Coronavirus: what’s happening Wednesday in Canada and around the world

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Russia has another record of daily deaths from COVID-19 as authorities across the country decided to prevent most people from working under a Kremlin order to stem the spread.

The Russian Coronavirus Task Force on Wednesday recorded 1,123 deaths in 24 hours, the largest daily toll since the start of the pandemic. It also reported 36,582 new cases of coronavirus, including 5,789 in Moscow.

To fight the contagion, Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered a period of non-work from October 30 to November 7, when most state organizations and private companies must suspend their activities.

The Russian leader encouraged the worst-affected regions to start the rest period earlier and possibly extend it beyond November 7. Six of Russia’s 85 regions began the period of inactivity on Monday, and more joined them on Tuesday. Moscow is due to suspend most people’s work on Thursday.

A medical worker administers an injection of the Russian vaccine against the Sputnik Lite coronavirus on Tuesday at a vaccination center in Moscow. (Pavel Golovkin / The Associated Press)

Russian authorities expect free time to help limit the spread of contagion by preventing people from accessing offices and public transport, but many Russians have sought to take advantage of this time for vacations to the sea before the long winter season.

Russia is not the only country facing a slight increase in cases. According to a World Health Organization weekly pandemic report, more than 2.9 million new cases of COVID-19 were reported worldwide during the week of October 18 to 24, up from about 4% compared to the previous week.

WHO weekly summary said the highest number of new cases last week were reported in:

  • The United States, which recorded 512,956 new cases, a drop of 12% from the previous week.
  • The United Kingdom, which recorded 330,465 new cases, an increase of 16%.
  • Russia, which registered 248,956 new cases, an increase of 15%.
  • Turkey, which recorded 196,850 new cases, a drop of 8%.
  • Ukraine, which registered 134,235 new cases, an increase of 43%.
A medical specialist treats a COVID-19 patient in the intensive care unit of the No.3 City Clinical Hospital in Kiev, Ukraine. (Stanislav Kozliuk / Reuters)

The number of deaths reported worldwide last week was more than 49,000, according to the report, up about 5% from the previous week.

Europe stood out as the only major region in the world to report an increase in both coronavirus cases and deaths over the past week, with double-digit percentage increases in each.

WHO officials have highlighted a number of factors explaining Europe’s current problems, including relatively low vaccination rates in some countries in Eastern Europe.

-From The Associated Press and CBC News, last updated 6:30 p.m. ET

What’s happening across Canada

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What is happening in the world

A health worker on Tuesday gives a student a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine during a vaccination campaign for 16 and 17 year olds at Primero de Mayo School in La Paz, Bolivia. (Juan Karita / The Associated Press)

As of Wednesday evening, more than 244.8 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Tracker. The death toll worldwide was over 4.9 million.

In the Americas, a panel of experts overwhelmingly voted to recommend that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorize the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine for children aged five to 11, saying the benefits of inoculation outweigh the risks.

Separately, a report from the United States House of Representatives indicates that at least 59,000 meat packing workers fell ill with COVID-19 and 269 workers died when the virus ravaged the industry. last year. The report released on Wednesday shows the coronavirus has hit the industry much harder than previously thought and says companies could have done more to protect their employees.

In EuropeSlovenia’s health minister warned on Wednesday that the country could face a nightmarish scenario if it did not contain the virus outbreak raging in the small Alpine nation and other countries with low vaccination rates from central and eastern Europe.

Health Minister Janez Poklukar said hospital beds were filling up as the country saw the highest number of daily cases since January. With more than 3,000 confirmed infections in the past 24 hours, Poklukar said a lockdown is looming.

“As we looked with fear in neighboring Italy at the start of the epidemic, we are now at a crossroads due to low vaccination rates and we could easily have a scenario of Bergamo,” Poklukar said, mentioning the Italian town. that was hit hard earlier. in the pandemic.

Sweden will start offering callbacks to social workers and people aged 65 or older and plans to gradually extend the third blow to most Swedes in the coming months, the government said.

In the Asia Pacific region, Vietnam’s health ministry has approved vaccinations for children between the ages of 12 and 17, with older adolescents in more populous cities receiving the first doses. There are approximately 14 million Vietnamese children in this age group.

China has reported nearly 250 locally transmitted COVID-19 cases since the current outbreak began 10 days ago, with numerous infections in remote towns along porous international borders in the country’s northwest. The country recorded 50 new local cases as of October 26, the highest daily number since September 16, according to official data released Wednesday.

All fully vaccinated Australian citizens and permanent residents will be able to leave the country without special exemption from November 1, authorities said.

In South Africa, the country most affected Africa – the Ministry of Health on Tuesday reported 331 new cases of COVID-19 and 53 additional deaths. According to the Johns Hopkins tracker, nearly 20% of the country’s population is fully vaccinated.

In the Middle East, the Saudi Ministry of Health on Tuesday reported 65 new cases of COVID-19 and two more deaths. With just over 62% of the population fully vaccinated, health officials have again urged people to take both doses of an approved COVID-19 vaccine.

-From Reuters, The Associated Press and CBC News, last updated 6:30 p.m. ET

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