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Manitoba reports lowest daily COVID-19 case count in nearly 2 weeks, with 58 on Sunday – CBC.ca

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Manitoba reported its lowest daily increase in COVID-19 cases in nearly two weeks on Sunday, when 58 new infections were reported in a news release.

Most of those cases are in the Northern Health Region (25) and the Winnipeg health region (24), the release says.

The rest are split between the Southern Health region (five) and the Interlake-Eastern health region (four). The Prairie Mountain Health region reported no new COVID-19 infections for the second straight day.

The last time Manitoba’s number of daily new COVID-19 cases was that low was on Feb. 8, when 53 new infections were announced.

Two more people have died in Manitoba after contracting COVID-19.

The deaths announced Sunday are a man in his 70s and a woman in her 80s, the release says. The woman was from the Winnipeg health region, while the man was connected to the outbreak at Niverville’s Heritage Life Personal Care Home.

The latest deaths bring Manitoba’s total to 884.

Manitoba’s five-day test positivity rate is still 5.3 per cent, while Winnipeg’s rose to 4.1 per cent from four per cent on Saturday.

No new cases of the coronavirus variant first detected in the U.K. — which can spread more easily — were announced in Manitoba this weekend. The province announced three new virus variant cases on Friday, which brought the total number identified in Manitoba to four after the first case was announced last week.

Officials said all four of those cases were linked to international travel and have since recovered.

There are now 208 COVID-19 patients in hospital in Manitoba, up by two since Saturday. Thirty-one of those people are still in intensive care, the release says.

Manitoba has now identified 31,386 COVID-19 cases, including 29,322 people who have been deemed recovered. There are now 1,180 active cases in the province, though officials have previously said that number may been inflated by a data entry backlog.

There were 2,024 COVID-19 tests done in Manitoba on Saturday, which brings the province’s total number of swabs done since early last February to 512,566.

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Moderna says waiving IP rights won’t help increase vaccine supply

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Moderna Inc said on Thursday that waiving intellectual property rights on COVID-19 vaccines will not help boost supply in 2021 or 2022, a day after U.S. President Joe Biden backed a proposed waiver that is aimed at giving poorer companies access.

 

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Canada allows Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 12-15

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(Corrects headline and lead to make clear that Canada was not the first nation as stated by Canadian officials, adds context from Pfizer in fourth paragraph)

By David Ljunggren

OTTAWA (Reuters) –Canada is authorizing the use of Pfizer Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine for use in children aged 12 to 15, the first doses to be allowed in the country for people that young, the federal health ministry said on Wednesday.

Supriya Sharma, a senior adviser at the Canadian federal health ministry, said the Pfizer vaccine, produced with German partner BioNTech SE, was safe and effective in the younger age group.

“We are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel,” she told reporters.

Sharma and a health ministry spokesman said Canada was the first country to grant such an approval, but a Canadian representative for Pfizer later said Algeria permitted use of the vaccine for this age group in April. The Canadian health ministry said it had no information about the discrepancy.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to take a similar step “very soon,” U.S. health officials said.

Separately, authorities reported the third death of a Canadian from a rare blood clot condition after receiving AstraZeneca PLC’s’s COVID-19 vaccine. The man, who was in his sixties, lived in the Atlantic province of New Brunswick.

Jennifer Russell, the chief medical officer of health in New Brunswick, said the province would continue using the AstraZeneca vaccine. Alberta reported a death from clotting on Tuesday and Quebec announced one on April 27.

“There will be rare cases where thrombosis will occur. However, the risks remain minimal compared to the risks, complications and potential consequences of COVID-19,” Russell told reporters.

Canada‘s federal government has bought tens of millions of doses of vaccines but critics complain the pace of inoculation is lagging due to bottlenecks in the 10 provinces, which are responsible for administering the doses.

Alberta will become the first province to offer COVID-19 vaccines to everyone aged 12 and over from May 10, Premier Jason Kenney said on Wednesday, a day after he introduced tighter public health measures to combat a third wave of the pandemic.

Alberta, home to Canada‘s oil patch, has the highest rate per capita of COVID-19 in the country, with nearly 24,000 active cases and 150 people in intensive care.

Around 20% of the 1,249,950 cases of COVID-19 in Canada have been reported in people under the age of 19. Canada has recorded 24,396 deaths.

(Additional reporting by Allison Martell in Toronto and Nia Williams in Calgary;Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Sonya Hepinstall)

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Younger people filling up COVID-19 intensive care

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By Anthony Boadle

BRASILIA (Reuters) –COVID-19 infections continue to spread fast across the Americas as a result of relaxed prevention measures and intensive care units are filling up with younger people, the director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said on Wednesday.

In Brazil, mortality rates have doubled among those younger than 39, quadrupled among those in their 40s and tripled for those in their 50s since December, Carissa Etienne said.

Hospitalization rates among those under 39 years have increased by more than 70% in Chile and in some areas of the United States more people in their 20s are now being hospitalized for COVID-19 than people in their 70s.

“Despite all we learned about this virus in a year, our control efforts are not as strict, and prevention is not as efficient,” Etienne said in a virtual briefing from Washington.

“We are seeing what happens when these measures are relaxed: COVID spreads, cases mount, our health systems become overwhelmed and people die,” she said.

Canada continues to report significant jumps in infections in highly populated provinces such as Ontario as well as in less populated territories of the North and Yukon, home to remote and indigenous communities, according to PAHO.

Puerto Rico and Cuba remain significant drivers of COVID-19 cases in the Caribbean, which is facing a new surge of the virus, PAHO directors said.

Cases are rapidly accelerating in the Guyanas and across Argentina and Colombia, where weekly case counts are five times higher today than they were this time last year and hospitals are reaching capacity in large Colombian cities.

In Central America, Guatemala is seeing significant spikes in cases and Costa Rica is reporting record-high infections.

While vaccines are being rolled out as fast as possible, they are not a short-term solution because they are in short supply, said Etienne, the World Health Organization’s regional director.

(Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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