Today’s news about coronaviruses: North American leaders talk about vaccine exchange; Online bookings will soon no longer be needed for Toronto introductory programs

The latest news about coronaviruses from Canada and around the world on Thursday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Online links to longer stories if available.

8:45 am Online reservations will soon no longer be required for City of Toronto gymnasiums, weight rooms, indoor playgrounds or leisure swimming.

Following feedback from participants, reservations will continue to be available for lane swimming and Aquafit, and additional entrances will be added.

8:30 am The Philippines has granted emergency use authorization for Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine for people 18 and older, becoming only the second country after Indonesia to authorize the shootings.

The vaccine was developed by the Maryland-based company and will be produced by Serum Institute in India.

Novavax CEO Stanley C. Erck said in an announcement that the shot would “contribute considerably to increased vaccinations” in the Philippines, where only about 35 percent of the population is fully vaccinated.

8:10 am Only half of the staff at one Hamilton nursing home are vaccinated despite working with vulnerable residents.

In recently released data from the Ministry for the Elderly and Accessibility, three local seniors reported personal vaccinations in the 50 percent range. If asked to comment, two said their rates have since risen. But it was not done.

All licensed pensioners were required to implement a vaccination policy for employees, entrepreneurs, volunteers and students by September 21st. But contrary to Ontario’s policy for long-term care homes, which requires staff who will work within the homes to be vaccinated before Dec. 13 (or has an approved medical exemption), vaccination is not mandatory for retired domestic workers.

7:21 am German lawmakers approved new measures on Thursday to curb record coronary heart disease infections after the head of the German disease control agency warned the country could face a “really terrible Christmas”.

The measures passed in the Bundestag with votes from the center-left Social Democrats, the Green environmentalists and the pro-trade Free Democrats. The three parties are currently negotiating to form a new government.

The legislation includes requirements for employees to prove that they are vaccinated, cured of COVID-19 or being negative for the virus to access common jobs. They have yet to be approved by the upper house of the German parliament, the Bundesrat.

The center-right Christian Democrats of outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel wanted to extend existing rules that served as the basis for many national and statewide restrictions. Since it expires this month, the rules have been criticized for marginalizing parliament despite its central role in the German political system.

6 am: The Sudbury Student Services Consortium reported two more school bus cancellations on Wednesday.

The morning secondary and middle part of bus route L500 affecting students of St. Benedict Catholic High School has been canceled due to COVID-19 discovery and is expected to resume on November 23rd.

The afternoon secondary and intermediate part of bus route L022 affecting students of St. Benedict Catholic High School was canceled for the same reason.

There are about 40 bus routes in Sudbury and Manitoulin counties that have been canceled over the last week due to COVID-19 discoveries and a lack of school bus drivers.

5:59 am: Public Health Sudbury and Districts reported a new COVID-related death in their service area on Wednesday.

According to the health unit’s website, the individual who died lived in Greater Sudbury. Public Health did not provide other details.

This is the 36th COVID-related death recorded in the service unit’s health area, and the second COVID-related death reported this week.

5:55 am: Canada and Mexico will redistribute millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses they received from the United States to other western hemisphere countries as part of today’s revived summit of leaders of Three Friends.

Senior U.S. government officials outlined the measure ahead of today’s meeting that President Joe Biden is hosting at the White House with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador.

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity as authorized reporters, offered up-to-date details on U.S. priorities ahead of the first summit of North American leaders since Canada hosted the last five years ago.

Only Trudeau remains among those leaders, but an initiative he announced with former U.S. President Barack Obama in Ottawa in 2016 is being revived by Biden – a North American working group on violence against indigenous women and girls.

The three leaders will also look to strengthen bilateral cooperation on the unprecedented migration crisis in the Western Hemisphere, which has seen millions of asylum seekers from Mesoamerica shatter Mexico’s borders as Venezuela’s economic and political crisis is projected to produce six million refugees by the end of the year.

The overall theme of the summit joins forces to rebuild after the COVID-19 pandemic and make the North American continent more resilient and self-sustaining against global supply chain issues.

5:54 am: South Korea reported its biggest daily jump in coronavirus infections since the start of the pandemic, as hundreds of thousands of masked students flocked to schools Thursday for the country’s highly competitive entrance exam amid growing concerns about the spread driven by Delta.

About 509,000 students took the one-day exam at 1,395 locations across the nation, including hospitals and shelters.

The annual exam, called “Suneung,” or the Collegiate Scholastic Aptitude Test, is crucial in a country obsessed with education, where careers, social positions, and even marital prospects are highly dependent on which university a person visits.

Students were required to have their temperatures taken before entering classrooms, and those with fevers were sent to separate test areas. The Ministry of Education said 68 infected students and 105 others in self-quarantine had done the hours long test in isolation.

5:52 am: The Munich Christkindlmarkt, one of Germany’s oldest and largest Christmas markets, has been canceled for the second consecutive year as another coronavirus wave sweeps across the country.

It is the largest German Christmas market canceled to date as events struggle to survive the country’s fourth virus after being largely closed last year.

“It is bitter news I have today for all Munich residents, and especially for the owners of booths. However, the extreme situation in our hospitals and exponentially growing infection rates leave me with no choice, ”said Mayor Dieter Reiter.

Germans have been gathering at outdoor markets in the weeks before Christmas since the 14th century, when vendors first built their stands in downtown areas to sell their wares to people coming from worship services. They offer a range of food, craft gifts and other supplies for the coming holidays and the long winter months.

Germany’s approximately 3,000 Christmas markets are a major economic boon for many communities. Local restaurants, breweries, bakeries and artisans depend on the annual holiday fairs for a large amount of their income.

Thursday 5:49 am: The Philippines granted emergency use authorization for Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday for people 18 and older, becoming only the second country after Indonesia to authorize the shootings.

The vaccine was developed by the Maryland-based company and will be produced by Serum Institute in India.

Novavax CEO Stanley C. Erck said in an announcement that the shot would “contribute considerably to increased vaccinations” in the Philippines, where only about 35% of the population is fully vaccinated.

The Philippines has already approved eight other vaccines for emergency use: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, Sinovac, Sinopharm, Gamaleya Sputnik V and Bharat Biotech.

Read Wednesday’s news about coronaviruses.

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