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

Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Saturday


The latest:

German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged unvaccinated people to reconsider their decision in a video message on Saturday, as the country’s seven-day coronavirus incidence rate rose to the highest level since the pandemic began.

“Difficult weeks lie ahead of us, and you can see that I am very worried,” Merkel said, speaking in her weekly video podcast. “I urgently ask everyone who has not yet been vaccinated: please reconsider.”

Germany’s seven-day incidence rate — the number of people per 100,000 to be infected over the last week — rose to 277.4 on Saturday, data from the Robert Koch Institute showed. The record in the third wave of the pandemic last December was 197.6.

A man in a wheelchair is vaccinated outside a mobile vaccination centre set up in the city of Duisburg, Germany, on Friday. (Ina Fassbender/AFP/Getty Images)

The German federal government and leaders of the country’s 16 states are due to meet next week to discuss tightening measures. However, the three parties negotiating to form a new national government have agreed to let a state of emergency — in place since the start of the pandemic — expire on Nov. 25 as planned.

“It has always helped us when states and the federal government worked together and committed to uniform rules,” Merkel said.

Europe has become the epicentre of the pandemic again, prompting some governments to consider re-imposing unpopular lockdowns in the run-up to Christmas and stirring debate over whether vaccines alone are enough to tame COVID-19.

WATCH | WHO chief says COVID-19 is surging even in European countries with high vaccination rates:

‘No country can simply vaccinate its way out of the pandemic’: WHO

As Europe combats a major surge in new COVID-19 cases, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus cautioned that “vaccines do not replace the need for other precautions.” He urged people to follow pandemic restrictions in addition to getting vaccinated. 2:49

What’s happening across Canada

WATCH | Albertans head to the U.S. for surgeries as wait times climb:

Surgery delays have Albertans heading south

Alberta has delayed more than 45,000 surgeries because of the pandemic, creating years-long wait times for joint replacements. Now, many who can afford it are heading south of the border and paying out of pocket for surgery. 1:55

What’s happening around the world

As of Saturday morning, more than 252.6 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to the global database maintained by U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University. The reported global death toll stood at more than five million.

In Europe, Russia is reporting a new daily high number of COVID-19 deaths, while the total number of coronavirus infections in the country during the pandemic has topped nine million. Russia imposed a “non-working” week in early November, closing many businesses, with the aim of stemming the surge of infections.

Police officers wearing face masks stand guard at a subway station in Moscow on Nov. 4, with an aim to prevent people from gathering for a nationalist demonstration. (Alexander Zemlianichenko/The Associated Press)

In the Asia-Pacific region, Japan’s economic stimulus package aimed at easing the pain of the pandemic will require fiscal spending of over 40 trillion yen (more than $4.4 billion Cdn) the Nikkei business daily reported on Friday. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has vowed to compile a stimulus package on Nov. 19, Nikkei reported.

In the Americas, a U.S. appeals court on Friday upheld its decision to put on hold an order by U.S. President Joe Biden for companies with 100 workers or more to require COVID-19 vaccines, rejecting a challenge by his administration.

A three-member panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans affirmed its ruling despite the Biden administration’s position that halting implementation of the vaccine mandate could lead to dozens or even hundreds of deaths.

In Africa, Moderna has offered to sell its vaccines to the African Union at $7 US a shot, said the head of the Africa Centres for Disease Control, half the price paid by the United States earlier in the year.


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