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

The latest:

  • Business travel isn’t expected to return to pre-pandemic levels anytime soon.
  • Britain may toughen summer travel rules for Spain, the Times reports.
  • Philippines to extend night curfew in Manila amid COVID-19 surge.
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The federal government is expecting to receive more than 2.3 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine this week, as public health officials brace for a potential fourth wave of infections.

Ottawa has already received more than 66 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, enough to fully immunize all eligible Canadians.

As of last Tuesday, the federal government had 6.7 million COVID-19 vaccines in its national reserve, an amount that provinces and territories can draw from if they need more doses.

The new COVID-19 vaccine shipments come as Canada’s top doctor warns that the country could be headed toward a fourth wave of COVID-19 cases if public health restrictions are lifted before vaccination rates pick up.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Dr. Theresa Tam said an updated national modelling for the pandemic trajectory suggests that the highly contagious delta variant of COVID-19 could drive a fourth wave of infections.

“The trajectory will depend on ongoing increase in fully vaccinated coverage and the timing, pace and extent of reopening,” Tam said.

“While some resurgence is expected as measures are eased, this updated model shows that if we maintain current levels of community-wide contacts, we would expect to see a modest increase in cases.”

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Tam said the country could see a high increase of COVID-19 infections if reopening continues quickly before enough people are fully immunized.

“We could expect to see a sharp resurgence by the end of the summer,” she said.

Canada reported an average of 640 new cases over the past seven days, she said, which is still 93 per cent lower than the peak of the third wave.

As of Friday, 80.3 per cent of those eligible had received a first dose, while 63.7 per cent are now fully vaccinated.

What’s happening in Canada

  • After being devastated by COVID-19, Alberta’s major airports have high hopes about the recovery.
  • $86K in fines issued to N.B. COVID-19 rule-breakers since start of pandemic.

What’s happening around the world

As of Monday, more than 198.4 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 4.2 million deaths had been reported.

In Europe, the British government plans to warn holidaymakers against visiting popular tourist destinations such as Spain because of concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, the Times reported on Monday.

Such a step could trigger an exodus of about a million British tourists already abroad, cause further damage to the travel sector and deal a new blow to southern Europe’s summer tourist season.

The Times did not specify what particular concerns Britain had about Spain. Madrid has been hit by the more infectious delta coronavirus variant, but its rolling seven-day infection rate dropped throughout last week.

A spokesperson for Britain’s transport ministry declined to comment on The Times report, published on the day when rules were eased for fully vaccinated travellers from the United States and most of Europe. Canada remains on the “amber” list of countries whose citizens must still quarantine for 10 days after arriving in the U.K.

Tourists visit the town of Ronda, Spain on July 29. The prospects for Spain’s tourism sector are getting bleaker, with European reservations slowing over rising COVID-19 cases. (Jorge Guerrero/AFP/Getty Images)

In the Middle East, the United Arab Emirates will start providing China’s Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine to children aged three to 17, the UAE government said on Twitter on Monday.

The Gulf Arab state, which has among the world’s highest immunization rates, was already providing the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children aged 12 to 15.

In Asia, the Philippines will extend a night curfew in the capital, Manila, to combat a potential surge in cases of the delta variant of COVID-19, a government official said on Monday.

Metropolitan Manila, already subject to an six-hour curfew from 10:00 p.m., will bring forward that curfew by two hours to 8:00 p.m.

“We are only asking for two weeks … what’s important is our hospitals don’t get full,” aid Benjamin Abalos, chair of the region’s governing body, told a briefing.

New COVID-19 cases in the Philippines exceeded 8,000 a day from Friday to Monday. Sunday’s recorded tally of 8,735 infections was the highest since May 28.

WATCH | COVID-19 hospitalizations hit record high in Florida: 

Florida has become the epicentre for COVID-19 in the U.S. as the highly contagious delta variant continues to spread. 1:59

In the Americas, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority will require their workers to get the COVID-19 vaccine or get tested weekly, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday.

Cuomo also told a briefing that he was asking private businesses to require vaccines for admission and that mandatory vaccines should be considered for nursing home workers, teachers and health-care workers if case numbers don’t improve.

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