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

Canada’s chief public health officer said Saturday that the recently announced “better summer” target for the loosening of pandemic restrictions is within reach as the percentage of Canadians receiving their first vaccine shot is on the increase.

'Better summer' target within reach as vaccinations in Canada ramp up, says Tam

People wear face masks as they as they walk along a street in Montreal on Saturday. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)

The latest:

Canada's chief public health officer said Saturday that the recently announced "better summer" target for the loosening of pandemic restrictions is within reach as the percentage of Canadians receiving their first vaccine shot is on the rise.

Dr. Theresa Tam revealed on Friday a new framework for vaccinated Canadians, saying provinces should begin to lift public health restrictions only once 75 per cent of all adults have had at least one dose and 20 per cent are fully vaccinated.

After reaching that 75 per cent milestone, she said, Canadians can safely enjoy camping, hiking, picnics, small backyard BBQs and drinks on a patio.

The threshold is "within sight," Tam said on Saturday, noting that more than 50 per cent of Canadian adults have now been administered their vaccine dose.

"With big increases in vaccine supply, vaccination programs ramping up, & Canadians rolling #SleevesUp & encouraging others, we're making great strides and can look forward to an outdoor summer enjoying many activities we've been missing," Tam said on Twitter.

Meanwhile, Procurement Minister Anita Anand said Canada's vaccination campaign will get a big boost next week when Pfizer delivers more shots than originally planned.

A total of 4.5 million mRNA shots — 3.4 million from Pfizer-BioNTech and 1.1 million from Moderna — are now set to arrive before the Victoria Day long weekend.

"We are continuing negotiations with our suppliers to accelerate deliveries so that the provinces and territories can get vaccines into the arms of Canadians as rapidly as possible," Anand said.

What's happening across Canada

As of 6 p.m. ET on Saturday, Canada had reported 1,323,681 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 71,903 considered active. A CBC News tally of deaths stood at 24,908.

Alberta logged 1,195 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday and three more deaths, as Saskatchewan tallied 196 new cases and one additional death.

Manitoba recorded 430 new cases and four more deaths as more than two dozen schools in the province's two southern school divisions said they will move to remote learning starting Tuesday.

The shift includes all schools in the Winkler-area Garden Valley School Division and the Red River Valley School Division. Students there will join those in Winnipeg and Brandon in learning from home until May 30, the province said in a news release.

WATCH | Winnipeg parents navigate return to remote learning:

Winnipeg parents navigate return to remote learning

2 years ago
Duration 2:02
Wednesday marks the first day of another round of remote learning for kindergarten to Grade 12 students in Winnipeg and Brandon. Classrooms are closed to most students due to rising COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in this third wave of the pandemic.

Ontario registered 2,584 new cases, as well as 24 deaths on Saturday, while Quebec confirmed 760 new cases and eight more deaths.

In Atlantic Canada, New Brunswick added five cases, Nova Scotia reported 86 and Prince Edward Island added one.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, which saw five new cases on Saturday, new testing rules have come into effect that require all travellers into the province aged five and older to be tested according to self-isolation requirements.

In the North, Nunavut identified five new infections, four of them related to an outbreak in Iqaluit, and the Northwest Territories school at the centre of a Yellowknife outbreak is delaying reopening to in-person learning for two days due to unresolved COVID-19 tests.

What's happening around the world

As of Saturday, more than 162 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported around the world, according to a tracking tool from Johns Hopkins University. The global reported death toll stood at more than 3.3 million.

In Europe, people across Poland are taking off masks and making toasts as restaurants, bars and pubs reopen for the first time in seven months.

PHOTOS | Bars and pubs reopen after 7 months in Poland:

In Asia, Taiwan has raised the COVID-19 alert level for the capital Taipei and the surrounding area of New Taipei City following 180 new locally spread cases — its worst outbreak since the pandemic began.

In the Americas, Yale University — among more than 350 post-secondary institutions across the United States that has imposed vaccination requirements for students — is now requiring staff and faculty to be fully inoculated before the fall term.

In Africa, Zimbabwe has ramped up rapid testing and is now performing more than 4,000 a day, according to the World Health Organization.

With files from The Associated Press

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