Ontario has made a formal request to the Canadian Armed Forces to help deal with a surge in critical-care cases associated with COVID-19’s third wave, just days after it rebuffed an offer by the federal government to send in extra personnel.
In a statement Monday, a spokesperson for Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said the province has “made a request for the assistance of those identified resources, many of whom reside, for example, within the Canadian Armed Forces and Canadian Red Cross organizations.”
“In addition to health human resources, we are requesting logistical and operational support as we seek to augment our response to COVID-19,” the statement from Jones’s press secretary, Stephen Warner, said.
The Canadian Armed Forces will deploy three medical assistance teams to help support critical health-care facilities in Ontario, CBC News has learned.
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The province registered 3,510 new cases of COVID-19 and 24 additional deaths on Monday. As well, Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott confirmed that nine health-care professionals from Newfoundland and Labrador would arrive in the province on Tuesday — including Premier Andrew Furey’s wife, Dr. Alison Furey.
Manitoba, meanwhile, announced a series of new restrictions in order to curb the spread of COVID-19, including a ban on private indoor and outdoor gatherings over the next four weeks.
Other restrictions that take effect on Wednesday at 12:01 a.m. include a 25 per cent capacity limit at retail stores and at cultural and religious gatherings, patio dining limited to groups of four and the closure of food courts in the province.
“Please stay home as much as possible,” Dr. Brent Roussin, the province’s chief public health officer, said at a news conference. Manitoba also reported 210 new cases of COVID-19 and one death linked to a more contagious coronavirus variant on Monday.
What’s happening around Canada
As of 5:50 p.m. ET on Monday, Canada had reported 1,187,923 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 85,180 considered active. A CBC News tally of deaths stood at 24,023.
Nova Scotia, which recently tightened restrictions and boosted fines for violations, reported 66 new cases of COVID-19 — a new high for the province. “COVID is back and it wants to stay,” Premier Iain Rankin said at a briefing on Monday.
The province announced that all schools in the Halifax area will transition to at-home learning this week. Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, said the school closures were needed due to “significant impacts” on the Halifax-area education system caused by the amount of virus activity in schools, as well as high numbers of staff forced to isolate while awaiting test results or due to being a close contact of an infected person.
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Quebec health officials reported 889 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday and eight additional deaths. COVID-19 hospitalizations stood at 664, with 167 people in intensive care.
New Brunswick reported seven new cases of COVID-19 on Monday. Dr. Jennifer Russell, the province’s chief medical officer of health, also confirmed that a previously reported case was of the coronavirus variant first detected in India.
Newfoundland and Labrador reported four new cases of COVID-19 on Monday. Health officials said the new cases involve travel within Canada
Saskatchewan reported 245 new cases of COVID-19 and one related death on Monday.
Alberta will ease COVID-19 restrictions at long-term care centres starting on May 10, allowing each resident to designate up to four friends or family members as visitors. The province reported 1,495 new cases of COVID-19 and seven related deaths on Monday.
Earlier, Health Minister Tyler Shandro said the province plans to offer COVID-19 vaccinations to about 15,000 workers at meat-packing plants across the province starting this week.
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British Columbia recorded 2,491 cases of COVID-19 over the last three days, along with 17 related deaths.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that the B.C. coroner has been investigating previous deaths that had not been attributed to the virus, and it’s now confirmed that a baby from the Interior Health region died from COVID-19 in January while being treated at B.C. Children’s Hospital.
Nunavut on Monday reported nine new cases of COVID-19. Dr. Michael Patterson, the territory’s chief public health officer, confirmed that some of Nunavut’s active cases are of the B117 coronavirus variant.
What’s happening around the world
As of Monday afternoon, more than 147.3 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University. The reported global death toll stood at more than 3.1 million.
The situation in India, where COVID-19 cases have surged, is “beyond heartbreaking,” and the World Health Organization is sending extra staff and supplies there to help fight the pandemic, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday.
“WHO is doing everything we can, providing critical equipment and supplies, including thousands of oxygen concentrators, prefabricated mobile field hospitals and laboratory supplies,” he told a briefing.
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In the Asia-Pacific region, confirmed coronavirus infections in the Philippines surged past one million on Monday in the country’s latest grim milestone, as officials assess whether to extend a month-long lockdown in the Manila region amid a deadly spike or relax it to fight an economic recession, joblessness and hunger.
Pakistani authorities, meanwhile, are racing against time to add more beds and ventilators at hospitals amid a surge in deaths and coronavirus infections. Authorities have started summoning troops to ensure people don’t violate physical-distancing rules, according to Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad. Pakistan said it will be forced to impose a nationwide lockdown if the COVID-19 situation does not improve this week.
In Europe, Germany’s coronavirus infection rate rose over the weekend despite stricter restrictions, and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said he did not expect moves to ease curbs before the end of May.
Much of Italy is reopening after weeks of strict coronavirus lockdowns, with museums welcoming the public and bars and restaurants open for outdoor, sit-down service.
Despite appeals for physical distancing, public transit in Rome and Milan was jammed as high schools were allowed to open to at least 70 per cent in-person learning starting Monday.
In the Americas, Mexico’s top diplomat travelled to Moscow on Sunday for a visit with Russian officials, his office said, amid talks to hammer out plans for Mexico to bottle Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine domestically after delays in shipments.
In Africa, South African researchers on Wednesday will resume a study further evaluating the efficacy of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine in the field, after it was temporarily suspended along with use of the shot in the United States.
In the Middle East, Israel and Bahrain have agreed to recognize each other’s vaccination programs and let people who have had shots travel without restriction between the countries.