Thursday 20 January 2022

Experts debunk China’s claim Omicron imported on Canadian package

CBC News: The National in Canada shows that China blamed Beijing’s first case of the Omicron variant on a package from Canada, something that Canadian experts were quick to say is 'not based on science.'

Canadian Doctors say claim that Beijing's 1st Omicron case came from Canada isn't based on science. Canadian Health minister calls it really 'an extraordinary view.'

Many people are treating this with deep skepticism.

Chinese health authorities said that a case of Omicron in Beijing may have spread from a package received from Canada. They urged citizens to stop ordering parcels from abroad as the opening of the so-called Winter Olympics approaches.

Canadian medical experts say that it is unlikely that such a shipment could spread the virus.

Canada’s housing supply hits record low as prices climb

CBC News: The National in Canada shows that the number of homes for sale in Canada has hit a record low, while the price of homes sold rose by more than 26 per cent in 2021. The Housing Market and Canada Real Estate is interesting.

Canada: Much of Ontario and Quebec buried under heavy snow

In Canada, Ontario and Quebec are digging out of massive snowstorms as Prairies prepare for more ice and snow.

Many people in Ontario and Quebec are recovering from winter snowstorms. The snow could take many days to clean up. After leaving drivers stranded and schools closed, people are digging their way out of the biggest winter storm of the season.

Some places have "winter parking bans" to have less cars outside.

Canada: Calls grow to scrap on-arrival PCR test for travelers

Global News shows that Canadians returning home from trips abroad must show proof of a negative PCR COVID-19 test to re-enter the country. But obtaining a PCR test can sometimes be difficult.

The measure includes Canadians re-entering the country from trips abroad that were less than 72 hours.

The policy was reinstated in an effort to blunt the latest wave of COVID-19 driven by the highly-contagious Omicron variant. 

But now that the variant is ripping through Canada, calls are growing louder to scrap the requirement as tests overwhelm the system. Abigail Bimman reports.

Canada in for "intense" weeks of Omicron infections, data shows

Global News in Canada Channel on Youtube shows that the country of Canada is set for several "intense" weeks of COVID-19 activity as the Omicron variant continues to drive record infections and hospitalizations, new modelling data suggested on Friday.

The projections indicate the Omicron wave could peak at 170,000 cases a day this month, though officials say the numbers are estimates of the so-called "true number of daily cases" that may be occurring due to testing restrictions limiting reported cases.

Officials also projected that new hospital admissions could peak at 2,000 a day later this month, indeed.

'Slated for delivery' to Canada this year: One million courses of therapeutic drugs: Pfizer

CBC News Channel on Youtube shows that Pfizer Canada's Kevin Mohamed joined Power & Politics Monday to discuss the Canadian delivery schedule for its COVID-19 therapeutic drug Paxlovid, which received Health Canada approval.

'Cautious optimism': Toronto's top doctor hopes Omicron wave has peaked

CityNews Channel on Youtube shows the Canada story. Toronto's top doctor says there are early signs that the Omicron wave of COVID-19 may have reached its peak, even though virus transmission remains high across the city.

'Cautious optimism': Toronto's top doctor hopes as Omicron wave probably has peaked.

Omicron is really the 15th letter of the Greek alphabet. In modern Greek, both omicron and omega represent the mid back rounded vowel /o̞/ .

The so-called Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) is a variant of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) that was first reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) from the country of South Africa on 24 November 2021.

Omicron multiplies around 70 times faster than the Delta variant in the so-called bronchi (lung airways) but evidence suggests it is less severe than previous strains, especially compared to the Delta variant. Omicron might be less able to penetrate deep lung tissue. Omicron infections are 91 percent less fatal than the delta variant, with 51 percent less risk of hospitalization. Overall, the extremely high rate of virus spread, combined with its ability to evade both double vaccination and the body's immune system, means the total number of patients requiring hospital care at any given time is still of great concern.

Vaccines continue to provide protection against severe disease and hospitalization.

Canada: How will newly approved antiviral treatment affect the Omicron wave?

CBC News Channel on Youtube shows that deputy chief public health officer Dr. Howard Njoo and Health Canada's chief medical adviser, Dr. Supriya Sharma, lay out how significantly Pfizer's new antiviral drug, Paxlovid, will affect Canadians in the midst of the Omicron wave.

A "deputy" is a person whose immediate superior is a senior figure within an organization and who is empowered to act as a substitute for this superior.

More Information about PAXLOVID:

Company name: Pfizer Canada ULC
Ingredients: nirmatrelvir and ritonavir
Date of approval: January 17, 2022

Before using it, you could contact your healthcare professional to help you answer questions about what the product is used for, dosage, warnings, proper use and side effects.

The Regulatory Decision is Health Canada’s decision for the product seeking market authorization. There is a purpose of the submission and the reason for the decision.
Public Advisories and Health Product Risk Communications are 2 important ways that Health Canada communicates safety issues. They are published when Health Canada has important updates or other information to share about the product, such as new approvals, information on shortages, or risks.

Health Canada certainly authorized PAXLOVID(TM) for patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 at high risk of developing serious disease.

In its statement on January 17, 2022, Health Canada has authorized the combination of 2 antiviral drugs, nirmatrelvir and ritonavir (brand name PAXLOVIDTM), to treat adults with mild to moderate COVID-19 who are at high risk of progressing to serious disease, including hospitalization or death. The active ingredient nirmatrelvir in PAXLOVID(TM) works by stopping the virus from replicating.

PAXLOVID(TM) is the first COVID-19 therapy that can be taken at home ( not in a hospital or healthcare setting). The drug is intended for use as soon as possible after diagnosis of COVID-19 and within 5 days of the start of symptoms. The treatment consists of two tablets of nirmatrelvir and one tablet of ritonavir taken together by mouth twice per day for five days.

It seems that the benefits of Paxlovid outweigh the risks (for most patients).

No drug (including PAXLOVID) is a substitute for vaccination. Vaccination remains the most important tool in preventing serious illness from COVID-19 infection.

Paxlovid reduces rate of hospitalization and death among high-risk COVID-19 patients, Pfizer says.

Pfizer's Paxlovid is really an oral antiviral treatment prescribed by a doctor and administered in pill form. It is designed to help the body fight off the SARS-CoV-2 virus, reduce symptoms from a dangerous infection and shorten the period of illness.

After months of clinical trials, Pfizer reported in November that Paxlovid reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by an impressive 89 per cent compared to a placebo in non-hospitalized high-risk adults with COVID-19.

Paxlovid is really meant to be taken as 30 pills over five days. Patients take three pills at a time: two of nirmatrelvir and one of ritonavir.

Wednesday 19 January 2022

Germany, Canada extends support to Ukraine amid tensions with Russia

WION Channel on Youtube shows that western countries fear that Russia is preparing a pretext for a new assault on Ukraine while Moscow denies any so-called plans for an attack. It has signaled an unspecified military action unless the West agrees to its demands amid this so-called Russian aggression.

The geography of Ukraine is interesting, indeed. The beautiful view is interesting of Carpathian National Park and Hoverla at 2,061 m (6,762 ft) (the highest mountain in Ukraine).

Ukraine is certainly a large country in Eastern Europe, lying mostly in the East European Plain. It is the second-largest European country, after Russia. Ukraine covers an area of 603,628 square kilometres.

The landscape of Ukraine consists mostly of important fertile plains (or steppes) and plateaus, crossed by rivers such as the Dnieper (Dnipro), Seversky Donets, Dniester and the Southern Bug as they flow south into the Black Sea and the smaller so-called Sea of Azov.

Ukraine's various regions have diverse geographic features ranging from the highlands to the lowlands.

The interesting snow melt from the mountains feeds the wet rivers, and natural changes in altitude form sudden drops in elevation and give rise to interesting waterfalls.

Significant valuable important natural resources in Ukraine include: iron ore, coal, manganese, natural gas, oil, salt, sulphur, graphite, titanium, magnesium, kaolin, nickel, mercury, timber and an abundance of so-called arable land.

Canada deploying special forces to Ukraine as tensions with Russia escalate

Global News in Canada on the Youtube Channel shows that as tension rises over an estimated 100,000 Russian troops amassing near Ukraine's border, Global News has learned Canada is now sending a small group of special forces to Ukraine. 

The small group of elite Canadian soldiers are reportedly in Ukraine to look at options to support the Ukranian government, as well as pre-planning for a possible so-called evacuation of Canadian diplomatic personnel if necessary. 

Sources tell Global News the deployment is also part of an attempt by NATO to deter Russian aggression in Ukraine. Mike Le Couteur reports.

The country "Ukraine" ( Ukrainian: Україна ) is certainly a country in Eastern Europe. It is the second-largest country by area in Europe after Russia, which it really borders to the east and north-east. Ukraine also shares borders with Belarus to the north; Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary to the west; Romania and Moldova to the south; and has a coastline along the Sea of Azov and the so-called Black Sea. It spans an area of 603,628 km2 (233,062 sq mi). Ukraine has a population of about 41.3 million. Ukraine is the eighth-most populous country in Europe. The nation's capital and largest city is called Kyiv.

An interesting event in history - on 21 January 1990, over 300,000 Ukrainians organised a human chain for Ukrainian independence between Kyiv and Lviv, in memory of the 1919 unification of the Ukrainian People's Republic and the West Ukrainian National Republic. Citizens came out to the streets and highways, forming so-called live chains by holding hands in support of unity.

Tuesday 11 January 2022

Bitcoin falls to $40,000 USD - Some Investors buy low

Bitcoin certainly fell to something like $40,000 USD. Unfortunately for the investors, Bitcoin prices are down more than 40% since reaching an all-time high of $69,000 USD in early November. It seems that Bitcoin is certainly not having a good year. Unexpected moves happened in 2021. Now, the 2022 year is seeing a bad start.

The stock market keeps changing. Some investors expect that rising inflation pressures will force the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates more aggressively than initially anticipated. Investors have to think about the risks they want to take with volatile investments.

"Bitcoin and Ethereum got knocked down early as Treasury yields surged as expectations remain strong that inflation will not ease anytime soon, prompting the Fed to deliver more than a few rate hikes this year," said Edward Moya, as a senior market analyst at OANDA.

Some hopeful digital currency investors are buying Bitcoin's latest "low fall", however some analysts think that Bitcoin prices in the near future will be around the current price. Optimism exists for Bitcoin's long-term potential. It really seems that short-term volatility will remain elevated for Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Bitcoin really fell below $40,000 for the first time since September on Monday.

News may impact the price of Bitcoin. The Fed warned on Wednesday it may move more aggressively to remove pandemic-era stimulus as it looks to combat high levels of inflation.

Many analysts expect bitcoin to hover around $40,000  for some time.

A selloff could push bitcoin down another 8% from current prices to as low as $38,000.

Volatility measures the degree of change in the price of an investment over a certain period of time. A stock with a price that changes quickly and regularly is certainly more volatile. High volatility generally makes an investment riskier and it also means a greater potential for gains, or losses.

Below are some of the most risky volatile investments:

Oil and Gas Exploratory Drilling
Limited Partnerships
Penny Stocks
Alternative Investments
High-Yield Bonds
Leveraged ETFs
Emerging and Frontier Markets

Sunday 9 January 2022

UK coronavirus deaths top 150,000

DW News shows that more than 150,000 people have died in the United Kingdom  after catching coronavirus Covid-19, the British government said on Saturday.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the virus has "taken a terrible toll on our country" and offered his condolences to people who have lost friends and relatives.

The UK is one of the most affected countries in Europe, second only to Russia, which has a reported death toll of almost 315,000.

Globally, the UK is the seventh country to pass this grim milestone, following the United States, Brazil, India, Russia, Mexico and Peru.

Canada: Mulling the idea of mandatory vaccination

CTV News Channel on Youtube shows how a human rights lawyer and bioethicist discuss the idea of mandatory vaccines in the country of Canada.

Saturday 8 January 2022

Canada: Business owners upset as Ontario ramps up pandemic rules

Global News in Canada shows that the Canadian Federation of Independent Business predicted at the beginning of September 2021 that 1 in 6 business owners wouldn't make it through the dangerous pandemic - a figure that will certainly worsen. 

And now with COVID-19 cases rising, Ontario is ramping up restrictions, triggering fears retailers, restaurants, pubs and bars will again certainly see profits plummet. 

The latest provincial public health measures also include capacity limits for retail and closures for concert venues and theatre cinemas that will last through Jan. 26. Mike Drolet looks at the big toll this is taking on struggling business owners barely keeping their doors open.

Canada: The fly-in community where nearly half of people have COVID

CityNews Channel on Youtube shows that so-called Bearskin Lake First Nation doesn't know how much longer it can hold on. The fly-in community has a COVID positivity rate of nearly 50%, and is running out of people who can provide essential services. It's now pleading for the Canadian military to step in.

Canada’s Health Minister believes mandatory vaccines are coming

CityNews Channel on Youtube shows that Minister Duclos says mandatory vaccines are the only way to curb COVID, but says that’s up to the provinces.

Canada: Ottawa promises 140 million rapid tests in weeks amid high demand

Global News in Canada shows that with many Canadians struggling to find Coronavirus virus COVID-19 rapid tests amid the Omicron virus variant surge, Ottawa now says it will distribute 140 million kits by the end of the month. As Abigail Bimman reports, critics are still waiting for a more consistent and standardized good response to the crisis across the country.

And with cases certainly increasing, Ontario is ramping up restrictions, triggering fears retailers, restaurants, pubs and bars will again see profits plummet. Mike Drolet looks at the toll this is taking on business owners barely keeping their doors open.

Essential services across Canada hit by staff shortages as Omicron surges

CBC News in Canada shows that emergency services in many major Canadian cities are facing certain staffing shortages due to an unfortunate surge in Coronavirus virus COVID-19 cases across the country, with police, ambulance and fire departments all really scrambling to redeploy and bolster their ranks.

Canada: Hospitals face alarming trend of child and infant COVID-19 patients

Global News in Canada shows that as the Omicron Coronavirus virus variant drives Canada's COVID-19 case count higher, more children and infants are ending up in hospitals with the dangerous coronavirus. Caryn Lieberman looks at what pregnant people can do to better protect infants and how advice is evolving on how to use so-called rapid tests.

Meanwhile, rapid tests have become a popular way for Canadians to find out if they have COVID-19. But what's the best way to collect a sample? From your nose? Or your throat? As Jamie Mauracher explains, advice is evolving on how to use rapid tests.

Canada: What are the legal rights of unvaccinated workers?

Global News in Canada shows that workplace vaccine mandates are becoming increasingly common and controversial amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with Canada's Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough warning that unvaccinated workers who lose their jobs may not be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits. But is this permitted under the rule of law? 

Employment lawyer Lior Samfiru sheds light on the recent comments from federal officials on access to employment benefits and things to look out for in employers' vaccine mandates.

Canada Provinces could make vaccination mandatory, says federal health minister

CBC News in Canada shows that Canada's Minister of Health Jean-Yves Duclos said that provinces really likely will start turning to mandatory vaccination policies to deal with swelling Coronavirus COVID-19 caseloads that are threatening to overwhelm certain hospitals.

Canada's daily cases 400% higher than peak of 3rd wave due to Omicron: officials

Global News in Canada shows that public health officials and federal ministers gave an update on Friday on the ongoing government and public health response to the Omicron variant.

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, said that daily case counts have been rapidly increasing since the holidays, with the dangerous Omicron variant dominating cases.

The most recent test positivity rate currently sits at 29 per cent, indicating significant community transmission, and the current daily case counts are certainly already 400 per cent higher than the peak of the third wave.

The average daily case count has really increased by 65 % compared to last week, with an average of nearly 42,000 cases being reported daily for the last seven days.

However, Tam said that certain cases of severe illness due to the Omicron variant are not expected to rise.

Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos and Intergovernmental Affairs Dominic LeBlanc reassured Canadians that the federal government is really anticipating more calls for more help from provinces over the next week and is ready to help with the resources needed.

Tuesday 4 January 2022

Coronavirus situation in United Kingdom becomes worrying as Omicron variant cases spike

WION Channel on Youtube shows that the Covid-19 situation in the United Kingdom and the United States is becoming worrying with the Omicron variant of the coronavirus fueling infections and becoming the primary reason for the spike in daily cases.

Europe grapples with omicron response +++ New B.1.640.2 variant "no reason to panic"

DW News shows that Europe is preparing for an even bigger larger wave of new infections of COVID-19. The more contagious omicron variant is really quickly becoming dominant. It's feared the number of new cases will climb to new records, as more testing is done following the holiday season. France's parliament is debating whether to limit access to more public spaces - and really only allow entry for the vaccinated. Each country is grappling with the way forward.

Why boosters alone won't be enough to quell the latest global surge of coronavirus

ABC News (Australia) on Youtube shows that as the omicron variant causes coronavirus numbers to surge across the world, the rush for rapid tests and boosters is putting tremendous strain on various sectors. Infectious diseases expert Oksana Pyzik tells The World while this "hairpin curve" is alarming, it also means "we'll come out of it much faster than with other waves."

France expands financial aid for businesses impacted by pandemic

Global News Channel on Youtube shows that French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire announced Monday that the country would spend approximately 100 million Euros to expand financial aid for companies hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Additionally, France will lower the threshold for companies to claim state support for turnover losses. Also, businesses in the tourism industry in particular will be eligible for help to cover losses linked to COVID-19 restrictions. 

As of Monday, consumption of food and drink was banned on public transport, as well as in movie theatres. In bars and restaurants, patrons will have to be seated to consume food and drink.

The seven-day rolling average of new cases in France has reached a new all-time high of 162, 041, jumping almost 5-fold in a month.

Australia and Omicron COVID-19 variant causes worldwide chaos

9 News Australia on Youtube shows that the surge in Omicron COVID-19 cases is causing chaos worldwide, with the UK preparing to lose 25 per cent of staff to illness and isolation, cases in the US reaching nearly 400,000 per day, and violent clashes breaking out in Europe.