Good evening, here are the COVID-19 updates you need to know tonight.
- China’s COVID-19 lockdowns drag down economy and cause ripple effects around world
- British Prime Minister Boris Johnson rejects calls to resign amid ‘partygate’ fine
- Ottawa public school board reinstates mask mandate as other boards make new plea for masking
There were 298 deaths announced in the past seven days, up 12 per cent over the same period. At least 5,468 people are being treated in hospitals.
Canada’s inoculation rate is 14th among countries with a population of one million or more people.
Sources: Canada data is compiled from government websites, Johns Hopkins and COVID-19 Canada Open Data Working Group; international data is from Johns Hopkins University.
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Coronavirus in Canada
- Ontario hospitalizations went down slightly from Tuesday, and 12 deaths from the virus were reported today, while wastewater reports suggest between 100,000 and 120,000 new cases in the province each day. Meanwhile, Ottawa’s public school board will require its students and staff to wear masks indoors, defying the Ontario government. On Monday, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore dismissed calls for a return to mandatory masking in schools, saying children remain at low risk for severe disease.
- Hospitalizations in Quebec have gone above 2,000 for the first time since mid-February, while ICU patients have also increased and 13 more deaths were reported.
- Newfoundland and Labrador is opening up boosters to more of the population and keeping masks in schools. The province’s chief medical officer of health estimates that 38 per cent of the population has been infected with the virus.
- In Nova Scotia, the mask mandate for schools and school buses has been extended until at least the Victoria Day long weekend in May, as the province saw the PCR test rate jump by 70 per cent in a week.
Health Canada says almost 1.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines held in a national inventory have expired since January.
Coronavirus around the world
Coronavirus and business
Strict COVID-19 lockdowns in Shanghai and other cities across China are dragging down the world’s second-largest economy, threatening key growth targets and causing international knock-on effects at a time of worldwide instability.
- Current measures, particularly the lockdown in Shanghai – home to the world’s busiest container port – are exacerbating an already weakened global economy. Officials have endeavoured to keep port operations functioning as usual, and some factories have had workers bunk down on site, but it’s unclear how long these measures can last, with some businesses such as Apple and Tesla already pausing operations in Shanghai.
- For the most part, despite the growing economic costs, Beijing has shown no inclination to move away from its strict containment approach to COVID-19, leaving the country increasingly isolated internationally and sparking anger even in a population that was previously broadly supportive of such measures.
Also today: The travel sector is seeing a massive rebound, with thousands of people booking trips for the summer. Because that kind of demand quickly equals shortages, experts are emphasizing planning over the next few months.
Sources: Canada data are compiled from government websites, Johns Hopkins University and COVID-19 Canada Open Data Working Group; international data are from Johns Hopkins.