The latest on the coronavirus outbreak for Jan. 12

January 12, 2022
The latest on the coronavirus outbreak for Jan. 12

TOPSHOT – This aerial photo taken on January 11, 2022 shows nearly empty roads in an area closed off and restricted due to an outbreak of the Covid-19 coronavirus in Huaxian county in the city of Anyang in China’s central Henan province. – China OUT (Photo by AFP) / China OUT (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images) (AFP via Getty Images)

Quebec’s unvaccinated need education — not a tax, advocates say

There has been no shortage of opinions offered in the day since Quebec Premier François Legault said his province was looking at imposing a health tax on adults who haven’t received a first COVID-19 vaccine shot.

“These people, they put a very important burden on our health-care network,” Legault said Tuesday. “I think it’s reasonable a majority of the population is asking that there be consequences.”

Legault did not say when the payment would take effect or how much it would be, but he did say he wanted it to be significant enough to act as an incentive to get vaccinated — more than $50 or $100, he added.

To be clear, any such plans seem at least weeks away and details were vague, although Christian Bourque, executive vice-president with polling firm Leger, told CBC’s Canada Tonight that so far in the pandemic, Legault’s trial balloons have usually led to actual policy down the line.

But, not unexpectedly, other Canadian leaders are being asked about it in interviews and at briefings.

In an interview with CTV News, New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs said it was a “slippery slope” issue that could strike at the notion of a universally accessible health system.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney elaborated further on that point during a Facebook Live session on Tuesday, pointing out that the state doesn’t impose taxes on those who show up to hospital wards for illnesses and maladies related to risky athletic pursuits or poor lifestyle choices or decisions, such as driving while impaired.

“I respect the premier although I disagree with him on this issue pretty strongly,” said Kenney.

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said Wednesday at a provincial COVID-19 briefing it’s not clear constitutionally such a measure could be implemented given the parameters of the Canada Health Act, but that his government has “no intent to ultimately look at a vax tax, if you will.”

While the premiers from the Prairies were definitive, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was more equivocal at a news conference from Ottawa on Wednesday.

“Details matter. We need to know exactly what measures they’re putting forward. We need to know the terms and conditions so we can know if it’ll be effective,” said Trudeau. “We’ll be looking at the details to see how exactly this will transpire.”

Trudeau said at the federal level, his government has put in place “some very strong incentives,” pointing to vaccine mandates for air and rail passengers and federal public servants.

In the media, National Post columnist Chris Selley argued that while it may have “compelling superficial logic,” Quebec has already been arguably “the most punitive regime for the unvaccinated.”

Globe and Mail health reporter Andre Picard called it “unhelpful.”

“And by the way, we actually have very little concrete information on who exactly the unvaccinated are,” wrote Picard. “There is the tiny, loud minority of vaccine deniers, of course. But there are also a lot of misguided people who are victims of misinformation, frightened and facing practical barriers to accessing vaccines.”

That statement is likely to resonate with activists in the province who spoke to CBC News.

“Before they go to the level of levelling taxes, all avenues need to be exhausted in terms of educating people,” said Mark Henry, head of the Jamaica Association of Montreal.

Quebec’s Black community has felt disadvantaged, ignored and treated unfairly for years and now is living under a premier who refuses to acknowledge systemic racism in the province, Henry said.

University of Montreal bioethics Prof. Vardit Ravitsky told CBC’s Quebec AM that it reflects a government at wit’s end as to what do with the remaining minority yet to be vaccinated more than one year out from the beginning of the inoculation campaign, as Omicron spurs more infections.

Ravitsky characterized it as a regressive tax because it is likely to affect low-income populations, given the studies have shown a connection between vaccine hesitancy and education levels. She said widening the number of nonessential services related to the province’s vaccine passport system might be more persuasive.

Recent polls have shown that Canadians in general support the idea of making life miserable for the unvaccinated, to borrow the characterization made by France’s president last week, but it remains to be seen if the specific idea proposed by Legault and the Coalition Avenir Québec will resonate with the public.

From The National

Doctors work to bridge COVID-19 vaccine gap in younger children

As more students resume in-class learning, doctors are hoping that providing more information about the benefits and limited side effects of COVID-19 vaccines to increase the amount of children aged five to 11 getting shots. 5:12

Quebec judge suspends unvaccinated man’s visitation rights with child

A Quebec Superior Court judge has temporarily suspended a father’s right to see his child based on evidence that the man is not vaccinated against COVID-19 and appears to oppose government anti-pandemic health measures.

In a decision published Dec. 23, Justice J. Sébastien Vaillancourt wrote that continued visitation was not in the interest of the 12-year-old child or the child’s two younger half-siblings, given the state of the pandemic.

The decision states the man told the court that despite his “reservations” surrounding vaccination, he followed the rules in place and rarely left home.

However, Vaillancourt wrote that posts on the father’s Facebook page suggested he was a conspiracy theorist, which led the court to doubt he was following health rules as he claimed.

The judge noted that while it’s normally in a child’s best interest to see his or her father, the rapid rise of the Omicron variant and the fact that the child lives with half-siblings too young to be vaccinated meant that was no longer the case.

Vaillancourt wrote that the suspension of visitation rights should be as short as possible and can be reversed once the epidemiological situation changes or the father decides to get vaccinated and conform to health measures.

He set another hearing for Feb. 8.

The Los Angeles Times last week reported on heated custody cases across a few U.S. states in which vaccination has become a sticking point.

One legal expert told the Times “it’s not uncommon for parents to disagree regarding medical care or treatment for a child,” but judges often have broad authority in family courts.

A public interest law professor at George Washington University Law School in D.C. told the outlet there’s precedent for courts limiting visitation for unvaccinated parents, pointing to decisions in which parents who smoke were ordered to refrain from doing so inside their homes for up to 48 hours before welcoming back their children.

World roundup: British PM on the defensive again for another COVID-19 faux pas, violent protests over vaccination in Bulgaria

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson apologized on Wednesday, admitting for the first time he attended a “bring your own booze” gathering at his official residence during the first coronavirus lockdown.

“I know the rage they feel with me over the government I lead when they think that in Downing Street itself the rules are not being properly followed by the people who make the rules,” Johnson told Parliament.

“I went into that garden just after six on the 20th of May 2020 to thank groups of staff before going back into my office 25 minutes later to continue working,” he said. “With hindsight, I should have sent everyone back inside.”

Opposition Leader Keir Starmer said Johnson must now resign and that the public thought he was lying. “The party’s over, prime minister,” Starmer told him.

A series of missteps and scandals and public anger have arisen over the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic — including aides joking about having held a separate 2020 gathering in apparent defiance of official guidelines.

Some of members of Parliament in Johnson’s own Conservative Party have said how he responds to the growing furor would determine whether he could remain in office.

“His survival is in the balance at the moment,” said one senior Conservative lawmaker, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.

Johnson’s attendance came six weeks after he left hospital as a result of a serious COVID-19 infection.

In Germany, during his first question-and-answer-session in parliament as chancellor, Olaf Scholz said Germany should make COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for all adults. The assertion, met with heckling from opposition lawmakers who accused him of fomenting social divisions, came the same day Germany reported 80,430 new coronavirus infections — a new high —as a result of the extremely contagious Omicron variant.

Parliament passed a law in December making coronavirus vaccinations compulsory for certain professions from mid-March.

In Bulgaria, protesters opposing COVID-19 restrictions clashed Wednesday with police as they tried to storm the parliament in the capital of Sofia.

A heavy police presence prevented protesters from entering the building and some were detained. Several people, including police officers, were injured during the clashes. Eventually, the protesters were pushed back and police cordoned off the building.

The violence erupted at a protest rally against mask and vaccine mandates organized by a nationalist group that is fiercely opposing the Bulgarian government’s anti-pandemic measures.

Bulgaria, which is facing a new surge in infections, is the least vaccinated country in the 27-member European Union, with only a third of its population fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

In Central and South America, Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil also are experiencing significant surges in new cases, while in Argentina and Paraguay, COVID-19 infections have increased by nearly 300 per cent over the last week, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) officials said on Wednesday.

Nearly 60 per cent of people in Latin America and the Caribbean have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, but that belies significant disparities among countries. Chile, Cuba and Argentina have some of the highest vaccination coverage rates in the world, according to PAHO data.

Today’s graphic:

Find out more about COVID-19

For full coverage of how your province or territory is responding to COVID-19, visit your local CBC News site.

To get this newsletter daily as an email, subscribe here.

See the answers to COVID-19 questions asked by CBC viewers and readers.

Still looking for more information on the pandemic? Reach out to us at [email protected] if you have any questions.

Source link

Article Categories:

Life is like a running cycle right! I am a news editor at TIMES. Collecting News is my passion. Because my visitors have the right to know the truth and perfectly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 8 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, text, archive, code, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop file here