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COVID-19: New cases in Quebec drop below 700, six new deaths

Quebec is reporting 662 new infections and six more deaths as the third wave of the COVID-19 continues across the province Monday.Authorities say one Quebecer died in the last 24 hours while the other fatalities occurred earlier in the month.The number of hospitalizations linked to the pandemic stands at 543, a rise of four from the previous day. This includes 123 patients in intensive care, a drop of one.The vaccination rollout saw another 63,377 doses administered, for more than 3.7 million to date. The latest update means a little more than 42 per cent of the population has received a first shot.Appointments are also now open to anyone who is 30 and older.The age limit requirement is set to keep dropping this week, with the immunization campaign being expanded to all adults. Health Mini...

COVID-19: Latest developments in the Greater Toronto Area on May 10

Here are the latest developments on the COVID-19 pandemic in the Greater Toronto Area for Monday: Ontario expands COVID vaccine eligibility to 40 , more people who cannot work from home The Ontario government says starting on certain days this week, COVID-19 vaccine eligibility will be expanded to more people with at-risk health conditions, people who cannot work from home (Group 2) and people aged 40 and older in non-hot spot communities. Story continues below advertisement Starting Tuesday, May 11 at 8 a.m., people with at-risk health conditions such as dementia, diabetes and sickle cell disease will be able to book an appointment.Also on Tuesday morning, people in Group 2 who cannot work from home, which includes grocery store, restaurant and transportation workers will also be eligible...

COVID-19: Ontario’s fiscal watchdog says surgical backlog will take more than 3.5 years to clear

TORONTO — Ontario’s fiscal watchdog says it will take the province approximately three and a half years to clear the surgical backlog from the COVID-19 pandemic.The Financial Accountability Office projects that the backlog of cancelled surgeries will reach 419,200 procedures by the end of September.The FAO estimates it will cost the province $1.3 billion to clear the backlog, and notes the government has allocated $610 million in its latest budget to address the issue.The watchdog says its projections on clearing the backlog assumes hospitals will be able to operate at 11 per cent above pre-pandemic volumes in the coming years.Overall, the FAO says the province will have a $61.9 billion spending shortfall in the health-care sector over the next nine years. Trending Stories Story continues ...

Ontario high-risk health-care workers eligible for 2nd COVID-19 vaccine dose at shortened interval

Certain high-risk health-care workers in Ontario will be eligible for their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine earlier than the expected fourth-month interval, the Ford government announced Monday.Booking will begin for those eligible by the end of this week.The province said the move is due to an increase in supply. Those included in the eligibility group includes high-risk health-care workers, dialysis patients and all First Nations, Inuit and Metis individuals.The province expects to receive weekly shipments of more than 785,000 doses from Pfizer-BioNTech in May, and more than 938,000 doses per week next month.“These groups face a greater risk of contracting and suffering serious illness from COVID-19,” the province said in a release on Monday. Story continues below advertisement “With...

Ontario reports more than 2,700 new COVID-19 cases, 19 deaths

Ontario is reporting 2,716 new COVID-19 cases on Monday. The provincial total now stands at 495,019.Monday’s case count is lower than Sunday’s which saw 3,216 new infections. On Saturday, 2,864 new cases were recorded and 3,166 on Friday. It is also the lowest increase in daily cases since April 1 but Monday’s testing was quite low.According to Monday’s report, 807 cases were recorded in Toronto, 707 in Peel Region, 294 in York Region, 168 in Durham Region and 106 in Hamilton.All other local public health units reported fewer than 100 new cases in the provincial report.The death toll in the province has risen to 8,327 as 19 more deaths were recorded. Story continues below advertisement Meanwhile, 454,701 Ontario residents were reported to have recovered from COVID-19, which is about 92 per...

Eastern Townships region turns red amid COVID-19 surge

The Eastern Townships region is officially a designated red zone once again Monday due to rising COVID-19 cases.The change brings tighter measures into effect for the area, which was previously an orange zone under Quebec’s coloured-coded pandemic response system.Restaurants and gyms must close, and places of worship will cap capacity at 25 people. Curfew, meanwhile, will be set from 9:30 p.m. to 8 a.m. in the area.READ MORE: Montreal restaurants stage ‘symbolic re-opening’ to promote businessesWhile the number of new infections remained stable in most of the province, the Eastern Townships saw a jump in cases last week.The public health department for the region also reported a “significant increase” in outbreaks and hospitalizations related to the pandemic. It also pointed to a rise in C...

India COVID-19 cases continue to surge as calls for national lockdown grow

Indian coronavirus infections and deaths held close to record daily highs on Monday, increasing calls for the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to lock down the world’s second-most populous country.The 366,161 new infections and 3,754 deaths reported by the health ministry were off a little from recent peaks, taking India’s tally to 22.66 million with 246,116 deaths as hospitals run out of oxygen and beds and morgues and crematoria overflow. (Graphic on global cases and deaths)Experts have said India’s actual figures could be far higher than reported.Sunday’s 1.47 million tests for COVID-19 were this month’s lowest yet, data from the state-run Indian Council of Medical Research showed. The figure compared with a daily average of 1.7 million for the first eight days of May. Story c...

Toronto family marks first Mother’s Day in India under a cloud of COVID pandemic anxiety

The joy of Komal Garg’s first Mother’s Day has been tempered with fear and frustration as she awaits the green light to start enjoying family life in the Toronto home she hasn’t seen for months.She and her husband Hari Gopal Garg are stranded in India, where they flew earlier this year to adopt their first child and have since been held up as the country buckles under a tidal wave of COVID-19 infections.Baby Kaveri’s first birthday came and went under a cloud of pandemic-related anxiety in March, coupled with an unrelated hospital stay for the little one around that time.The family had been looking forward to celebrating both that milestone and Mother’s Day in the comfort of their Canadian home. Story continues below advertisement But the federal government banned incoming flights from Ind...

Ontario expected to expand COVID-19 vaccine eligibility again

By Staff The Canadian Press Posted May 10, 2021 6:08 am 2:31Ontario pharmacies in COVID-19 hot spots see surge in vaccine demand as eligibility expands to 18 WATCH ABOVE: Ontario pharmacies in COVID-19 hot spots see surge in vaccine demand as eligibility expands to 18 . Ontario is expected to lower the age of COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to 40 across the province this week as it continues to expand its rollout.The province is also due to begin vaccinating people with health conditions deemed “at risk.”They include people with heart disease, diabetes, most types of cancer and dementia. Trending Stories Half of vaccine supply is being diverted to COVID-19 hot spots this week, based on the recommendation of the province’s scientific advisers.Starting next week, vaccines are set to be distribu...

COVID-19: Already ‘fragile’ Ontario camps industry facing uncertain summer

The Ontario Camps Association says it’s working with the government to try to find a way to open safely this summer amid the ongoing pandemic, but some camps have already made the choice to close or alter programming in the face of more uncertainty.Chair of the OCA’s COVID-19 Task Force Jack Goodman says some summer camps that receive a large number of American campers have chosen to close for the upcoming summer over concerns about impediments at the border or “daunting” quarantine requirements.Other camps have pivoted to different types of operations, he says, “because the uncertainty is just beyond their ability or capacity to wait and wait and wait.”Camp Kee-Mo-Kee in Komoka, Ont., just outside of London, is among the camps that have chosen not to run overnight camps regardless of what...

Saskatchewan sets Step 1 target re-opening date for May 30, reports 177 new cases

With a daily record of 13,651 COVID-19 vaccines administered on Saturday, Saskatchewan officials announced a target date of May 30 for Step 1 of the re-open plan.Unveiled on Tuesday, the province’s three-step re-open plan provides a glimpse of what restrictions could be amended in a certain timeframe once vaccination goals are met. Saskatchewan’s Re-opening Roadmap. Courtesy Government of Saskatchewan With more than 70 per cent of residents age 40 and older having received their first COVID-19 dose, part of the threshold for Step 1 has been met. Story continues below advertisement “We may have reached the first re-opening target, but our vaccination targets are not slowing down, in fact, they are speeding up. Today, we are reporting our highest one-day total vaccines delivered to date — mo...

India to recruit ex-army medics as COVID-19 overwhelms healthcare system, officials say

India will recruit hundreds of former army medics to support its overwhelmed healthcare system, the defence ministry said on Sunday, as the country grapples with record COVID-19 infections and deaths amid calls for a complete nationwide lockdown.Some 400 medical officers are expected to serve on contract for a maximum of 11 months, the ministry said in a press release, adding that other defence doctors had also been contacted for online consultations.COVID-19 cases and deaths have been hitting records every two or three days. Deaths rose by more than 4,000 for a second consecutive day on Sunday.Many Indian states have imposed strict lockdowns over the past month while others have announced restrictions on public movement and shut down cinemas, restaurants, pubs and shopping malls. Story co...

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