News release For Immediate Release
#Canada; #CCOHS; SharingOfPandemicResources; COVID19Pandemic; #PandemicResearch
Hamilton, Apr 20 (Canadian-Media): The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) has provided an online space, Pandemic Info Share, to enable businesses and organizations to share their pandemic-related good practices and resources.
CCOHS hopes workplaces may find the information in the Pandemic Info Share website helpful in developing their own plans and that it could help accelerate development and uptake of processes and resources that may help workplaces operate safely during this pandemic.
The website is available in English and French, and users can search by industry/sector, resource type, and topics.
Good practices and resources can be submitted for consideration to Pandemic Info Share at http://pandemic.ccohs.ca.
“We are excited to make this resource available to organizations of all types as we see it as a way to accelerate peer-to-peer and cross-sector learning so that workplaces can adapt shared good practices and resources to their own needs,” Anne Tennier, President and Chief Executive Officer at the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) said.
“We know that organizations will soon be thinking about return-to-work and re-integration plans. This website will be a good way to share their plans and learn from each other so that re-integration plans can be executed safely and in an orderly manner,” said Anne Tennier
Pandemic Info Share is facilitated by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) for the sole purpose of sharing pandemic-related resources. CCOHS does not guarantee, warrant or represent that the resources and information provided through the links on this website are correct, accurate or current, nor does it endorse the sites and their content.
#CanadaToSupportCanadianJournalism; #CanadianJournalism; #AidToPublishersGrant
Ottawa, Apr (Canadian-Media): Now more than ever, a strong and independent news media is crucial to supporting an informed public and a well-functioning democracy.
Last month, the Government of Canada announced action to support the Canadian news and broadcasting sectors during the COVID-19 pandemic, including the establishment of an Advisory Board and its membership to assist the Government in administering the journalism tax measures introduced in Budget 2019.
Today, the Government is releasing draft legislative proposals that would make adjustments to these tax measures to help ensure that they achieve their initial objectives. These changes would:
#Toronto; #CoordinatedCOVID19EnforcementTeam; #PublicHealth; #ProvincialDirections
Toronto, Apr 19 (Canadian-Media): The City of Toronto said the Coordinated COVID-19 Enforcement Team, formed in response to COVID-19, is out all weekend monitoring people across the city to assure that public health direction and provincial orders are being followed, media reports said.
Enforcement Team comprises of staff from Municipal Licensing & Standards, Parks, Forestry & Recreation, Toronto Public Health, Toronto Building, and Toronto Police Service.
19 tickets were issued by bylaw and police officers yesterday, bringing the total to 338 since April 3, after the City received 440 complaints that people were using outdoor amenities or not practising physical distancing in parks.
The City also received 30 complaints yesterday related to non-essential businesses remaining open in contravention of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. 41 tickets and 117 notices to non-essential businesses have already been issued by Municipal Licensing & Standards and Toronto Public Health since March 24.
With the weather improving, the enforcement team continues to see troubling behaviour as people become frustrated with restrictions have started to to build fire pits at Bluffers Park and gatherings were observed at the boat launch in King’s Mill Park.
Signage and barriers are still being removed by people at many locations as well as formation of long lines without proper social distancing continue outside businesses. Most disturbing, an enforcement officer was assaulted in a park yesterday while performing his duties. An arrest has been made.
The City’s website is updated daily with the latest health advice and information about City services, social supports and economic recovery measures.
#India; #Covid19; #MeasuresTakenToContainVirus
Toronto, Apr 16 (Canadian-Media): As of 11 April 2020, there are 5916 confirmed cases; and 178 deaths related to COVID-19 in India, Consul General of India Toronto reported.
I.Early measures taken to reduce the contagion rate of COVID-19 are as follows:
India took early proactive measures which ensured we stay ahead of the curve;
II.The Largest lock-down in the world
This lockdown was truly unprecedented. It has included, for instance; Stoppage of over 13,000 railway passenger services a day, for the first time in India’s history as a Republic. We also stopped all flight services, most public transport and so on.
Even the WHO acknowledged that our public health responses were proactive, pre-emptive and graded.
And yet we maintained continuity of essential services—power supply, water, energy, food products, banking, even delivering essential goods to India's neighbours—at this time.
Such measures were inevitable for India because we had no other realistic choice. It is a measure of the acceptance of this need that all political parties, in all of India’s 28 States and Union Territories have enforced the lockdown.
This is because all public authorities in India know that there are immense variations in availability of medical services and infrastructure in India. Therefore, an exponential rise in the infection rate could overwhelm our doctors and hospitals.
The initial results have been positive. Data shows that our lockdown let us:
III.Measures to mitigate the socio-economic costs:
In terms of mitigation:
It has been heartening to see how positively the nation has responded to the lockdown, recognizing the compulsions and the challenge before India. People responded enthusiastically to Prime Minister’s call to demonstrate appreciation to health workers, and again to light lamps of hope. Indeed, recognition of the seriousness of the challenge can be gauged by the fact that Indians at every level of society are doing their best to follow instructions, as can be seen by the wide usage of masks.
IV.Partnership with the world to fight this international pandemic-
All of these steps have been undertaken after ensuring that we have capacity to address our own needs, while at the same time being mindful of the commercial commitments of our companies and the needs of other citizens of the world, at this time of great humanitarian stress.
At the same time, we are committed to the larger international effort to find both a vaccine and to improve treatment protocols. We are ready to contribute to research in the quest for a vaccine; to make any such candidate vaccines at mass scale and at affordable price points; as well as in the production of affordable medicines to treat the disease.
We are also prepared to work with our international partners to ensure that the international organizations that serve as both global control towers and repositories of best practice, are suitably upgraded to help humanity address future global challenges better than this pandemic has been handled.
V.The way forward.
While it is not possible to forecast what steps we may need to take in future, India will continue to take all possible measures to reduce the spread of this contagion.
#WHO; #COVID19Pandemic; #HealthInequalities; #DomesticViolence; #ChildrenEducation; #Nutrition; #Healthcare; #vaccinationCampaigns; #FAO; #OIE; #WFP
Geneva, Apr 16 (Canadian-Media): Following is the extract of the opening remarks by Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of World Health Organization (WHO) at the Mission briefing at Geneva on Apr 16, media reports said.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Image credit: Wikipedia
"Almost 2 million cases of COVID-19 have now been reported to WHO from around the world, and more than 123,000 deaths.
That’s more than 40,000 more deaths since I spoke to you last week.
This is an alarming and tragic increase.
At the same time, we’re seeing encouraging signs in some countries that have been the epicenter of the pandemic.
As you know, some countries are now considering lifting social and economic restrictions.
This is something we all want - but it must be done extremely carefully.
If done too quickly, we risk a resurgence that could be even worse than our present situation.
Our new strategy update outlines six factors for countries as they consider lifting restrictions: First, that transmission is controlled; Second, that health system capacities are in place to detect, test, isolate and treat every case and trace every contact; Third, that outbreak risks are minimized in special settings like health facilities and nursing homes; Fourth, that preventive measures are in place in workplaces, schools and other places where it’s essential for people to go; Fifth, that importation risks can be managed; And sixth, that communities are fully educated, engaged and empowered to adjust to the “new norm”.
At the same time, the virus is moving into countries and communities where many people live in overcrowded conditions, and physical distancing is nearly impossible.
COVID-19 magnifies our existing health inequalities.
Governments must consider that for some countries and communities, stay-at-home orders may not be practical, and may even cause unintended harm.
Millions of people around the world must work every day to put food on the table. They cannot stay at home for long periods of time without assistance.
We are concerned by some reports in the media about violence erupting as a result of physical distancing restrictions.
We’re also concerned by reports of an increasing trend in domestic violence linked to the stay-at-home measures. This must be an area of focus for all countries.
Meanwhile, schools have closed for an estimated 1.4 billion children. This has halted their education, opened some to increased risk of abuse, and deprived many children of their primary source of nutrition and health care.
The pandemic is also disrupting the provision of essential health services and hampering our fight against other priority diseases.
Vaccination campaigns for polio have already been put on hold, and other vaccination programs are at risk because of border closures and disruptions to travel.
Since Friday there have been four new cases of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, after 54 days without a new case.
I would like to use this opportunity, taking you back to COVID, to make a few remarks about wet markets.
Reports in some media on WHO’s view on the re-opening of wet markets in China are not correct.
The World Health Organization's position remains that all sectors affected by COVID-19—including food markets—in China and around the world need to ensure strong regulatory systems, high standards of cleanliness, hygiene and safety once they are in a position to gradually resume normal activities.
WHO maintains that governments should rigorously enforce bans on the sale of wildlife. And they must enforce food safety and hygiene regulations to ensure that food that is sold in markets is safe.
WHO has provided guidance and support to countries on safe and healthy markets, including guidance for food businesses on COVID-19 and on food safety and live markets.
WHO has been working closely with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, to prevent zoonotic diseases in all concerned sectors.
World Organization for Animal Health Paris. Image credit: Wikipedia
WHO is committed to working with all countries to find tailored solutions to stop transmission, while ensuring essential health services continue and mitigating the social and economic impacts of the pandemic.
Only by working together will we bring this pandemic under control.
The work has to happen not only at the international and national level, but also at the community level.
I've been seeing some good news stories.
Earlier this week I had the honour of speaking to leaders from the ASEAN-plus-three countries.
As a result of their experience with SARS and avian influenza, these countries have put in place measures and systems that are now helping them to detect and respond to COVID-19.
In Africa, people are mobilizing.
Long experience with managing diseases like HIV and tuberculosis means that some countries already have the expertise, laboratory infrastructure, and networks of community health workers that will be critical in containing COVID-19.
There are also reports of community groups in poor neighborhoods setting up hand-washing stations and distributing soap, bleach and hand sanitizer, and actively combatting misinformation.
Other countries are working on proactive screening, putting in hand washing stations at transport hubs, and creating call centres and celebrity campaigns to raise awareness.
Last week, we launched the United Nations Supply Chain Task Force, with the World Food Programme and other partners inside and outside the UN.
This emergency supply chain is designed to cover more than 30% of the world’s needs in the acute phase of the pandemic.
It will have hubs in eight countries and will deploy sixteen 747s and medium-sized cargo aircraft, plus passenger planes.
Every month we will be shipping millions of supplies, including personal protective gear, respirators, lab equipment and oxygen, as well as medical and technical staff.
The first Solidarity Flight took off on Tuesday, and more will follow.
Today I’m pleased to welcome Amer Daoudi, the Director of Logistics and Food Procurement at the World Food Programme.
We’re working with my brother David Beasley very closely.
Thank you, Amer, and thank you to the World Food Programme for your support and partnership.
The WFP estimates it will need approximately US$280 million, simply to cover the costs of storing and moving supplies. The costs of procuring supplies will be much greater.
We urge donors to support this vitally important system and the World Food Programme.
We’re all in this together. And we will only succeed together."
To help limit the spread of COVID-19, Parks Canada suspends camping, group activities, and events across the country until at least May 31, 2020
#Canada; #ParksCanadaClosed; #Covid19Pandemic
Ottawa, Apr 15 (Canadian-Media): Parks Canada is committed to protecting the health and safety of Canadians, visitors, and its employees. The Agency is calling on Canadians to stay home and help limit the spread of COVID-19. Camping, group activities and events at all national parks, national historic sites, heritage canals and national marine conservation areas are suspended until at least May 31, 2020. The current suspension of visitor services and vehicle access by visitors, as well as the temporary closure of visitor facilities, will remain in place until further notice.
“The Government of Canada is asking Canadians to stay home and help limit the spread of COVID-19. Parks Canada is taking these additional measures to help keep people safe. Like all Canadians, I love our national parks and historic sites, but at this time we must all continue to do our part to flatten the curve, look out for one another, and make choices that will help reduce the pressure on our health care system.” said Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada.
Jonathan Wilkinson. Image credit: Facebook page
· All visitor services, including reception, information, lockage and mooring are suspended until further notice;
· All visitor facilities, including parking lots, washrooms, day use areas and visitor centres are closed until further notice;
· All camping facilities including backcountry camping, oTENTiks, and other roofed accommodations remain closed until further notice;
· All events, group and interpretive activities are cancelled until at least May 31, 2020;
· Parks Canada will not be taking new reservations until at least June 1, 2020. All existing reservations set to take place prior to May 31, 2020, will be automatically cancelled and refunded in full.
These measures are necessary to support the national effort to limit the spread of COVID-19 and reduce health and safety risks to all Canadians. While the Agency looks forward to resuming services, anyone planning a visit should be aware that these measures may extend beyond May 2020 and any resumption of services will take time or be incremental in nature.
Parks Canada will continue to deliver services critical for Canadians, including highway maintenance, fire response, dam operations and water management on historic waterways, avalanche control, among others.
Detailed information on Parks Canada places and the measures the Agency is taking to limit the spread of COVID-19 can be found at pc.gc.ca. Please check regularly for updates.
#Ontario; #EmergencyDeclarationExtended; #EmergencyManagementandCivilProtectionAct; #Covid19Pandemic
Toronto, Apr 15 (Canadian-Media): On the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and with the approval of the Ontario legislature, the Ontario government is extending the Declaration of Emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act for a further 28 days. This will allow the government to continue to use every tool at its disposal to protect the health and safety of the people of Ontario during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Passed during a special sitting of the Ontario legislature and with the full cooperation of all parties, the Declaration of Emergency has been extended until May 12. The extension of the provincial declaration of emergency allows Ontario to continue to enforce current emergency orders, such as the closure of all non-essential workplaces, outdoor amenities such as parks and recreational areas, public places and bars and restaurants, as well as restrictions on social gatherings of more than five people, and prohibitions against price-gouging. A full list of emergency orders can be found on the e-Laws website under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.
"During these unprecedented times, we cannot let our guard down. The actions being taken by everyone to stay home and practice physical distancing are making a difference, but we are not out of the woods yet," said Premier Ford. "With the support of every Ontario MPP, we continue to take any and all actions necessary to support our frontline health care workers and respond rapidly and decisively to slow the spread of this deadly virus."
Doug Ford. Image credit: Twitter handle
The legislature also passed the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Support and Protection Act to amend the Education Act, Planning Act, Development Charges Act, Police Services Act and the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities Act. This new legislation demonstrates that the government is actively listening to the concerns of education and municipal stakeholders during this COVID-19 emergency.
"This legislation is about protecting the health and economic interests of Ontarians," said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education. "We will do whatever it takes to get through this challenge ― most especially for the next generation ― so that students continue learning and graduating."
The amendments to the Education Act will allow school boards to continue charging fees on new construction in order to retain a vital source of revenue for new school projects. The bill also includes an amendment to provide a fair and consistent provincewide approach to addressing school suspensions and expulsions as part of the government's commitment to the safety of students and staff upon the reopening of schools.
The changes to the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities Act will temporarily suspend student loan payments for OSAP borrowers and initiate a six-month interest-free moratorium on OSAP loans.
"We are taking action to ease the financial burden for students and current borrowers during the COVID-19 outbreak," said Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities. "By temporarily suspending loan repayments and interest accrual, our government is providing immediate support for OSAP borrowers during these challenging times."
The government is making it possible to suspend certain municipal planning decision timelines during the state of emergency, and change the Development Charges Act to ensure municipalities can continue to count on a vital source of revenue that helps pay for local growth-related infrastructure, such as roads, water and sewers as well as fire and police services. The amendments to the Police Services Act also allow the Solicitor General to give municipalities an extension beyond January 1, 2021 to prepare and adopt a community safety and well-being plan.
"Nothing is more important than protecting the health and well-being of all individuals and families," said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. "We have listened to our municipal partners and made these changes to help them better manage staff time and resources so they can focus on the COVID-19 outbreak."
"In these unprecedented times, our government is doing everything in its power to support our municipal, policing and community partners," said Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General. "While Community Safety and Well-Being Plans are an important tool for municipalities to keep our communities safe, we need them to focus on allocating resources where they are needed most right now, and that is to stop the spread of COVID-19."