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


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The latest:

Nova Scotia is entering the second phase of its reopening plan on Wednesday, a move that will allow more businesses to reopen and more social gatherings.

“COVID isn’t gone, but our numbers are staying low so we’re able to take more steps to reopen in Phase 2,” Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, said in a statement announcing the changes.

The province also announced that it will open its borders to travellers from other Atlantic provinces as of June 23.

Nova Scotia isn’t the only province making a change on June 23 — Newfoundland and Labrador will reopen to travellers from the Atlantic region on the same day. The move means travellers won’t have to isolate for 14 days upon entering each province.

New Brunswick, which as of Tuesday met its goal of having a first dose of COVID-19 administered to 75 per cent of its eligible population, lifted some travel restrictions as it entered the first phase of reopening. Premier Blaine Higgs said Tuesday that the province could reach the next phase of its reopening plan sooner than expected, which would open travel even more broadly.

“With your continued help and enthusiasm for the second vaccination, this will happen later this week,” Higgs said during a briefing about reopening plans.

In Prince Edward Island there will be some changes to travel guidelines for Atlantic residents as of June 23, with further opening to “partially or fully vaccinated individuals travelling to P.E.I. from within Atlantic Canada” as of June 27.

The changes came as health officials across the Atlantic region reported nine new cases of COVID-19, including four in Nova Scotia, three in New Brunswick and two in Newfoundland and Labrador.

-From CBC News and The Canadian Press, last updated at 7 a.m. ET

What’s happening across Canada

WATCH | Kashechewan devastated by latest COVID-19 outbreak: 

The James Bay community of Kashechewan is dealing with a devastating surge in COVID-19 cases and it’s affecting some of its youngest residents. Some say Ottawa hasn’t moved fast enough to manage the outbreak. 1:59

As of early Wednesday morning, Canada had reported 1,404,106 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 14,935 considered active. A CBC News tally of deaths stood at 25,972. More than 29.9 million COVID-19 vaccine doses had been administered so far across the country, according to CBC’s vaccine tracker.

In Quebec, health officials on Tuesday reported six additional deaths and 105 new cases of COVID-19.

Ontario, meanwhile, reported 13 additional deaths and 296 new cases of COVID-19.

In the Prairie provinces on Tuesday, Manitoba reported two additional deaths and 116 new cases of COVID-19. Saskatchewan, meanwhile, reported four deaths and 47 new cases of COVID-19. In Alberta, health officials reported four deaths and 127 new cases of COVID-19. 

Across the North, there were no new cases of COVID-19 in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories on Tuesday. 

In Yukon, health officials reported 12 new cases, saying 10 were in Whitehorse and two were in rural communities.

“Positive cases range in age from 10 to 40 years,” a statement announcing the cases said. “All cases are linked to a Whitehorse contact. Only one individual in this most recent group was vaccinated.”

In British Columbia, health officials reported 108 new cases of COVID-19 and no additional deaths as it began the second phase of its restart plan on Tuesday.

-From CBC News and The Canadian Press, last updated at 7 a.m. ET

What’s happening around the world

Tourists visit the Taj Mahal after it reopened to visitors following authorities easing COVID-19 restrictions in Agra on Wednesday. (Money Sharma/AFP/Getty Images)

As of early Wednesday morning, more than 176.6 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to data published by U.S-based Johns Hopkins University. The reported global death toll stood at more than 3.8 million, with more than 600,000 of the deaths in the United States alone.

In the Asia-Pacific region, India is reopening its famed marvel of love, the Taj Mahal, and several other monuments as the number of new coronavirus infections continues to decline. District Magistrate Prabhu Narain Singh said 650 tourists with online bookings will be allowed a day to visit the white marble Taj Mahal from Wednesday. Temperatures will be checked at the gates, face masks must be worn and physical distancing must be observed.

The Health Ministry on Wednesday reported 62,224 new infections in the past 24 hours, which is down from a peak of more than 400,000 new infections a day in April. It also reported 2,542 more deaths, raising total fatalities to 379,573. Both figures are believed to be vast undercounts.

In the Americas, Ecuador said it had approved the use of the COVID-19 vaccine made by China’s CanSino Biologics Inc.

New York is lifting all state-mandated coronavirus restrictions after reporting that 70 per cent of the state’s adults have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Tuesday.

In Africa, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said Johnson & Johnson would send two million COVID-19 vaccine doses to the country by the end of the month, making up for the amount lost due to contamination at a U.S. ingredient supplier.

In the Middle East, Iran’s reported case total rose to 3,049,648, with 82,351 reported deaths. 

The European Union plans to boost its early warning system and have a permanent capacity to produce about 300 million vaccines in the first six months of any new health emergency as it prepares for “the age of pandemics.”

-From Reuters, The Associated Press and CBC News, last updated at 7 a.m. ET 2021-06-16 11:30:24

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