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Mers-Cov strain is a coronavirus could jump from animal to human

Toronto, Feb 5, 2022A report surges from 2012 research indicates a new Covid variant with fatality rate up to 20-30 per cent. The virus can get transmitted to humans either directly or via an intermediate host.

It has been known for decades that seven coronaviruses infect humans and cause respiratory illness. Four of them cause mild upper respiratory tract infections. Prior to the current pandemic, there were two examples of coronavirus causing major illness and death. In 2002, the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) epidemic was widespread, and in 2012, the MERS CoV-induced MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) epidemic occurred. The origin of most  coronaviruses in nature can be traced back to bats, but some are from rodents.

Infection with the SARS coronavirus (SARSCoV) can cause  severe viral respiratory illness. SARS was first reported in Asia in February 2003, after which cases  were followed until November 2002. SARS  spread rapidly to 26 countries before being contained  about four months later. More than 8,000 people were infected with SARS and 774 died. No cases of SARS have been reported since 2004. According to the World Health Organization, 

MERS is a viral respiratory disease that was first reported in Saudi Arabia in September 2012 and has since spread to 27 countries. Some people infected with the MERS coronavirus (MERSCoV) develop severe acute respiratory illnesses such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

The current COVID 19 pandemic triggered by SARSCoV2 began in 2019 and struck almost every country in the world in the form of multiple waves, resulting in death, disability and the collapse of the healthcare system. SARSCoV2 is the seventh coronavirus known to infect humans. 

 Mutations are an integral part  of the viral life cycle. They manifest with the purpose of prolonging the survival of the virus  by avoiding immune attacks or  increasing infectivity and virulence. Mutation persistence  usually occurs when natural selection results in significant survival benefits.

The COVID19 pandemic witnessed the development and production of multiple vaccines at  unimaginable rates on an unprecedented scale. 

Therefore, current vaccines are less effective against Omicron, but  booster doses improve immunity to it. Regular booster immunisation seems to be the answer to the subspecies problem, unless the virus is gone or  new vaccines are created that can provide lasting immunity across all variants. However the government vaccine mandates later on have stirred up a significant civil unrest amongst North America and European countries.

Trucker protest continues in downtown Toronto, blocking Bloor Street

Toronto, Feb 4, 2022Nation-wide trucker protest now continues in downtown Toronto, blocking Bloor Street from West to East ends. This is a part of the Canadian national convoy movement against government vaccine mandates.

Last weekend, a truck convoy of hundreds arrived in Ottawa. Tens of thousands of Canadians have landed in the national capital to protest the blockade of the coronavirus  and ongoing restrictions. The arrival of agricultural vehicles  in Toronto today was another sign that the movement had expanded beyond  the truck driver who led the Ottawa event.

A huge agricultural tractor and light truck arrived at Queen’s Park for a demonstration on Friday afternoon. Police barricades prevented them from approaching the Capitol and parked activists next to  the Royal Ontario Museum.

Demonstrators gathered in Toronto to protest the COVID-related vaccination obligations and blockades. It’s unclear who exactly hosted the event in Toronto. One of the demo sponsors is an anti-blocking / anti-mask group called The Line Canada.

Part of University Avenue was closed  to protect Hospital Row. Closures take place throughout the weekend, but are accessible to hospital staff, workers, patients, and those who pick them up.

The demonstration, called “occupation” by some, is now on its ninth day, with gridlock continuing and vehicles ringing.

C$2,000 for 2 weeks in Toronto quarantine hotel as per travel restrictions

Toronto, Jan 28, 2021The Canadian government has taken further steps to help limit the spread of COVID-19 and its variants in Canada. Those who travel by air for non-essential reasons will face new measures and costs when returning to Canada.

The Canadian government has issued an emergency order regarding quarantine, isolation and other obligations under the Quarantine Act. It applies to all travellers arriving in Canada. Its purpose is to slow the spread of COVID-19 and its variants in Canada.

Strict public health measures take effect at Canadian borders and airports

Starting Monday Jan 25 2021, most air travellers entering Canada must comply with new travel regulations, including expensive hotel quarantine. Passengers must pre-book hotel accommodation before arriving in Canada.

With that being said, when entering Canada, if the passenger shows no symptoms, then he or she must isolate for 14 days. Otherwise, if they have COVID-19 symptoms or know that they have COVID-19, then an isolation of 14 days will become a must. 

Air passengers must book three nights at a government-approved hotel and then fly to Canada from Monday. They need accommodation while waiting for COVID-19 test results. Travellers who test negative can leave the hotel and complete the remaining 14 days of quarantine at home.

Travellers are required to comply with mandatory quarantine or isolation requirements-non-compliance will result in fines, fines or imprisonment. Passengers were reported to enter quarantine at the Westin Wall Hotel in Vancouver Airport Center, Richmond, British Columbia, and at Madison Hotel near Pearson Airport in the Greater Toronto Area.

Travellers with negative test results can leave immediately and complete the remaining 14 days of quarantine at home. Those who need to take a domestic transfer can book and transfer at this time. Those who test positive will be required to complete quarantine at designated government agencies.

But it turns out that the sum including meals and transportation may be much less, depending on your residence, because the prices vary greatly.

Toronto quarantine hotel prices skyrocketed as restrictions applied

An employee said that the Acclaim Hotel in Calgary charges $611 for three nights, including tax. This is very different from the price of the Westin Wall Center Hotel at Vancouver Airport, which, according to an employee, is $1,827 in taxes.

However the three-day mandatory hotel quarantine fee that took effect on Monday appears to be far below the $2,000 per person price quoted by officials when they announced the new plan. An unnamed traveller to Toronto showed CBC News the booking confirmation of the quarantine hotel at the Four Points Sheraton Hotel. A total of $1089.41 including tax.

The employee replied that the two hotels that were selected as participants in the government quarantine program on Friday, the Alt Hotel at Toronto Airport and the Sheraton Gateway Hotel at Toronto Pearson International Airport, had nightly room rates of $339 and $319, respectively. The phone from those hotels said.

Employees said that these expenses include all expenses related to quarantine, including food and safety expenses. At the Calgary Airport Terminal Marriott Hotel, the cost of quarantine per person for three days is $1,272 (not including tax). An employee said that this includes food for three days and a security guarantee of $75.

Widespread lockdown measures and business shutdown across Canadian cities

The Chief Public Health Officer of Canada said that the number of COVID-19 cases has been steadily declining in most parts of Canada. This enables provincial governments across Canada to apply strict lockdown measures, including restricting family visit, social gathering, and unnecessary business and retail activities.

On Monday, Ontario reported 1,058 new COVID-19 cases and 11 other deaths related to the virus as the York region returned to the province’s colour-coded pandemic restriction system on Monday. Family standby orders in the other three regions, including Toronto, are still valid. Small and medium businesses are forced to shut down and at least 56,000 jobs have been lost reportedly, but big corporations like Walmart and Costco are exempt from this restriction policy.

The public health agency authorised by the Quebec government said that 86 more suspected cases of the coronavirus mutation were found in the province, for a total of 415 suspected cases. Quebec has confirmed 23 cases.

At least 10 schools across the province have been completely or partially closed due to suspected mutation cases, prompting the chairman of the union representing Quebec English school teachers to call for stronger health measures to protect teachers and students, including reducing class sizes. And use quick tests more.

In British Columbia, six schools in Surrey County and another school in the Delta outside Vancouver have cases involving variants. Alberta has reported 11 new variant cases across the province, bringing the total to 289. 

At the same time, New Brunswick reported that there were 7 COVID-19-related deaths in a long-term care home in Edmundston, leading opposition liberals to request a review of the Belle Vue facility, which already has more than 90 cases of COVID-19.

Toronto college students take CERB after a record 56,800 job loss in January 2021

Toronto, Feb 6, 2021After the economic devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government introduced the Canadian Emergency Relief Fund (CERB), which provides $2,000 per month to eligible workers.  As of last week, more than 11 million Canadians have applied for this emergency relief.

With the strengthening of public health restrictions in December, Canada announced its first monthly job drop since April 2020, and economists warned that as the number of new COVID-19 cases continues to increase, job losses may continue.

Financial aid and economic support package for Toronto college students

Amid these huge unemployment raises at the horizons, the Canadian government edicts the Canadian Emergency Relief Fund (CERB) which provides financial support to employed and self-employed Canadians directly affected by COVID-19. If the applicant meets the conditions, they can get USD 2,000 (equivalent to USD 500 per week) within 4 weeks.

Not all unemployed Canadians are eligible for the new Canadian emergency response benefits, and Toronto college students seem to be disproportionately caught in the gap of the new member of the Canadian Social Safety Net.

The Canadian government stated on its website that the CERB is eligible for people who are at least 15 years old, stopped working due to COVID-19-related reasons, and live in Canada, who received at least 5,000 plus in the 12 months before or in 2019. The income received is up to the date of application, and it will not be applicable for those who voluntarily resign.

Many students currently undergoing higher education courses are not eligible for CERB qualification, and because of the upcoming summer and little or no summer job prospects, something must be done about this situation. Some schools have already moved toward offering financial assistance to students who are otherwise at risk of dropping out. 

As of January 2021, more adjustments have been made towards granting the funds to students who did not qualify for CERB earlier. In this updated eligibility criteria, the standards are lowered significantly so more students, especially Toronto college students, can receive these weekly benefits from the CERB package. Those CERB eligibility criteria are as follows.

  1. Students participating in higher education courses.
  2. Students who graduate or leave a college degree no later than December 2019.
  3. Students who have completed or are about to complete high school in 2020, and have applied for post-secondary education courses that started before February 1, 2021.

For those who seek a job but cannot find a job, they must continue to actively seek jobs that meet CESB qualifications. Individuals who qualify for CESB within a given period but still cannot find a job due to COVID-19 or whose income does not exceed $1,000 can reapply for each CESB qualification period for which they are eligible. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) may ask them to provide information later to verify that they have been looking for work during the eligibility period.

Job loss still raising and Toronto college students still cannot find jobs

Statistics Canada said on Friday that the economy lost 63,000 jobs in December, while the unemployment rate rose slightly to 8.6% from 8.5% in November. If this figure is included in the calculation of Canadians who wanted to work but did not seek a job last month, the unemployment rate in December would be 10.9%, the same as in November.

At the peak of last spring, the COVID-19 economic shutdown directly affected 5.5 million Canadian workers, including 3 million unemployed and 2.5 million employed, but experienced COVID-related work absences.

The number of people affected was 1.1 million in December, including a 636,000 job loss since February, and Canadians who were employed for COVID reasons but worked less than half of their normal working hours. Among the industries most directly affected by new and ongoing public health measures, employment in December fell.

As public health officials blamed the increase in infections for holiday gatherings, some provinces have further expanded COVID-19 restrictions. As restrictions on slowing the spread of the pandemic began to ease, the decline in unemployment in December ended the monthly job growth streak that began in May.

Canada has already begun to vaccinate, but compared with other countries that deploy faster, governments have criticised the speed of its deployment.

GameStop short squeeze impacts on Toronto stock market

Toronto, Feb 2, 2021Large hedge funds have been short-selling stocks, betting that their loss-making business will completely fail. At the same time, with the help of recent low-priced or even free trading tools, millions of small stock buyers have been guided through online forums to buy stocks.

In January 2021, there was a brief run on the shares of American video game retailer GameStop and other securities, which caused significant financial consequences for certain hedge funds, and short sellers suffered huge losses. 

The short squeeze unfolded in January 2021 and peaked uncontrollably

Approximately 140% of GameStop’s public holdings were sold short, and the rush to buy shares to fill these positions due to rising prices led to further increases. The short run was initially triggered by users of sub-reddit, an Internet forum on the social news site Reddit, although many hedge funds also participated in the event. 

At its peak on January 28, the short-term depression caused the retailer’s share price to reach a pre-market price of more than $500 per share, which is almost 30 times the $17.25 valuation at the beginning of the month. The prices of many other heavily shorted securities have also increased.

On January 28, some brokerage firms, including Robinhood, stopped buying GameStop and other securities, and later stated that they were unable to post enough collateral in the clearing house to execute their customers’ orders. 

This decision aroused criticism and accusations from prominent politicians and businessmen in various political fields. Dozens of class-action lawsuits were filed against Robinhood in US courts, and the US House of Representatives Financial Services Committee held a congressional hearing on the incident. As brokers stopped buying GameStop and other securities, the total market value of cryptocurrencies and metal futures also increased.

GameStop short squeeze and Toronto stock market

In Canada, securities regulations in many provinces contain provisions prohibiting market manipulation. The main regulation in Ontario is the Securities Act (RSO 1990).

Accordingly, individuals or companies shall not directly or indirectly engage in or participate in any acts, practises or processes related to securities, derivatives or basic rights and interests of derivatives that the person or company knows or should reasonably know.

It is worth noting that this provision prohibits actions that individuals or companies should know fall into one of the two categories in paragraph. This means that although individuals or companies have no actual intention to conduct artificial prices or misleading transactions, they may still be liable.

Normal transactions between buyers and sellers are conducted in a fair manner, reflecting actual demand and supply; regardless of the impact on prices, it can be said to be a real market impact. However, if demand or supply is distorted, then prices may also be distorted-no longer reflecting real market demand and supply, which will be artificial.

A variety of trading strategies can be used to artificially generate high (or low) security prices. Some are listed below. Some people doubt whether the broker intends to restrict securities trading on its online platform and artificially lower the stock price, and whether it also meets the conditions.

For studying abroad, Canada now more popular than the United States

Toronto, Jan 19, 2021Both Canada and the United Kingdom have surpassed the United States as the two most popular study abroad destinations.

According to several surveys conducted by educations.com, this is to better understand students’ views on international education. Students are not less interested in studying in Canada and the UK than they used to, but the sharp decline in the popularity of the United States has driven Canada to lose the top spot.

In January 2018, the United States was the most popular destination for international students. By October 2020, it has fallen to the third most popular country. During this period, the decline in student interest has remained stable. This shows that it is not that incidents like COVID-19 will reduce US interest.

On the other hand, the growth rate in the United States dropped from 21.6% to 10.7%. Germany and Australia ranked fourth and fifth respectively. France, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain and Sweden account for the rest of the top 10.

Post-graduate work opportunity is an important factor in selecting country of study

The choice to stay in school after graduation has become an increasingly important factor in choosing a country to study abroad. This may be the reason why the United States is not so popular, because the United States has stricter visa policies for international graduates.

In contrast, Canada is more popular. Graduates can choose to apply for a postgraduate work permit, which is an open work permit that allows recent college graduates to work for any employer of their choice.

The most important factors in choosing which country to study in are the cost of living and language and culture. In addition, the security and socio-political atmosphere and the reputation of the education system are other important factors. All four factors are always in the top five factors that determine the popularity of a country.

How to study in Canada?

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadian Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship (IRCC) is still processing study permit applications.

To study in Canada, you must first choose the academic program you want to study and the institution you want to study. After that, you must apply to the designated learning institution (DLI).

After receiving the admission notice, you can start the application process for the study permit. You need this document to legally study in Canada.

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