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Sweden is admitting it was wrong...

Sweden is moving away from its no-lockdown strategy and preparing strict new rules amid rising coronavirus cases

  • Sweden's health officials are set to unveil strict new coronavirus rules for local regions to impose.
  • The country opted against lockdown measures in response to the first wave of the pandemic.
  • Growing case numbers in areas like the cities of Stockholm and Uppsala, however, have prompted a rethink.
  • Authorities in the worst-affected areas are set to have the power to strongly recommend people to avoid public transport, busy public places, and contact with those considered most vulnerable.
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I don't get Fox News so I never watch it.  I have, of course, seen short clips.  I do get CNN but can't watch it because I find it falls into your "sewer pipe" characterization above.  I think it

Following is why I would never support a bailout from our government to help out professional sports teams Raptors re-sign Fred VanVleet to four-year, $85-million deal Doug Smith By Doug Smit

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With the election pending, it will be interesting to see if he's right. History will likely record all this as the biggest self inflicted economic disaster in human history:

Here's something to be frightened of next year as the World Economic Forum seeks to entrench the madness. Shout conspiracy theory all you want but the words may ring pretty hollow next year at this time... as the very people you can't trust to fill potholes begin telling you how to live your life and imposing restrictions for your own good.

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While our government trips over itself “keeping Canadians safe, having our backs” generally choking the life out of the country, while assuring us rapid testing kits are on the way.....somebody should tell our Health Minister about Costco!,-redeemed-by-azova.product.100706742.html?fbclid=IwAR0mBESS8ks6Qp38-AFceqRAsmI-1h9uAy1Ku7zZSJ_QQYoyG23NiuVgSvI

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6 minutes ago, st27 said:

While our government trips over itself “keeping Canadians safe, having our backs” generally choking the life out of the country, while assuring us rapid testing kits are on the way.....somebody should tell our Health Minister about Costco!,-redeemed-by-azova.product.100706742.html?fbclid=IwAR0mBESS8ks6Qp38-AFceqRAsmI-1h9uAy1Ku7zZSJ_QQYoyG23NiuVgSvI

1.)  That's the US website and is intended for Americans only.

2.) 24-72 hours is not rapid testing and this test requires a lab.

3.) PCR tests have been shown to have between 50-90% false positive results - less than useful.


Actual "rapid testing" will come from a company such as Sona Nanotech.  Their test gives results in 15 minutes and is point-of-care (no shipping/lab/external equipment needed).  This test is lateral flow immunochromatographic not PCR.  It is 90% accurate rather than 90% wrong.

I mentioned this company here back in April or May - final approval from Health Canada is imminent.


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34 minutes ago, mo32a said:

And that is when I invested in them, turned out pretty good.

Great.  Are you asking where to send the commission cheque? 

Haha, if you still got them I think you're in for a big surprise (at least that's my read on the situation anyway).

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MPs vote to open investigation into

MPs vote to open investigation into federal COVID-19 response
Ryan Patrick Jones  9 hrs agoMPs vote to open investigation into federal COVID-19 response

The House of Commons health committee will begin a wide-ranging investigation into the federal government's COVID-19 pandemic response after MPs passed a Conservative motion today that calls for sweeping document disclosures and the testimony of several cabinet ministers.

New Democrats and the Bloc Québécois joined the Official Opposition to pass the motion this afternoon by a vote of 176 to 152.

The motion passed over the strenuous objections of the Liberal government and multiple industry groups, companies and other experts who warned that such a broad investigation could hamper the federal response to the pandemic's second wave and undermine the relationship between the government and key suppliers of medical equipment.

The motion directs the government to hand over to the committee a trove of documents, emails and other records from several departments and agencies by Nov. 30.

The investigation itself is to cover a variety of topics, ranging from the Public Health Agency of Canada's communications strategy and the data used to inform federal public health guidelines to the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE) and the country's level of preparedness for another pandemic.

The Conservatives have argued the scrutiny will help Parliamentarians learn from the mistakes of the first wave, do a better job of dealing with the ongoing second wave and prepare for future outbreaks.

""There are people worrying about continued business shutdowns, being isolated from family members. And because of this, now is the perfect time for Parliament to be working together, to be questioning whether what we're doing in terms of a response from the federal government is working," Conservative health critic Michelle Rempel Garner told reporters this morning.

The Liberals originally argued that gathering the requested material would distract civil servants from their work on the COVID-19 response. Today, Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand said the investigation would jeopardize the ability of the federal government to secure adequate supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE), COVID-19 rapid tests and vaccines.

"As we are in the middle of the second wave and the number of COVID cases continues to increase, this is not the time for this motion to be passed," Anand told reporters.

"This is not the time to threaten and weaken our relationships with our suppliers, on whom Canadians' health and safety depends."

Anand said the extensive disclosure requested by the Official Opposition — particularly of documents related to the purchase of PPE, medical devices and pharmaceuticals — could lead to the accidental release of sensitive corporate information.

If that happens, Anand said, it could undermine the federal government's relationship with key companies at a time when it remains locked in tense contract negotiations to secure medical supplies in a competitive global environment.

Rempel Garner, who originally presented the motion, rejected Anand's comments as "hyperbolic" and "bombastic." She said the government was "fearmongering" and that the motion includes appropriate safeguards to ensure that sensitive corporate information remains under wraps.

She accused the Liberals of trying to trigger an election, although the government has pledged not to treat this motion as a confidence matter.

Disagreement over redactions
Part of the dispute between the Liberals and Conservatives came down to who will get to decide which information is redacted from the documents.

The final text of the motion includes language providing for the withholding of information from the committee due to concerns about personal privacy, national security or cabinet confidentiality, along with any information that, if disclosed, could "interfere with contractual or other negotiations between the Government of Canada and a third party."

The House of Commons law clerk will decide which information should be redacted, according to the motion. Anand warned that the clerk does not have the expertise in procurement needed to properly redact records that would surface through the probe.

"It's not just a question of violating existing contracts that, for example, may have confidentiality clauses in them," said Anand. 

"It's also a question of undermining current negotiations, which the House of Commons law clerk may not have knowledge of, and therefore may undermine the approach that we have been taking to our procurements."

WATCH: Procurement minister says releasing COVID-19 response documents could put contracts in jeopardy

Anand said the Liberals proposed putting the the Privy Council Office (PCO) in charge of making redactions, but the Conservatives rejected that idea. The PCO co-ordinates the actions of the government across departments and serves as the bureaucracy for the Prime Minister's Office.

Rempel Garner said the law clerk's office has the expertise necessary to determine what information should be redacted and that the PCO is not independent enough from the government to do so.

"I don't believe that the government should be redacting its own documents," said Rempel Garner.

Opposition from health experts, industry
A variety of industry groups, companies and other experts spoke out against the Conservative motion before it passed.

Dr. David Naylor, co-chair of the federal government's COVID-19 immunity task force, said the proposed study is too expansive and will ultimately create more work and distractions for the federal public service at a time when it is already working flat-out.

Last week, a major industry association said releasing confidential documents detailing the federal government's business deals with suppliers of personal protective equipment and testing devices could hurt Canadian manufacturers and sully Canada's global business reputation.

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Canada is the latest to express concerns about the probe. In a statement, Pfizer says it wants to know how its commercial secrets will be protected.

"We are deeply concerned with the implications and unintended consequences of the motion on our COVID-19 vaccine studies and program as well as the ongoing discussions around the procurement of the vaccine," the statement said.

"We respectfully invite parliamentarians to consider including stronger language in a new motion that would specifically cover scientific and commercial sensitive information."

sensitive information."


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Are we ready?


Coronavirus deaths suddenly surge in Europe as hospital ICUs fill up

The European pandemic death tally is suddenly surging after weeks of slow increases, alarming governments whose hospital intensive care units are filling up alarmingly fast.

In recent days, Italy, France, Britain, Spain, the Netherland, Russia and other countries have reported sharp increases in pandemic deaths. On Tuesday, France reported 522 deaths, the most since late April. Britain recorded 367 deaths, the most since May. And Italy saw 221 deaths, also the most since May, when its national lockdown, the first in Europe, eased off.

The World Health Organization on Tuesday said European COVID-19 deaths are up 35 per cent over the previous week; new deaths in Europe accounted for almost one-third of the global total. “The number of new cases and deaths in the European region are increasing exponentially,” the WHO said, even if the proportion of deaths to cases remains relatively low, for now.


“We have to prepare for difficult decisions”

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Europe, US face new round of shutdowns amid virus surge; India's cases surpass 8 million, second worst behind US


A new wave of lockdowns and business closings swept across France, Germany and other places in Europe on as surging coronavirus infections there and in the U.S. wipe out months of progress against the scourge on two continents. Todd Richmond and Frank Jordans report.


“We are deep in the second wave," the European Commission President said. “I think that this year’s Christmas will be a different Christmas."


France has announced a full nationwide lockdown for the second time this year and German officials imposed a partial four-week lockdown as governments across Europe sought to stop a fast-rising tide of infections and deaths.


Switzerland, Italy, Bulgaria and Greece have closed or otherwise clamped down again on nightspots and imposed other restrictions such as curfews and mandatory mask-wearing. Madrid and other parts of Spain banned all but essential travel in and out of their regions.


With cases surging in many central European countries, soldiers, firefighters, students and retired doctors are being asked to help shore up buckling health care systems.


Even before the pandemic, many central European countries faced a tragic shortage of medical personnel due to years of underfunding in their public health sectors and an exodus of doctors and nurses to better paying jobs in Western Europe, Karel Janicek in the Czech Republic and Vanessa Gera in Poland report. 


In the U.S., where practically every state is seeing a rise in cases, hard-hit Wisconsin has been reduced to pleading with people to stay home, after an order the governor issued in the spring was overturned by the courts. Illinois' governor banned indoor dining and drinking in Chicago this week. Other states are also considering reimposing restrictions.


India's Spiraling Cases: The world's second most populous nation now has a confirmed coronavirus caseload that has surpassed 8 million as concerns grew over a major Hindu festival season and winter setting in. India’s trajectory is moving toward the worst-hit country, the United States, which has over 8.8 million cases, Ashok Sharma reports from New Delhi.


Australia Travel Ban: The country has sought to prevent new cases from reaching its shores by banning most residents from leaving in the first place. The ban creates a heartbreaking burden on a multicultural population, where around half the country was born overseas or has an immigrant parent. With Australia becoming one of the most successful countries in containing the spread of the virus, some are questioning how long the ban can be justified, Rod McGuirk reports.


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18 minutes ago, Malcolm said:

The ban creates a heartbreaking burden on a multicultural population, where around half the country was born overseas or has an immigrant parent.

See, this is what I hate about today's MSM reporting...I sometimes think every newspaper in the world is staffed by minimum wage high school drop outs.

Heart breaking burden? I would suggest they should be damn happy they made it out of those countries in the first place. At a minimum they should be praising the Australian leadership.

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Appropriate analogy. "The curve is flattening so we can start lifting restrictions now" is like saying "The parachute has slowed our rate of descent, so we can take it off now."

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Canada’s Ambassador to the United States Kirsten Hillman said there is no justification to ease the Canada-U.S. land border restrictions any time soon.
Speaking to CTV’s Power Play on Friday, Hillman stressed that either country is not prepared to loosen border restrictions before 2021.

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Montreal police crash illegal party in Ahuntsic, with dozens not wearing masks, not distancing
CBC/Radio-Canada  2 hrs ago
Damian Warner out of the cold, into temporary training home for Tokyo…
Aegean Sea earthquake: Rescuers have pulled more than 100 earthquake… logoMontreal police crash illegal party in Ahuntsic, with dozens not wearing masks, not distancing

More than 80 people are at risk of paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in combined fines after Montreal police officers discovered an illegal party last night in a commercial building in Ahuntsic.

Montreal police crashed an illegal party last night, with more than 80 people gathered indoors without masks.© (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press) Montreal police crashed an illegal party last night, with more than 80 people gathered indoors without masks.
Police spokesperson Jean-Pierre Brabant says officers followed up on a tip and discovered 83 people — all of them in their 20s — inside a building on Louvain Street, none were wearing facemasks or keeping a two-metre distance from others.

"It's not actually a bar. It's a place that was probably rented to throw a party inside," said Brabant. "There was a warrant that was asked on site so we could go in."

Fines for failing to wear a facemask range from $400 to $6,000, and fines for illegal gatherings can cost as much $1,500.

Drugs were also seized last night, Brabant said, as well as alcohol due to it being served without a legal permit.

The SPVM spokesperson said officers filled out infraction reports and it will be up the director of criminal and penal prosecutions to determine how many fines will be handed out.

The people present are said to have to cooperated with police.



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Halloween crowds pack Vancouver’s Granville strip during COVID-19

By Simon Little  Global News
Posted November 1, 2020 10:30 am
Up Next: West Coast Express marks 25 years of operation
close video

Halloween crowds pack Vancouver's Granville strip

Despite multiple pleas from health officials this week to keep Halloween gatherings small, huge crowds of people packed Vancouver’s Granville strip on Saturday night.

Multiple videos posted to social media showed people dancing and celebrating on the street, many of them not wearing masks.

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What's happening in Canada 

WATCH | Manitoba doctors warn of dire situation in hospitals:

Manitoba doctors warn of dire situation in hospitals ahead of new COVID-19 restrictions

10 hours ago
Manitoba doctors have warned the government for a second time about the critical situation inside the province’s hospitals as the COVID-19 epidemic in the province gets further out of control. Renewed restrictions go into effect Monday, but some fear is it's too little, too late. 2:06

As of early Monday morning, provinces and territories in Canada had reported a cumulative total of 236,841 confirmed or presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 197,729 as recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC's reporting stood at 10,179.

Manitoba residents are seeing new restrictions as the province tries to slow the spread of COVID-19 after a record number of new cases over the weekend. The Winnipeg area, now under the province's highest alert level, has several new temporary restrictions around gathering size and business capacity. 

The province reported 312 new COVID-19 case on Sunday, bringing the total number of cases reported in the province since the novel coronavirus emerged to 6,034. As of Sunday, there were 120 people with COVID-19 in hospital, including 18 in intensive care. The province's test positivity rate stood at 8.9 per cent, according to the provincial COVID-19 dashboard.

Saskatchewan reported 74 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, marking five days in a row where the number of new cases has topped 60. The province has reported 25 deaths since the pandemic began.

Health officials in British Columbia and Alberta don't provide updated figures over the weekend. In Calgary, a hospital is facing COVID-19 outbreaks in three units. In Vancouver, people gathered in the downtown entertainment district on Saturday night to celebrate Halloween, despite warnings from public health officials to avoid large groups. 

In Ontario, the city of Brampton's weekly test positivity rate rose to 9.6 per cent for the week ending Oct. 24, according to a Peel Health Surveillance report published on Oct. 30. This represents a 1.5 per cent increase from the previous week, when Brampton, which is northwest of Toronto, sat at 8.1 per cent positivity. This is well above the five per cent benchmark used by infectious disease experts to signal the virus is under control.

Two Quebec regions — Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean and Chaudière-Appalaches — are moving into Quebec's highest state of alert for COVID-19, joining Quebec City, Montreal, Laval and several other regions labelled "red zones" by the province. 

In Atlantic Canada, Nova Scotia reported two new COVID-19 cases on Sunday. The Central Zone cases were under investigation, health officials said.  

New Brunswick reported one new COVID-19 case on Sunday, saying the person was between 30 and 39 and lived in the Fredericton region. There were no new cases reported in Newfoundland and Labrador or Prince Edward Island, which has no active cases. 

There were no new cases reported in Yukon, the Northwest Territories or Nunavut over the weekend.

With files from CBC News, Reuters and The Canadian Press

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The outbreak by the numbers (as of 9:40 a.m. Monday, Nov. 2, 2020):

  • Globally: 46,632,558 cases  |  31,148,323 recovered  |  1,201,927 deceased
  • Canada: 236,841 cases  |  197,729 recovered  |  10,179 deceased
  • British Columbia: 14,381 cases  |  11,670 recovered  |  263 deceased
  • Alberta: 27,664 cases  |  22,169 recovered  |  323 deceased
  • Saskatchewan: 3,218 cases  |  2,395 recovered  |  25 deceased
  • Manitoba: 6,034 cases  |  2,704 recovered  |  75 deceased
  • Ontario: 75,730 cases  |  64,717 recovered  |  3,136 deceased
  • Quebec: 106,981 cases  |  91,488 recovered  |  6,272 deceased
  • New Brunswick: 344 cases  |  303 recovered  |  6 deceased
  • Nova Scotia: 1,111 cases  |  1,033 recovered  |  65 deceased
  • Prince Edward Island: 64 cases  |  64 recovered
  • Newfoundland and Labrador: 291 cases  |  284 recovered  |  4 deceased
  • Yukon: 23 cases  |  17 recovered
  • Northwest Territories: 10 cases  |  8 recoveries
  • Nunavut: 0 cases
  • Trenton (CFB quarantine): 13 cases  |  13 recoveries
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Coronavirus: How Victoria tamed its second wave is the envy of the world

  • 27/10/2020


If the past few months have been like a long-haul flight, Victorians are now standing in the aisles waiting for the cabin door to open, a little groggy and disoriented but relieved.

They have every right to be. No other place in the world has tamed a second wave this large. Few have even come close.


It's not a competition

Comparing different countries' fights against COVID-19 is not a straightforward exercise, given differences in demography, geography, health system capability, and government strategy.

Perhaps most importantly, not every country has tried to get down to zero, or near zero, community transmission. This may not have been a realistic goal for countries with less border control than Australia.

Also, as Victorians understand acutely, the virus is unpredictable. Today, as the crisis accelerates in Europe and elsewhere, Victoria's zero new cases are the envy of the world. But there can be no certainty about where things will be in a few months' time.


All of this is to say that a favourable international comparison should not encourage complacency. But it is nevertheless true that Victoria’s efforts are notable on the world stage. The state’s success has warded off a significant human toll and further economic damage. As a result, Australia has a much better chance of returning to an approximation of “normal life” in the new year.

Victorians should be proud of these efforts, and the starkly different outcomes in countries that were in a similar position should reassure them that the efforts were worthwhile.

Surfing the second wave: Victoria, Singapore, then daylight

On August 5, Victoria’s seven-day average of daily new cases reached 533, the worst numbers seen anywhere in Australia.

Several other countries had similar numbers around that time, including Canada, Japan, Singapore, and most of Europe. They had taken different paths to get there; for Europe, these numbers represented a low ebb, not a peak. But the trajectories after this period diverged even more dramatically.

As the chart below shows, case numbers in several European countries began to accelerate steeply and are now much worse than ever. In contrast, Japan, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Singapore, and Australia have so far kept case numbers at a moderate level.


But as this next chart shows, there is significant divergence even among these relatively stable countries. Sweden appears on track to replicate the sharp acceleration seen elsewhere in Europe. In Denmark and Japan, case numbers remain at a moderate level but are not trending towards zero. Only Victoria and Singapore, which peaked at around 300, have returned to single digits.



Photo credit: Grattan Institute

By suppressing their second waves, Victoria and Singapore are well placed to join a small club of countries that have sustained zero or near-zero cases, including New Zealand, Thailand, Vietnam, China, and the rest of Australia. The dividend for these countries has been economic, not just health-related, as the chart below shows.



Photo credit: Grattan Institute

Victoria’s lockdown has been long and difficult, but it now occupies a rare and envious position. As Victorians await new freedoms on the next step towards COVID-normal, they should feel a sense of accomplishment.

Stephen Duckett is a Director of the Health Programme at Grattan Institute. Tom Crowley is an Associate at the Grattan Institute.

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The outbreak by the numbers (as of 9:00 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020):

  • Globally: 47,555,607 cases | 31,694,725 recovered | 1,216,173 deceased
  • Canada: 244,935 cases  |  203,510 recovered  |  10,279 deceased
  • British Columbia: 15,800 cases  |  12,430 recovered  |  272 deceased
  • Alberta: 29,932 cases  |  23,484 recovered  |  338 deceased
  • Saskatchewan: 3,373 cases  |  2,506 recovered  |  25 deceased
  • Manitoba: 6,377 cases  |  2,797 recovered  |  85 deceased
  • Ontario: 78,705 cases  |  67,244 recovered  |  3,166 deceased
  • Quebec: 108,889 cases  |  93,316 recovered  |  6,317 deceased
  • New Brunswick: 344 cases  |  309 recovered  |  6 deceased 
  • Nova Scotia: 1,114 cases  |  1,033 recovered  |  65 deceased
  • Prince Edward Island: 64 cases  |  64 recovered
  • Newfoundland and Labrador: 291 cases  |  284 recovered  |  4 deceased
  • Yukon: 23 cases  |  20 recovered
  • Northwest Territories: 10 cases  |  9 recovered
  • Nunavut: 0 cases
  • Trenton (CFB quarantine): 13 cases  |  13 recovered
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So much for the Swedish experiment.

Swedish PM isolates as COVID surges

Had contact with someone infected

  • Calgary Herald
  • 6 Nov 2020

STOCKHOLM • Sweden’s prime minister has gone into self-isolation on the advice of a doctor as the number of deaths from coronavirus in the country passes the 6,000 milestone.

Stefan Lofven announced Thursday that he had gone into self- isolation along with his wife, Ulla, after coming into contact with someone who had later tested positive for coronavirus.

“That is the only responsible thing to do in this situation,” he said. He would continue working remotely.

Sweden registered 4,034 new coronavirus cases, health agency data showed, the latest in a string of records set in recent days amid a pandemic resurgence that has struck the country later than many other parts of Europe, but which now appears to be rapidly gaining momentum.

The Public Health Agency has said the outbreak was likely more severe during the spring when Sweden periodically suffered some of Europe's highest per capita death tolls though limited testing at the time had meant many infections went undetected.

“We're both feeling fine and have no symptoms and are going to get tested as soon as possible, in accordance with the recommendations of the health authorities,” Lofven, 63, wrote on Facebook.

His isolation came as the number of deaths in the country due to coronavirus reached 6,002, with three new deaths confirmed over the past two days.

“The development is going in the wrong direction. More are getting infected,


more are dying,” he wrote. “It's a serious situation.”

Sweden's death rate per capita has been several times higher than its Nordic neighbours but lower than some larger European countries, such as Spain and Britain.

The intensifying outbreak has seen Sweden tighten the mostly voluntary recommendations on which it relies across much of the country.

Karin Tegmark Wisell, head of the microbiology department at the national health agency, said the percentage of positive tests had climbed to 9.7 per cent last week from 5.6 per cent the week before.

“There is continued increase in the number of cases in all regions except one,” she said.

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