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800 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., five more deaths – News 1130

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VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The daily COVID-19 case count in B.C. continues to creep higher, with 800 new infections confirmed in the past day.

Five more people have died of the illness.

A joint statement from Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix says there has been a “notable spike” in the daily new case count, especially among those between 19 and 39 years of age.

“This tells us some people are taking on more risk for themselves and their loved ones than what is safe right now. We remind everyone that although some outside activities are allowed, we must keep going with our protective layers. Until everyone has been protected with immunization, our protective layers must be the first and last thing we think about – whether at home, work, school or elsewhere.”

There are currently 306 people hospitalized with the virus, 79 of whom are in intensive care.

Of the new COVID-19 cases, 264 are in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 381 in Fraser Health, 45 in Island Health, 50 in Interior Health, and 58 in Northern Health. Two new cases are people who live outside of Canada.

The province is reporting 191 new confirmed COVID-19 cases that are variants of concern, for a total of 1,772. They include 1,549 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant, first identified in the U.K. There have also been 47 cases of the B.1.351 variant, first identified in South Africa, and 176 of the P.1 variant, which was first found in Brazil.

These figures come as the province announced that restrictions around visitation at long-term care homes will be eased in one week’s time.

As of April 1, residents will be allowed to have up to two adults plus a child visit at the same time. Physical contact between residents and their loved ones will also be allowed again.

There will still be precautions and appropriate PPE, but people will be allowed to spend time together in resident rooms without a staff member there.

The province says “visits must allow for a minimum of 60 minutes.”

For months, only one designated person has been allowed — and only for certain residents.

Related article: COVID-19 vaccinations in B.C.: What you need to know

A new outbreak has been declared at Chilliwack General Hospital.

The province says 610,671 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered so far, including 87,212 that are second doses.

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COVID cases in Ontario could spike to 30,000 per day by June

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TORONTO (Reuters) – New cases of COVID-19 in Canada‘s most populous province could rise more than six fold, topping 30,000 per day by early June if public health measures are weak and vaccination rates remain flat, a panel of experts advising the province of Ontario said on Friday.

Even if measures to control the virus are “moderate,” the number of patients in Ontario ICUs could reach 2,000 in May, up from 695 on Friday.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario told doctors last week they may soon have to decide who can and cannot receive intensive care.

 

(Reporting by Allison Martell; Editing by Chris Reese)

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Moderna sees shortfall in Britain COVID vaccine shipments, EU deliveries on track

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ZURICH (Reuters) – U.S. drugmaker Moderna expects a shortfall in COVID-19 vaccine doses from its European supply chain hitting second-quarter delivery quantities for Britain and Canada, though European Union– and Swiss-bound shipments are on track, a spokesperson said.

The delays, first announced on Friday when Canada said Moderna would be delivering only about half the planned 1.2 million doses by the end of April, come as Switzerland’s Lonza ramps up three new production lines to make active ingredients for Moderna vaccine supplies outside of the United States.

“The trajectory of vaccine manufacturing ramp-up is not linear, and despite best efforts, there is a shortfall in previously estimated doses from the European supply chain,” Moderna said in a statement.

Lonza didn’t immediately return a phone call and email seeking comment on any issues in its production.

 

(Reporting by John Miller; editing by David Evans)

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Moderna says vaccines to Canada to be delayed due to Europe shortfall

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(Reuters) -Moderna Inc said on Friday a shortfall in COVID-19 vaccine doses from its European supply chain will lead to a delay in deliveries to some countries including Canada.

The drugmaker would be delivering only 650,000 doses by April end as opposed to 1.2 million, Canada‘s Procurement Minister Anita Anand said in a statement.

She said one to two million doses of the 12.3 million doses scheduled for delivery by Moderna in the second quarter would be delayed until the third.

Moderna officials in Europe did not immediately comment on the reason for the delays or give the total number of countries that would be impacted.

“Vaccine manufacturing is a highly complex process and a number of elements, including human and material resources have factored into this volatility,” said Patricia Gauthier, an executive at Moderna Canada.

Canada has distributed a total of 2.82 million doses of the Moderna vaccine as of April 14 and 12.7 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines in total.

Moderna has been aiming to deliver 700 million to 1 billion doses of the COVID-19 globally this year, including from plants in Europe and the United States.

Swiss contract drug manufacturer Lonza makes active ingredients for Moderna’s vaccine in Visp, but it was still ramping up three new production lines that once operational would be able to produce 300 million shots annually.

The current supply, demand and distribution landscape has led the drugmaker to make adjustments in the expected second-quarter deliveries, Gauthier said.

(Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru, Allison Martell in Toronto and John Miller in Zurich; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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