Toronto, Ottawa, Peel want province-wide stay-at-home order, schools moved online

Australia, New Zealand lift travel restrictions; Norwegian Cruise Lines ready to set sail

Provincial health officials say it’ll take time for measures introduced last week, to halt the spike in Covid cases, to have the desired impact.

Health officials in Toronto, Peel and Ottawa – regions hardest hit by the virus – don’t think we can wait.

They’ve written to Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams, asking for a province-wide stay at home order. They want non-essential retail and businesses closed, schools moved online if “outbreaks are significant” and provincial travel restrictions put in place. The Ontario Medical Association is also calling for more restrictions as COVID numbers continue to rise and hospitals are on the verge of what some are calling a catastrophe.

Health units in Peel Region and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph have announced they are closing schools for at least two weeks.

Queen’s Park reported more than 3,000 new cases on Sunday and 2,938 on Sunday

India sets daily record for new cases

India reported a record 103,558 new cases on Monday, crossing the 100,000 mark for daily infections for the first time since the pandemic began. More than 12.6 million people have tested positive for COVID-19 in India, the world’s third-largest epidemic by caseload.

During the first wave in September, daily cases peaked at 97,570, but those numbers dropped sharply over the winter to about 10,000 cases per day. 

Light at the end of the tunnel

At the other end of this, residents of New Zealand and Australia will be able to travel freely between the two countries without needing to quarantine starting April 19. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said health officials believe the risk of the virus being transmitted from Australia is low and that travel is now safe.

And Norwegian Cruise Lines hopes to set sail again in July. All passengers and crew on its ships to be ‘100 per cent vaccinated’ two weeks before boarding. The US Centers for Disease Control has said fully vaccinated people can travel and no longer need to quarantine before and after. 

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