GENEVA (Reuters) – A vaccine against COVID-19 may be ready by year-end, the head of the World Health Organization said on Tuesday.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called for solidarity and political commitment by all leaders to ensure equal distribution of vaccines when they become available.
“We will need vaccines and there is hope that by the end of this year we may have a vaccine. There is hope,” Tedros said in final remarks to the WHO’s Executive Board, without elaborating.
Nine experimental vaccines are in the pipeline of the WHO’s COVAX global vaccine facility that aims to distribute 2 billion doses by the end of 2021.
The two-day board meeting, which examined the global response to the pandemic, heard calls from countries including Germany, Britain and Australia for reforms to strengthen the U.N. agency.
U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has strongly criticised the WHO’s role in the crisis, accusing it of being too close to China and not doing enough to question Beijing’s actions late last year when the virus first emerged in Wuhan.
Tedros has dismissed the suggestions and said his agency has kept the world informed.
Three independent panels reviewing WHO performance including its 2005 International Health Regulations – which set guidelines on trade and travel restrictions imposed during health emergencies – gave updates on their work.
The Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response, led by former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark and former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, met for the first time last month.
“We hope to get the real lessons that we can implement and prevent the same thing from happening,” Tedros said. “But I would like to assure you that WHO is ready to learn from this and change this organisation.
“During our transformation we promised this, we promised to keep change as a constant,” he said, referring to his programme since taking the helm in 2017.
Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva; Editing by Michael Shields, Alexandra Hudson and Giles Elgood
Flight to Kamloops last weekend had COVID-19 positive person – Kamloops News – Castanet.net
Another COVID-19 exposure occurred on a flight to Kamloops last weekend.
The British Columbia Centre for Disease Control on Friday added six more Vancouver flights to its COVID-19 public exposures list, including an Air Canada flight from Vancouver to Kamloops on Oct. 24.
The public health agency is warning passengers who recently travelled aboard the following Air Canada flights that they may have been exposed to the virus.
- Oct. 23 – Air Canada flight 123, Toronto to Vancouver (Affected rows 26-30)
- Oct. 24 – Air Canada flight 215, Calgary to Vancouver (Affected rows 24-29)
- Oct. 24 – Air Canada flight 8198, Vancouver to Kamloops (Affected rows 8-14)
- Oct. 25 – Air Canada flight 248, Vancouver to Edmonton (Affected rows 16-22)
- Oct. 25 – Air Canada flight 855, London to Vancouver (Affected rows 18-23)
- Oct. 28 – Air Canada flight 551, Los Angeles to Vancouver (Affected rows 22-28)
The update comes following Thursday’s additions to the BCCDC’s list, which included the flights:
- Oct. 18 – Air Canada 8209, Vancouver to Prince George (Affected rows 8-14)
- Oct. 18 – Air Canada 8575, Saskatoon to Vancouver (Affected rows 1-4 and 12-14)
- Oct. 25 – Air Canada 192, Victoria to Toronto (Affected rows 1-4)
The health agency asks any passengers who travelled on a domestic flight flagged for carrying a COVID-19 case to self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days following their potential exposure.
Any passengers who have travelled outside of Canada, meanwhile, are required to self-isolate and self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days upon their arrival. The government continues to discourage international travel at this time.
Any returning travellers who develop symptoms following their arrival in Canada should get tested for COVID-19. These individuals will also be required to self-isolate for a minimum of 14 days from their arrival date, or 10 days after onset of symptoms, whichever is longer.
While self-monitoring for symptoms of COVID-19— i.e. fever, cough, chills, sore throat, loss of sense of smell or taste and many more—individuals should take and record their temperature daily, and avoid taking fever-reducing medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen if possible, for 14 days following their return to Canada or last known exposure to a confirmed COVID-19 case. The average normal body temperature taken orally is about 37°C, according to the BCCDC.
For more information about self-monitoring and self-isolation, head to the BCCDC’s website.
What you need to know about COVID-19 in Alberta on Saturday, Oct. 31 – CBC.ca
- Halloween is going ahead amidst the pandemic, and Alberta’s chief medical officer of health says there are ways to ensure you have a safe and happy holiday.
- Alberta’s data system will be undergoing some maintenance over the weekend, meaning no new numbers will be reported this weekend or on Monday. Data updates are set to resume on Tuesday.
- Starting next Monday (Nov. 2), the COVID-19 symptom list for Albertans under the age of 18 is changing. Runny nose and sore throat will be removed from the list of symptoms that require mandatory isolation for children.
- Alberta reported 622 new cases on Friday, bringing the total active cases in the province to 5,172 — another new high after hitting record numbers nearly every day for the past week.
- Five more people have died, bringing total deaths in the province to 323.
- There are 140 people in hospital, 25 of whom are in intensive care.
- If you’re wondering how to handle Halloween this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, here are some ideas on how to trick-or-treat, give out candy or celebrate in a different way — without the fear of catching or spreading the coronavirus.
- The province has brought in new mandatory limits of 15 people at most social gatherings in Edmonton and Calgary.
- The province is also recommending voluntary measures in both cities: wearing non-medical masks in all indoor work settings, except where people are alone in an office or cubicle, or a barrier is in place, and limiting themselves to no more than three cohorts.
- It also recommends that people in Edmonton and Calgary limit themselves to no more than three social cohorts.
What you need to know today in Alberta:
Alberta set another record on Friday with 5,172 active cases of COVID-19, an increase of 251 from the day before.
The death toll now sits at 323, up five from Thursday.
Five more deaths were reported on Friday. They involved:
- A man in his 70s from Edmonton zone, not linked to continuing care.
- Two men, one in his 80s and another in his 90s, linked to the outbreak at the Edmonton General Continuing Care Centre in Edmonton.
- A man in his 80s linked to the South Terrace Continuing Care Centre in Edmonton Zone.
- A man in his 70s linked to the outbreak at the Peter Lougheed Centre in Calgary.
Starting Monday, the COVID-19 symptom list for Albertans under the age of 18 is changing. Runny nose and sore throat will be removed from the list of symptoms that require mandatory isolation for children.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, said the changes to the symptom list are intended to get children and teenagers back into child care or classrooms as quickly and safely as possible, while minimizing the risk of COVID-19.
In the last week, she said, more than 3,400 children and youth who were tested for COVID-19 reported having a sore throat. Just over 700 of them had a sore throat as their only symptom, and less than one per cent of their tests came back positive.
Meanwhile, the number of cases of COVID-19 among school-aged children in Alberta has again surged to a new high, while the number of kids and teens being tested continues to decline.
Data from Alberta Health shows the number of new daily cases has continued to rise among five- to nine-year-olds and has again shot up, especially, among 10- to 19-year-olds.
Over the past week on record, an average of 85 cases were recorded per day among school-aged kids and teens.
Alberta has reported a total of 27,664 cases since the pandemic began. Before this past week, which set new records on multiple days in a row, the highest active case total was 3,022, which was reported on April 30 at the peak of the first wave.
The active case rate per 100,000 people is 130.8 in Calgary and 185 in Edmonton.
A new temporary measure, which caps attendance at 15 for events where people will be “mixing and mingling” like parties and baby showers, applies in the Calgary and Edmonton areas.
The province is also recommending two voluntary measures in both cities: wearing non-medical masks in all indoor work settings, except where people are alone in an office or cubicle, or a barrier is in place, and limiting themselves to no more than three cohorts.
The federal minimum security Pê Sâkâstêw Centre in Maskwacis has been locked down after two staff members tested positive for COVID-19. Another three staff members are self-isolating at home.
A spokesperson for Correctional Service Canada told CBC News they don’t believe the infected employees were in close contact with any of the inmates.
An outbreak at the Calgary Correctional Centre has gotten bigger, according to new numbers provided by Alberta Health Services. As of Friday, 104 inmates and 20 staff members have tested positive.
Albertans have been administered more than 597,000 doses of the flu shot so far this year, an increase of more than 50,000 when compared to the same time period last year.
“Thank you for doing your part to help stop the spread of influenza, and helping our health system stay focused on the pandemic response,” Hinshaw said Thursday.
Health officials have said this year it is more important than ever to get the flu shot because of the pandemic.
Here’s the regional breakdown of active cases reported on Friday.
- Edmonton zone: 2,312, an increase from 2,277 the day before.
- Calgary zone: 2,034, an increase from 1,879 the day before.
- North zone: 353, an increase from 325 the day before.
- South zone: 276, an increase from 256 the day before.
- Central zone: 178 an increase from 162 the day before.
- Unknown: 19, a decrease from 22 the day before.
Find out which neighbourhoods or communities have the most cases, how hard people of different ages have been hit, the ages of people in hospital, how Alberta compares to other provinces and more in: Here are the latest COVID-19 statistics for Alberta — and what they mean
What you need to know today in Canada:
As of 11:20 a.m. ET on Saturday, Canada had 234,083 confirmed or presumptive coronavirus cases, with 28,230 of those active. Provinces and territories listed 195,719 as recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC’s reporting stood at 10,134.
On Friday, health officials in Canada reported a record-breaking number of new cases, totalling 3,457.
Manitoba saw 480 new cases on Friday, representing its highest single-day spike. Winnipeg will be placed under “red alert” pandemic restrictions starting on Monday.
Saskatchewan reported 82 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, breaking the record for the highest single-day jump in new cases since the beginning of the pandemic.
The province will receive about 453,000 in total, with a little less than half of that order expected to arrive by the end of this week. That means Quebec will receive about 37 per cent of the 1.2 million kits being deployed across Canada by the federal government.
The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on Canadians suffering from mental illness, opioid addiction and other substance abuse problems, says a new study released today by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) which confirms anecdotal reports warning that the pandemic’s health consequences extend well beyond the novel coronavirus itself.
Self-assessment and supports:
With winter cold and influenza season approaching, Alberta Health Services will prioritize Albertans for testing who have symptoms, and those groups which are at higher risk of getting or spreading the virus.
General asymptomatic testing is no longer available to anyone, but voluntary asymptomatic testing is available to:
- School teachers and staff.
- Health-care workers.
- Staff and residents at long-term care and congregate living facilities.
- Any Albertans experiencing homelessness.
- Travellers requiring a test before departure.
Additional groups can also access asymptomatic testing if required.
The province says Albertans who have returned to Canada from other countries must self-isolate. Unless your situation is critical and requires a call to 911, Albertans are advised to call Health Link at 811 before visiting a physician, hospital or other health-care facility.
If you have symptoms, even mild, you are to self-isolate for at least 10 days from the onset of symptoms, until the symptoms have disappeared.
The province also operates a confidential mental health support line at 1-877-303-2642 and addiction help line at 1-866-332-2322, both available 24 hours a day.
Online resources are available for advice on handling stressful situations and ways to talk with children.
There is a 24-hour family violence information line at 310-1818 to get anonymous help in more than 170 languages, and Alberta’s One Line for Sexual Violence is available at 1-866-403-8000, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Coronavirus exposure warning issued for Japanese restaurant in Surrey | Dished – Daily Hive
Fraser Health has issued a warning about a possible coronavirus exposure at a restaurant in Surrey.
A warning has been issued to those who were at Hanaya Japanese Restaurant at #106 2828 152 Street in Surrey on October 16, 17, and 19.
The specific times for possible exposure are as follows:
- October 16 from 11 am to 10 pm
- October 17 from 11 am to 10 pm
- October 19 from 4 to 9:30 pm
While this exposure is believed to be low risk according to Fraser Health, the authority is asking anyone who may have visited this restaurant on these specified dates and times to monitor themselves for symptoms.
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