August 12, 2022

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Global National: Feb. 1, 2021 | Calls to double-up face masks as new variants spread

In our top story: As new and troubling variants of COVID-19 become more prevalent around the world, there is an urgent need to find new ways to control the spread. There have been at least 138 people in Canada confirmed to have the variant first detected in the U.K. The first case of the South African variant in Ontario was confirmed Monday, with B.C. and Alberta having recently reported cases as well. Our knowledge about the novel coronavirus has evolved considerably since the start of the pandemic. In the early days, we were told masks weren’t necessary. Now, not only are they a vital part of our daily lives, there are calls to double them up for added protection. Heather Yourex-West reports.

The key to getting ahead of new variants is getting vaccines into the arms of Canadians. On that front, Canada is moving slowly with just over 960,000 doses administered across the country. That means about 2.2 per cent of the Canadian population has received at least one dose. Shipments of vaccines have slowed down because of cutbacks in production at Pfizer and Moderna plants in Europe. As Abigail Bimman explains, the threat of export controls in Europe is still looming.

In the U.S., January was by far the deadliest month in the pandemic. There are some signs of hope with vaccine distribution picking up and new infection numbers falling for the third straight week. The question now is whether America can stay ahead of the highly-infectious variants. Jackson Proskow reports.

The hard-fought battle for democracy in Myanmar has taken an ominous turn. In the early hours of Monday, the military announced it had seized power. There are troops patrolling the streets and democratically-elected politicians have been arrested. Lines of communication have also been cut, a night-time curfew is in force and a one-year state of emergency has been declared. Hopes that Myanmar was evolving into a democracy are on hold again. Eric Sorensen explains why the coup happened now and what it means for Myanmar’s future.

In the U.K., one of the most inspirational stories to emerge during the COVID-19 pandemic was that of Capt. Sir Tom Moore. The British Second World War veteran raised tens of millions of dollars for health-care workers by walking laps in his backyard ahead of his 100th birthday. But now, he is in hospital after having been diagnosed with COVID-19. It has prompted an outpouring of concern and support for the national hero. Redmond Shannon reports.

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