Tag: Latest

The Latest: Canada reports 1st case of South Africa variant

TORONTO — Canada is reporting its first case of a coronavirus variant that emerged in South Africa.

Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, says the case was found in the Peel region and the person does not have a known history of travel or any known contact with someone who has traveled.

Viruses constantly mutate but scientists are primarily concerned with the emergence of three that researchers believe may spread more easily. Another variant first reported in the United Kingdom was previously confirmed in Canada. The variant first found in South Africa was detected in October. Since then, it has been found in at least 30 other countries including the U.S.

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THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

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The Latest: More rules for returning New Zealand travelers

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Travelers returning to New Zealand will face stricter rules at quarantine hotels as health authorities investigate how up to three people got infected with the coronavirus while isolating at Auckland’s Pullman Hotel.

The people were released before testing positive and were potentially contagious, but so far testing has shown no evidence the virus has spread in the community. New Zealand has managed to stamp out community transmission of the virus.

COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said Thursday that as an interim measure, travelers would need to stay in their hotel rooms for the final days of their 14-day mandatory quarantine, and would also face stricter controls around leaving their rooms at other times.

Health authorities believe the three people at the hotel caught the virus from another returning traveler, who had the South African variant.

Meanwhile, Australia has extended its suspension on quarantine-free travel from New

The Latest: Alaska detects its 1st known case of UK variant

JUNEAU, Alaska — Alaska has detected the state’s first known case of the coronavirus variant identified last year in the United Kingdom, officials said Tuesday.

The infected person is an Anchorage resident who had traveled to a state where the variant had already been detected, the Alaska health department said. The person first experienced symptoms on Dec. 17, was tested three days later and received a positive result on Dec. 22.

The resident lived with another person in Anchorage, who also became ill. Both isolated and have since recovered, officials said.

It was not yet clear if the second person also was infected with the variant.

Dr. Joe McLaughlin, the state epidemiologist, said in a news release that the discovery of the variant is not surprising because viruses “constantly change through mutation.”

He said this is one of several “variants that has been carefully tracked because it appears to spread

The Latest: Canada expects reduction in vaccine deliveries

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An Indian boy awaits customers as he sells face masks on a street in Hyderabad, India, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021. India started inoculating health workers Saturday in what is likely the world’s largest COVID-19 vaccination campaign, joining the ranks of wealthier nations where the effort is already well underway. (AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A.)

AP

TORONTO — Canadian officials say the country won’t be getting any Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine next week and 50% less than expected over the next month.

Maj. Gen. Dany Fortin says it is a major reduction but says things will return to normal after that. Fortin is leading Canada’s logistical rollout and distribution of vaccines.

He says the deliveries over the first two weeks of February have yet to be confirmed, but Pfizer is still expected to meet its contractual obligation to ship four million doses to Canada by the end of March.

U.S.

The Latest: Japan Sharply Tightens Ban on Foreign Visitors | World News

TOKYO — Japan’s government will temporarily ban entry of all nonresident foreign nationals as a precaution against a new and potentially more contagious coronavirus variant that has spread across Britain.

The entry ban will start Monday and last through Jan. 31 for the time being, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement late Saturday.

Japan banned entry of nonresident foreigners from Britain and South Africa last week, but is further stepping up border control after confirming the new variant in seven people over the last two days — five returnees from Britain who tested at airports and two others in Tokyo.

Japan is also suspending exemptions of a 14-day quarantine for Japanese nationals and resident foreigners on a short-track program that began in November. The entrants now must carry proof of a negative test 72 hours prior to departure for Japan and self-isolate for two weeks after arrival, the ministry

The Latest: Japan sharply tightens ban on foreign visitors

Japan banned entry of nonresident foreigners from Britain and South Africa last week, but is further stepping up border control after confirming the new variant in seven people over the last two days — five returnees from Britain who tested at airports and two others in Tokyo.

Japan is also suspending exemptions of a 14-day quarantine for Japanese nationals and resident foreigners on a short-track program that began in November. The entrants now must carry proof of a negative test 72 hours prior to departure for Japan and self-isolate for two weeks after arrival, the ministry said.

Japan’s health ministry confirmed Saturday two cases of the new variant — a man in his 30s who returned to Japan from Britain on Dec. 16 and his relative, a woman in her 20s with no history of visiting that country. Both patients are hospitalized in Tokyo.

On Friday, the ministry said the

The Latest: Canada gives first doses COVID-19 vaccine

TORONTO — Canada has administered its first doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

Five front-line workers in Ontario are among the first Canadians to receive the vaccine at one of Toronto’s hospitals.

Three personal support workers, a registered nurse, and a registered practical nurse who work at the Rekai Centre nursing home are among the first to receive it.

Ontario received 6,000 doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine Sunday night and plans to give them to about 2,500 health-care workers.

Residents of two long-term care homes Quebec will be the first to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in that province.

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THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

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The Latest: Taiwan sets 60% of population vaccination goal

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwan has set a goal to vaccinate 60% of its population with a COVID-19 vaccine, or 15 million people, a health official said Tuesday.

Taiwan has signed an agreement with COVAX to purchase a COVID-19 vaccine, but is also actively in talks with vaccine companies who have candidates in phase 3 trials for a potential bilateral agreement as well, said Jing-Hui Yang, a deputy director at the Central Epidemic Command Center. COVAX, a global plan to distribute vaccines equally, has not yet started sending out shipments of vaccines.

The island will prioritize frontline health workers and essential personnel to receive the vaccine first, Yang said. Later on, the immunization campaign will target the elderly as well as those who have existing chronic illnesses.

Officials expect the vaccines to arrive early next year. Still, an immunization campaign will take time, and will not be finished in just a

The Latest: COVID-19 vaccine begins arriving in Canada

— Trucks with the first COVID-19 vaccine containers in the US are rolling out to vaccination sites, and all states are expected to have some by Monday. About 3 million doses were expected to be sent out in the first shipments, which are staggered through Wednesday. Germany is stepping up its lockdown measures through the Christmas holiday — from Dec. 16 to Jan. 10. Chancellor Angela Merkel says existing restrictions imposed in November failed to significantly reduce the number of new infections. New cases are lower but still rising in parts of Asia, with both Japan and South Korea hitting record numbers in daily new infections.

Follow AP’s coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles County has again broken a record for coronavirus hospitalizations, fulfilling the county public health director’s dire predictions in just days.

Figures released Sunday afternoon show that more

The Latest: More than 4,000 people hospitalized in LA County

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles County has again broken a record for coronavirus hospitalizations, fulfilling the county public health director’s dire predictions in just days.

Figures released Sunday afternoon show that more than 4,000 people were hospitalized for COVID-19 in the nation’s most populous county.

That breaks the previous record set only the day before, with 3,850 patients in a hospital, and follows the trend of hospitalizations increasing nearly every day since Nov. 1.

The LA County health director warned on Monday, when hospitalizations were near 3,000, that the county could see the statistic to climb to 4,000 within two weeks.

Statewide coronavirus figures were not immediately available Sunday.

More than 325,000 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine are on their way to California.

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THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— Trucks with the first COVID-19 vaccine containers in the US are rolling out to vaccination sites, and all states are expected to