A cyclist waits at an intersection at Steeles Ave. E. in Scarborough on Friday.

The latest coronavirus news from Canada and around the world Tuesday. Web links to longer stories if available.

6:27 a.m.: Foreign ministers from the Group of Seven wealthy industrialized nations are gathering Tuesday in London — their first face-to-face meeting in more than two years — to grapple with threats to health, prosperity and democracy.

Host country Britain has warned that the increasingly aggressive activities of Russia, China and Iran pose a challenge to democratic societies and the international rule of law.

U.K. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said Britain’s presidency of the G-7 this year “is an opportunity to bring together open, democratic societies and demonstrate unity at a time when it is much needed to tackle shared challenges and rising threats.”

Top diplomats from the U.K., the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan are holding two days of talks with an agenda that includes the coup in Myanmar, the Tigray crisis in Ethiopia and the precarious situation in Afghanistan, where U.S. troops and their NATO allies are winding down a two-decade deployment.

6:26 a.m.: The Indian Premier League was suspended indefinitely on Tuesday after players or staff at three clubs tested positive for COVID-19 as nationwide infections surged.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India issued a statement saying local authorities and tournament officials took the decision unanimously “to postpone IPL 2021 season, with immediate effect.”

“The BCCI does not want to compromise on the safety of the players, support staff and the other participants,” the BCCI said. “These are difficult times, especially in India. We have tried to bring in some positivity and cheer, however, it is imperative that the tournament is now suspended and everyone goes back to their families and loved ones in these trying times.”

The first cases involving players inside the IPL’s biosecure bubble forced Monday’s game between Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore to be postponed. The count grew on Tuesday when two Chennai Super Kings staffers and a Sunrisers Hyderabad player also returned positive tests.

6:21 a.m.: COVID-19 infections and deaths are mounting with alarming speed in India with no end in sight to the crisis and a top expert warning that the coming weeks in the country of nearly 1.4 billion people will be “horrible.”

India’s official count of coronavirus cases surpassed 20 million Tuesday, nearly doubling in the past three months, while deaths officially have passed 220,000. Staggering as those numbers are, the true figures are believed to be far higher, the undercount an apparent reflection of the troubles in the health care system.

The country has witnessed scenes of people dying outside overwhelmed hospitals and funeral pyres lighting up the night sky.

Infections have surged in India since February in a disastrous turn blamed on more contagious variants of the virus as well as government decisions to allow massive crowds to gather for Hindu religious festivals and political rallies before state elections.

Infections in India are rising faster than anywhere else in the world, a solemn reminder the pandemic is far from ending.

6:20 a.m.: The World Health Organization is set to decide this week whether to approve two Chinese vaccines for emergency use against COVID-19, a top WHO official says.

Such an approval would mark the first time that a Chinese vaccine had ever been granted a so-called emergency use listing from the U.N. health agency, and would trigger a broader rollout of Chinese vaccines that are already being used in some countries other than China.

Mariangela Simao, assistant director-general for access to medicines, vaccines and pharmaceuticals, says some “final arrangements” remain to be made before the crucial word from a WHO technical advisory group comes on the Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines.

“We expect that we’ll have both decisions by the end of this week,” she said.

WHO has said it expects a decision on the Sinopharm vaccine to come first, and Sinovac afterward.

“We know that some countries depend on this decision to proceed with their vaccination,” Simao said.

6:19 a.m.: More people will be allowed at indoor and outdoor spectator events and indoor religious services if there are designated COVID-19 vaccination sections, under new guidance issued by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.

The change that took effect Monday affects capacity at sporting events, graduations and other events for counties in the second and third phases of the state’s economic reopening plan.

A vaccination card or other documentation that proves vaccination status will be needed for access to vaccination sections.

While previously there were only limited circumstances where spectator events were allowed to reach 50% capacity, under the new guidance, outdoor facilities may add vaccinated sections until their total capacity — including vaccinated and unvaccinated sections — is at 50% or 22,000 people, whichever is lower. There can be no more than 9,000 unvaccinated people at the outdoor event.

For indoor facilities, vaccinated sections can also be added until their total capacity is 50% maximum, though the maximum number must not exceed 2,000 people, and the number indoor unvaccinated spectators varies depending on the size of the room and what phase of the state’s economic opening plan a county is in.

6:19 a.m.: Isolated North Korea is warning its people to brace for a prolonged struggle against the coronavirus, claiming that broadening outbreaks and muddled immunization programs in other countries show vaccines aren’t the ultimate solution.

The column published by Pyongyang’s official Rodong Sinmun newspaper came amid questions on when and how vaccines would arrive in North Korea.

The UN-backed program to ship COVID-19 vaccines worldwide said in February that North Korea could receive 1.9 million vaccine doses in the first half of this year. However, COVAX has since warned of global shortages because the Serum Institute of India, which is licensed to produce the AstraZeneca vaccine, is putting its supplies into domestic demand while India’s virus caseload is surging.

The North has claimed a perfect record in keeping out COVID-19, but outside experts have doubted the claim, given its poor health infrastructure and a porous border it shares with China, its economic lifeline.

The state newspaper took an apparent shot at India’s anti-virus campaign without naming the country. It said a certain nation that had “exported vaccines it produced while publicly insisting that it considers the evil virus as defeated,” was now experiencing an explosive surge.

“The cases of other countries provide further proof that vaccines aren’t an all-around solution,” the newspaper wrote.

6:18 a.m.: Camp Kawartha is celebrating its 100th year in 2021. But this year may also be its last.

Because of the pandemic, Kawartha has been largely unable to operate.

Summer camps like Kawartha are racking up deficits as they plan for a camp season that may not happen. Without more financial support, if they can’t open for a second year in a row, many may never open again, they say.

Last year, “camp looked like a big empty field,” Kawartha executive director Jacob Rodenburg said. “It had to be closed.



Read the full story from the Star’s Rosa Saba.

6:15 a.m.: Kuwait’s government is barring unvaccinated residents from travelling abroad starting later this month, the latest attempt to tame the spiralling coronavirus outbreak in the Gulf Arab sheikhdom.

The Cabinet decision, to take effect May 22, sparked instant anger and confusion, coming just after health authorities announced that global vaccine supply shortages would force them to delay distribution of second vaccine doses. Those who received the first Pfizer-BioNtech dose must wait six weeks for their second, and Oxford-AstraZeneca recipients must wait 3-4 months.

The government said those unable to get the shot for any reason would be exempt from the new travel ban. Already, authorities have banned the entry of expatriates into the Gulf state, stranding many foreign workers and their families abroad.

Kuwait is grappling with a surge in virus cases despite its vaccination campaign and tough restrictions, including a prolonged nightly curfew. The country has recorded over 277,800 infections and 1,590 deaths.

6:12 a.m.: Albertans are getting ready to hear new public health restrictions today as the province’s leaders deal with the highest COVID-19 case rates in the country.

Premier Jason Kenney says he will be announcing a new round of tougher restrictions, prompted by a weekend rodeo which openly defied public health rules.

Kenney told reporters yesterday he was angered by the “No More Lockdowns” rodeo at Bowden, and said the next few weeks are critical.

Alberta had 23,608 active COVID-19 cases Monday — the highest rate of infection in Canada.

There were 658 people in hospital, including 154 in intensive care.

Kenney said last week that new laws weren’t necessary but, days later, instituted new regulations in so-called COVID-19 hot spots.

6 a.m.: The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is coming under fire after contradicting the advice Canadians have been receiving for weeks to take the first vaccine against COVID-19 that they’re offered.

NACI said Monday that the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are “preferred” and that Canadians should weigh the risks of waiting for one of them before deciding whether to take a more immediate jab of either of the other two approved for use in Canada.

The Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccines have been linked to a new and extremely rare blood-clotting syndrome.

Because of that, Dr. Shelly Deeks, vice-chair of the committee, said someone working from home in a province where there is not much disease might want to wait for a shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

But she said it would be a very different risk-benefit analysis for someone working in a manufacturing plant without personal protective equipment in a province where COVID-19 is spreading like wildfire.

NACI’s advice appears to contradict Health Canada’s long-standing recommendation that the best vaccine is the first one available.

Some doctors took to social media to denounce NACI’s latest advice, warning that the committee is sowing confusion and exacerbating vaccine hesitancy.

4 a.m.: The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 4 a.m. ET on Tuesday May 4, 2021.

There are 1,243,242 confirmed cases in Canada (83,544 active, 1,135,356 resolved, 24,342 deaths). The total case count includes 13 confirmed cases among repatriated travellers.

There were 7,546 new cases Monday. The rate of active cases is 219.82 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 55,325 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 7,904.

There were 42 new reported deaths Monday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 332 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 47. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.12 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 64.05 per 100,000 people.

There have been 31,897,888 tests completed.

4 a.m.: The latest numbers on COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada as of 4 a.m. ET on Tuesday May 4, 2021.

In Canada, the provinces are reporting 226,014 new vaccinations administered for a total of 14,051,490 doses given. Nationwide, 1,136,877 people or 3.0 per cent of the population has been fully vaccinated. The provinces have administered doses at a rate of 37,075.879 per 100,000.

There were 90,500 new vaccines delivered to the provinces and territories for a total of 14,952,634 doses delivered so far. The provinces and territories have used 93.97 per cent of their available vaccine supply.

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