Topic

Coronavirus | Latest News and Updates

Latest news and updates on the global coronavirus pandemic. Keep up-to-date on numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths, analysis of the government's response and other stories from the Canada and around the world.

COVID-19 Around the World

COVID-19 Q&A

COVID-19 Q&A: One way for a ‘massive reduction’ in COVID-19 spread is accessible to everyone

Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Sumon Chakrabarti says people should be enjoying the outdoors as much as possible to hugely reduce the chance of COVID-19 spreading. Video by Shibani Gokhale
  • 01:35
  • 01:50
  • 00:56
  • 04:46
  • 03:25
  • 03:58
  • 01:28
  • 01:35
  • 03:13
  • 00:51

Latest News

  • Yahoo Finance

    McDonalds, Shake Shack and others give the COVID-19 vaccine push a shot in the arm

    A range of companies and fast food giants are moving to help U.S. reach herd immunity.

  • HuffPost

    Here's What Happened When I Told Congress The Black And Ugly Truth About Long COVID

    This author is educating the public on the importance of including Black people in research on long-haul COVID-19.

  • Yahoo Life Shopping

    Stock up on KN95s: These FDA-approved masks are less than $2 a pop at Amazon

    Powecom is one of the only KN95 mask brands recommended by the FDA.

  • Yahoo News Singapore

    COVID-19: Singapore reports 19 new community cases among 31 total

    The Ministry of Health (MOH) on Saturday (15 May) confirmed 31 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore, taking the country's total case count to 61,536.

  • The Canadian Press

    The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada for Saturday, May 15, 2021

    The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 4:00 a.m. ET on Saturday, May 15, 2021. There are 1,318,399 confirmed cases in Canada. _ Canada: 1,318,399 confirmed cases (73,420 active, 1,220,110 resolved, 24,869 deaths).*The total case count includes 13 confirmed cases among repatriated travellers. There were 5,987 new cases Friday. The rate of active cases is 193.18 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 45,233 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 6,462. There were 44 new reported deaths Friday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 340 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 49. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.13 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 65.44 per 100,000 people. There have been 33,260,624 tests completed. _ Newfoundland and Labrador: 1,179 confirmed cases (90 active, 1,083 resolved, six deaths). There were six new cases Friday. The rate of active cases is 17.24 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 52 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is seven. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 1.15 per 100,000 people. There have been 253,188 tests completed. _ Prince Edward Island: 190 confirmed cases (nine active, 181 resolved, zero deaths). There were two new cases Friday. The rate of active cases is 5.64 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of four new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is one. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people. There have been 152,547 tests completed. _ Nova Scotia: 4,524 confirmed cases (1,537 active, 2,915 resolved, 72 deaths). There were 117 new cases Friday. The rate of active cases is 156.94 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 933 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 133. There was one new reported death Friday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of two new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is zero. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.03 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 7.35 per 100,000 people. There have been 700,729 tests completed. _ New Brunswick: 2,045 confirmed cases (117 active, 1,887 resolved, 41 deaths). There were five new cases Friday. The rate of active cases is 14.97 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 57 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is eight. There were zero new reported deaths Friday. Over the past seven days there has been one new reported death. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is zero. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.02 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 5.25 per 100,000 people. There have been 319,739 tests completed. _ Quebec: 361,820 confirmed cases (7,653 active, 343,142 resolved, 11,025 deaths). There were 838 new cases Friday. The rate of active cases is 89.25 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 5,604 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 801. There were eight new reported deaths Friday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 51 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is seven. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.08 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 128.58 per 100,000 people. There have been 8,771,778 tests completed. _ Ontario: 504,533 confirmed cases (28,069 active, 468,033 resolved, 8,431 deaths). There were 2,362 new cases Friday. The rate of active cases is 190.5 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 18,310 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 2,616. There were 26 new reported deaths Friday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 195 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 28. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.19 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 57.22 per 100,000 people. There have been 14,499,910 tests completed. _ Manitoba: 44,189 confirmed cases (4,163 active, 39,024 resolved, 1,002 deaths). There were 491 new cases Friday. The rate of active cases is 301.83 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 3,252 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 465. There were zero new reported deaths Friday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 15 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is two. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.16 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 72.65 per 100,000 people. There have been 734,904 tests completed. _ Saskatchewan: 44,159 confirmed cases (2,075 active, 41,569 resolved, 515 deaths). There were 227 new cases Friday. The rate of active cases is 176.04 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 1,464 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 209. There were two new reported deaths Friday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 13 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is two. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.16 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 43.69 per 100,000 people. There have been 811,303 tests completed. _ Alberta: 216,626 confirmed cases (23,873 active, 190,616 resolved, 2,137 deaths). There were 1,433 new cases Friday. The rate of active cases is 539.88 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 11,511 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 1,644. There were five new reported deaths Friday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 31 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is four. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.1 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 48.33 per 100,000 people. There have been 4,364,960 tests completed. _ British Columbia: 138,304 confirmed cases (5,717 active, 130,953 resolved, 1,634 deaths). There were 494 new cases Friday. The rate of active cases is 111.06 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 3,963 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 566. There were two new reported deaths Friday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 32 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is five. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.09 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 31.74 per 100,000 people. There have been 2,607,123 tests completed. _ Yukon: 84 confirmed cases (one active, 81 resolved, two deaths). There were zero new cases Friday. The rate of active cases is 2.38 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of two new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 4.76 per 100,000 people. There have been 9,129 tests completed. _ Northwest Territories: 115 confirmed cases (38 active, 77 resolved, zero deaths). There were zero new cases Friday. The rate of active cases is 84.14 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 16 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is two. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people. There have been 21,427 tests completed. _ Nunavut: 618 confirmed cases (78 active, 536 resolved, four deaths). There were 12 new cases Friday. The rate of active cases is 198.21 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 65 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is nine. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 10.16 per 100,000 people. There have been 13,811 tests completed. This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published May 15, 2021. The Canadian Press

  • CBC

    What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Saturday, May 15

    Recent developments: What's the latest? Preliminary talks on lifting restrictions along the Canada-U.S. border are underway, according to an official with direct knowledge of the file. Canadians who have had one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine should be able to socialize with close family and friends outdoors over the summer months, Canada's chief public health officer said today. Ottawa Public Health (OPH) reported 116 new COVID-19 cases and one more death Friday. How many cases are there? The region is coming down from a record-breaking peak of the pandemic's third wave, one that has included more dangerous coronavirus variants. As of Friday, 25,848 Ottawa residents have tested positive for COVID-19. There are 1,188 known active cases, 24,126 resolved cases and 534 deaths. The transfer of COVID-19 patients from other regions to Ottawa hospitals continues. As of the most recent update Tuesday, there were 27 COVID-19 patients from other communities in Ottawa ICUs. Public health officials have reported more than 47,000 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 44,200 resolved cases. Elsewhere in eastern Ontario, 183 people have died. In western Quebec, the death toll is 208. Akwesasne has had more than 680 residents test positive and 10 deaths between its northern and southern sections. Kitigan Zibi has had 34 cases. Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory has had 11, with one death. Pikwakanagan hasn't had any. CBC Ottawa is profiling those who've died of COVID-19. If you'd like to share your loved one's story, please get in touch. What can I do? Eastern Ontario: Ontario is under a stay-at-home order until at least June 2. People should only leave home for essential reasons like getting groceries, seeking health care and exercising in their immediate area. An outdoor produce market in the ByWard Market on a sunny spring day in Ottawa on May 11, 2021.(Brian Morris/CBC) The vast majority of gatherings are prohibited. Exceptions include small activities with households and small religious services. Ontario has moved to online learning. Daycares remain open. Golf courses and tennis and basketball courts are among the closed recreation venues. Most non-essential businesses can only offer curbside pickup. Access to malls is restricted and big-box stores can only sell essential items. Gyms and personal care services are closed, while restaurants are only available for takeout and delivery. Police checkpoints between Ontario and Quebec are not running 24/7. Officers in Ontario have the power to stop and question people if they believe they've gathered illegally. Local health units and communities can also set their own rules, as Ottawa is doing around playgrounds. Western Quebec High schools, gyms, theatres, personal care services and non-essential businesses are closed in Gatineau, the Pontiac and Collines-de-l'Outaouais until Monday. Private gatherings are banned in those areas, except for a person who lives alone seeing one other household. Distanced outdoor exercise is allowed in groups up to eight people. The curfew is from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Vallée-de-la-Gatineau and Papineau are red zones with looser restrictions, meaning a 9:30 p.m. curfew and allowing secondary schools and non-essential businesses to reopen. The rest of the region joins it next week. People are asked to only have close contact with people they live with, be masked and distanced for all other in-person contact and only leave their immediate area for essential reasons — under threat of a fine if they go to a yellow or green zone. Distancing and isolating The novel coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets that can hang in the air. People can be contagious without symptoms, even after getting a vaccine. Coronavirus variants of concern are more contagious and are now established. This means it is important to take precautions now and in the future like staying home while sick — and getting help with costs if needed — keeping hands and surfaces clean and maintaining distance from anyone you don't live with, even with a mask on. Masks, preferably ones that fit snugly and have three layers, are mandatory in indoor public settings in Ontario and Quebec. OPH says residents should wear masks outside their homes whenever possible. People have to show proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test to enter Canada by land without a fine and have to pay for their stay in a quarantine hotel if entering by air. Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should self-isolate, as should those who've been ordered to do so by their public health unit. The length varies in Quebec and Ontario. Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions get help with errands. Vaccines Four COVID-19 vaccines have been deemed safe and approved in Canada. Ontario and Quebec have both stopped giving first doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine, but plan to give second doses. Canada's task force said first doses offer such strong protection that people can wait up to four months to get a second. About 975,000 doses have been given out in the Ottawa-Gatineau region since mid-December, including nearly 450,000 doses to Ottawa residents and about 200,000 in western Quebec. Eastern Ontario Ontario's general vaccination age is 40 and older. Other factors such as jobs and health conditions also qualify younger adults. People can book provincial appointments online or over the phone at 1-833-943-3900. Appointments are available through the province for people age 18 and up in Ottawa's three "hot spot" postal codes, Indigenous adults and, through the city, Ottawans in more than 20 "priority" neighbourhoods. A handful of Ottawa pharmacies in hot spots are offering a limited supply of Moderna vaccines to people age 18 and up. Ontario is speeding up the second dose for some groups, such as frontline health-care workers and more Indigenous people. It plans to allow everyone over age 12 to make an appointment starting the week of May 31 and expects about two-thirds of adults to have a first dose by the end of May. Local health units have some flexibility in the larger framework, so check their websites for details. Western Quebec Quebec is vaccinating everyone age 18 and older. Teens age 16 and 17 are eligible if they have certain jobs or a chronic illness or disability. The province plans to reach children as young as 12 in June. People who qualify can make an appointment online or over the phone. Symptoms and testing COVID-19 can range from a cold-like illness to a severe lung infection, with common symptoms including fever, a cough, vomiting and loss of taste or smell. Children tend to have an upset stomach and/or a rash. If you have severe symptoms, call 911. Mental health can also be affected by the pandemic, and resources are available to help. In eastern Ontario: Anyone seeking a test should make an appointment. Check with your health unit for clinic locations and hours. Ontario recommends only getting tested if you fit certain criteria, such as having symptoms, exposure or a certain job. People without symptoms but who are part of the province's targeted testing strategy can make an appointment at select pharmacies. Travellers who need a test have very few local options to pay for one. In western Quebec: Tests are strongly recommended for people with symptoms and their contacts. People can make an appointment and check wait times online. Call 1-877-644-4545 with questions, including if walk-in testing is available nearby. First Nations, Inuit and Métis: First Nations, Inuit and Métis people, or someone travelling to work in a remote Indigenous community, are eligible for a test in Ontario. Akwesasne has a COVID-19 test site by appointment only and a curfew of 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Anyone returning to the community on the Canadian side of the international border who's been farther than 160 kilometres away — or visited Montreal — for non-essential reasons is asked to self-isolate for 14 days. People in Pikwakanagan can book a COVID-19 test by calling 613-625-1175. Anyone in Tyendinaga who's interested in a test can call 613-967-3603 and in Kitigan Zibi, 819-449-5593. Tyendinaga's council is asking people not to travel there to camp or fish. Inuit in Ottawa can call the Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team at 613-740-0999 for service, including testing and vaccines, in Inuktitut or English on weekdays. For more information

  • The Canadian Press

    Who have provinces pegged to receive COVID-19 vaccines in the coming weeks?

    As COVID-19 vaccine supplies ramp up across the country, most provinces and territories have released details of who can expect to receive a shot in the coming weeks. Health Canada says up to 37 million doses of vaccine could be shipped in May and June, but only 20.3 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech and 1.04 million doses of Moderna are confirmed. The remaining 11.3 million doses of Moderna, and another four million doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca from various sources are still tentative. Provinces initially suspended giving AstraZeneca shots to people under the age of 55 based on an advisory committee's advice, but their recommendation changed on April 23 to reflect that the shot is safe for anyone aged 30 and older. Health Canada, meanwhile, approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children 12 and older on May 5. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says almost 50 per cent of eligible adults in Canada have received at least one shot of COVID-19 vaccine. He says by the summer, Canada will have enough vaccines so that every eligible resident will have gotten their first dose, and by September, it will have enough doses for everyone to be fully vaccinated. Here's a list of the inoculation plans throughout Canada: Newfoundland and Labrador All people in the province aged 30 and older are now able to book an appointment for a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. --- Nova Scotia Nova Scotia is stopping the use of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine as a first dose. The Health Department says the "decision is based on an abundance of caution'' due to an observed increase in the rare blood-clotting condition linked to this vaccine. The department also says it has enough mRNA vaccine to immunize people age 40 and older, and it will reschedule anyone who was to receive AstraZeneca to instead be inoculated with Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna "in a timely manner." People aged 35 and older can book appointments for the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines at clinics across the province. Appointments opened May 4 for the province's first drive-thru vaccination clinic beginning May 10 at the Dartmouth General Hospital. --- Prince Edward Island In Prince Edward Island, residents as young as 16 can book a COVID-19 vaccine. People 16 years and older who have certain underlying medical conditions, pregnant woman and eligible members of their household can also get a vaccine. --- New Brunswick In New Brunswick, all residents 30 and older can book vaccine appointments. Individuals 16 and older who have two or more chronic health conditions are also eligible. --- Quebec In Quebec, all residents 18 and older are able to book a COVID-19 vaccination appointment. The province's health minister says Quebecers 12 to 17 years old will be offered a first dose of COVID-19 by the end of June and will be fully vaccinated by the time they return to school in September. --- Ontario The age of COVID-19 vaccine eligibility is currently 40 across Ontario. The province also says it's developing a plan to vaccinate children aged 12 to 17 starting in June. The province, meanwhile, has announced a pause on using AstraZeneca for first shots due to an increased risk of a rare blood-clotting syndrome linked to the vaccine. The province's top doctor says the decision was made out of "an abundance of caution." Dr. David Williams says Ontario is preparing guidance for people who already received a first dose of AstraZeneca on what to do next. He stressed that AstraZeneca recipients made the right decision, based on the advice available at the time, to get that vaccine. --- Manitoba Manitoba is using the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for all people aged 18 and up. These are available through a few channels including so-called supersites in larger communities. Health officials plan to continue reducing the age minimum, bit by bit, down to age 12 by May 21 at the latest. The province is also allowing anyone 40 and over to get an Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine through pharmacies and medical clinics, subject to availability. People 30-39 can get a shot if they have certain underlying health conditions such as chronic liver failure or severe obesity. --- Saskatchewan Saskatchewan residents aged 23 and older are now eligible to book their first COVID-19 vaccine appointment. All adults in the Far North, as well as front-line workers with proof of employment, are also eligible. Seventy-two per cent of Saskatchewan residents over the age of 40 have now received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. The province says step one of its reopening plan is to take place three weeks after 70 per cent of people aged 40 and above have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and vaccine eligibility is open to all adults province-wide. The province previously expanded its vaccine delivery plan for people in more vulnerable groups to include all pregnant women and 16- and 17-year-olds who are considered clinically extremely vulnerable. Saskatchewan also dropped the age at which people can receive the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to 40 from 55. The province says all Saskatchewan residents over 12 will be eligible for vaccination by May 20. There are drive-thru and walk-in vaccination clinics in communities across the province. And there are plans to expand the province's pharmacy vaccination pilot rollout as more doses become available. --- Alberta Every Albertan aged 12 and older is now eligible for a vaccine. For the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, the province lowered the minimum age to 30. They are, however, reserving the remaining supply for second doses when people are eligible. Officials say the second dose will be given 12 weeks after the first. More than 250 pharmacies are offering immunizations. Ten physicians' clinics across the province are also providing shots as part of a pilot project. About 15,000 workers at 136 meat-packing plants across the province can also get shots at on-site clinics, pharmacies and clinics. Alberta has said it is extending the time between the first dose and the second to four months. But some cancer patients, transplant recipients and anyone being treated with an anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody such as Rituximab are able to book a second dose 21 to 28 days after their first. --- British Columbia All B-C residents over age 25 can now book their COVID-19 shot, while those 18 and up will be able to do that starting Monday. Almost 2.4 million doses of the vaccines have been administered in the province, about 125,000 of those are second doses. The province has said it will hold its remaining supply of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to use as second shots for people who initially received that vaccine. Two people in the province have survived the blood-clotting disorder connected to the AstraZeneca vaccine. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the government tracked almost 80,000 positive COVID-19 cases to assess the impact of vaccines. Government data show more than 98 per cent of those who contracted COVID-19 were not vaccinated, 1,340 people who had their first shot tested positive and 120 people who had their second shot contracted COVID-19. --- Nunavut Nunavut has opened vaccinations to anyone 18 and older. It is also offering shots to rotational workers coming from Southern Canada. The territory had expected to finish its vaccine rollout of first and second doses by the end of April. --- Northwest Territories The Northwest Territories is now offering vaccinations against COVID-19 to young people between 12 and 17. The territory, which has only been using the Moderna vaccine, recently exchanged some of that for doses of the Pfizer product, which Health Canada has now approved for anyone as young as 12. --- Yukon Anyone 18 years of age or older can get a COVID-19 vaccine. Yukon's health minister says the territory will be giving youths between 12 and 17-years old a first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine before the school year ends in June. Tracy-Anne McPhee says the territory has struck a deal with the federal government to acquire enough doses to fully vaccinate all 2,641 youths in that age range. She says the goal is to provide a second dose by the end of July. Chief medical officer of health Dr. Brendan Hanley says roughly 75 per cent of the territory has received their first dose of vaccine, and the territory is aiming for second dose uptake to follow a similar pattern. --- This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 15, 2021. The Canadian Press

  • CBC

    Popularity crumbles for Indian PM Modi as devastating COVID-19 surge continues

    For a leader who has skirted political challenges and enjoyed widespread popularity over years in office, the devastating COVID-19 crisis hitting India may prove the most challenging yet for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, analysts say. A deep, seething anger is palpable in many parts of the country that are struggling to contain the effects of a brutal second wave, and much of that ire is being directed at the government for failing to adequately prepare for a resurgence of the virus. Stories of Indians pleading on social media for oxygen supplies or antiviral drug treatments abound, as planes full of foreign aid keep touching down in an attempt to keep the country's struggling health-care system from collapsing. Baljeet Asthana was so upset after spending days trying to secure an ICU bed for her mother, who she said was slowly dying because of a lack of oxygen, that she recorded a video of herself outside a New Delhi hospital in early May. Asthana addressed herself directly to the prime minister, asking what she should do. "I would request Modi-ji and Kejriwal to let me know," she says into her phone's camera, referring also to Delhi's chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. She's polite and restrained but has a disquieting request for help. "If you cannot advise me sir, then I would request you to legalize mercy killing in India. Because you have no idea what the common citizen of India is going through at the moment," she says, straight to camera. "We are struggling, we are struggling to get basic things like oxygen, medicines, hospitals," Asthana continues steadily. "Let us die with dignity." Rural areas hit That anger is also spreading to more rural areas as they heave under the pressure of daily infection rates. India has posted more than 300,000 new infections every day for more than three weeks, and the country accounted for half of the cases reported globally last week, according to the World Health Organization. Experts believe the official record of cases and deaths is vastly underestimated. In Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous state, which has been hit particularly hard by the devastating second wave, there's scorn for the government's response. A man, his voice rising in anger outside a hospital in the city of Meerut after losing his niece to the virus, curses and rails against Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party for claiming to be a superpower. A man in Meerut yells and swears to a a video camera, decrying Modi's political party for failing to secure medical supplies like oxygen. (Newslaundry/YouTube) "What kind of superpower can't even find oxygen for its people?" he asks, waving an oxygen mask in front of the camera documenting it for the investigative website Newslaundry. "As people are suffering, most certainly some of that suffering is translating into an anger against the political leadership," said Yamini Aiyar, president of the New Delhi-based think tank Centre for Policy Research. 'We fell into policy complacency' Aiyar said it's well known that India spends far less than any other comparable economy on its health care system, about 1 percent of its GDP, and the country's health infrastructure is "creaking if not broken". And yet the Indian government didn't spend time strengthening it to prepare for a possible second wave of an unpredictable virus. "Rather we fell into the trap of assuming there was such a thing as Indian exceptionalism," she told CBC News. The first wave of the pandemic did not hit India as hard as public health experts had feared nor as hard as other countries. "We fell into policy complacency." Modi told a virtual summit of the World Economic Forum in January that India has beaten the virus and "saved humanity from a big disaster by containing corona effectively." Three months later, India was posting the world's highest infection numbers. Family members of Vijay Raju, who died from COVID-19, mourn before his cremation at a crematorium ground in Giddenahalli village on the outskirts of Bengaluru, India, on May 13. This week, the country saw three consecutive days with 4,000 coronavirus deaths.(Samuel Rajkumar/Reuters) Aiyar said many Indians feel that the warning signs of a second wave were ignored and that Modi, who spent much of March and early April campaigning in crucial state elections and holding rallies in front of thousands of people, has been missing in action as the nation is going through a health crisis. "We're seeing a prime minister who is absent," Aiyar said. She said that's especially striking for a politician who has built his brand on mobilizing his supporters directly through non-traditional means such as social media platforms, instead of going through media outlets and news conferences. (Modi has not held a news conference in his seven years in office.) "What we're seeing instead is a deep silence and I would go so far as to say a deep callousness on the part of our political leadership at a time of national crisis," said Aiyar. "His silence is something that I think has exaggerated the sense of anger and of betrayal." WATCH | Growing anger at Indian PM Modi as COVID-19 crisis continues: 'A war footing' On Friday, Modi told a virtual conference to farmers that his government was "on a war footing" trying to contain the virus. He mentioned the virus was spreading fast in rural areas. "All departments of the government, all resources, our armed forces, our scientists, everyone is working day and night to counter COVID together," he said. It was his first time referencing the second wave's effects on India's countryside, where health care services are not robust. Modi gestures as he speaks in a rally during the ongoing Phase 4 of West Bengal's assembly election on April 10. (Diptendu Dutta/AFP via Getty Images) Modi hasn't given a televised address to the country since April 20, when he ruled out a nationwide lockdown such as the one he imposed when the virus first spread in March 2020, preferring localized containment strategies. He did call on Indians to take public health measures seriously and to show "discipline" to "win the battle against corona." But that speech took place mere days after he held a massive political rally in West Bengal, where his party was trying to win the state election, and marvelled at how many people he could see in the crowd in front of him, while infections were rising in the country. Modi was also criticized for not taking pains to discourage millions from descending on the holy city of Haridwar to take a dip in the Ganges River, for the Kumbh Mela Hindu festival in March and April. Although he later urged the festival to end early, by then thousands had been confirmed infected. A man wearing a facemask takes a holy dip in the Ganges river during the ongoing religious Kumbh Mela festival in Haridwar on April 12. Thousands of COVID-19 infections have been confirmed among those who attended. (Xavier Galiana/AFP via Getty Images) Consequences for a 'Teflon' leader? While the anecdotal evidence suggests there is deep anger on the streets of India particularly in urban areas, official polling is still scarce. American data firm Morning Consult, which also tracks 12 other global leaders, released numbers that suggest Modi's popularity dipped sharply in April and is now at its lowest point in a year and a half. "Modi is really in uncharted political territory," said Michael Kugelman, senior associate for South Asia at the Woodrow Wilson Centre. "He has never been criticized so heavily by so many people as much as he is now," Kugelman said, noting how unusual such a position is for the politician he deems "a Teflon man." "Political challenges and political vulnerability, it doesn't stick to him. He manages to get over it." A woman mourns after seeing the body of her son who died due to the coronavirus disease, outside a mortuary of a COVID-19 hospital in New Delhi on May 12.(Adnan Abidi/Reuters) And Modi still remains the most popular world leader tracked by the polling firm, one point higher than Mexico's Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and 29 points higher than Justin Trudeau, as of May 11. Modi's current approval rating sits at 63 per cent, according to Morning Consult, with his disapproval at 31. That's a key sign that it's too early to tell if this current crisis will have a long term effect on Modi. "His numbers are still fairly high," said Sadanand Dhume, a research fellow with the Washington-based American Enterprise Institute. "Around 65 per cent is still a pretty good approval rating for a democratically elected leader." But Dhume insisted that criticism over his handling of the COVID-19 crisis is much harder for Modi and his government to skirt because the pain is so personal and the evidence that the country is struggling is overwhelming. What matters, according to Dhume, is how long it takes for India to get a handle on its brutal second wave, as hospitals are still reporting shortages of crucial medical supplies and beds. Modi's brand has also been dented, along with his preferred image of a strong India. India has for more than a decade refused foreign aid, insisting that it is self-reliant, but that long-standing position from the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami has now been reversed. The country is watching planes land filled with international coronavirus relief supplies that local officials struggle to distribute to where it's most needed, while people take to social media to scrounge up life-saving oxygen. Workers prepare the medical supplies to be sent to India at the International Humanitarian City in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on May 9.(Abdel Hadi Ramahi/Reuters) There may be short term political consequences for Modi and his BJP party but the next general election is still three years away. Plenty of time for Modi and his advisors to focus on something else and for his popularity numbers to rebound, Dhume said. "They will do what they've already begun to do, they're going to change the subject," Dhume said. "They'll find something else to talk about and they will hope that by the time the next general election rolls around, people will have forgotten the horrors of 2020 and 2021."

  • The Canadian Press

    A look at COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada on Saturday, May 15, 2021

    The latest numbers on COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada as of 4:00 a.m. ET on Saturday, May 15, 2021. In Canada, the provinces are reporting 494,638 new vaccinations administered for a total of 17,734,225 doses given. Nationwide, 1,370,327 people or 3.6 per cent of the population has been fully vaccinated. The provinces have administered doses at a rate of 46,793.043 per 100,000. There were no new vaccines delivered to the provinces and territories for a total of 20,355,204 doses delivered so far. The provinces and territories have used 87.12 per cent of their available vaccine supply. Please note that Newfoundland and Labrador, P.E.I., Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the territories typically do not report on a daily basis. Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting 34,329 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 225,459 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 430.568 per 1,000. In the province, 1.88 per cent (9,870) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Newfoundland and Labrador for a total of 279,010 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 53 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 80.81 per cent of its available vaccine supply. P.E.I. is reporting 8,000 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 67,758 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 427.148 per 1,000. In the province, 7.20 per cent (11,429) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to P.E.I. for a total of 84,915 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 54 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 79.8 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Nova Scotia is reporting 58,592 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 415,570 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 425.833 per 1,000. In the province, 3.98 per cent (38,830) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nova Scotia for a total of 498,490 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 51 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 83.37 per cent of its available vaccine supply. New Brunswick is reporting 44,577 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 338,127 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 433.474 per 1,000. In the province, 4.12 per cent (32,130) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to New Brunswick for a total of 415,935 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 53 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 81.29 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Quebec is reporting 112,925 new vaccinations administered for a total of 4,127,768 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 482.405 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Quebec for a total of 4,578,079 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 54 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 90.16 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Ontario is reporting 141,765 new vaccinations administered for a total of 6,771,128 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 460.964 per 1,000. In the province, 2.83 per cent (415,531) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Ontario for a total of 7,843,825 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 53 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 86.32 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Manitoba is reporting 19,849 new vaccinations administered for a total of 625,404 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 454.177 per 1,000. In the province, 5.80 per cent (79,898) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Manitoba for a total of 759,870 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 55 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 82.3 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Saskatchewan is reporting 7,930 new vaccinations administered for a total of 553,389 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 469.31 per 1,000. In the province, 4.05 per cent (47,758) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Saskatchewan for a total of 637,115 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 54 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 86.86 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Alberta is reporting 66,876 new vaccinations administered for a total of 2,086,589 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 474.004 per 1,000. In the province, 7.39 per cent (325,409) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Alberta for a total of 2,355,255 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 54 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 88.59 per cent of its available vaccine supply. British Columbia is reporting 115,947 new vaccinations administered for a total of 2,393,265 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 466.38 per 1,000. In the province, 2.43 per cent (124,880) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to British Columbia for a total of 2,740,590 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 53 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 87.33 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Yukon is reporting 382 new vaccinations administered for a total of 50,652 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 1,213.774 per 1,000. In the territory, 56.73 per cent (23,673) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Yukon for a total of 57,020 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 140 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 88.83 per cent of its available vaccine supply. The Northwest Territories are reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 49,811 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 1,103.992 per 1,000. In the territory, 49.87 per cent (22,501) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to the Northwest Territories for a total of 60,000 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 130 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 83.02 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Nunavut is reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 29,305 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 756.727 per 1,000. In the territory, 33.26 per cent (12,879) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nunavut for a total of 45,100 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 120 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 64.98 per cent of its available vaccine supply. *Notes on data: The figures are compiled by the COVID-19 Open Data Working Group based on the latest publicly available data and are subject to change. Note that some provinces report weekly, while others report same-day or figures from the previous day. Vaccine doses administered is not equivalent to the number of people inoculated as the approved vaccines require two doses per person. The vaccines are currently not being administered to children under 18 and those with certain health conditions. In some cases the number of doses administered may appear to exceed the number of doses distributed as some provinces have been drawing extra doses per vial. This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published May 15, 2021. The Canadian Press

  • Engadget

    Apple Stores in the US will keep mask mandates in place, for now

    Visiting an Apple Store in the US? For now, you'll still need to wear a mask.