Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Nov. 11

On a Nov. 11 when Canadians were urged to mark Remembrance Day at home to avoid the novel coronavirus, confirmed cases of COVID-19 continued to surge, with Ontario setting a new record for daily cases and Manitoba setting a new record for deaths.

Ontario, Manitoba set records as COVID-19 keeps Remembrance Day ceremonies small

A man reads a headstone at the field of honour for fallen Canadian military war veterans at the Woodland Cemetery on Remembrance Day in Burlington, Ont. (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press)

The latest:

On a Nov. 11 when Canadians were urged to mark Remembrance Day at home to avoid the novel coronavirus, confirmed cases of COVID-19 continued to surge, with Ontario setting a new record for daily cases and Manitoba setting a new record for deaths.

Canadians were encouraged to stay home while they marked the service and sacrifice of those who have given their lives to defend the country, as the solemnity of the day butted up against the threat posed by the pandemic.

The Royal Canadian Legion explicitly discouraged Canadians from attending Remembrance Day ceremonies in person this year and instead asked people to watch on TV or online.

People wearing face masks plant Canadian flags in the lawn of the Sunnybrook Veterans Centre in Toronto on Tuesday. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

At the National War Memorial in Ottawa this morning, there was an emphasis on the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, after many commemorations planned for earlier this year in Europe and elsewhere were cancelled. A modest crowd, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, attended the stripped-down ceremony.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford and a small group of dignitaries and members of the military attended a service at Queen's Park in Toronto.

"We face a new enemy in COVID-19," he said.

That was reinforced when Ontario released its latest pandemic numbers on Wednesday: 1,426 cases, which set a new record high for the fourth time in five days.

The newly confirmed infections pushed the seven-day average of daily cases to 1,217, the highest it has been at any point in the pandemic.

The number of people in Ontario hospitals with a confirmed case of the illness rose slightly to 424. Of those, 88 are being treated in intensive care and 57 are on ventilators. The province also added 15 more deaths to its official COVID-19-linked death toll, which now stands at 3,275.

Quebec's numbers were similarly bleak. The province reported 1,378 new cases of COVID-19 and 22 more deaths on Wednesday.

WATCH | Significant increase in alcohol, tobacco, cannabis use during pandemic, Montreal public health says:

Significant increase in alcohol, tobacco and cannabis use during pandemic, says Montreal public health

2 years ago
Duration 1:34
The pandemic has led to a significant increase in the consumption of alcohol, tobacco and cannabis, mostly in the 18-34 age group, according to Montreal Public Health Director Dr. Mylène Drouin. 

There are 573 people in hospital (an increase of 39), including 84 in intensive care (an increase of two). Quebec has registered more than 1,100 cases every day for the past week.

Meanwhile, Manitoba announced 431 new cases and broke a handful of grim records: nine new deaths; 218 people in hospital, including 32 in intensive care; a test positivity rate of 10.7 per cent.

The province's cumulative caseload since the start of the pandemic now stands at 9,308 cases — more than seven times higher than it was at the beginning of September. A total of 123 people have died from the illness in Manitoba.

WATCH | Fewer deaths had lockdowns come months ago: respirologist

Fewer deaths had lockdowns come months ago: respirologist

2 years ago
Duration 8:34
Though very encouraged by the news from Pfizer about its COVID-19 vaccine development, respirologist Dr. Samir Gupta says stronger lockdowns across the country months ago would have saved many lives.

In Saskatchewan, hundreds of doctors have signed an open letter to the provincial government demanding more action to combat the spread of COVID-19.

"It is becoming increasingly clear to us, physicians from across Saskatchewan, that we are losing the battle against this virus," states the letter, which had attracted 340 signatures by Wednesday afternoon. "If more is not done to change our course we are confident that winter will bring overflowing hospitals, cancelled surgeries, overwhelmed health-care providers and needless death."

WATCH | Saskatchewan physicians demand action from province:

Saskatchewan physicians demand action from province

2 years ago
Duration 6:08
CBC News Network's Andrew Nichols speaks with Dr. Brent Thoma, Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at University of Saskatchewan College of Medicine.

Saskatchewan has seen record case numbers over the past week. 

The province reported 112 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday.

The province's total number of active cases is 1,363 as of Wednesday, giving it a higher rate per capita than Ontario. Sask. has 111 cases per 100,000 people, while Ontario has 69.

What's happening across Canada

As of 6 p.m. ET on Wednesday, provinces and territories in Canada had reported a cumulative total of 277,061 confirmed or presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 223,199 cases as recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC's reporting stood at 10,685.

Alberta reported 672 new cases, and seven more deaths. 

The province says there are 217 patients in hospital, with 46 of them in intensive care, and the government is weighing new restrictions.

WATCH | Alberta doctor warns about pending impact of rising COVID-19 case numbers:

Record-breaking Alberta numbers not yet reflected in ICU admissions: infectious disease specialist

2 years ago
Duration 0:30
Dr. Jim Kellner, an infectious disease specialist in Alberta, is concerned about rising COVID-19 case numbers and their impact on hospitals two to three weeks from now.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 hospitalizations in British Columbia are approaching peak levels, as the Lower Mainland attempts to slow the spread of infection with strict new guidelines.

With 142 people in hospital on Tuesday — 46 of them in intensive care — the numbers are nearing the record high of 149 COVID-19 patients who were in hospital on April 2.

Officials on Saturday announced broad new COVID-19 restrictions for the Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health regions, focusing on social gatherings, travel, indoor group exercises and workplaces.

Ilan Cumberbirch, owner of Yard Athletics gym in Vancouver, sprays a sanitizing solution on used gym equipment on Tuesday. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

In Atlantic Canada, Nova Scotia announced two new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday, giving the province 20 active cases.

New Brunswick reported no new cases Wednesday. It has 16 active cases.

Newfoundland and Labrador reported two new cases Wednesday. It now has seven active cases.

P.E.I. reported one new case Wednesday. It has four active cases.

The Northwest Territories reported one new case Wednesday, its 11th, while Nunavut confirmed one new case, its third.

Yukon did not report any new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday.

What's happening around the world

From The Associated Press and Reuters, last updated at 9 p.m. ET

As of Wednesday evening, there have been more than 52 million cases of COVID-19 reported worldwide, with more than 33.8 million listed as recovered on a coronavirus tracking dashboard maintained by Johns Hopkins University. The number of deaths recorded by the U.S.-based university stood at more than 1.2 million.

In Europe, the United Kingdom on Wednesday became the fifth country in the world to record more than 50,000 coronavirus-related deaths.

Figures from the British government showed that 595 more people in the country died within 28 days of testing positive for the virus, the highest daily number since May. The figure took the U.K.'s total death toll from the pandemic to 50,365.

WATCH | England's COVID-19 deaths soar:

England’s national lockdown confuses as country reaches grim milestone

2 years ago
Duration 3:00
England's latest national lockdown has been full of confusing, messy political decisions that come as the country grapples with rising COVID-19 deaths and reaches the grim milestone of 50,000 dead.

The U.K., which has the highest virus-related death toll in Europe, joins the United States, Brazil, India and Mexico in reporting more than 50,000, according to a tally maintained by Johns Hopkins University.

The U.K.'s overall death toll is widely considered to be far higher than that as the total reported only includes those who have tested positive for the virus and doesn't include those who died of COVID-related symptoms after 28 days. 

Decreasing hospitalizations, fewer confirmed cases and other major public health indicators show that the resurgence of the coronavirus in Belgium is abating — welcome news for a country that proportionally is among the worst-hit nations in Europe when it comes to confirmed coronavirus cases.

A resident, left, of the Domenico Sartor nursing home in Castelfranco Veneto, near Venice, Italy, hugs her visiting daughter on Wednesday through a plastic screen in a so-called Hug Room amid the new coronavirus pandemic. (Piero Cruciatti/AFP via Getty Images)

Over the past month, Belgium has taken increasingly stringent measures to contain the virus, with bar and restaurant closures capped by a partial lockdown, which started last week and put further restrictions on gatherings and forced non-essential shops to shut.

Belgium still had 7,834 new confirmed cases a day over the past week, but it amounted to a 46 per cent decline from the previous seven-day period. The daily death toll for the past week stood at 190 people, a 35 per cent increase.

The Czech Republic has partly lifted the complete closure of schools, allowing schoolchildren in Grades 1 and 2 to return to class starting on Nov. 18, though both teachers and students must wear face masks. Schools for children with disabilities will also reopen. All the other grades at elementary schools, high schools and universities will continue with remote teaching.

A bagpiper stands in the centre of the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing prior to an Armistice Day ceremony in Ypres, Belgium, on Wednesday. Coronavirus restrictions prevented the general public from attending the ceremony, with even dignitary attendance reduced to a minimum. (Virginia Mayo/The Associated Press)

In Sweden, Stockholm has reintroduced a ban on visiting elderly people in care homes as the country has seen an uptick in cases in recent days.

COVID-19 cases are still surging in the Americas, averaging 150,000 a day in the last week, the World Health Organization's regional office said on Wednesday.

The United States continues to report record-breaking numbers, and some states in Mexico, including the capital, are experiencing spikes, the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) said.

Spectators enjoy a performance by the Circ La Putyka art troupe through a window in Prague, where all theatres are closed due to government-mandated COVID-19 measures, on Tuesday. (Gabriel Kuchta/Getty Images)

The United States became the first country to surpass 10 million COVID-19 infections, according to a Reuters tally, as 
the third wave of the virus surges across the nation.

Other countries in the Americas are doing better. Argentina, Costa Rica and Jamaica have curbed the outbreak with effective contact tracing, and most Caribbean nations have avoided spikes by acting fast, PAHO assistant director Jarbas Barbosa said.

Central America is seeing a steady decrease in COVID-19 cases due to better control measures, the PAHO director said.

Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay have flattened their curves, and cases in Argentina are decreasing due to improved co-ordination between the federal and provincial governments, he said.

In the Asia-Pacific region, health authorities in New Zealand say the country has a coronavirus case for which they haven't been able to determine the source of the infection. It is a blow for a nation that has been largely successful in its attempts to eliminate community spread of the virus. 

Authorities said Thursday that they are urgently investigating the recent movements and possible sources of infection for the affected Auckland student, who also works at a clothing store. 

So far the government hasn't raised the alert level for New Zealand or imposed any new restrictions. 

Since the pandemic began, New Zealand has reported about 2,000 confirmed cases and 25 deaths from COVID-19.

Registered nurse Glenda Perez waits to test people for the coronavirus in East Los Angeles, Calif., on Tuesday. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)

In Africa, Ethiopia now has more than 100,000 confirmed coronavirus infections, joining a handful of countries across the continent that have surpassed that milestone as COVID-19 cases begin to creep up again in multiple places.

The Horn of Africa regional power faces multiple humanitarian crises and now has a growing deadly conflict in its northern Tigray region between federal and regional forces.

Other African nations with more than 100,000 confirmed virus cases on Wednesday are Egypt with over 109,000; Morocco with over 265,000; and South Africa with over 740,000. The 54-nation African continent is closing in on two million confirmed cases.

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

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