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Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Monday

اخبارالعرب 24-كندا:الاثنين 19 أكتوبر 2020 02:21 مساءً The latest:

  • Parts of Ontario, Manitoba under new restrictions starting today.
  • Canada-U.S. land border to stay closed to non-essential travel until Nov. 21.
  • Quebec reports 1,038 new cases of COVID-19 and two more deaths.
  • Ontario government recommends against trick-or-treating in COVID-19 hot spots.
  • Wales imposes two-week lockdown.
  • Russia hits record daily rise in COVID-19 cases.
  • Indonesian president warns not to rush vaccines amid halal concern.

With Canada on the cusp of 200,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, new restrictions are taking effect Monday in parts of Ontario and Manitoba in an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The Ontario government announced Friday that York Region would be joining three other COVID-19 hot spots in the province in moving back to a modified Stage 2 of pandemic protocol.

Toronto, Peel Region and Ottawa were placed under similar restrictions amid rising cases on Oct. 10.

The modified Stage 2 includes the closure of gyms and movie theatres, a ban on indoor dining in restaurants or bars and restrictions capping public gatherings at 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. The tighter measures are in place for 28 days.

WATCH | What settings are a higher risk for COVID-19 transmission?

Two infectious disease doctors answer viewer questions about high-risk settings for COVID-19 transmission and how data about transmission could help people make decisions about how to live their lives. 6:11

Long-term care homes in the region are also under new restrictions starting Monday, matching those already in effect in homes across Toronto, Ottawa and Peel Region.

The precautions include limiting visitors to only essential visitors, including caregivers, and pausing short-term and temporary absences for social or personal reasons. Only absences for medical or compassionate reasons will be allowed.

In Manitoba, new tougher rules are in effect starting Monday for Winnipeg and several surrounding municipalities, as the region struggles with the province's worst COVID-19 surge since the start of the pandemic.

The rules, which are in place for two weeks, limits gatherings to a maximum of five people, the lowest the province has gone.

WATCH | New restrictions for Winnipeg amid COVID-19 surge:

Starting Monday, the maximum gathering size in the Winnipeg area will go down to five people. Casinos and some places that serve alcohol will also have to shut down for two weeks. 1:58

As well, stand-alone nightclubs, bars and beverage rooms (which are attached to hotels) are required to close, as are casinos, video lottery lounges, bingo halls and entertainment facilities with live entertainment. 

Businesses licensed as restaurants and lounges can stay open, but they are limited to 50 per cent capacity and can only seat up to five people at a table.

Meanwhile, federal Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said Monday the Canada-U.S. land border will remain closed to all non-essential travel until Nov. 21.

Blair took to Twitter to confirm the latest one-month extension of the policy that was first put in place in March to control the spread of COVID-19.

In an interview on AM 900 CHML Hamilton radio Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the situation in the United States "continues to be of concern."

"We'd love to have the border open … but we can't do that unless we're comfortable that Canadians are being kept safe," he said.

The U.S. leads the world in confirmed coronavirus cases with more than 8.1 million, as well as more than 219,000 deaths.

What's happening elsewhere in Canada

As of 2:15 p.m. ET on Monday, Canada had 199,973 confirmed or presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 168,703 of those as recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC's reporting stood at 9,772.

In Saskatchewan, more than 79 cases have been traced back to the Prince Albert gospel centre superspreader — including a newer "third generation" of cases that the province's chief medical health officer says can be hard to pin down. 

In Alberta, a high school in northeast Calgary closed its doors Monday and moved to an online teaching model temporarily because of staffing challenges following the confirmation of a second case of COVID-19.

WATCH | 43% of Alberta's new COVID-19 cases have no known source:

COVID-19 cases are rising in Alberta, and officials say difficulties with contact tracing could hamper the province's ability to slow the spread. 3:49

Manitoba announced two more deaths and 80 news cases on Monday. The deaths of a man in his 70s and a woman in her 80s are both connected to the Heritage Lodge personal care home in Winnipeg. 

Meanwhile the province says its plan to use doctors' clinics as COVID-19 test sites will get underway later this week. The province says testing will be done after hours, when the clinics are normally closed, or in areas separate from the general public where space allows.

Quebec reported 1,038 new cases of COVID-19 and two more deaths on Monday. There are now 532 people in hospital, an increase of five compared to the previous day, including 92 in intensive care, an increase of four. 

The province registered more than 2,300 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend, indicating the number of daily cases isn't yet slowing down three weeks after Premier François Legault imposed widespread restrictions. Legault said the restrictions would be in place for 28 days, but he has since acknowledged some will remain beyond Oct. 28.

Health-care workers block access to the Jacques Cartier bridge during in protest over stalled contact negotiations with the provincial government in Montreal on Monday. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)

Ontario reported 704 new cases on Monday as the provincial government recommended against trick-or-treating in COVID-19 hot zones.

"Given the high transmission of COVID-19 in the modified Stage 2 public health unit regions of Ottawa, Peel, Toronto and York Region, traditional door-to-door trick or treating is not recommended and people should consider alternative ways to celebrate," provincial Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams said in a statement.

Three Toronto hospitals have declared COVID-19 outbreaks, with patients and staff among nine confirmed cases at Toronto Western Hospital and 20 confirmed cases at St. Joseph's Health Centre. The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health declared an outbreak after two patients tested positive.

WATCH | Ottawa stands out among Ontario's COVID-19 hot spots:

Ottawa is one of Ontario's most troubling COVID-19 hotspots, with outbreaks in hospitals as well as long-term care facilities, while fecal testing in the sewers shows the virus is spreading rapidly. 2:00

Health officials in British Columbia have declared new outbreaks of COVID-19 at a meat processing facility in Surrey and two long-term care homes.

Fraser Health said Sunday that 13 employees at J&L Beef Ltd. have tested positive for the respiratory illness so far. The health authority says it's working with the facility to strengthen COVID-19 mitigation strategies.

It also said one staff member at The Village, an assisted living and long-term care home in Langley, has tested positive for COVID-19, along with one staff member at Rosemary Heights Seniors Village in Surrey.

WATCH | Pandemic a catalyst for real estate boom in northern B.C.:

The COVID-19 pandemic and low interest rates are helping drive a real estate boom in small communities in northern B.C. 2:10

Newfoundland and Labrador reported no new cases on Monday, the province's third straight day without a new case.

Meanwhile, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association is appealing a court decision to uphold the province's controversial travel ban.

What's happening around the world

According to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, the global total of confirmed coronavirus cases stands at more than 40.2 million. More than 1.1 million people have died, while more than 27.5 million have recovered.

In Europe, Wales became the second nation in the United Kingdom to lock down large swaths of the economy to combat a second wave of coronavirus infections as Prime Minister Boris Johnson resists calls to do the same throughout England.

Meanwhile, Russia hit a record daily high of 15,982 coronavirus infections on Monday as the authorities in the capital Moscow said they would not introduce stronger restrictions to contain the virus.

A municipal worker wearing a face mask and protective suit to protect against COVID-19 disinfects a square near Lenin's monument in central Moscow on Monday. (Yuri Kadobnov/AFP/Getty Images)

In Africa, the South African government said it has reduced the number of countries on its high-risk COVID-19 list by more than half to 22 from 60. The only people from high-risk countries allowed entry are business travellers, holders of critical skills visas, investors and people on international missions in sports, arts, culture and science, or people visiting for a minimum of three months.

South Africa accounts for nearly half of the continent's infections, with more than 700,000 cases and 18,000 deaths.

In Asia, the president of the world's largest Muslim-majority nation, Joko Widodo, called on Monday for Indonesia not to rush the rollout of vaccines, citing concerns over public awareness about whether they were halal or permissible under Islam.

In India, 579 fatalities from COVID-19 were reported in the past 24 hours, the lowest increase in three months, bringing its death toll to 114,610. The Health Ministry on Monday also reported 55,722 more people infected, raising India's total to more than 7.5 million.

A child is tested for COVID-19 at an army base hospital in Gauhati, India, on Monday. (Anupam Nath/The Associated Press)

In the Americas, Panama will offer travellers a COVID-19 test when they arrive at its main airport, a little less than a week after resuming international flights.

The country of four million has recorded over 124,000 cases of COVID-19 and 2,500 deaths.

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السابق This journalist says Canada saved him. Now he's saving a 136-year-old Ontario newspaper
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