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

Help from the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) to combat Alberta's critical COVID-19 situation is expected to arrive on Monday, the federal government said on Saturday.

Health workers from Canadian Armed Forces, Red Cross arriving in Alta. on Monday

A member of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) is seen in Toronto on Apr. 30. Assistance from CAF to combat Alberta's critical COVID-19 situation is expected to arrive on Monday, the federal government said on Saturday. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

The latest:

Assistance from the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) to combat Alberta's critical COVID-19 situation is expected to arrive on Monday, the federal government said on Saturday.

Up to eight CAF critical care nurses are expected arrive in Alberta to assist the province's strained intensive care units, according to a statement issued by Public Safety Canada. It said that up to 20 medical professionals from the Canadian Red Cross will also be arriving Monday.

CAF personnel have previously been deployed to long-term care facilities in Ontario and Quebec in response to outbreaks there.

The announcement comes as Alberta is facing its worst wave of COVID-19. Alberta has the highest rate of infections in the country, at close to four times the national average, and Albertans are dying of COVID-19 at close to three times the rate of anywhere else in Canada — rivalled only by Saskatchewan.

WATCH | Health-care systems in Alta., Sask. are 'broken,' doctors say: 

Health-care systems in Alberta, Saskatchewan 'broken' by COVID surge, doctors say

8 months ago
Duration 16:41
Dr. Aisha Mirza, an ER physician in Edmonton, and Dr. Hassan Masri, an ICU and critical care physician in Saskatoon, share how the provinces' hospitals and medical professionals are struggling amid a fourth wave of COVID-19.

Dr. Ilan Schwartz, a physician and assistant professor of infectious diseases at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, says Alberta hospitals are currently unable to offer life-saving surgery or safe emergency care to those that desperately need it and some are consistently running at more than 100 per cent ICU capacity, making for a "completely dysfunctional health-care system." 

Premier Jason Kenney has rejected calls for stricter measures, saying the province was still monitoring the impact of new public health measures that recently went into effect. Kenney and his government have previously resisted vaccine passportslifted mask mandates and even planned to abandon test, trace and isolate protocols before backtracking as cases rose.

What's happening across Canada

WATCH | Canadian military began planning COVID-19 response in January 2020: 

Canadian military began planning COVID-19 response in January 2020

8 months ago
Duration 1:56
CBC News has obtained access-to-information documents that show the military was concerned enough about the spread COVID-19 to begin planning for a domestic response in late January 2020 — weeks before public health officials began to consider it a threat.

What's happening around the world

As of Saturday, more than 234.3 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University's coronavirus-tracking tool. The reported global death toll stood at more than 4.7 million.

In Europe, more than 5,000 people protested Saturday in Romania's capital of Bucharest to reject upcoming measures used by authorities to combat an alarming surge of infections.

In Asia, U.K. nationals visiting India this month will have to undergo mandatory quarantine even if they are fully vaccinated in retaliation for U.K. curbs on Indian citizens, a senior government source in New Delhi told Reuters.

In the Americas, the U.S. death toll from COVID-19 has eclipsed 700,000, with 100,000 people dying in the past three months when vaccines were available to any American over age 12. 

In Africa, Nigeria got approval on for $400 million US in World Bank financing to procure and deploy COVID-19 vaccinations, the Bank said.

With files from The Associated Press and Reuters

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