Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Saturday
Dr. Tam warns Canada's hospitals under strain despite drop in new COVID-19 infections
- Health officials partially close 2 Ont. Amazon fulfilment centres amid outbreaks.
- N.S. records 52 new infections, its 2nd most in a day since start of pandemic.
- P.E.I. imposes new travel restrictions as cases surge in Atlantic Canada.
- India sets global daily record of new infections for 3rd day in a row.
- More than 11.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been given in Canada so far. Get the latest updates from your region on the CBC News vaccine tracker.
- Have a coronavirus question or news tip for CBC News? Email: Covid@cbc.ca.
A steady increase in COVID-19-related admissions to hospitals and intensive care units continues to weigh heavily on Canada's health-care system even as overall case counts begin to decline, the country's chief public health officer said Saturday.
Dr. Theresa Tam outlined a more than 20 per cent increase in both hospitalizations and ICU patients over a one-week stretch, as well as a much more modest decline in overall infection counts over the same period.
But Tam noted vaccination numbers are also climbing, adding the increasingly common provincial strategy of inoculating more vulnerable populations is offering cause for hope.
"Although COVID-19 activity remains elevated, with a high proportion of cases involving more contagious variants of concern, we are cautiously optimistic that our efforts and strengthened restrictions are beginning to have an impact," she said.
WATCH | Tam says recent restrictions have helped to slow COVID-19 growth:
According to Tam's numbers, an average of 4,167 COVID-19 patients were being treated in Canadian hospitals each day during the week of April 16 to 22, marking a 22 per cent increase over the week before. That includes an average of 1,268 people requiring intensive care each day, which is 21 per cent more than in the previous week, she said.
In that same period, the average number of new daily cases fell by 2.6 per cent.
Federal Conservative party leader Erin O'Toole joined the ranks of the partially vaccinated on Saturday after receiving his first dose of the AstraZeneca-Oxford shot.
He and his wife Rebecca O'Toole received their vaccines from a masked and shielded health-care worker while sitting in their car.
Rebecca and I are grateful to have gotten our first AstraZeneca dose this morning. Every vaccine in an arm is a step closer to securing Canada's future. <a href="https://t.co/F8p72Vt2aS">pic.twitter.com/F8p72Vt2aS</a>—@erinotoole
"I encourage all Canadians to get their vaccine when they become eligible. Getting vaccinated helps protect everyone, puts our economy back on track, and brings us back together," O'Toole said in a statement.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was vaccinated Friday, also with the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine.
What's happening across Canada
As of 6 p.m. ET on Saturday, Canada had reported 1,172,013 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 86,374 considered active. A CBC News tally of deaths stood at 23,927
In British Columbia, the province has cancelled a "pop up" vaccine clinic planned by an exclusive West Vancouver country club. The Hollyburn Country Club had sent an email to members offering those born between 1956 and 1981 to be vaccinated with doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Manitoba logged 276 new cases and three deaths.
On Friday, public health officials expanded vaccine eligibility to anyone over 18 in three at-risk Winnipeg neighbourhoods.
WATCH | Manitoba's vaccine task force on how priority areas were chosen:
Ontario reported 4,094 newcases and 24 additional deaths as the number of patients in intensive care units and on ventilators reached new highs.
Meanwhile, Peel Public Health announced on Saturday that it has partially closed two Amazon fulfilment centres to control COVID-19 outbreaks.
Quebec confirmed 1,106 new cases and 13 more deaths.
Prince Edward Island imposed new travel restrictions late Friday because of rising COVID-19 case numbers in the Atlantic region. People travelling within the Atlantic region on a same-day exemption from having to isolate for 14 days are the most affected.
The province on Saturday announced that it's expanding vaccine eligibility to pregnant residents.
Nova Scotia recorded 52 new infections, its second-highest number of new daily cases since the start of the pandemic. Of Saturday's cases, 44 of them are in the central health zone, which was placed under new restrictions on Friday.
The recent surge in the province has prompted two hospitals in the Halifax area to temporarily reduce elective surgeries.
WATCH | Nova Scotia's COVID-19 surge partially blamed on out-of-province visitors:
Newfoundland and Labrador added three new cases, while New Brunswick saw eight new infections and an additional death.
In Nunavut, two cases were identified in Rankin Inlet, linked to the outbreak in Iqaluit, according to the territory's public health officer. In a statement issued Saturday morning, public health said both individuals landed in the community Friday night on Canadian North Flight 239.
In the Northwest Territories, three cases were confirmed in Yellowknife. Officials say the new cases are all travel-related.
What's happening around the world
As of Saturday, more than 145.6 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University's case tracking tool. The reported global death toll stood at more than three million.
In Asia, for the third day in a row, India set a global daily record with 346,786 coronavirus cases. Hospitals in New Delhi and some of the worst-hit states have reported critical shortages of beds and oxygen supplies on Saturday.
WATCH | Hospitals in India are running out of oxygen supplies as COVID-19 cases soar:
In Europe, Chancellor Angela Merkel has urged Germans to accept nationwide pandemic restrictions that came into effect at midnight, resulting in a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew, further limits on personal contacts and access to non-essential stores in regions with high infection rates.
In the Americas, several U.S. states have resumed use of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine on Saturday, after receiving the green light from federal health officials. The shot was temporarily paused over blood clot concerns.
In Africa, Egypt's top health official says there has been a "slight but continual" spike in confirmed cases of coronavirus across the country in recent weeks. Health Minister Hala Zayed says authorities have registered a weekly increase by up to 10 per cent in some areas amid a third wave of the pandemic.
With files from CBC News and The Associated Press