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Canada Doug Ford contacting consulates to try and get more COVID vaccines for Ontario, spokesperson says

01:51  19 april  2021
01:51  19 april  2021 Source:   globalnews.ca

COVID-19: Ontario reports more than 4,000 new cases; Ottawa hospitalizations, ICU cases at record levels

  COVID-19: Ontario reports more than 4,000 new cases; Ottawa hospitalizations, ICU cases at record levels Ottawa hospitals preparing to postpone non-urgent surgeries as COVID-19 cases continue to rise School closure to in-person learning following spring break is more likely than not, Dr. Vera Etches says Ottawa sees 242 new cases, one new death Ontario reported 4,249 new cases of COVID-19 Friday, a high not seen since the peak of the second wave in early January. This total includes 1,218 infections in Toronto, 762 in Peel, 532 in York Region, and 247 in Durham. The seven-day average now sits at 3,256 cases reported daily, provincewide. There have been 378,339 cases of COVID-19 in Ontario since the pandemic began.

Doug Ford contacting consulates to try and get more COVID vaccines for Ontario , spokesperson says . GUEST: Richard Brennan, Former Journalist with The Toronto Star covering Queen’s Park and Parliament Hill - After record-high days for Ontario 's COVID -19 cases and ICU departments . we're preparing for new restrictions to be announced by the premier. It comes after Doug Ford and his cabinet met for several hours yesterday and will again pick-up discussions this morning.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has refused the offer of aid from the Canadian Red Cross, shortly after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced it was sending it to help the COVID -19 mobile vaccination teams. “While we appreciate the Prime Minister’s offer, unless it is matched with an increase in “We do not have a capacity issue, we have a supply issue.” As Ontario reports record-high COVID cases, Trudeau said the federal government will provide more relief to the province, including deploying mobile health units in Toronto and Hamilton. Health-care equipment including oxygen units and drugs

Doug Ford wearing a suit and tie talking on a cell phone: Ontario Premier Doug Ford attends a news conference at Queens Park in Toronto on Wednesday, April 7, 2021. © THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young Ontario Premier Doug Ford attends a news conference at Queens Park in Toronto on Wednesday, April 7, 2021.

A spokesperson for Premier Doug Ford says he has begun contacting consulates in a bid to get more COVID-19 vaccines for Ontario.

Ivana Yelich said Sunday that Ford began reaching out to international allies after news of cuts to upcoming Moderna shipments, and as the province awaits a possible recommendation on lowering the age limit for the AstraZeneca shot.

"Ontario has the capacity to vaccinate more people, but we are lacking the supply to do it," Yelich said in a statement.

Ontario extends stay-home order to six weeks and bans most outdoor gatherings

  Ontario extends stay-home order to six weeks and bans most outdoor gatherings Ontario Premier Doug Ford has extended the stay-at-home order by two weeks and has imposed further restrictions on outdoor activities and retail in the hopes of flattening of the COVID-19 surge in the province. The announcement follows COVID-19 modelling released by the province science advisors Friday, which showed that the province could approach up 20,000 causes a day if strong measures aren’t imposed. Ontario’s science advisers say a six-week stay-at-home order and a vaccination rate of at least 100,000 doses a day is the only way to curb the COVID-19 third wave surge.

Premier Doug Ford is facing accusations of using the response to COVID -19 as a guise to advance his political interests. Two new pieces of legislation that the government portrays as helping the province recover from the effects of COVID -19 contain provisions unrelated to the pandemic. On Tuesday afternoon, the government tabled a separate bill to shield organizations from legal liability for spreading COVID -19, provided that they tried to follow public health guidelines. Included in that bill is legislation to ban Ontario municipalities from using ranked ballots in the 2022 elections for mayor and council.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced COVID -19 testing for all incoming international travellers at Toronto Pearson International Airport on Friday. The province will move ahead with the testing program despite an announcement from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Friday morning that the federal government intends to In recent weeks, Ford has repeatedly called for mandatory testing at Pearson along with more stringent federal travel restrictions aimed at countries where new variants are detected. "We have to test every person that comes into Pearson and any other crossing. It's absolutely critical.

Read more: Canada adds millions more Pfizer doses over spring, but Moderna cuts back

"Vaccines are our only way out of this pandemic and the premier will exhaust every avenue he has in order to get more needles into arms of Ontarians sooner."

Procuring vaccines is normally the responsibility of the federal government.

Ford has repeatedly said that Ontario has the capacity to administer more vaccines than it is currently receiving from the feds, and in late March, lashed out at the federal government's procurement process calling it "a joke."

Read more: NDP says Ford to shut Ontario legislature next week amid backlash over outdoor COVID-19 restrictions

The province has administered a total of 3,837,881 vaccine doses as of 8 p.m. Saturday, marking an increase of 86,565 over one day. Over the past several days, Ontario had been administering more than 100,000 doses each day.

Matt Gurney: Doug Ford's bungling of the third wave is distracting from Justin Trudeau's many failures

  Matt Gurney: Doug Ford's bungling of the third wave is distracting from Justin Trudeau's many failures It would not be an exaggeration to say that Ontario’s government seems to have completely lost control of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Last weekend was absolutely chaotic, with orders issued Friday being revoked on Saturday amid a significant public backlash. Even as Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s government attempted to pick itself up off the mat on Monday, with senior cabinet ministers admitting they badly screwed up, it has been fascinating to see the growing pressure on the federal government to step in and do … something .

WATCH ABOVE: The day after Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced tougher Covid -19 restrictions, golf courses were closed, playgrounds abandoned, and police have assumed greater powers to stop and question people on the street. But as Sean O’Shea reports, many law-enforcement agencies said they “ Ontario ’s enhanced restrictions were always intended to stop large gatherings where spread can happen,” Ford said . “Our regulations will be amended to allow playgrounds, but gatherings outside will still be enforced.” Civil libertarians and pundits attacked new anti-pandemic restrictions announced

Ontario reported 1,676 more cases of COVID -19 on Tuesday, as the number of patients hospitalized with the illness approaches 800. The new cases include 588 in Toronto, 349 in Peel Region and 141 in York Region. Health minister on Ontario 's proof-of- vaccination cards. Elliott also said that she still doesn't know exactly how many vaccines Ontario will get in the initial shipment, but that it's likely to be about 40 per cent of them, since they're being distributed on a per capita basis. More active cases than at any point in pandemic. Other public health units that saw double-digit increases on Tuesday were

So far, 345,310 people in the province are considered to be fully vaccinated.

According to the federal government, Ontario has received 4,852,885 doses thus far.

Earlier this week, the federal government said that while Canada was due to receive 1.2 million Moderna doses this month, that had been cut down to 650,000. At the same time, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada would be receiving millions additional Pfizer shots, beginning in May.

Read more: Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout hampered by shipment delays, provincial government insists

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) is also discussing the current recommendation that AstraZeneca only be given to those 55 and older due to blood clot risks.

Health Canada has approved the shot for everyone 18+.

In a press conference Sunday afternoon where federal officials announced that they would be offering to send personnel and rapid tests to Ontario to help battle the third wave, federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu was asked about Ford's decision to call other countries in a bid to get more vaccines.

COVID-19: Science advisory group outlines suggestions for pandemic response; Ontario and Ottawa see drop in new cases

  COVID-19: Science advisory group outlines suggestions for pandemic response; Ontario and Ottawa see drop in new cases Reporters asked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland how the budget's allocation of $236 million to address misconduct in the military will be applied.

WATCH ABOVE: Ontario Premier Doug Ford said on Monday that he believes it’s unconstitutional to force people to get a COVID -19 vaccine and that he doesn’t believe in mandating a vaccine . Ford did add that he strongly encourages people to get the vaccine when it becomes widely available – Dec 7, 2020. The province provided more details about its vaccination roll-out plan on Monday, saying the first phase of the plan will see vulnerable seniors, their caregivers, and health-care workers among the first to receive the shot. Ford says in addition to those groups, adults in Indigenous communities

Ontario Premier Doug Ford points on a COVID -19 caseload projection model graph during a press conference at Queen's Park, in Toronto, Friday, April 16, 2021. Photo by Frank Gunn / Canadian Press. Article content. TORONTO — Ontario is reporting 4,250 new cases of COVID -19 in the province as The province has been pushing eligible residents to get vaccinated , including by sending trucks with loudspeakers in hard-hit Montreal neighbourhoods to announce the presence of mobile clinics offering Oxford-AstraZeneca shots to Quebecers 55 and older. Quebec also announced Friday that it would

Read more: AstraZeneca vaccine still safe despite ‘stronger link’ to blood clots, Health Canada says

Hajdu didn't comment on that directly, but said that Canada will be receiving 48 million additional doses in the second quarter.

Global News also reached out to Procurement Canada for comment.

A spokesperson referred to Procurement Minister Anita Anand's comments on Friday in which she also highlighted that Canada is expecting to receive tens of millions of vaccines in the coming months.

Video: New Modelling & Restrictions

"Despite the temporary and short-term fluctuations in deliveries from our supplies, Canada’s vaccination campaign overall is gaining ground," she said.

"We are currently ranked fourth among G20 countries for doses administered per capita, and second in the G20 when it comes to the average number of doses administered daily per capita."

Hajdu also said that since Health Canada has licenced AstraZeneca for people 18+, Ontario could change the age limit at any time if provincial officials decided to do so.

Hajdu added that NACI will also have updated guidance on AstraZeneca use "in the very near future."

Michael Taube: Apology shows Ford is a changed man and deserves a chance to lead

  Michael Taube: Apology shows Ford is a changed man and deserves a chance to lead Ontario Premier Doug Ford has had a rough few weeks in office, to put it mildly. Ford has been criticized for announcing yet another provincial stay-at-home order due to escalating COVID-19 cases. Critics have blasted him for everything from keeping struggling businesses closed to halting in-person learning in Ontario schools on several occasions. He announced two controversial policies that would have closed playgrounds and given police the ability to randomly pull over drivers and pedestrians to question why they are not at home, but he quickly walked them back when the public erupted.

On Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered to send aid from the Canadian Red Cross to Ontario to help with administering vaccines., but the Ford government declined.

“While we appreciate the Prime Minister’s offer, unless it is matched with an increase in supply, we do not need the Red Cross at this time for administration of vaccines in Ontario,” a statement from the premier’s office said on Friday.

“We do not have a capacity issue, we have a supply issue.”

Some have called for vaccines to be reallocated to Ontario from areas of the country not facing as high rates of COVID-19.

In Sunday's press conference, Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc said vaccines are allocated on a per-capita basis after a unanimous request from all premiers last year.

Ontario is currently in the midst of a third wave of COVID-19, with cases and hospitalizations rising to record levels in recent days.

The provincial government has faced sharp criticism in recent days for new restrictions implemented in response to the third wave, which some have called delayed, misguided, and overreaching.

-- With files from Hannah Jackson, Rachael D'Amore and The Canadian Press

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