Coronavirus: What’s Happening in Canada and Around the World on Saturday

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  • Getting children active after COVID-19 will be a “significant challenge,” says a public health researcher.

Italy reports an increase of up to 40% in the number of people receiving a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine following a government decree requiring a health pass for all workers, public and private, from October 15.

The Italian coronavirus tsar’s office says there was a 35% increase in first doses in one week compared to last Saturday. Italian regions nationwide have reported increases of 20% to 40% for appointments this week to get the hang of.

Italy on Thursday became the first major European economy to require all workers to present a “Green Pass” to work next month. It requires proof of vaccination, a recent negative test, or recovery from COVID-19 within the past six months.

Health Minister Roberto Speranza said the requirement was to step up the vaccination campaign while creating safer workplaces. Italy, once the epicenter of the epidemic in Europe, has fully vaccinated 75% of its population aged 12 and over. Italy has reported more than 130,000 confirmed deaths, the third highest death toll in Europe after Britain and Russia.

“The Green Pass is an instrument of freedom that will help us make workplaces safer,” Speranza said at a press conference. “The second reason is to strengthen our vaccination campaign.”

Slovenia and Greece adopted similar measures this week. But Italy’s 2,000 billion euro (US $ 2.35 trillion) economy, the third largest in the European Union, is a much larger target, and the measure underscores the government’s determination to avoid another lockdown, even as the number of new viral infections rises on the rise, mostly among the unvaccinated.

What’s happening across Canada

WATCH | A doctor organizes a counter-demonstration against demonstrators targeting hospitals:

Doctor organizes counter-demonstration against protesters targeting hospitals

Toronto emergency physician Dr. Raghu Venugopal staged a counter-protest against protesters targeting Toronto General Hospital in opposition to COVID-19 measures and vaccination warrants. He says the protests are “unacceptable” and “un-Canadian” and that the government must legislate against protests in front of hospitals. 6:54

What is happening in the world

As of Saturday, more than 227.8 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus tracker. The death toll worldwide stood at over 4.6 million.

In the Americas, South Carolina is setting hospital records for COVID-19, and new cases in the state are approaching peak levels last winter. The number of cases rose from 150 per day to more than 5,000. The state affected nearly 2,600 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in early September, a record.

WATCH | What we know about COVID-19 vaccines in pregnant women:

What we know about COVID-19 vaccines in pregnant women

Two doctors answer questions about vaccine safety for pregnant people and the risks unvaccinated pregnant women face when they catch COVID-19. 5:44

In the Middle East, the capital of the United Arab Emirates ended a policy requiring people from other emirates to undergo a recent negative COVID-19 test. Abu Dhabi made the announcement on Saturday, saying people from the UAE’s other six emirates could enter the capital from Sunday without passing a test.

In Asia, Vietnam has approved the use of Cuba’s Abdala vaccine, the government said on Saturday, as the Southeast Asian country battles its worst COVID-19 outbreak. Abdala becomes eighth COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in Vietnam, which has one of the region’s lowest vaccination rates, with just 6.3% of its 98 million people having received at least two injections .

In Singapore, health authorities on Saturday reported 1,009 new cases of COVID-19, the highest since April last year. A recent spike in cases after some COVID-19 measures eased has prompted Singapore to suspend reopening. More than 80% of its population has been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Australian police used pepper spray to subdue protesters on Saturday during an anti-lockdown rally in Melbourne, the country’s second largest city. About 1,000 protesters gathered in the Richmond suburb after the location of the protest was changed at the last minute to evade authorities.

Anti-lockdown protesters meet with police on Burnley Street in Richmond, a suburb near Melbourne, Australia on Saturday. Protesters gathered two miles from Melbourne’s central business district despite COVID-19 restrictions banning large outdoor gatherings. (Darrian Traynor / Getty Images)

There were minor scuffles as well as a violent confrontation involving a handful of protesters. Several demonstrators were arrested. Most of the protesters defied the regulations by not wearing masks. Some 2,000 police officers were deployed to checkpoints and barricades, as well as on itinerant patrols, in an attempt to prevent the rally from taking place in violation of public health orders.

Melbourne is the capital of Victoria, which on Saturday reported 535 new infections and one death from COVID-19 in the last 24-hour period. The city’s sixth lockdown began on August 5 Across Australia, health officials on Saturday recorded 1,882 new cases of the coronavirus.,

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