Weekly survey: Is it time for a full-on emo revival?

If you’ve been following the world of music festivals, you’ll have heard of the When We Were Young festival coming up in Las Vegas this October. If you came of age musically in the early 2000s, this one is for you. It is emo/screamo heaven.
It started with one date. Then a second show was added. Then a third. And I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a fourth. So here’s my question: Is the time ripe for emo/scream to make a big comeback?

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Canadians eager for post-COVID-19 'normal', but mixed on how to get there: poll

WATCH: COVID-19: Canadians eager to return to normal, but two-thirds feel government not doing enough, poll finds

Canadians are eager to return to some version of “normal” after two years of living through the COVID-19 pandemic, but a new poll finds mixed opinions on how to achieve that.

The Ipsos poll conducted exclusively for Global News did find some consensus, with two-thirds of Canadians saying governments aren’t doing enough to get the country back to normal — even if they can’t agree what politicians should be doing.

“Even though we’re saying that we want to get back to something that resembles a normal life, we’re still pretty tentative,” said Darrell Bricker, CEO of Ipsos Public Affairs.

“The thing that they’re really saying to us at the moment is they still believe that there is a significant risk out there, particularly with the Omicron variant.”

Read more:

Omicron COVID-19 cases appear to have peaked — but ‘prudence’ still vital: Tam

While one in five Canadians surveyed said they already feel like life is returning to normal, an equal number said they’re not sure if they will ever feel comfortable living without masks or vaccine mandates for businesses and workplaces.

“I would say that where (Canadians) are right now is on fairly thin ice,” Bricker said. “They feel like the ice is thickening up a bit, but still not enough to just kind of run out there into the middle of the lake.”

The poll, which surveyed over 1,000 Canadians across the country last weekend, comes as a convoy of truckers descends on Ottawa to protest vaccine mandates and other public health measures.

Yet the results show a strong majority supports the underlying reasons for those mandates, with 71 per cent agreeing that “we need to slow the spread of Omicron to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed” — even if that prolongs restrictions.

The number rose to 83 per cent among older Canadians aged 55 and up, with 60 per cent or more of younger age groups agreeing.

An even stronger majority — 81 per cent — said the top priority should be to ensure that hospital intensive care units are not overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients, rising to 87 per cent of older Canadians.

How to protect those hospitals appears to still be up for debate, with not even a majority of Canadians supporting mandatory vaccinations as a way to end the pandemic.

The poll found just 38 per cent of those surveyed think mandatory vaccinations would be the best solution, while border closures and rapid tests in the workplace each garnered. 14 per cent support.

Read more:

Some provinces begin easing COVID-19 restrictions as hospitalizations stabilize

Even fewer Canadians who answered the poll supported more extreme measures. Ten per cent said allowing COVID-19 to spread through the community would be most effective, while nine per cent said they would support penalties for unvaccinated people like Quebec’s proposed health tax.

Just eight per cent said all non-essential businesses should be shuttered to stop the spread of of the virus.

“What we’re finding … is opinions that were pretty solid even six weeks ago are starting to get a lot more, I would say loose,” Bricker said. “The consensus that we had previously about what we should be doing in all of this is not as strong as it once was.”

The sentiment that governments aren’t doing enough to get the country back to normal was most strongly felt in Alberta, with 73 per cent of poll respondents there agreeing.

That compared to roughly 69 per cent in Ontario, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and British Columbia, with just over half of those surveyed in Quebec and the Atlantic provinces saying the same.

Bricker didn’t mention the trucker convoy, but suggested Saturday’s protest won’t be the last call on governments to address the growing fatigue and frustration over COVID-19 measures.

“They’re really holding the governments to account, to try and find a way to get us back to normal,” he said.

“And I think over the space of the next four weeks, we’re really going to start seeing some pushes on governments to start to make some moves.”

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between January 14 and 17, 2022, on behalf of Global News. For this survey, a sample of 1,001 Canadians aged 18+ was interviewed online via the Ipsos I-Say Panel and non-panel sources. Quotas and weighting were employed to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the Canadian population according to census parameters. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ± 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadians aged 18+ been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Red Wings host the Maple Leafs following shootout victory

Toronto Maple Leafs (26-10-3, third in the Atlantic) vs. Detroit Red Wings (19-19-6, fifth in the Atlantic)

Detroit; Saturday, 7 p.m. EST

FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK LINE: Red Wings +178, Maple Leafs -220; over/under is 6

BOTTOM LINE: Detroit hosts the Toronto Maple Leafs after the Red Wings defeated Pittsburgh 3-2 in a shootout.

The Red Wings have gone 6-5-2 against division opponents. Detroit ranks 10th in the Eastern Conference with 29.2 shots per game and is averaging 2.7 goals.

The Maple Leafs are 7-2-0 against the rest of their division. Toronto ranks seventh in the NHL averaging 3.4 goals per game, led by Auston Matthews with 25.

Toronto beat Detroit 5-4 in the last meeting between these teams on Oct. 30.

TOP PERFORMERS: Tyler Bertuzzi leads the Red Wings with 20 goals, adding 18 assists and totaling 38 points. Dylan Larkin has four goals over the last 10 games for Detroit.

Matthews leads the Maple Leafs with 43 points, scoring 25 goals and adding 18 assists. Alexander Kerfoot has nine assists over the last 10 games for Toronto.

LAST 10 GAMES: Red Wings: 3-4-3, averaging 2.4 goals, 3.8 assists, 4.3 penalties and 11.9 penalty minutes while giving up three goals per game with a .906 save percentage.

Maple Leafs: 7-2-1, averaging 3.8 goals, 6.1 assists, 2.9 penalties and 5.8 penalty minutes while allowing 2.7 goals per game with a .907 save percentage.

INJURIES: Red Wings: Thomas Greiss: out (covid-19).

Maple Leafs: Jake Muzzin: day to day (concussion), Timothy Liljegren: day to day (undisclosed).

___

The Associated Press created this story using technology provided by Data Skrive and data from Sportradar.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

Russia denies it plans to invade Ukraine. Putin's remaining options are still risky

WATCH: The long and complicated history behind the Ukraine-Russia crisis

Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to be preparing to launch an invasion of Ukraine, with more than 100,000 troops positioned around the country. Certainly, the U.S. believes that’s the case and President Joe Biden has warned Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that an attack could come in February.

But Russia denies it’s preparing to invade and Putin’s intentions remain a mystery.

Read more:

Putin now has ‘capability’ to seize parts of Ukraine, U.S. says

Russia, which is seeking a pledge that NATO won’t expand to include Ukraine, has options it could pursue short of a full-blown invasion, and other ways to lash out at the U.S. and its allies. All of them carry varying degrees of risk, to Russia and the world.

A look at some of them:

Something short of a full-scale invasion

In 2014, Russia seized the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine. That year it also started arming rebels in the eastern region known as the Donbas, starting a low-boiling conflict that has killed more than 14,000 people. Many Russia watchers speculate that the recent buildup of Russian troops and naval forces is the next chapter in a larger effort to chip away at Ukraine, perhaps taking advantage as the U.S. and its allies in Europe are distracted by COVID-19 and other issues. Possible scenarios include providing additional support to the Russia-backed rebels or launching a limited invasion, just enough to destabilize Zelenskyy and usher in a pro-Kremlin leader.

Stopping short of a full-scale invasion would give Russia more time to get more forces in place and test the commitment of the U.S. and its allies to the punishing sanctions promised by Biden, says retired Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, former commander of U.S. Army forces in Europe. “He’s going to continue doing what he’s doing right now, continuing to apply maximum pressure on Ukraine and to try to destabilize the government to alarm people,” Hodges said. “There’s a lot of capability in place to do more, should the opportunity present itself.”

That might still end up triggering sanctions that could damage the Russian economy and hurt Putin at home. There’s also the risk that a limited action isn’t enough to achieve the Russian president’s goal of undermining European security by rolling back, or at least halting, NATO expansion, says Dmitry Gorenburg, an analyst with CNA, a research organization in Arlington, Virginia. “I don’t think it gets him what he wants,” he said. “It didn’t get them that before. So why now?”

Economic warfare

Russia is a major player in global energy, the third-largest oil producer after the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, and the source of about 40% of the natural gas used in Europe. It is also a major exporter of wheat, particularly to developing nations. Any move to cut the flow of energy could be painful to Europe in winter with gas and oil prices already high. Similarly, rising food prices are a problem around the world.

Putin has some economic leverage, but there’s no indication he would use it and it could end up hurting Russia in the long run, says Edward Fishman, a former State Department official who is now a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center. Any move by Russia to cut off gas shipments would push European nations to find alternative sources for the future. “It’s a weapon you can only use once,” he said. “You do that once and you lose that leverage forever.” The Biden administration is already working with Qatar and other suppliers to replace Russian gas if needed.

Read more:

Biden warns Ukraine of Russian invasion in February: ‘distinct possibility’

Cyberattacks

There’s no doubt Russia has the capability to conduct significant cyberattacks in Ukraine and around the world, and would almost certainly do so again as part of any operation against its neighbor. The Department of Homeland Security warned law enforcement agencies on Jan. 23 that Russia would consider initiating a cyberattack on the U.S., including possible actions against critical infrastructure, if it perceived the response to an invasion of Ukraine “threatened its long-term national security.”

Russia is the suspected culprit in a 2015 hack against the Ukraine power grid. Hackers this month temporarily shut down government websites in Ukraine, underscoring how cybersecurity remains a pivotal concern in the standoff with Russia. “Whatever the size and scale and nature of their ground and air attacks, cyber will be a big part of anything they do,” warns Hodges.

The risk to the world is that hostile activity against Ukraine could spread, as the cyberattack known as notPetya did to devastating effect in 2017. The downside to Russia is the U.S. and other nations have the power to retaliate, as Biden warned Putin in June. “He knows there are consequences,” Biden said.

The China factor

China isn’t a direct player in the standoff over Ukraine, but it plays a role. Observers have warned that Moscow could respond to Washington’s rejection of its security demands by bolstering military ties with China. Russia and China have held a series of joint war games, including naval drills and patrols by long-range bombers over the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea.

U.S. officials have said they don’t think Russia would launch an invasion as President Xi Jinping presides over the opening of the Winter Olympics in Beijing. “The Chinese are not going to be pleased if their Olympics are disrupted by war,” Gorenburg said. Putin plans to travel to Beijing to attend the opening of the games, as U.S. and European leaders sit it out to protest human rights abuses.

Read more:

Diplomats should stay in Ukraine despite destabilization threats, president says

One theory among Russia watchers is that China is intently following the U.S. and European response over Ukraine to gauge what might happen if it were to move against Taiwan. Hodges sees that as a risk. “If we, with our combined diplomatic and economic power plus military power, cannot stop the president of the Russian Federation from doing something that is so obviously illegal and wrong and aggressive then I don’t think President Xi is going to be too impressed with anything that we say about Taiwan or the South China Sea.”

A Russian buildup in Latin America

Senior Russian officials have warned that Moscow could deploy troops or military assets to Cuba and Venezuela. The threats are vague, though Russia does have close ties to both countries as well as Nicaragua. U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan dismissed the idea, and experts in the region and around the world view it as a strategy that probably wouldn’t accomplish much, other than to divert Russian forces needed elsewhere, and thus is unlikely to happen.

A more likely scenario is that Russia steps up its already extensive propaganda and misinformation efforts to sharpen divisions in Latin America and elsewhere, including the United States.

A diplomatic solution

It’s not a foregone conclusion that the standoff ends in an invasion. While the Biden administration said it would not concede to Russia’s security demands, there still seems to be some room for diplomacy. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday that the U.S. response “gives hope for the start of a serious conversation on secondary questions.”

France, Germany, Ukraine and Russia have agreed to sit down for talks in two weeks, an effort aimed at reviving a 2015 agreement to ease the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Some fear this complicates efforts by the U.S. and NATO to show a united front against Russia.

A stand-down may be good for the world but could come at a cost for Putin, Russian journalist Yulia Latynina warned in a New York Times essay on Friday. She said the Russian president may have used his troop buildup as a bluff, hoping to compel the U.S. and Europe to relinquish any intention of closer ties to Ukraine. “Instead of trapping the United States, Mr. Putin has trapped himself,” she wrote. “Caught between armed conflict and a humiliating retreat, he is now seeing his room for maneuver dwindling to nothing.”

Isachenkov reported from Moscow.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

Targeted Surrey shooting leaves 2 seriously injured: RCMP

Two men are recovering in hospital from serious injuries after a targeted shooting in Surrey’s Newton neighborhood Friday night.

Surrey RCMP say they responded to a report of shots fired in the 12200-block of 80B Avenue at about 6:45 p.m., and found two victims suffering from gunshot wounds at the scene.

Read more:

Man convicted of manslaughter in ‘random’ shooting of Surrey man Pritpal Singh

Police are still searching for the suspect, believed to have fled in a vehicle, but did not provide a description.

There has been no confirmation of whether the incident is related to the ongoing Lower Mainland gang conflict.

Read more:

Lower Mainland police reassure public after series of shootings, ‘evolution’ in violent crime

A police presence is expected in the area for some time as officers gather evidence.

Anyone with information or dashcam footage is asked to contact Surrey RCMP.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Taiwan will not take part in Beijing Olympics opening ceremony, government says

WATCH: Canadian athletes prepare for Games, COVID-19, China

Taiwan’s small team for next month’s Winter Olympics in Beijing will not take part in the opening or closing ceremonies, the government said on Friday, blaming delayed flights, tough anti-COVID-19 rules and an early departure.

Chinese-claimed Taiwan had feared Beijing could “downgrade” Taiwan’s status by putting its athletes alongside those from Chinese-run Hong Kong at the opening ceremony, a senior Taiwan official familiar with the matter told Reuters this week.

Sub-tropical Taiwan, which has no winter sporting tradition and has never won a medal at the winter Games, is sending four athletes to Beijing, the same number as the last winter Games in 2018.

Read more:

‘Genocide games’: Athletes urged to speak out against Winter Olympics

The government, which has said no officials will go, has now decided its athletes will be at neither the opening nor closing ceremonies.

Taiwan’s Sports Administration said the 15-member team, including trainers, would be arriving from different parts of the world, including the United States and Switzerland.

“According to the event’s pandemic prevention and entry policy, flights have been adjusted and delayed, and not all could arrive in Beijing by the opening ceremony on Feb. 4,” it said in a statement.

Athletes will need to get over their jet lag and get used to the venues, the administration added.

“Based on the protection of the athletes, high-standard pandemic prevention and control measures have been adopted to prevent any risk of infection; to accumulate combat strength, our delegation will not participate in the opening ceremony.”

Because the team is small, they will not wait around after their events are over and will go home, meaning on the day of the closing ceremony most will already have left, and they will not be there, it said.

The Beijing Games are happening at a time of heightened tensions between China and Taiwan, including repeated Chinese military activity near the island.

Read more:

Beijing increases limits on movement within city due to COVID-19 as Olympics approach

Taiwan competes in most sporting events, including the Olympics, as “Chinese Taipei” at the insistence of Beijing, which sees democratically governed Taiwan as part of “one China.”

On Wednesday, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office referred to Taiwan’s team as being from “China, Taipei,” rather than the official terminology of “Chinese Taipei.”

That drew a rebuke from Taiwan’s China-policy making Mainland Affairs Council which said China intentionally used the wrong name.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Toby Davis and William Mallard)

© 2022 Reuters

Town of High Level says it's owed millions from Alberta government for cost of 2019 wildfire

WATCH ABOVE: Nearly three years after the Chuckegg Creek wildfire forced thousands of people to flee the High Level area of northwestern Alberta, the town is still waiting on the Alberta government to cover millions of dollars in emergency response costs. Sarah Komadina reports.

Nearly three years after the Chuckegg Creek wildfire forced thousands of people in northern Alberta to flee their homes and also destroyed several residences, the Town of High Level says it is still waiting for the provincial government to cover the costs of the emergency response.

Mayor Crystal McAteer said the province had asked the town to cover the costs because the provincial budget had not been passed yet. The town spent what it needed to protect itself and other surrounding communities.

Read more:

Chuckegg Creek wildfire declared out after 17 months

It cost the town about $10 million. The Disaster Recovery Program has repaid most of the money but the town said it is still owed $2.6 million. There is also now $600,000 in interest payments and other fees.

“I don’t think it’s a case of them not going to pay us, but this has lingered on for the better part of two years now, so it would be nice to get paid,” McAteer said.

She added this will not put the town in financial ruin, but the money could be put toward an evacuation centre that the town and Dene Tha’ First Nation are building in case of future natural disasters.

Read more:

High Level launches online exhibit to mark 1 year since wildfire evacuations

McAteer said in the event of another natural disaster, the town could likely take on those costs but would not be able to wait as long to get repaid.

She said the town has waited long enough. There have been talks with the province to have the money repaid but they have not gone far.

“They keep asking for paperwork, but we have sent them all the paperwork,” McAteer said. “We have no more paperwork. It just seems to be a lot of back and forth between our departments.”

The provincial government responded to Global News’ request for comment in an email. It acknowledged that it has paid the Town of High Level a total of $7.2 million in four advances.

The remaining amount of $2.6 million is currently being reviewed.

“Department staff are currently reviewing the final installment to ensure all expenses and proper documentation are accurate and in place,” the email reads. “Disaster Recovery Programs are typically open for five years to allow for multi-year construction projects to be completed.

“Before the government of Alberta can receive full DFAA reimbursement from the federal government, each program is independently audited and subject to an audit by Public Safety Canada.”

The province said following a successful review, it anticipates the balance of the Disaster Recovery Program eligible costs of up to a maximum of $2.6 million to be paid in full by June 30.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Joni Mitchell joins Neil Young, pulls music from Spotify over Joe Rogan podcast

Joni Mitchell says she stands with Neil Young and has decided to remove all her music from streaming giant Spotify.

Earlier this week, Young pulled his music from Spotify after giving the company an ultimatum over concerns about podcaster Joe Rogan spreading misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine on his show “The Joe Rogan Experience.”

In a statement on her website Friday, Mitchell says she is taking action because “irresponsible people are spreading lies that are costing people their lives.”

Mitchell says she also stands with the scientific community on the issue.

Read more:

Spotify taking down Neil Young’s music after his Joe Rogan ultimatum

On her website, she includes a letter signed by a coalition of scientists, medical professionals, and professors that criticizes Spotify for featuring Rogan podcasts that they say include misinformation about the pandemic, including discouraging vaccinations in young people and children.

Spotify, which has a multi-year distribution agreement with Rogan, granted Young’s request on Wednesday and within hours began taking down his albums.

“I Stand With Neil Young!” Mitchell says in the statement on her website.

“I’ve decided to remove all my music from Spotify,” reads the statement. “Irresponsible people are spreading lies that are costing people their lives. I stand in solidarity with Neil Young and the global scientific and medical communities on this issue.”

Read more:

Neil Young threatens to pull music from Spotify over Joe Rogan vaccine ‘disinformation’

Despite Young’s move, some of his music can still be heard on Spotify.

In Canada, some of Young’s work, “Cinnamon Girl,” “Old Man” and the entirety of his new album “Barn,” disappeared, but many other songs included on film soundtracks and compilations did not.

Mitchell first became well known in the 1960s for composing and performing songs such as “The Circle Game,” “Both Sides Now,” and “Woodstock.”

She went on to record the influential album “Blue” and more than 20 other releases over her career.While Mitchell, 78, is not a current hitmaker, the Canadian native’s Spotify page said she had 3.7 million monthly listeners to her music. Her songs “Big Yellow Taxi” and “A Case of You” have both been streamed more than 100 million times on the service.

There was no immediate response to a request for comment from Spotify.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

Canada's Catholic bishops name Indigenous directors to oversee reconciliation funds

WATCH: Growing calls for accountability from Catholic Church over role in residential schools

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops says it wants to be transparent about fundraising to support reconciliation efforts and has named Indigenous directors to oversee the money.

The Canadian bishops made a commitment last year to raise $30 million in up to five years. The Catholic Church was under pressure to properly compensate survivors under the Indian Residential School Survivor Agreement after it was reported that less than $5 million had been raised out of a $25-million goal.

Bishop William McGrattan, vice-president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, said the bishops are committed to a path of healing and transparency. But, he added, they understand it must also demonstrate transparency and accountability. Having Indigenous oversight will help achieve that, McGrattan said.

“The Indigenous experience and voice is critical for us as Catholics and Canadians to understand the path we need to take,” he said in Calgary.

Read more:

Canadian Catholic bishops promise $30M to help residential school survivors

Chief Wilton Littlechild, a residential school survivor, is a lawyer who was a commissioner for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. He is to be one of the directors of the church’s Indigenous reconciliation fund.

Giselle Marion, a Tlicho lawyer in the Northwest Territories, and Rosella Kinoshameg, a nurse from Wikwemikong Unceded First Nation Territory who is part of the Catholic bishop’s Indigenous council, will also be directors.

McGrattan said some dioceses in the country have already begun their fundraising campaigns and more are expected to start in coming weeks. He added it is a way for Catholics to be truly honest and understanding of how the church’s history has affected Indigenous people.

“We have to go forward and we have to find a path to healing,” he said.

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops said in a news release Friday that there will be four priorities when distributing the money: healing and reconciliation; culture and language revitalization; education and community building; and dialogues for promoting Indigenous spirituality.

The fund is to publish annual reports and be subject to an audit by an independent accounting firm each year, they said.

The bishops said in the news release that there was “considerable disappointment” with the previous fundraising campaign tied to the residential school agreement. The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops said it was not party to that agreement but learned lessons from and “recognized shortcomings” in that campaign.

Individual churches and dioceses formed a corporation in 2006 and made three commitments: a cash payment of $29 million, in-kind services with a value of $25 million and a “best efforts” campaign to raise $25 million over seven years for healing and reconciliation.

The “best efforts” campaign came up with less than $4 million.

Read more:

Top Catholic bishop hopes residential school apology will improve Indigenous relations

The federal government took the church to court, but a Saskatchewan judge ruled in 2015 that the Catholic Church had met its legal and financial obligations.

The federal government did not appeal the ruling, a decision that has also faced scrutiny.

“The Bishops of Canada are fully committed to addressing the historical and ongoing trauma caused by the residential school system,” Bishop Raymond Poisson, president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, said in a news release.

“In moving forward with our collective financial commitment, we will continue to be guided by the experience and wisdom of Indigenous peoples across the country.”

Criticism of the Catholic Church’s role in residential schools re-emerged last year after unmarked graves were found at the sites of former schools.

An estimated 150,000 First Nations, Inuit and Metis children were forced to attend residential schools. More than 60 per cent of the schools were run by the Catholic Church.

Pope Francis said last year he is willing to visit Canada. Indigenous leaders have said any trip must come with an apology for residential schools.

A planned Indigenous delegation to the Vatican to meet with the Pope in December was delayed because of the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

The Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program has a hotline to help residential school survivors and their relatives suffering trauma invoked by the recall of past abuse. The number is 1-866-925-4419.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

COVID-19 pill will be available to thousands in Britain in February

WATCH: Health Canada approves Paxlovid, Pfizer's COVID-19 pill

Britain will start rolling out Pfizer’s COVID-19 pill to vulnerable people next month, the health ministry said on Friday, targeting the treatment at people with compromised immune systems for whom the vaccine can be less effective.

The health ministry said that Pfizer’s antiviral treatment Paxlovid, a combination of Pfizer’s pill with an older antiviral ritonavir, will be made available to thousands of people from Feb. 10.

Read more:

Guidelines released for who can receive Paxlovid treatment for COVID-19 in Ontario

“It is fantastic news that this new treatment, the latest cutting-edge drug that the NHS is rolling out through new COVID-19 medicine delivery units, will now be available to help those at highest risk of COVID-19,” National Health Service medical director Stephen Powis said.

“Trials have shown it can reduce hospitalization and risk of death by 88 per cent, meaning we’ll be in the best position to save thousands of lives.”

Britain has ordered 2.75 million courses of Paxlovid, and the government said that it would set out further details on access to the treatment soon but that people who are immunocompromised, cancer patients or those with Down’s Syndrome could be able to access it directly.

It is the second antiviral being rolled out in Britain after molnupiravir, a pill made by Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics which is being deployed to patients through the Panoramic trial.

© 2022 Reuters

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