Tag Archives: covid 19 ontario

Police search for the suspect after a fire accidentally broke out along a road in Little Italy | Instant News

TORONTO – Police have released surveillance camera images of a man wanted after several small fires broke out along a street in Toronto’s Little Italy neighborhood overnight.

Around 12:10 a.m. and 2 a.m. on Sunday morning, police were called to several fire spots that were visible along College Street, between Shaw and Grace streets.

Witnesses said a man started several fires in the area before fleeing the scene.

He was last seen wearing a red coat, black and white toque, and dark jeans.

Anyone with information is asked to call the 14 Divisions at 416-808-1400.


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The British coronavirus variant was identified at Barrie’s long-term care home | Instant News

A British variant of COVID-19 has been identified at Barrie’s long-term care home which is facing a massive virus outbreak.

Simcoe Muskoka’s District Health Unit (SMDHU) confirmed that six cases of COVID-19 from the Roberta Place Long-Term Care Home had been identified as a variant of the highly contagious coronavirus.

This case happened to five residents and one employee.

As of Saturday, 127 residents had tested positive for the virus, along with 84 staff members, representing half of the workers helping to respond to the outbreak, said Health’s SMDHU Medical Officer Dr. Charles Gardner in a virtual press conference Saturday afternoon.

Only two residents in the house have not tested positive for the virus.

Together with the infected residents and staff, two important visitors, three external partners and 21 household members connected to employees and external partners at the home tested positive for the virus.

A total of 32 residents have died from the disease caused by the new coronavirus since the outbreak began at home on January 8.

Although only six samples tested positive for the British variant, Gardner said he believes all infected residents and staff have the variant.

“We have had the test results on six individuals, but I have no doubt that they all have variants. There is no reason to believe that the second variety was introduced to the site at the same time by accident. I have no reason to believe that it is anything but this British variant throughout the facility and affects all positive cases, “he said.

On Wednesday, the SMDHU confirmed that initial laboratory testing of the six cases at the home had identified a it is likely that there is a “worrying variant of COVID-19. “

The second test, the genome sequencing test, determined that the six samples were UK B.1.1.7 variants.

The British variant, along with the 501Y.V2 variant from South Africa, is believed to be about 50 percent more transmissible than other variants of the virus.

Another variant that is of concern that appears is the E484K variant found in Brazil.

Gardner said the home was doing all it could to contain the variant but said he was “very concerned” about spreading it to the wider community.

“My concern is very high. This virus, this variant proved to be highly contagious. The virus is growing rapidly in the home despite best efforts and has now infected many workers, other couples who have responded to the situation, and even some members of the household staff. and those who respond to the situation. “

Gardner added that because the variant has infected household members of those who work in the home, community transmission is possible.

“It’s definitely on the edge, I agree. It depends on their contact outside of their household and whether we start seeing spread there or not and we haven’t seen it but we are on the very edge.”

On Thursday, SMDHU delivered a domestic workers who have close contact with someone traveling abroad was one of the first people suspected of bringing the variant home.

The worker followed all precautions, and was tested regularly, but initially showed no symptoms.

Gardner said the worker did not violate the Quarantine Act or any recommendations set by the government.

“The disclosure in question did not occur in the community and staff members who were cases from the start did not experience symptoms when they came to work. They are asymptomatic when tested regularly, “he said.

With the infection spreading rapidly throughout the home since early January, Gardner was asked why the occupants weren’t rounded up early to reduce transmission.

He said the cohorting had not been successful due to reduced staffing levels.

“Homes have never succeeded in implementing the kind of grouping you describe where you maintain restrictions on staff movement or exposure of staff to cases and non-cases. That of course is something that is optimal practice in an outbreak and it’s definitely not established,” he said.

Earlier this week, the SMDHU ordered temporary leadership of Roberta Place to be assigned to Orillia Soldier Memorial Hospital to control the outbreak.

The organization will help ensure that staff, training, and equipment and supplies are available so that facilities can continue to respond to and control the outbreak.

Last weekend, the house inoculated 135 staff members and 21 residents with the first dose of Pfizer BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine.

However, on Thursday, the Associate Medical Officer of Health at SMDHU Dr. Colin Lee said the house should have gotten an earlier dose of the Moderna vaccine but that the dose was shifted to areas with a higher prevalence of long-term care outbreaks.

He said that houses “around GTA received the Moderna (vaccine) meant for us”.

This is due to the government’s goal of delivering the first dose to all long-term care homes in York, Peel, Toronto and Windsor Essex by January 21.

“If we get the vaccine a month before we enter [last] Saturday, I think this outbreak will be much lighter, “he said.

On Thursday, the provincial government said there were 15 known cases of the British variant across the province, not including the now confirmed cases at Roberta Place.


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Japan detected an entirely new coronavirus mutation in travelers from Brazil | Instant News

Kiyoshi Takenaka and Ricardo Brito, Reuters

Published Sunday, 10 January 2021 1:44 PM EST

TOKYO, Jan 10 (Reuters) – A new coronavirus variant has been detected in four travelers from Brazil’s Amazonas state, Japan’s Ministry of Health said on Sunday, the latest new mutation of the virus was found.

A ministry official said studies were underway to find out the vaccine’s efficacy against the new variant, which is different from the highly contagious variant first discovered in Britain and South Africa that has driven a spike in cases.

“At present, there is no evidence to suggest that the new variants found in those from Brazil have a high transmission rate,” Takaji Wakita, head of the National Infectious Diseases Institute, told a health ministry explanation.

Even so, Brazil’s Health Ministry said it had been notified by Japanese authorities that the new variant had 12 mutations, and one of them had been identified in a variant found in Britain and South Africa. “This implies a higher potential for virus transmission,” he said.

Of the four travelers who arrived at Tokyo’s Haneda airport on January 2, a man in his forties had respiratory problems, a woman in her thirties had a headache and sore throat and a teenage man had a fever, while a woman in her teens showed no symptoms, said Ministry of Health.

All travelers are quarantined at Tokyo airport, said Brazil’s Health Ministry.

After seeing a sharp rise in coronavirus cases, Japan declared a state of emergency for Tokyo and its three neighboring prefectures on the capital on Thursday.

Nationwide cases have numbered around 289,000, with 4,061 deaths, said public broadcaster NHK.


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Pakistan arrested 24 people for the destruction of a Hindu temple in Karachi | Instant News

Riaz Khan and Mohammad Farooq, The Associated Press

Published Thursday, December 31 2020 6:48 AM EST

Last Updated Thursday, 31 December 2020 12:11 EST

PESHAWAR, Pakistan – Pakistani police arrested 24 people in raids last night after a Hindu temple was burned and destroyed by a mob led by supporters of the radical Islamic party, officials said Thursday.

Meanwhile, dozens of Hindus rallied in the southern port city of Karachi demanding the rebuilding of their place of worship.

Wednesday’s destruction of a temple in the northwestern city of Karak also drew criticism from human rights activists and leaders of Pakistan’s minority Hindu community.

Local police said they detained 24 people overnight and more raids were underway to arrest radical cleric Maulana Shareef and other individuals who participated in or provoked crowds to destroy temples.

The attack occurred after members of the Hindu community got permission from the local government to renovate the temple. According to police and witnesses, the crowd was led by Shareef and supporters of Pakistan’s radical Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam party.

Angered by the attack, about 100 members of the Hindu community rallied in Karachi. Among them was Ramesh Kumar, a member of the National Assembly, the lower house of Parliament.

Kumar, also a Hindu leader, told the demonstrators that he received assurances from the government that their temple would be rebuilt and that those responsible for the attack would be arrested and punished.

Kumar said he received a call from Prime Minister Imran Khan and Khan expressed his sympathy. He said Khan assured him all steps would be taken to ensure the protection of minorities and their places of worship.

Kumar said Pakistan’s Supreme Court had requested a report from the authorities about the attack, which also damaged a shrine next to the temple. “We are very sad, our hearts are broken,” he said.

Kumar said the same temple was damaged in 1997 and local clerics linked to Wednesday’s attacks had incited Muslims before. He claimed that Shareef, the local cleric who led the attack, had fled with gunmen in tow and authorities ordered troops to arrest them.

Earlier, Pakistan’s Minister of Religious Affairs, Noorul Haq Qadri, called the attack on the temple a “conspiracy against sectarian harmony.” He took to Twitter Thursday, saying attacks on places of worship of religious minorities are not allowed under Islam and “the protection of religious freedom of minorities is our religious, constitutional, moral and national responsibility.”

The incident comes weeks after the government allowed Hindus to build a new temple in Islamabad on the recommendation of a council of clerics.

Although Muslims and Hindus generally live together peacefully in Pakistan, there have been other attacks on Hindu temples in recent years. Most of Pakistan’s Hindu minority migrated to India in 1947 when India was divided by the British government.

Farooq reported from Karachi, Pakistan.


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COVID-19 cases jumped to 16 cases in Middlesex-London, two new school cases | Instant News

MIDDLESEX CENTER, ONT. – The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) reported 16 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, a stark contrast to the last two days.

The new cases brought the total in the region to 1,127, including 1,004 resolved and 60 deaths, leaving 63 active cases.

The spike follows two days of low single-digit numbers after another jump on Monday with 14 cases.

MLHU Health Medical Officer Dr. Chris Mackie said the jump was likely the result of a series of tests being processed in an Ontario laboratory.

He added that the average for the region over the past week or so has remained below 10 cases per day and he is “… pleased to have kept things relatively calm here and hopes it continues.”

Mackie also said the sources of exposure had remained consistent over the past few weeks, such as screening of health workers, close contacts and some via the school’s COVID-19 protocol.

In fact, the Thames Valley District School Board said Thursday that the health unit had confirmed two new school cases of COVID-19, at West Nissouri Public School in Thorndale and at AB Lucas Secondary in north London.

There was no indication whether the cases were students or staff members, but the board said affected families and staff had been informed.

The health unit will only reach people who have been in close contact with the affected person.

Both schools remain open and buses continue to operate.

More than 1,000 cumulative cases occurred in the City of London, while 210 were related to long-term care and nursing homes.

There are six ongoing outbreaks in elderly facilities, and two in educational settings, at Sir Arthur Currie Public School and at West University London Hall Residence.

This is where cases stand in other regions based on the most recent publicly available data, note no one has reported a new death in recent weeks:

  • Elgin-Oxford – five new, 17 active, total 317, 295 resolved, five deaths, two outbreaks

  • Gray-Bruce – nothing new, five active, 172 total, 167 intractable, no deaths, no outbreaks

  • Haldimand-Norfolk – three new, 32 active, 537 total, 468 resolved, 32 deaths, no outbreaks

  • Sarnia-Lambton – nothing new, one active, 369 total, 343 resolved, 25 deaths, one outbreak

  • Huron-Perth – nothing new, four active, 146 total, 137 completed, five deaths, one outbreak

Across Ontario 936 new infections were reported, as well as 10 new deaths related to COVID-19.


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