All developments in the COVID-19 pandemic

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Whether in Quebec or elsewhere on the planet, the COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting our lives.

Here you will find all the news throughout the day related to this crisis affecting the population, governments and the economy.

LAST REVIEW

World

Case: 40 877 528
Death: 1,126,251

Canada

Case: 203 688, 95 216 in Quebec
Death: 9794, 6055 in Quebec

ALL THE NEWS FOR OCTOBER 21, 2020

9:58 am | Amazon allows some employees to work from home until June 2021.

Amazon said Wednesday to extend the possibility for some employees to work from home until mid-2021 in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The health and safety of our employees is our number one priority and it will take some time before things get back to normal,” the online sales giant said in a blog post.

“Therefore, work that can be done efficiently from home can continue to be done from home until June 30, 2021,” the group said.

The number of people or jobs directly affected have not been detailed by Amazon.

The Seattle firm, in the northwest of the country, had more than 875,000 employees worldwide at the end of June 2020. It announced in mid-September the creation of 100,000 additional jobs in the United States and Canada to meet an explosion in demand.

9:15 am | Netherlands: King expresses regret after controversial vacation.

The King of the Netherlands Willem-Alexander expressed regret on Wednesday after being forced to interrupt a family vacation in Greece amid dissatisfaction from the Dutch, currently in “partial confinement” to fight the second wave of COVID-19.

“It hurts to have betrayed your trust in us,” said the monarch, sitting alongside Queen Maxima, in a video posted on Twitter by the Royal Palace.

Willem-Alexander concedes that it was “very unwise” to “ignore the impact of the new restrictions on our society,” adding that the decision to interrupt his trip was his own.

The royal family cut their vacation short on Saturday, a day after arriving in Greece, claiming to have taken into account the “intense” reaction from their fellow citizens, who are encouraged to limit their travel as much as possible.

9:12 am | The French government wants to be able to apply measures to restrict movement, gatherings or the opening of establishments at least until April 1, 2021 to fight COVID-19 according to a bill presented to the Council of Ministers on Wednesday.

7:53 am | Ireland prepares for the shock of a second lockdown.

Ireland is preparing to reconfine its entire population overnight from Wednesday to Thursday, a first in Europe in the face of the new coronavirus, but fears are strong of an even more severe shock this time.

“Refining us once again is devastating (…) during this period, the busiest for us” before Christmas, laments John Farrington, who runs an antique jewelry shop in central Dublin. “There are a lot of people who will have a really hard time overcoming this second confinement.”

As of Thursday, non-essential businesses like hers will have to close for six weeks, and bars and restaurants will only be able to serve take-out food.

Visits between different homes will be banned, and the Irish will have to stay at home, except to perform a job deemed essential or to exercise within a three-mile radius of their home.

Schools and nurseries will however remain open, the main difference with the spring confinement, which is already very long.

The coronavirus pandemic has killed at least 1,865 people in Ireland for a population of less than five million, according to official figures. After a peak of 77 deaths per day in April, the number of daily deaths sometimes reaches ten now.

7:51 am | The Czechs impose partial containment to fight the virus.

The Czech government on Wednesday announced restrictions on the movement of people as well as the closure of shops and services to intensify the battle against COVID-19.

“The government will (…) limit travel and contact with other people (…) with the exception of trips to work, shopping and visits to the doctor,” said the Minister of Health, Roman Prymula, to the press.

7:21 am | Canadian Lance Stroll (Racing Point), absent from the F1 Eifel Grand Prix on October 11, was ill with COVID-19, but has since tested negative and can race again, he revealed on Twitter Wednesday.

6:45 am | The digital revolution will require major retraining efforts to preserve jobs, according to a report from the World Economic Forum published on Wednesday, highlighting that nearly half of employees will have to upgrade their skills.

6:34 am | Virus: Brazil adopts a Chinese vaccine despite the controversy.

Brazil will adopt a Chinese vaccine against the new coronavirus as part of its immunization campaign, Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello announced on Tuesday, despite the controversy surrounding this treatment.

The CoronaVac vaccine, developed by the Chinese laboratory Sinovac, had been tested on thousands of volunteers in six states of the country, including that of Sao Paulo, the most affected by the pandemic.

The Brazilian government has reached an agreement with this state to buy 46 million doses that should be administered from next January, said Pazuello, during a video conference with the governors of the 27 states of the country.

“It will be the vaccine of Brazil”, launched the minister, recalling that the Latin American giant of 212 million inhabitants also counted on the partnership between the British University of Oxford and the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical group AstraZeneca .

“This is our great novelty. This rebalances the process, ”he added, while Brazil is the second country most bereaved by the disease, with more than 154,000 dead, behind the United States.

The issue of vaccines has taken on a political dimension in Brazil where far-right President Jair Bolsonaro has repeatedly criticized the Chinese vaccine, opposing Sao Paulo state governor Joao Doria, one of its main political rivals.

Mr. Bolsonaro said in particular that the vaccine would be “not mandatory”, contrary to the wish of the governor.

1h23 | A quick, reliable and inexpensive test to detect the coronavirus with a test strip will soon be available in India where scientists have developed it to help counter the pandemic.

1h00 | The Montreal teachers sent a letter to the government and their superiors yesterday with a series of demands, such as the idea of ​​obtaining a bonus for the extra work due to the pandemic.

Catherine Beauvais-St-Pierre, president of the Alliance of professors of Montreal, asks the school service center to speak out publicly on the failures of the crisis plan.

Photo Ben Pelosse

Catherine Beauvais-St-Pierre, president of the Alliance of professors of Montreal, asks the school service center to speak out publicly on the failures of the crisis plan. “We need [nos dirigeants] be by our side. ”

0h00 | Active cases of COVID-19 have now been identified in nearly 120 schools in the Capitale-Nationale region, which represents more than half of the schools in the region.

At Neufchâtel high school in Quebec City, six groups of students are currently closed due to cases of COVID-19.

Photo Stevens Leblanc

At Neufchâtel high school in Quebec City, six groups of students are currently closed due to cases of COVID-19.

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