement that the delay is related to producing the “drug substance” component of the Moderna vaccine, which is being done by Swiss drug manufacturer Lonza in Visp, Switzerland.
Patricia Gauthier said the delays are short term for non-U. S. clients, and the company is still able to ship its promised doses in the first three months of the year. For Canada, that is two million doses. Canada has received 340,200 doses from Moderna so far.
The U.S. shipments from Moderna are coming from plants within the United States.
1 p.m. Arriving international travellers in Canada will have to quarantine at a hotel at their own expense pending the result of a mandatory COVID-19 test, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Friday.
Trudeau told reporters the mandatory testing regime for international arrivals at four Canadian airports will be “implemented as soon as possible, in the coming weeks.”
He said the wait for test results could take up to three days and the hotel stay could cost travellers up to $2,000.
At the same time, Trudeau announced that Canada’s main airlines have agreed “to suspend service to sun destinations” as of Sunday, until April 30.
12:15 p.m. Nova Scotia is reporting one new case of COVID-19 as the number of total active infections across the province dropped to nine.
Health officials say the new case is in the province’s eastern zone and is related to travel outside of Atlantic Canada.
Officials say 14,589 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered as of Thursday.
Of those, 2,714 Nova Scotians have received their second dose as required.
12:10 p.m. Newfoundland and Labrador health officials are reporting four new cases of COVID-19 in the province.
One of the cases announced today is connected to a growing cluster of infections whose source is still puzzling contact tracers.
Authorities say there are now five cases in that cluster, and all those involved are self-isolating.
There are now 13 reported active cases of COVID-19 in the province.
12:10 p.m. Ontario will still move ahead with mandatory COVID-19 testing of arriving international passengers at Pearson airport on Monday, a senior official says. It’s expected testing mandated by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau earlier today won’t be in place until at least mid-February.
11:58 a.m. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says that Canada will be getting fewer doses than expected from its next shipment of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine.
He says that Canada will receive 180,000 doses next week, which is 78 per cent of what was expected.
He says Canada is still on track to receive two million doses of the Moderna vaccine before the end of March.
Trudeau says he also had another call with Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla, who said that Canada will still receive its promised four million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine by the end of March.
(Updated) 11:43 a.m.: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced all Canadian travellers returning from overseas will have to take a COVID-19 test at the airport when they land and quarantine in a designated hotel for three days at their own expense while they await results.
He says that’s expected to cost more than $2,000.
Those with negative test results will be able to then quarantine for the remainder of the mandatory two weeks at home, while those with positive tests will be required to quarantine in designated government facilities.
Canada’s main airlines will also suspend service to all Caribbean destinations and Mexico starting this Sunday until April 30.
Trudeau says it’s important to further restrict international travel as more infectious variants of COVID-19 spread around the globe.
In the coming weeks, non-essential travelers will also have to show a negative test before entry at the land border with the United States.
Trudeau also announced all international passenger flights returning must land at Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto or Montreal airports.
11:10 a.m.: American pharmaceutical giant Johnson and Johnson says its vaccine is very good at preventing people from being hospitalized or dying from COVID-19.
The vaccine is the first to use just a single dose and can be stored in a fridge for up to three months, making it a potential game changer in the COVID-19 vaccination campaign.
The results aren’t quite as good as those seen in the two vaccines Health Canada has already approved, with both Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna saying their vaccines showed 95 per cent efficacy against severe illness.
Johnson and Johnson says it’s single-dose vaccine is 85 per cent effective against severe illness a month after the injection is given, and 66 per cent effective against both moderate and severe illness.
The federal government has already pre-purchased 10 million doses of the vaccine, but it is still being reviewed by Health Canada.
There is no timeline yet for when approval might come or when those doses would be delivered for use in Canada.
11 a.m.: Quebec is reporting 1,295 new COVID-19 cases and 50 more deaths linked to the novel coronavirus, including nine in the previous 24 hours.
Health authorities say hospitalizations dropped by 47, for a total of 1,217, and the number of patients in intensive care also dropped by three, to 209.
Quebec says it administered 3,071 vaccine doses Thursday and says it has used 236,057 of the 238,100 doses it has received.
The province has reported a total of 259,993 infections, 9,717 deaths linked to the virus and 235,516 recoveries from COVID-19 since the pandemic began.
10:35 a.m.: Ontario is also reporting 29 more deaths among residents in long-term-care homes for a total of 3,491 since the pandemic began.
The number of long-term-care homes in outbreak remains at 229, which is 36.6 per cent of the total LTC facilities in the province.
10:30 a.m.: Ontario reports that 10,215 vaccine doses were administered since its last daily update.
As of 8 p.m. Thursday, 327,455 doses have been administered in total with 61,679 people fully vaccinated which means they have received both shots.
10:15 a.m. (updated): Ontario is reporting 1,837 additional COVID-19 cases with 58 deaths.
The seven-day average is 2,011 cases daily, or 97 weekly per 100,000. (That’s the first time the weekly average has been below 100 since Dec. 16.)
The seven-day avg for deaths is up to 53.0/day.
The labs completed 69,040 tests.
Locally, there are 595 new cases in Toronto, 295 in Peel, and 170 in York Region.
There are 51 confirmed cases of the U.K. variant of the coronavirus in Ontario.
9:41 a.m.: Ontario culture and tourism minister Lisa Macleod says it’s “far too early to speculate on how and when restrictions will be loosened” after Canada’s Wonderland announced that it planned to reopen in May.
“I’ll continue to work with large-scale attractions across the province to develop a safe reopening plan informed from advice from Ontario’s chief medical office,” Macleod tweeted out Friday morning.
Earlier on Thursday, the amusement park had sent out a “save the date” email, informing the public of its opening date on May 14.
The amusement park wasn’t able to open last year because of provincial restrictions due to the pandemic.
9:41 a.m.: South Africa is allowing the limited use of a medicine to treat COVID-19 even though regulators acknowledge there’s not enough evidence that it works or is safe for this purpose.
The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority this week announced the drug ivermectin could be used in exceptional circumstances. Neighboring Zimbabwe also has apparently quietly allowed use of the drug.
Ivermectin has long been used elsewhere for parasites, and interest grew when a report suggested it might inhibit the coronavirus in a lab dish. But large, definitive experiments have not been done to establish whether it’s safe or effective for treating COVID-19.
9:30 a.m.: Tanzania’s president says God has eliminated COVID-19 in his country. His own church now begs to differ.
From the local Catholic authority warning this week of a new wave of coronavirus infections, to government institutions now requiring staffers to take precautions, populist President John Magufuli is being openly questioned as the African continent fights a strong resurgence in cases and deaths.
Tanzania has tried to be an island since April, when the East African country of 60 million people stopped updating its number of virus infections at 509 cases. Some health officials who questioned Magufuli’s stance that COVID-19 had been defeated were fired. The government promoted international tourism, eager to avoid the economic pain of neighbours who imposed lockdowns and curfews.
8:42 a.m. A month after travelling to the Bahamas despite Canadian and Ontario government orders to avoid unnecessary travel, Kevin Ashe is stepping down as deputy mayor of Pickering.
On the same day, Ward 2 regional councillor Bill McLean wrote a letter to residents apologizing for his decision to also travel during the pandemic.
Ashe spoke in an official statement on Thursday of his stepson’s death by suicide two-and-a-half years ago.
“It is a profound pain that will never go away for me, my wife Karen, and our daughter Keara,” he said.
Over the holidays, Ashe and his wife went overseas to visit his stepson’s ashes and “deal with our ongoing grief. In making this decision, I believed it was a necessary one for the mental well-being of our family. But I am also aware of how this appears, recognizing that we have all been urged to stay home in an effort to contain COVID-19.”
Last week Ashe was not re-elected as chair of the Durham Region Police Services Board. He said in his letter he did not wish to be a distraction.
8:37 a.m. Johnson & Johnson said its experimental COVID-19 vaccine was 66 per cent effective at protecting people from moderate to severe disease in a large clinical trial, positive results that could pave the way for its deployment across the U.S. within weeks.
The J&J vaccine also appeared to be generally safe and well tolerated among the 44,325 adults aged 18 years and older in the late-stage trial, J&J said Friday, though some of the volunteers reported side effects like fever.
The company, one of the world’s biggest health-care companies, said it would ask American regulators in early February to authorize use. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration could take action by the end of February.
If the shot gets a green light, J&J, which has been making shots to be ready should testing pan out, will be able to quickly ship millions of doses, federal officials have said. The company has said it expects to produce more than one billion doses in total this year.
8:35 a.m. Eli Lilly’s new COVID-19 treatment helped the drugmaker’s fourth-quarter profit surge even though U.S. regulators approved its use late in the quarter.
The antibody treatment bamlanivimab brought in $871 million in sales for Lilly after the Food and Drug Administration authorized emergency use in November for patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19.
The one-time treatment is given through an IV and can be used for patients who are 12 and older who don’t require hospitalization.
Lilly said the U.S. government has agreed to buy nearly1.5 million doses of the drug, and 950,000 have already been delivered. Nearly all of the drug’s sales in the quarter came from the United States.
8:21 a.m. Starting next week, Ontario will force travellers arriving from other countries to be swabbed for COVID-19 and expand rapid testing in ramped-up efforts to curb the dangerous spread of more contagious variants, the Star has learned.
The mandatory tests will begin at Pearson International Airport “in a few days” before being implemented at other airline terminals taking foreign flights, and at land border crossings, a senior government official said Thursday night.
Rapid testing kits are being deployed to long-term-care homes and schools as provincial public health officials brace for the impact of the coronavirus variant first detected in the U.K. They warned the new variant could cause a spike in infections that would swamp hospitals and result in a dramatically higher death toll.
7 a.m.: Spain’s health minister says that between 5 and 10 per cent of all confirmed coronavirus infections are believed to be derived from a mutation seen as responsible for the high contagion rates seen first in the United Kingdom and later in other countries.
Appearing Friday at a Congress of Deputies health commission, Carolina Darias said that so far confirmed cases of the new variant in Spain stand at 350 but that experts’ analysis showed that up to 10% of new infections could be attributed to it.
“The following weeks are crucial to see if this variant takes over … like has happened in other countries,” Darias told lawmakers.
On Thursday Spain logged nearly 35,000 new cases of the virus and 515 confirmed deaths, although the 14-day rate of infection per 100,000 residents dropped slightly for the first time in nearly a month.
6:46 a.m.: Italy’s virus czar says pharmaceutical company Moderna officially advised the government Friday that it would reduce a planned upcoming vaccine delivery to Italy by 20 per cent, fueling increasing outrage in Italy as such delays have forced the country to drastically slow down its vaccine campaign.
Domenico Arcuri expressed “stupor, concern and discomfort” at Moderna’s decision, noting that it came after both Pfizer and AstraZeneca announced similar delays in scheduled deliveries. The Italian government has formally advised Pfizer it is weighing legal action.
Arcuri said Moderna told the government its Feb. 8 deliveries would be 132,000 doses instead of a planned 166,000.
The reduced deliveries have meant that Italy’s plan to start vaccinating Italians over age 80 on a mass scale have been delayed by several weeks, and reduced by more than half the number of shots administered each day.
5:30 a.m.: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to announce Friday new measures aimed at further restricting international travel as more infectious variants of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 spread around the globe.
Trudeau has urged Canadians for weeks not to take any non-essential trips outside the country.
And he has warned that the federal government could impose restrictions at any time that would make it harder for them to return.
He is expected to follow up those warnings today with action in time to stop an exodus of winter-weary Canadians from taking advantage of the coming March break to vacation in warmer climes.
Quebec Premier Francois Legault has been urging Ottawa to require anyone returning from abroad to quarantine for two weeks in a hotel, at their own expense.
Trudeau, who has conspicuously left the door open to that option, is expected to adopt it today.
He is also expected to announce other measures to further discourage travel abroad.
Non-essential travel into Canada by most foreign nationals has been banned since the pandemic first began sweeping across the country last March. Anyone entering the country has been required to self-quarantine for two weeks.
The federal government began beefing up those measures earlier this month.
As of Jan. 7, the government has required proof of a negative COVID-19 test, taken within 72 hours of departure time, before anyone is allowed to board a flight to Canada.
5:25 a.m. New travel restrictions requiring anyone who enters Manitoba to self-isolate for 14 days start today.
Since last June, only travellers arriving from areas east of Terrace Bay in northern Ontario had been subject to the requirement.
All out-of-province arrivals are now covered by the public-health measure.
Premier Brian Pallister has said the move is needed because of the growing spread of novel coronavirus variants and delays in vaccine supplies.
There are exceptions for people travelling for essential work and medical care, and for residents of border communities who cross into Saskatchewan or Ontario for necessities.
5:20 a.m. New cases of local transmission in China are continuing to fall with just 36 announced on Friday, even as the country’s annual Lunar New Year travel push gets underway.
Authorities have taken a variety measures to discourage travel this season and far few Chinese appear willing to make the trip, even though it might be their only chance to return home and see family all year.
The northeastern province of Heilongjiang reported the largest number of new cases, 21, over the past 24 hours, followed by Jilin province just to the south. The capital Beijing and its surrounding province of Hebei both reported one new case each.
5:15 a.m. Denmark has extended restrictions that close food shops, except for grocery stores and pharmacies, schools and public gatherings of more than five people for another three weeks until the end of February.
Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said “we have seen how quickly the new mutation can get things out of control. Therefore, we cannot relax the restrictions. Even when we get vaccinated more, we must proceed cautiously.”
Cafes and restaurants remain closed but can still sell takeout food. Gyms, public libraries, beauty parlours and hairdressers also will remain shut until Feb. 28.
5:11 a.m. The coronavirus pandemic dragged Spain’s economic output down 11 per cent in 2020 from the previous year, according to official preliminary statistics released Friday.
The year closed with the fourth largest economy among the nations that use the euro currency shrinking for the first time after six years of continuous growth. Output grew by 2% in 2019 compared to 2018.
The economy grew in the last three months of 2020 by a meagre 0.4 per cent, mostly driven by internal consumption and investment, after a 16.4 per cent quarter-to-quarter growth from April to June. The timid growth from October to December surprised some analysts who were forecasting an imminent return to recession.
5:06 a.m. The European Medicines Agency says no new side effects linked to the coronavirus vaccine made by BioNTech and Pfizer were identified in the regulator’s first safety update on COVID-19 vaccines.
In a statement published Friday, the European regulator said its expert committee assessed reports of people who died after getting the vaccine and said their review “did not suggest a safety concern.” Earlier this month, Norwegian officials amended their vaccination advice to say that doctors should assess frail and severely ill elderly people to decide if they should be immunized.
The EMA concluded that safety data collected on the Pfizer vaccine are “consistent with the known safety profile of the vaccine” and noted that severe allergic reactions are a known, rare side effect. It said the frequency of such allergic reactions was about 11 cases per million doses in the U.S. but that there was no comparable European estimate yet.
5 a.m.: Germany’s health minister says he expects the European Union’s drug regulator to authorize a further coronavirus vaccine made by AstraZeneca on Friday, but that currently available data may mean it is not recommend for older adults.
Jens Spahn said authorities are waiting to see what advice the European Medicines Agency issues with regard to vaccinations for people over 65, and Germany would then adjust its own guidance for doctors in the country.
“We don’t expect an unrestricted approval,” Spahn told reporters in Berlin.
Questions remain about how well the AstraZeneca vaccine protects older people. Only 12% of the participants in the AstraZeneca research were over 55 and they were enrolled later, so there hasn’t been enough time to get results.
4:50 a.m. Global stock prices tumbled Friday amid worries about rising coronavirus cases, Wall Street volatility and U.S. economic aid plans.
London and Frankfurt opened lower while Shanghai and Tokyo also retreated.
Overnight, Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index gained one per cent, recovering some of its loss from the previous day’s 2.6 per cent fall after American unemployment data were better than expected. The future for the S&P fell 1.2 per cent after trading hours, denting expectations about how long that run might last.
U.S. markets were roiled by a spate of trading by small investors of video game vendor GameStop that hurt hedge funds that bet the stock would fall.
Elsewhere, investors watched virus infection spikes in Europe and Asia, renewed travel curbs and negotiations in Washington over President Joe Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion economic aid package.
Friday 4 a.m.: A World Health Organization team on Friday visited a hospital where China says the first COVID-19 patients were treated more than a year ago as part of the experts’ long-awaited fact-finding mission on the origins of the coronavirus.
The WHO team members and Chinese officials earlier had their first in-person meetings at a hotel, which WHO has said were to be followed by field visits in the central city of Wuhan.
“First face to face meeting with our colleagues. Correction: facemask to facemask given the medical restrictions,” Dutch virologist Marion Koopmans tweeted around 9:30 a.m. (0130 GMT).
“Discussing our visiting program. China teamleader prof Wannian joking about some technical glitches. Nice to see our colleagues after lengthy Zoom meetings,” Koopman tweeted, referring apparently to top Chinese epidemiologist Liang Wannian, who has been a leader of China’s response team.
Members of the team later left the hotel by car, a short time later entering the gates of the Hubei Provincial Hospital of Integrated Chinese and Western Medicine, where, according to China’s official account of its response to the initial outbreak, doctor Zhang Jixian, first reported cases of what was then known as “pneumonia of unknown origin” on Dec. 27, 2019.
Thursday 7:47 p.m. There have been 766,103 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Canada, 689,419 of them resolved and 19,664 resulting in deaths), according to The Canadian Press. The total case count includes 13 confirmed cases among repatriated travellers.
There were 4,877 new cases Thursday from 92,645 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 5.3 per cent. The rate of active cases is 151.69 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 34,653 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 4,950.
There were 131 new reported deaths Thursday.
Over the past seven days there have been a total of 1,042 new reported deaths.
The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 149. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.4 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 52.31 per 100,000 people.
There have been 17,290,560 tests completed.