Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Jan. 14

Ontarians woke up under a new stay-at-home order on Thursday as Alberta announced it will ease some public health restrictions starting Monday.

Ont. stay-at-home order takes effect; Alta. set to ease some COVID-19 restrictions

A person wearing a face mask walks past murals in Ottawa on Thursday. Ontario's stay-at-home order announced earlier this week took effect on Thursday. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

The latest:

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, the military commander leading Canada's COVID-19 vaccine logistics, said Thursday manufacturers are expected to deliver up to one million doses a week starting in April.

In the spring, Fortin said, the country will shift from phase one of the vaccine rollout — immunizing particularly vulnerable people, such as long-term care home residents, some Indigenous adults and health care providers — to a wider rollout as deliveries become larger and more frequent.

The Canadian immunization campaign has gotten off to a slow start.

A month into the inoculation efforts, barely one per cent of the population has received at least one shot of the Pfizer or Moderna products.

Only 615,000 doses have been delivered to the provinces and territories.

The federal government is expecting up to six million doses — enough for three million people to be fully vaccinated using the Pfizer and Moderna two-dose products — by the end of March.

But Fortin conceded Thursday the government is still negotiating a delivery schedule.

"We have a scarcity of vaccines in the first quarter," Fortin said. 

April will mark the start of the what he's calling the "ramp-up phase."

What's happening across Canada

As of 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, Canada had reported 688,891 cases of COVID-19, with 77,955 cases considered active. A CBC News tally of deaths stood at 17,538.

British Columbia announced on Thursday its first case of a coronavirus strain first detected in South Africa, and a fourth case of a variant first detected in the U.K. Meanwhile, Premier John Horgan is seeking legal advice on the feasibility of an inter-provincial travel ban

Alberta will ease some public health restrictions starting on Monday, Jan. 18, allowing hair salons, barbershops and other personal-service businesses to reopen by appointment only. Also starting on that date, up to 10 people will be allowed to gather outdoors, and up to 20 people will be allowed to attend funerals.

WATCH | Sask. not adding restrictions despite rising cases:

Sask. not adding restrictions despite rising COVID-19 cases

The National

4 days agoVideo
Saskatchewan currently has the worst COVID-19 infection rate in the country and cases are on the rise. Instead of adding new restrictions, the government is asking people to follow the existing ones but some say those don’t go far enough. 2:02

Saskatchewan, which reported 312 new cases on Thursday, released its latest modelling forecast, showing the province could see around 900 new infections a day by Jan. 25 even if residents closely follow public health guidelines.

Manitoba reported 261 new cases and two additional deaths.

Ontario sent an emergency alert Thursday morning reminding residents that the stay-at-home order announced earlier this week is now in effect. The province reported 3,326 new cases and 62 deaths.

Quebec announced 2,132 new cases and 64 more deaths. The province also pledged to deliver second vaccine shots within "a maximum" 90 days after the first.

A health-care worker greets a patient at a COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal on Thursday. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)

New Brunswick recorded 23 more infections, with with cases in six of the province's seven zones. Dr. Jennifer Russell, the province's chief medical officer of health, said N.B "will be conducting vaccine clinics" at long-term care facilities in the Saint John region starting Friday.

Newfoundland and Labrador added one new case. Health officials say the individual had travelled internationally.

Prince Edward Island also saw one new case. Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison says the person had travelled outside Atlantic Canada.

Nova Scotia reported six new cases. In Truro, a mobile health unit will be set up in response to an increase in the number of potential exposures in the area during the last week.

People wait at a mobile COVID-19 testing site in Truro, N.S., on Thursday. (Robert Guertin/CBC)

In Nunavut, the hard-hit municipality of Arviat is encouraging residents to get vaccinated by offering cash prizes.

Northwest Territories health officials say wastewater testing suggests there may be one or more undetected cases of COVID-19 in Hay River.

In Yukon, vaccination clinics for physicians and high-risk hospital staff have inoculated about 300 people.

What's happening around the world

As of Thursday, more than 92.5 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, with more than 51.1 million of those considered recovered or resolved, according to Johns Hopkins University's COVID-19 case tracking tool. The global death toll stood at more than 1.9 million.

In Europe, the U.K. is banning arrivals from South America following evidence of a new variant of the coronavirus in Brazil.

The government says that beginning at 4 a.m. Friday, arrivals will not be allowed from any South American countries, from Panama or from the Cape Verde islands off the west coast of Africa.

A health-care worker administers a COVID-19 vaccine shot Stevenage, U.K., on Thursday. (Leon Neal/AFP via Getty Images)

In Asia, a global team of researchers arrived Thursday in the Chinese city where the coronavirus pandemic was first detected to conduct a politically sensitive investigation into its origins amid uncertainty about whether Beijing might try to prevent embarrassing discoveries.

The group sent to Wuhan by the World Health Organization (WHO) was approved by President Xi Jinping's government after months of diplomatic wrangling that prompted an unusual public complaint by the head of WHO.

WATCH | WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins:

WHO team arrives in China to investigate coronavirus origin


4 days agoVideo
A team of international scientists, led by the World Health Organization, is now in Wuhan, China, to gather evidence about the novel coronavirus and to speak more closely with Chinese researchers. 1:32

In Africa, the WHO says a coronavirus variant first detected in South Africa has also been confirmed in Botswana, Gambia and Zambia.

The variant, which South African health officials have said is possibly more transmissible, has been detected in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia.

A health-care worker conducts a COVID-19 test in Lenasia, South Africa, on Thursday. (Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters)

In the Americas, U.S. president-elect Joe Biden unveiled a $1.9 trillion US plan to combat a surging pandemic in the country that has infected more than 23 million people and killed more than 386,000.

Biden's proposal includes $1,400 checks for most Americans and would extend a temporary boost in unemployment benefits and a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures through September.

With files from The Canadian Press, Reuters and The Associated Press

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