Manitobans are being urged to keep up their resolve to get vaccinated against COVID-19, as the province reported two more deaths on Wednesday — including that of a Winnipeg teenager.
Manitoba also announced 250 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, 136 of which were reported in the Winnipeg health region.
To date, Manitoba has seen 70 per cent of its adult population receive at least one dose of vaccine. But there are some spots where the percentage is much lower, including the core area of Winnipeg and some rural regions south of the capital.
To encourage people to get their shot, the provincial government is offering cash prizes and scholarships in draws for Manitobans who get vaccinated.
“We need Manitobans to get vaccinated. The sooner we get vaccinated, the sooner we get our lives back,” Premier Brian Pallister said while announcing the initiative on Wednesday.
Further west, British Columbia reported 148 new cases and three additional deaths.
-From The Canadian Press and CBC News, last updated at 6:30 p.m. ET
What’s happening across Canada
As of 6:15 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Canada had reported 1,396,798 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 16,640 considered active. A CBC News tally of deaths stood at 25,843.
More than 27 million COVID-19 vaccine doses had been administered so far across the country, according to CBC’s vaccine tracker.
Fully vaccinated Canadian citizens and permanent residents will soon be exempt from having to quarantine in authorized hotels on return to Canada, the government announced on Wednesday.
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Starting early next month, travellers who have received shots at least 14 days before returning will still have to take a COVID-19 test on arrival, and have to stay in isolation until the test comes back negative.
“We’ll be watching carefully here in Canada and around the world as cases change and as vaccination rates rise,” Health Minister Patty Hajdu said Wednesday. “These metrics are very important factors.”
The government also announced Moderna will be shipping seven million doses of vaccine to Canada this month.
Ontario on Wednesday reported 33 deaths and 411 new cases of COVID-19. According to updated provincial figures, hospitalizations stood at 571, with 466 people in intensive care units because of COVID-19.
In Toronto, 117 cases were reported on Wednesday, the lowest daily case count since September 2020.
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Quebec on Wednesday reported eight additional deaths and 178 new cases of COVID-19.
Across the North, there were no new cases reported in Nunavut on Wednesday, Premier Joe Savikataaq said. Yukon reported two new cases, while no new cases were reported in the Northwest Territories.
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Nova Scotia reported 13 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, while Newfoundland and Labrador reported three new cases and New Brunswick reported 13 cases. Prince Edward Island had not reported any new cases as of the early evening.
-From CBC News and The Canadian Press, last updated at 7 p.m. ET
What’s happening around the world
As of Wednesday afternoon, more than 174.1 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to a database from Johns Hopkins University in the United States. The reported death toll around the world stood at more than 3.75 million.
In Africa, the continent is tragically at the back of the pack in the global race to vaccinate people against COVID-19. In South Africa, which has the most robust economy on the continent, only 0.8 per cent of the population is fully vaccinated. In Nigeria, it’s 0.1 per cent. Kenya is even lower. And Uganda has recalled doses from rural areas because it doesn’t have nearly enough to fight outbreaks in big cities.
In the Asia-Pacific region, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said he is aiming to have everyone in the country vaccinated by November, a target he set with a general election scheduled for later this year. The prime minister is desperately pushing to accelerate Japan’s COVID-19 vaccination program ahead of the upcoming Summer Olympics, which have become increasingly unpopular among people in the country.
In the Americas, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has eased travel recommendations for more than 110 countries and territories, including Japan just ahead of the Olympics.
In Europe, the Russian capital of Moscow has recorded a steep uptick in coronavirus infections this week and authorities say enforcement measures for wearing masks and gloves will increase.
On Wednesday, the national coronavirus task force reported 4,124 new cases in Moscow, a 40 per cent increase from Sunday’s tally of 2,936.
Yevgeny Danchikov, who oversees control of public services for the city, says enforcement of masks and gloves on public transport, in shopping centres and in other public places will be tightened.
Meanwhile, the United Kingdom has recorded its highest daily coronavirus cases since late February, suggesting the Delta variant is spreading widely across the country.
Government figures Wednesday showed the U.K. recorded 7,540 new infections, the biggest daily increase since Feb. 26. Cases have been rising over the past few weeks as a result of the Delta variant first identified in India, raising concerns the increase will once again put pressure on the health-care system.
European Union lawmakers on Wednesday endorsed a new travel certificate that will allow people who have been vaccinated to move between European countries without having to quarantine or undergo extra coronavirus tests, paving the way for the pass to start in time for summer.
The certificate is aimed at saving Europe’s travel industry and prime tourist sites from another disastrous vacation season.
Key travel destinations such as Greece have led the drive to have the certificate, which will have both paper and digital forms, rapidly introduced. Several EU countries have already begun using the system, including Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece and Poland.
In the Middle East, there were six deaths and 2,179 new cases of COVID-19 reported in the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday, local media reported.
– From The Associated Press, Reuters and CBC News, last updated at 5 p.m. ET
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