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Could the new coronavirus in China spread to Canada? – Newstalk 1010 (iHeartRadio)

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A Chinese woman in Thailand has become the first person outside China diagnosed with a coronavirus that has affected more than 40 people in the country—raising concerns about whether the illness can be spread to other parts of the world.

Airport officials in an airport in Phuket, Thailand began using a thermoscanner on passengers coming from Wuhan, China earlier this month.

Anyone with a temperature over 38 degrees Celsius was taken to hospital.

The 61-year-old woman was one of those passengers. According to the World Health Organization, she was suffering from flu-like symptoms including fever, chills and a sore throat and was travelling with several family members in a tour group of 16 people.

While she told authorities she did visit a local fresh market, she did not go to the Huanan South China Seafood Market, which has been connected to most of the other cases of the novel coronavirus.

The woman is in quarantine and under observation in hospital.

Flight patterns between Wuhan and other parts of the world are the subject of a new study in the Journal of Travel Medicine. Public health infrastructure, disease dynamics and political factors were analyzed and used to rank various cities on an Infectious Disease Vulnerability Index (IDVI).

Dr. Isaac Boguch, one of the co-authors and an infectious diseases specialist with the University Health Network, says major cities like Bangkok, Tokyo and Seoul rank high on the index.

But should Canada worry?

“People can travel from any point on the planet to any other point on the planet in about 24 hours. Certainly people can travel from Wuhan China to Canada. I think the risk is really low, but it’s certainly not zero per cent,” Boguch said.

For Canadians, concerns are likely to be heightened by experiences with the Severe Acute Respitaroy Syndrome virus (SARS) SARS, which claimed hundreds of lives around the world in 2002, including 44 in Canada. SARS also originated in China.

But Dr. Michael Gardam, Chief of Staff at Humber River Hospital, says the world is very different in 2020.

“First of all, our lab technology has become a lot more sophisticated, so we’re much better and quicker,” Gardam said. “Also, we do much more detailed surveillance so now the world’s looking for these things all over the place.”

Boguch also points to the speed and openness of Chinese health officials with the new coronavirus, saying the genome for the virus was shared with the world in a matter of days at the start of January.

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Ontario nursing home sees 7 coronavirus deaths, 24 staff infected – 680 News

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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.

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'Nobody went out and intentionally spread this': No order broken in Caul's cluster – CBC.ca

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The first person who had COVID-19 at a St. John’s funeral home— also known as the index case — did not spread the virus knowingly and did not violate any government orders by being there, says the province’s chief medical officer of health.

As of Monday, 111 people infected with coronavirus in Newfoundland and Labrador contracted it either directly or indirectly from Caul’s Funeral Home in St. John’s, between March 15 and 17. One man, 78, died Sunday as a result of the virus, linked to the funeral home.

Social media has been awash with vitriol, shaming and misinformation on the incident, with some calls for the individual to be charged, but Dr. Janice Fitzgerald called for calm.

“Nobody went out and intentionally spread this,” Fitzgerald said Sunday. “This happened at a time when we didn’t have the same measures in place that we do now.

“Taking our experience from now and trying to apply that to something that happened nearly two weeks ago is fraught with problems because where we are now is very different.”

Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, N.L.’s chief medical officer of health, says the person who spread coronavirus at Caul’s was not violating any government rules in place at the time when they attended a wake. (Malone Mullin/CBC)

Fitzgerald, who is Newfoundland and Labrador’s chief medical officer of health, said it does not appear anyone violated government rules at the time, and shaming individuals is not conducive in the fight against the ever-spreading virus.

Caul’s Funeral Home disclosed March 22 that people who had attended its LeMarchant Road business for visitation for two people between March 15 and March 17 were being contacted by public health, as a suspected infected person had visited the building. 

The provincial government had only ordered public sector employees who returned from travel outside the country to self-isolate on March 16. Also on that date, the federal government advised all Canadians returning from outside the country to voluntarily self-isolate for 14 days. 

It is unclear if the individual was showing symptoms at the time, and where they were prior to the funeral service.

“That is our balance we always have to achieve,” Fitzgerald said Sunday. “We want people to come forward, we want people to feel safe to come forward.”

The self-isolation period for anyone who did attend the funeral home and has not yet been sick ends Wednesday.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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‘It’s a war zone’: Coronavirus deaths at Bobcaygeon, Ont., nursing home climb to 9 – Global News

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Nine residents of a long-term care home in Bobcaygeon, Ont., have died of COVID-19 complications since March 25, according to the facility’s medical director.

Dr. Michelle Snarr has called the Pinecrest Nursing Home a “war zone” since an outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease was declared on March 18. The nine deaths are presumed cases of COVID-19, she said, noting that seven of the deaths occurred over the weekend.

“It’s a war zone — more than one nurse has said that,” Snarr said Monday morning. “I feel like a field commander in a war.”


READ MORE:
2 long-term care home residents in Bobcaygeon, Ont. die after COVID-19 outbreak

“We started off with 65. We’ve had nine die so far,” said Snarr.

“There are patients dying right now; more are going to die.”

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Snarr said she emailed families on March 21, warning them they may have to decide on sending a loved one to the hospital or placing them on a ventilator — the latter of which Snarr said would likely cause a patient to “suffer a great deal,” adding that they “may not survive.”

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“I cannot begin to imagine what the abysmal quality of life would be for a person in a nursing home — that frail — and if they survived a ventilator, the quality of life would just be abysmal,” she said.

Snarr thanked the public for the outpouring of support and said a “plea for compassion is needed” for the situation, which she describes as “beyond horrifying … heart-wrenching, gut-wrenching.”

“I can’t put it into words. It’s just devastatingly horrible. So, so, so sad,” she said.

The health unit has called the outbreak the largest in the province.

Global News has reached out to Health Minister Christine Elliott’s office numerous times for comment on this story, however the minister’s office has declined to comment, saying it would have more details Monday afternoon.

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On Monday afternoon, the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit confirmed the seven COVID-19-related deaths. As of Monday, 24 staff at the nursing home have been confirmed positive for COVID. Test results are pending for 10 other staff, the health unit stated

There have also been two additional deaths at the home since March 18 that were not related to COVID-19, the health unit issued in a release.

Mary Carr, Pinecrest administrator, says residents have been isolated in the home and staff with symptoms have been sent home for self-isolation to help limit the spread of the virus.

“Our team members are dedicated professionals, trained in infection, prevention and control strategies and they will continue to focus on keeping our residents, families and team members safe,” said Carr in an email to Global News. “We actively monitor and screen our residents to determine if they are showing any of the related symptoms and take necessary precautions if they do. We also actively screen all our team members every time they enter our building, and they are encouraged to self-monitor at home and are not permitted to come to work if they are feeling unwell.”

Carr said limited visitation is only for essential visitors.

“Our residents and staff have shown incredible resilience during this difficult time and we truly appreciate the support we have received from the community,” she said.

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2:05
COVID-19: Positive case confirmed at Peterborough long-term care facility


COVID-19: Positive case confirmed at Peterborough long-term care facility

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

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