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Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on April 25

Nova Scotia announced stricter COVID-19 measures and harsher penalties for those who break public health rules after the province reported a record-breaking 63 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday.

N.S. tightens COVID-19 restrictions, ramps up testing as new cases reach record high

Nova Scotia’s COVID-19 surge partially blamed on out-of-province visitors

The National

14 days ago
2:03
Nova Scotia is suddenly dealing with the worst outbreak it has seen in months and it's blamed in part on people from out of province who didn’t follow the rules. 2:03

The latest:

Nova Scotia Premier Iain Rankin and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Strang have announced stricter COVID-19 measures and harsher penalties for those who break public health rules after the province reported a record-breaking 63 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday.

It's the highest single-day increase the province has recorded since the pandemic first emerged last spring.

All Nova Scotians are now being asked to avoid travel outside their immediate communities unless it's for essential reasons, like work or medical appointments.

At a news conference on Sunday, Rankin said the official order on this change will come this week and be in place until at least May 20. Indoor and outdoor gathering limits have also been lowered to 10 people for all regions outside the Halifax area.

Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia chief medical officer of health, right, and Premier Iain Rankin are seen at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Halifax on April 16. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press)

Rankin and Strang both had harsh words for those who have been breaking regulations, especially the 22 people ticketed earlier this weekend at a large gathering. Dalhousie University has confirmed some of those at the gathering were students, and the university will consider suspensions.

Rankin said he was relieved to hear police issued fines under the Health Protection Act, but he said the current punishment of $1,000 is not enough of a deterrent, so the province has increased it to $2,000.

Additionally, to curb the latest spike in case numbers, provincial health officials have once again turned to mass testing, an effort that helped them beat back a surge of community spread in the Halifax region late last year. 

There are also rapid-testing sites set up at the East Dartmouth Community Centre and the Alderney Gate Public Library, also in Dartmouth.

People line up for rapid COVID-19 testing at the East Dartmouth Community Centre in Nova Scotia on Sunday. (Mark Doiron/CBC )

Around the world, several countries are looking into ways to aid India as it grapples with a surge in COVID-19 cases that threatens to overwhelm the country's hospitals.

Britain says it's sending 600 pieces of medical equipment, including ventilators; Germany is examining the possibility of providing a mobile oxygen generator; and Dr. Anthony Fauci — the Biden administration's top medical adviser on the pandemic — says the U.S. is looking into ways to increase India's vaccine supply, such as by sending doses or helping the country "to essentially make vaccines themselves."

In Canada, Minister of Public Services and Procurement Anita Anand said Ottawa is in touch with India and that Canada "will stand ready with PPE and ventilators and any items that might be useful."


What's happening across Canada

As of 5:45 p.m. ET on Sunday, Canada had reported 1,178,995 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 86,232 considered active. A CBC News tally of deaths stood at 23,965.

In British Columbia, Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart is threatening to use a court order against the Corduroy restaurant, which has frequently defied public health orders on indoor dining.

In south Langley Township, one of the Lower Mainland's high transmission neighbourhoods, Fraser Health is offering vaccines at a drop-in clinic to those born in 1981 or earlier.

People wearing face masks are see in Vancouver on Sunday. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

Alberta logged 1,437 new cases COVID-19 cases and three new deaths on Sunday, Saskatchewan tallied 249 new cases and two deaths and Manitoba registered 259 new cases but no new deaths

Ontario reported 3,947 new infections and 24 fatalities as the number of patients in intensive care units once again reached a record high. 

Meanwhile, Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced on Sunday that a new round of pandemic payments will be coming for parents across the province.

Starting Monday, payments will be made to parents through the Ontario COVID-19 Child Benefit program to help working parents of pre-school children, those in junior and senior kindergarten through to Grade 12, and those up to age 21 for children and youth with special needs.

Quebec confirmed 1,014 new cases and 13 more deaths. Infection rates have continued to stabilize across the province over the weekend, and two of the most troublesome regions posted encouraging numbers on Sunday.

Chaudière-Appalaches, which has been the epicentre of the third wave, recorded 95 new cases, its lowest daily total in three weeks. Meanwhile, the Quebec City region, also badly hit in the third wave, recorded 92 new cases, its lowest daily total in a month.

Both areas, along with the Outaouais, are subject to heightened lockdown measures, which are set to remain in place until May 3.

A person wearing a face mask walks by a sign for a COVID-19 vaccination site in Montreal on Sunday. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)

In the Atlantic provinces, Newfoundland and Labrador added two new cases on Sunday, while New Brunswick recorded four.

In the North, Nunavut reported seven new infections, while the Northwest Territories identified another case in Yellowknife, which officials say is part of a cluster of five cases in the city.


What's happening around the world

As of Sunday, more than 146.5 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 3.1 million.

In Asia, Japan's department stores, bars and theatres shuttered on Sunday as part of emergency measures to slow a surge in infections. The 17-day restrictions are declared for Tokyo, Kyoto, Hyogo and Osaka, ahead of the "Golden Week" holidays, when Japanese usually travel extensively.

People wearing face masks walk past shuttered stores at an underground shopping arcade in Osaka, Japan, on Sunday. (Yohei Fukuyama/Kyodo News/The Associated Press)

In Europe, Italy's health minister on Sunday signed an ordinance forbidding entry into Italy to anyone who has been in India in the last 14 days.

In the Americas, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has suggested that the army might be called into the streets to restore order if lockdown measures against COVID-19 that he opposes lead to chaos.

In Africa, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi has received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, although his office did not say what type of vaccine was used. Egypt in general uses China's Sinopharm or the AstraZeneca vaccines.

With files The Canadian Press and The Associated Press

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