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

November 3, 2021
Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world Wednesday

The latest:

The number of coronavirus cases has risen in Europe for the fifth consecutive week, making it the only world region where COVID-19 is still increasing, the World Health Organization reported.

In its weekly report on the pandemic, the UN health agency said new cases jumped by six per cent in Europe for the week of Oct. 25 to 31, compared to an 18 per cent increase the previous week. The weekly number of new infections in other regions either fell or remained about the same, according to the report.

Overall, three million new weekly cases were reported globally, the report states. The number of deaths from COVID-19 worldwide rose by eight per cent.

The coronavirus infection rate was by far the highest in Europe, which reported about 192 new cases per 100,000 people, followed by the Americas, which had about 72 new cases per 100,000.

While the Czech Republic, Poland and other countries in Central and Eastern Europe have reported recent infection spikes, the continuing rise in confirmed cases across Europe has been driven mostly by:

  • The United Kingdom, with 285,028 new cases — a 14 per cent decrease from a week earlier.
  • Russia, with 272,147 new cases — a nine per cent increase.
  • Turkey, with 182,027 new cases — an eight per cent decrease.

The highest number of deaths in the region were reported in: 

  • Russia, with 7,938 reported deaths — a nine per cent increase.
  • Ukraine, with 3,857 reported deaths — a 19 per cent increase.
  • Romania, with 3,072 deaths — a six per cent increase.
Demonstrators, one holding a poster reading ‘Constitution is the supreme law,’ attend a protest against COVID-19 restrictions and vaccine mandates in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Wednesday. (Efrem Lukatsky/The Associated Press)

Several hundred people blocked traffic in the centre of the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, on Wednesday in a protest against coronavirus restrictions and mandatory vaccinations, which the government introduced to curb new infections. Vaccines have become mandatory for some state workers, and in “red” zone areas including Kyiv, only vaccinated people or those with negative COVID-19 test results are allowed into restaurants, gyms and on public transport.

The weekly WHO report also said the easier-to-spread delta variant remains predominant worldwide and continues to mostly crowd out other variants — more than 99 per cent of COVID-19 samples sequenced by an international database were the delta variant. It said delta’s spread has been slightly slower in some parts of South America, where other variants, including the mu variant, account for a large proportion of cases.

-From The Associated Press and CBC News, last updated 8:20 a.m. ET

What’s happening in Canada

WATCH | Travel costs rise as borders reopen to international travel: 

Travel costs rise as borders reopen to international travel

As borders reopen to international travel, Canadians planning trips are being hit with sticker shock, with the high prices for mandatory PCR tests, the end of discounted airfare and rising rental car rates. 2:01

What’s happening around the world

WATCH | Andrew Chang talks to Moderna’s chief medical officer, Paul Burton, about the status of the company’s COVID-19 vaccines for children and whether the current formulation needs to be adjusted for booster shots: 

Moderna’s chief medical officer on vaccinating kids, booster shots

Andrew Chang talks to Moderna’s chief medical officer, Paul Burton, about the status of the company’s COVID-19 vaccines for children and whether the current formulation needs to be adjusted for booster shots. 5:53

As of early Wednesday morning, more than 247.6 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University’s online coronavirus tracker. The reported global death toll stood at more than five million.

In the Americas, the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention backed broad use of Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine in children aged 5 to 11, clearing the way for shots to go into young arms as soon as Wednesday.

Mexico’s health ministry reported 269 confirmed coronavirus fatalities, bringing the country’s overall death toll from the pandemic to 288,733.

In the Asia-Pacific region, Hong Kong will roll out booster doses of vaccines from next week, Health Secretary Sophia Chan said, as authorities ramp up efforts to convince Beijing to allow cross-border travel to mainland China.

In Africa, nations in West and Central Africa could see a rise in HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths in a few years due to disruptions in health services because of the pandemic, the executive director of the UN AIDS agency said.

In the Middle East, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian has tested positive for COVID-19.

In Europe, Poland reported more than 10,400 COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, a 24 per cent rise week on week, government spokesman Piotr Muller said. The last time the number of daily infections in Poland was above 10,000 was in late April.

-From The Associated Press and Reuters last updated at 8:25 a.m. ET

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