- Food banks, already in crisis mode due to the pandemic, are bracing for more visits as cost of living rises.
- Unvaccinated health workers urge Quebec court to delay vaccine deadline until 2022.
- Trudeau departs for high-stakes talks in Europe on climate change, pandemic.
- Contracting COVID-19 may provide some immunity. But still get vaccinated, scientists say.
- Track how many people have been given the COVID-19 vaccine across Canada.
The Russian capital brought in its strictest COVID-19-related lockdown measures in more than a year on Thursday as nationwide one-day pandemic deaths and infections hit new highs amid slow vaccination uptake across the country.
Moscow's partial lockdown, in which only essential shops like pharmacies and supermarkets are allowed to remain open and schools and state kindergartens are shut, comes ahead of a week-long nationwide workplace shutdown from Oct. 30.
Like Moscow, some regions decided to kick off their partial lockdowns on Thursday or even earlier in an effort to cut infection numbers ahead of the nationwide initiative.
Moscow's residents are allowed to leave their homes unlike during a sweeping lockdown in summer 2020, but the new measures point to rising concern among officials over record numbers of deaths that the Kremlin has blamed on vaccine hesitancy.
Daily reported deaths hit all-time high
Officials on Thursday reported an all-time high of 1,159 COVID-19 nationwide deaths in the past 24 hours, while the number of daily infections broke through the 40,000 barrier for the first time.
Many Russians have said they are reluctant to get vaccinated and have spurned the four vaccines Russia has registered, including the flagship Sputnik V vaccine.
Some people say they are hesitant due to mistrust of the authorities, while others cite concerns about the safety of vaccines.
As of Oct. 22, official data showed that 49.1 million Russians were fully vaccinated. The total population, excluding annexed Crimea, is officially estimated at around 144 million.
There were mixed feelings about the lockdown on the streets of Moscow on Thursday. Some residents like Lyubov Machekhina said they thought it would obviously help slow infections.
But others like Mikhail, a Muscovite who did not give his surname, voiced doubts that there would be any real impact without a larger chunk of the population being vaccinated.
"In my opinion, it will change nothing. Perhaps, it will slow down [the spread of cases] a bit, but in fact, without herd immunity it's nonsense. I don't believe it will work."
Media briefing on <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/COVID19?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#COVID19</a> with <a href="https://twitter.com/DrTedros?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@DrTedros</a> <a href="https://t.co/X09jaHxJ6J">https://t.co/X09jaHxJ6J</a>
What's happening across Canada
- Ontario is unveiling new long-term care legislation. Here's what advocates want in it.
- P.E.I. long-term care residents receiving 3rd COVID-19 vaccine this week.
- N.B. health officials report one death, 57 new COVID-19 cases.
- More military aid coming to Saskatchewan amid 4th wave of COVID-19.
- 3 more COVID-19 deaths, 130 new cases in Manitoba on Wednesday.
- Alberta reports 645 new cases of COVID-19, 10 new deaths.
- B.C. records 609 new cases of COVID-19 and 6 more deaths.
What's happening around the world
As of early Thursday morning, more than 245 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to the case tracking tool published by U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University. The reported global death toll stood at more than 4.9 million.
In the Americas, COVID-19 is slowly retreating across most of North, Central and South America, the Pan American Health Organization said, reporting that last week the region's death and infection figures were the lowest in over a year.
Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE said on Thursday they expect to deliver 50 million more doses of their COVID-19 vaccine to the U.S. government by the end of April, as the country prepares for vaccinating children.
In the Asia-Pacific region, Singapore's health ministry said it is looking into an "unusual surge" in infections after the city-state reported 5,324 new cases of COVID-19, the most since the beginning of the pandemic, while intensive care beds were filling up.
In Africa, African health officials and the United Nations are warning of a looming shortage of up to two billion syringes for mainly low- and middle-income countries around the world as the supply of COVID-19 vaccine doses rises, and routine vaccinations could be affected, too.
UNICEF, the UN children's agency, says it is not anticipating a significant supply shortage of the more standard syringes used in high-income countries. The threatened shortage comes as the flow of COVID-19 doses increases after months of delays to the African continent. It is the world's least protected region, with less than six per cent of the population of 1.3 billion people fully vaccinated.
In the Middle East, Iran on Wednesday reported 10,644 new cases of COVID-19 and 197 additional deaths.
In Europe, a Hungarian official announced Thursday that the government will allow employers to require that their employees get vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition for work. Additional new measures will include the required wearing of masks on public transportation and a ban on visits to public health-care institutions.
The government will opt to require vaccination for public employees, the official said. The measures came as the number of new infections and deaths in the country reaches levels not seen since a devastating pandemic surge last spring.
With files from The Associated Press and CBC News
Credit belongs to : www.cbc.ca