British Columbia health officials announced 145 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Tuesday, bringing the provincial total to 617 cases.
The vast majority of the cases (330) remain in the Vancouver Coastal health region, while 194 cases are in the Fraser Health region and 44 are in the Island Health region. In addition, 44 cases of COVID-19 were found in the B.C. Interior and nine cases have been found in the province’s north.
Currently 59 people are in hospital with COVID 19, 23 of them in intensive care.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced no new deaths related to COVID-19 Tuesday, one of several positive signs she pointed to in her afternoon briefing.
The provincial health officer said the large number of cases announced Tuesday covers almost two days worth of testing, as Monday’s virus briefing was held hours earlier than usual.
“We now have 173 people who have fully recovered from COVID-19, so that’s 28 per cent of our total cases and I think that’s a really positive thing,” Henry said Tuesday.
“It shows us that most people, particularly young healthy people who have a milder illness, are able to manage at home and are recovering at home.”
Henry also said those who recover from the illness appear to become immune to it “at least for the next few weeks to months.”
Thirteen people have died of the novel coronavirus in B.C.
Henry said Canada’s self-isolation order for those who have travelled outside the country has proved effective at managing and tracking new cases of the virus in B.C.
“That allows us to focus on the community cases where we do not know the source of infection,” Henry said, adding that the province has tested nearly 30,000 people for the virus.
“The majority of our cases are in the Lower Mainland but no community in this province is immune and we know this virus can spread with people having very minimal symptoms,” Henry said.
“The way we break the chains of transmission are making sure that we’re not close enough that this virus can spread between people,” she added, stressing the importance of physical distancing measures.
B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix said the still-escalating number of coronavirus cases in B.C. is indicative of the “seriousness of the struggle British Columbia is facing.”
Dix said the province has made more hospital beds available to COVID-19 patients, bringing the provincial total to 3,866 available beds as of Tuesday.
The health minister said the province continues to administer approximately 3,500 COVID-19 tests every day.
Winnipeg lupus patients on edge amid shortage of drug at centre of COVID-19 trials – CBC.ca
An unproven claim a drug used to treat lupus can combat COVID-19 is causing an increase in prescriptions of the drug, creating shortages and putting Winnipeggers who rely on it on edge.
Elena Anciro was diagnosed with lupus eighteen years ago and relies on taking hydroxychloroquine daily in order to function without being in intense pain, and to reduce the flare-ups that make it hard to get out of bed.
“People have called this medication ‘lupus life insurance,'” Anciro said. “It is vital.”
While the drug was created in the 1950’s to treat malaria, it is commonly prescribed to control inflammation and pain for those with lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
However, it came to the forefront in the fight against COVID-19 thanks to a famous tweet by U.S President Donald Trump.
The tweet sent earlier this month heralded it as a possible way to treat COVID-19.
HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE & AZITHROMYCIN, taken together, have a real chance to be one of the biggest game changers in the history of medicine. The FDA has moved mountains – Thank You! Hopefully they will BOTH (H works better with A, International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents)…..
It sent people scrambling to get their hands on the drug, causing a spike in prescriptions in Manitoba and a dire warning from the province’s health regulators — it was being over-prescribed and now they are facing “serious shortages.”
“Due to the recent yet-to-be-proven claims of effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine sulfate against COVID-19 and the growth in prescribing for it, we are now faced with a very serious shortage (and some brands, outages) of the product,” read a March 26 notice co-authored by the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Nurses and Pharmacists.
“This presents very serious challenges for long-term continuity of care for patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.”
Manitoba reports spike in prescriptions of hydroxychloroquine
According to the notice there has been a “significant increase” in Manitoba over the past two weeks in the number of prescriptions written and dispensed for hydroxychloroquine and Kaletra — an antiretroviral used to treat HIV.
As part of mandatory reporting requirements, a drug shortage report was given to Health Canada on March 19 by the drugs’ manufacturer, Apotex Inc. It cited the shortage was due to “demand increase” for the drug.
Anciro is just one of the 15,000 Canadians who have lupus, an autoimmune disease that cause severe inflammation of the joints among other symptoms. A further 300,000 Canadians have rheumatoid arthritis, many of whom also rely on the drug to function in their lives.
“When Trump announced that and this all happened, to have to not only worry about getting this sick from this highly contagious virus, [but also] having to worry about the pills that allow me to be well, is very stressful,” said Anciro.
Stephanie Corbett is another Winnipegger who takes hydroxychloroquine daily to treat lupus. The mother of five was diagnosed with lupus nine years ago and says without the drug, she’d likely end up in the hospital.
So far, both have been able to fill their prescription without any issues. Both say it would take weeks for the drug to leave their system, but when it does, it’ll be devastating.
“It will be life-threatening for people like me,” said Corbett.
“I’ll end up in the hospital. The rashes will start. The pain will get worse. You know, every symptom will start rearing.”
Clinical trial at U of M
While a clinical trial is currently underway at the University of Manitoba to see if hydroxychloroquine can be repurposed to reduce the severity of COVID-19, there are currently no approved treatments or vaccines for the virus.
Virologist Jason Kindrachuk says the key message for Manitobans is they need to wait and see the outcomes of these trials before jumping to conclusions.
“The data is simply not there. I’m not arguing for or against it. I’m just saying that right now we don’t have data to support that it is actually truly beneficial for patients,” said Kindrachuk, an associate professor at the University of Manitoba and Canada research chair in emerging viruses.
He says the scientific community needs to do a better job of communicating to the public the proven benefits of a drug.
“Our biggest concern is that we don’t want to give people false hope if we truly don’t know whether or not there’s a benefit, because, again, we can have a position where people are demanding hydroxychloroquine,” Kindrachuk said
CBC reported last week that medical regulators across the country were seeing overprescription of drugs such as hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, another drug being studied as part of the fight against COVID-19.
Regulators reported an increase in orders for the drugs from doctors who list it as “for office use.” These requests are typically from doctors who want to keep a supply on hand for future use, raising concerns that stockpiling was occurring.
The Manitoba College of Physicians and Surgeons cautioned its members against stockpiling, warning that it may be reviewing prescriptions of these drugs and “prescribers must be able to demonstrate good medical care.”
“These drugs have an intended use and prescribing these drugs as a precautionary measure leads to drug shortages and is compromising care for other patients,” the College wrote on Thursday.
A warning was only given to nurses from their regulator, warning them not to prescribe Hydroxychloroquine or azithromycin to treat COVID-19.
“Nurses have an obligation to ensure that their practice and any treatment they prescribe is evidence-informed,” wrote the College of Nurses.
Both Corbett and Anciro say they understand Manitobans are gravitating to the drug because they are scared.
“But as of right now, there is nothing saying that the public should to be taking it,” said Corbett.
“So leave the drug for the people with the diseases that are taking it and that need it to survive.”
FDA OK's Addition To Stockpile Of Malaria Drugs For COVID-19 – KCCU
Over the weekend, the Food and Drug Administration granted two malaria drugs “emergency use authorization” for the treatment of COVID-19. The move makes it easier to add the medicines to the strategic stockpile, which can be drawn upon in the current public health emergency.
The drugs — chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine — have been identified as potential COVID-19 treatments based on lab tests and small, limited studies in humans.
But gold standard clinical trials in the United States only just got underway. Preliminary results from those studies aren’t expected for weeks or months.
One thing is for sure, the FDA decision doesn’t reflect an official determination that the drugs work against the coronavirus.
“This is not FDA approval of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine for the treatment of COVID-19,” says epidemiologist Rajesh Gandhi, who is leading Massachusetts General Hospital’s COVID-19 treatment task force. “There’s an epidemic of misinformation out there, and we need to combat that.”
The emergency use authorization only applies to the supply of these two drugs in the Strategic National Stockpile, the government’s storehouses of emergency medical supplies located in warehouses throughout the country.
Hospitals would need to request access to the drugs through their states, and the medicines would only be distributed to patients who have been hospitalized and tested positive for COVID-19, but for whom a “clinical trial is not available, or participation is not feasible,” according to the FDA.
“It’s nice to know that they have it in the event we’re running low or going to run out,” says Onisis Stefas, chief pharmacy officer at Northwell Health in New York, where doctors are already using the drug for patients who can’t be enrolled in clinical trials. “It’s good to have this as backup.”
The emergency use authorization won’t affect patients seeking this drug from their local pharmacies, where shortages have been reported.
Sandoz, the generic and biosimilar arm of drugmaker Novartis, donated 30 million doses of hydroxychloroquine to the stockpile. Bayer Pharmaceuticals donated 1 million doses of chloroquine. The Department of Health and Human Services announced on Sunday that it accepted these doses “for possible use in treating patients hospitalized with COVID-19 or for use in clinical trials.”
President Trump began promoting both drugs at his daily coronavirus press briefings earlier this month, prompting a spike in hydroxychloroquine prescriptions and concern about shortages and accidental poisonings.
If the drugs were helpful, doctors would be pleased to have a treatment option.
“We were told patients with COVID-19 who received this drug cleared the virus better than patients that did not receive the drug,” says Francois Nosten, who directs the Shoklo Malaria Research Unit in Thailand, and has been working with chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine for decades. “But it’s not sufficient information to be sure that this drug can be used or should be used in treating patients more widely.”
Preliminary findings often don’t pan out.
“The whole history of infectious disease is littered with drugs we all thought were going to be promising but turned out … not to be,” Mass General’s Gandhi says, adding that some of these medicines even turned out to be harmful.
Ontario nursing home sees 7 coronavirus deaths, 24 staff infected – 680 News
An Ontario health unit says one nursing home has seen seven COVID-19 deaths and at least 24 staff members infected.
The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit has said the outbreak at Pinecrest Nursing Home in Bobcaygeon is believed to be the largest in the province.
The health unit says 10 other staff members are awaiting test results, and another person in the community has died in a case linked to the nursing home.
Ontario reported 351 new COVID-19 cases Monday, the largest single-day increase by far, which health officials attribute at least in part to clearing a backlog of pending test results.
Ontario’s chief medical officer of health is recommending that everyone in the province _ especially people over 70 and with compromised immune systems _ stay home except for essential reasons.
Premier Doug Ford says medical supply lines will be “seriously challenged” if there is a massive surge of people into hospitals in the next two weeks, and all options — including further shut downs — are on the table.
The new total of cases in the province is 1,706 — including 431 resolved cases and 23 deaths.
The number of resolved cases had been stuck at eight for many days, but health officials had said to expect a large jump once the data caught up to a new definition for resolved.
The increase in the number of resolved cases also means there are actually fewer active COVID-19 cases in Ontario — 1,252 — than the 1,324 that Sunday’s data had indicated.
A new reporting format from the province also shows that more than 61 per cent of all cases are in the Greater Toronto Area.
Information on how people became infected is still pending for nearly half of all cases in Ontario. About 16 per cent are attributed to community spread, 26 per cent to recent travel, and nearly 10 per cent to close contact with another confirmed case.
About 10 per cent of people in the province who have tested positive for COVID-19 have been hospitalized.
The median age of people infected is 50, with cases ranging in age from under one year old to 100 years old.
Mortgage rates are rising in Canada despite virus-relief cuts – BNNBloomberg.ca
The Olympics and Paralympics have new dates – Canadian Cycling Magazine
Resident Evil 3: PC graphics performance benchmark review – Article – Guide – Review – guru3d.com
Iran anticipates renewed protests amid social media shutdown
Popular Richmond BBQ spot speaks out about coronavirus rumours after man collapses outside restaurant – Vancouver Is Awesome
Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver reports January housing sales up 42.4 percent
- Health18 hours ago
New drive-through testing clinic for COVID-19 opens in Côte-St-Luc – Montreal Gazette
- Sports23 hours ago
Taylor Hall talking contract with Coyotes during NHL shutdown: report – CBC.ca
- Tech17 hours ago
Samsung Galaxy M11 is official with Infinity-O display and three cameras – GSMArena.com news – GSMArena.com
- Health19 hours ago
'Worse than any flu': Canadians describe how it feels to have COVID-19 | paNOW | Prince Albert, Saskatchewan – Mashviral News – Mash Viral
- Tech23 hours ago
Coronavirus: Mercedes F1 to make breathing aid – BBC News
- Art15 hours ago
Private Spaces art show opening in Truro – pictouadvocate.com
- Tech21 hours ago
Zoom users take heed to prevent uninvited guests in your meeting rooms – Chrome Unboxed
- Media23 hours ago
Trump Tweets NY Times Ratings Article But Omits ‘Dangerous’ Public Health Risk Portion – Mediaite