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5 hand sanitizers added to Health Canada's evolving recall list –



Five more hand sanitizers were added to Health Canada’s evolving recall list on Tuesday, which now includes more than 100 products that may pose health risks.

The newest recalled hand sanitizers are:

  • Last Best Brewing and Distilling Hand Sanitizer from Last Best Brewery (Calgary)
  • Nomad Hand Sanitizer (Lemongrass) from Rocky Mountain Soap Company (Canmore, Alta.)
  • Purify Hand Sanitizer and Antibacterial Spray from Prairie Potions (Winnipeg)
  • Gel d’alcool pour les mains avec émollients, 70% alcool éthylique en format de 250 mL from Sanix (Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que.)
  • Gel d’alcool pour les mains avec émollients, 70% alcool éthylique en format de 4 L from Sanix (Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que.)

The products were recalled either for containing technical-grade ethanol without authorization, containing methanol or missing risk statements. 

Health Canada said if you own any of the recalled products on the list, you should immediately stop using them and consult a health care professional if you have used them and have any concerns. Any adverse events or complaints can be reported to Health Canada.

The COVID-19 pandemic created high demand for hand sanitizers. Health Canada said in June that it permitted the temporary use of technical grade ethanol — if manufacturers chose an authorized supplier and obtained Health Canada’s permission first.

Technical grade ethanol contains more impurities that pharmaceutical or food grade ethanol, so it requires a warning that the products are only for adults, not for those pregnant or breastfeeding and shouldn’t be inhaled or used on damaged skin. 

Some of the products also used unauthorized denaturants, like methanol, which are added to ethanol to make it taste bad and discourage someone from intentionally or unintentionally ingesting hand sanitizer. Reactions to frequent use of a hand sanitizer containing methanol could cause dermatitis, eye irritation, upper respiratory system irritation and headaches.

When washing hands with soap and water isn’t an option, Health Canada suggests checking its list of alcohol-based hand sanitizers that have been authorized for sale in Canada.

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Canada adds more than 2500 new coronavirus cases Friday – Global News



Twenty-six more coronavirus patients have died in Canada, and 2,582 new cases of the virus have been recorded.

The increases announced Friday bring the cumulative national case total to 211,515, though more than 177,000 people have recovered, according to provincial statistics. The number of COVID-19-positive people in Canada who have died stands at 9,888.

Read more:
Trudeau announces $214M for Canadian coronavirus vaccine research

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, said the number of people experiencing severe cases of the virus is on the rise. An average of 1,000 Canadians are in hospital daily, she said, with more than 200 in critical care.

Click to play video 'Feds making little headway on improving long-term care homes'

Feds making little headway on improving long-term care homes

Feds making little headway on improving long-term care homes

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced $214 million to support “made in Canada” coronavirus vaccine research.

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At a press conference in Ottawa, he also shed some light on who might be first in line to receive an immunization once a product is proven to be effective and safe.

Trudeau said the “reasonable expectation” is that vaccines could arrive sometime in the new year, but initially there will be smaller amounts available and the shots would be going to priority groups first.

“I think of our most vulnerable or our front-line workers, and we have experts busy evaluating exactly how and where and in which way to distribute these vaccines,” he said.

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Quebec, the province hardest hit by the virus, added 905 cases on Friday, along with 12 deaths — four of which occurred in the last 24 hours.

Officials warned Friday that Quebec City and Chaudière-Appalaches residents must abide by public health directives aimed at stemming the tide of COVID-19 in order to keep the health-care network intact.

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Read more:
Quebec City will lose health-care services if people don’t respect COVID-19 rules: Guilbault

“If we keep on the same track as we currently are, we are going straight into a wall,” said Quebec’s Deputy Premier Geneviève Guilbault. “The health-care system will not be able to take care of you anymore in some cases.”

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: New recommendations aimed at saving lives in Ontario long-term care homes'

Coronavirus: New recommendations aimed at saving lives in Ontario long-term care homes

Coronavirus: New recommendations aimed at saving lives in Ontario long-term care homes

Ontario posted another 826 coronavirus cases and nine fatalities attributed to the virus. An independent commission on long-term care released a report with recommendations on how to assist Ontario facilities in the second wave of the virus.

Read more:
Ontario long-term care commission provides government recommendations for 2nd wave in homes

Several provinces hit new grim milestones in the pandemic on Friday. Alberta saw its death toll reach 300, while the number of active cases in Saskatchewan hit a new high of 511.

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B.C., which is heading to the polls on Saturday, topped 2,000 active virus cases for the first time on Friday with the addition of 223 cases.

In Manitoba, 163 new cases were announced, along with the death of a man in his 80s who was a resident at a Winnipeg long-term care home that is suffering an outbreak.

Read more:
World has broken records for daily coronavirus cases several times this week alone

Throughout Atlantic Canada, just two more cases of the virus were diagnosed — both in New Brunswick.

The Northwest Territories also announced a new coronavirus patient, who officials said was a Yellowknife resident who works at the Gahcho Kue diamond mine. Health officials in Yukon announced three new cases on Friday, located in Watson Lake near the boundary with B.C.

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: WHO says world is at a ‘critical juncture’ amid pandemic, some countries on a ‘dangerous track’'

Coronavirus: WHO says world is at a ‘critical juncture’ amid pandemic, some countries on a ‘dangerous track’

Coronavirus: WHO says world is at a ‘critical juncture’ amid pandemic, some countries on a ‘dangerous track’

With some record daily case counts around the world this week, the World Health Organization warned that we are at a “critical juncture” in the pandemic.

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WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a press conference Friday that some countries are on a “dangerous track.”

According to Johns Hopkins University, which is tallying known cases and deaths around the world, more than 42 million people have been diagnosed, and 1.1 million have died due to COVID-19 as of Friday.

—With files from Kalina Laframboise and Global News reporters across Canada

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Canada and its manufacturing sector face harm if PPE documents are released, says industry group –



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, a major industry association says.

Dennis Darby is president and CEO of Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, a 150-year-old organization that represents some 2,500 businesses. He has written to the Liberals, Conservatives and the NDP asking them to push back against a Conservative motion requesting those documents.

“We urge you to resist calls for disclosing any proprietary and confidential business information shared in private with the government of Canada and we commit ourselves to working with you to ensure that this does not happen,” Darby wrote.

The letter refers to Conservative MP Michelle Rempel-Garner’s motion calling on the federal government to release “all memoranda, emails, documents, notes and other records” detailing federal government’s purchasing of all testing-related equipment, from swabs to devices, and all personal protective equipment.

The motion also calls for detailed information about vaccines and asks the federal government’s Vaccine Task Force for information about its contacts with the federal government and its vaccine distribution and monitoring strategy.

“If these disclosures are too broad, it will negatively impact business operations for manufacturers in Canada and around the globe,” Darby wrote. “Furthermore, we worry that the reputations of many manufacturers, who stepped up to produce and sell personal protective equipment (PPE), testing devices, or other goods, will be unfairly tarnished.”

Darby said that the expense involved in retooling factories to produce masks, face shields, gowns and other items increased the cost of those products, even though the manufacturers sold them to the government at cost.

“Without doubt, those sudden ramp-up costs are significantly higher than a manufacturer who had been producing those same products for years,” Darby said in the letter. “We do not think their intentions should be called into question.”

The motion will go to a vote on Monday. Government House Leader Pablo Rodriguez’s office confirmed Thursday it won’t be considered a confidence vote — meaning it won’t trigger a general election if it passes.

The parties are debating how much time the government should have to gather the relevant documents after the Liberals said the motion’s 15-day timeline was unrealistic.

Negotiations ongoing

Flavio Volpe, president of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association, made a similar plea on Twitter this week, saying that the Conservative motion is threatening the “biggest industrial mobilization of Canadian industry in its history.” 

Volpe said that if manufacturers find their work being politicized, the companies that dropped everything to be a part of the effort to make PPE could abandon the work and tell the federal government to shop for PPE in China.

Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand told CBC News Network’s Power & Politics Thursday that the federal government is in the middle of negotiating contracts and disclosing sensitive business information could threaten those deals.

“If we go ahead and release information, that will undermine our supplier relationships,” she told guest host David Cochrane. “I am very concerned with releasing documents, vaccine contracts, PPE contracts … because we will undermine those relationships.” 

The co-chairs of the Liberal government’s COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force also expressed their concern in a letter sent Thursday to the leaders of all five federal political parties.

Joanne Langley and Mark Lievonen said that in order to provide advice to cabinet, they have entered into non-disclosure agreements with companies from Canada and around the world.

The task force has offered MPs from all parties a briefing, providing those MPs are also “subject to the same confidentiality arrangements” that bind the task force.

“Without this guarantee of commercial confidentiality, it would not have been possible for us to meaningfully engage with these firms nor to obtain the data needed to make evidence-based, informed recommendations,” the letter from the task force co-chairs said. 

It’s not clear what the final motion will look like come Monday; as it stands now, it includes a provision that appears to allow for some information to be withheld.

The motion says the documents can be “vetted for matters of personal privacy information and national security … the disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to interfere with contractual or other negotiations between the Government of Canada and a third party.” 

That vetting, the motion says, should be done by the law clerk and parliamentary counsel within seven days of delivery of the documents.

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Trudeau announces $214M for potential made-in-Canada COVID-19 vaccines – CTV News



Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is trying to offer Canadians modest hope about progress in testing and vaccine development after Canada notched an all-time high of new COVID-19 cases in a day.

Trudeau told a news conference Friday that the government is spending $214 million towards the development of COVID-19 vaccines, signing deals with two Canadian biotech firms.

But even as he touted Canada’s portfolio of potential vaccines, Trudeau warned it’s unlikely that any of these candidates will be ready to distribute to Canadians this year or early next year. It’s reasonable to expect that vaccines will start to roll out at some point in 2021, said Trudeau, but even then, supply will be limited, and high-risk populations will be prioritized for inoculation.

“We are hopeful that the vaccines will arrive yesterday, but they won’t,” said Trudeau. “There’s still a number more months of work to do.”

Trudeau said his government signed a $173-million contract with Quebec’s Medicago to secure the rights to buy 76 million doses of its vaccine, should it meet health and safety standards. The funding will also be used to establish a production facility in Quebec City, he said.

Ottawa is also investing $18.2 million in a potential vaccine from British Columbia’s Precision NanoSystems. Meanwhile, the National Research Council is spending $23 million to support other Canadian vaccine initiatives, Trudeau said.

The prime minister said Canada has signed six agreements with a number of companies taking part in the global race to produce a safe and effective vaccine for COVID-19 .

Two more American vaccine makers, Moderna and Pfizer, have asked Health Canada to review their products, which are undergoing clinical trials.

The prime minister also said Canada has acquired “hundreds of thousands” of rapid test kits from medical company Abbott. Trudeau said his government has started distributing the kits to provinces and territories, and it will be up to those authorities to decide how to deploy them.

But new innovations and investments will only prove effective in the fight against the COVID-19 contagion if Canadians do their part to curb the spread, Trudeau said.

Canada’s chief public health officer told reporters Friday that a record 2,788 new illnesses were reported Thursday, bringing the country’s total count to just over 209,000 COVID-19 cases, including more than 9,800 deaths.

Dr. Theresa Tam said authorities need the public’s help to rein in infection rates through practices such as limiting in-person contacts, wearing masks and physical distancing.

Meanwhile, a Quebec health institute released projections Friday suggesting that province’s health system should have the capacity to handle the number of COVID-19 patients expected to need care in the next four weeks.

Quebec is reporting 905 new cases of COVID-19 and 12 more deaths from the illness.

Ontario also reported 826 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, and nine new deaths linked to the virus.

Manitoba reported a total of 163 new infections Friday, most concentrated in Winnipeg, and the positivity rate is now up to 6.5 per cent. The province also said a man in his 80s is the latest death linked to an outbreak at Winnipeg’s Parkview Place that has killed a total of 15 people.

New Brunswick is reporting two new cases of COVID-19 in the Campbellton region, which is one of two areas that saw significant outbreaks two weeks ago.

Newfoundland and Labrador is asking passengers who travelled on Air Canada Flight 7484 from Toronto to Deer Lake on Oct. 12 to get tested in relation to a new COVID-19 case announced on Thursday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 23, 2020.

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