Canada reached another grim milestone in its fight against the pandemic Monday as COVID-19-related deaths in the country surpassed 15,000.
The mark was reached after another 37 deaths were reported in Quebec Monday. To date, a total of 15,121 people have now succumbed to the virus.
Another 3,304 cases were also reported, though the increase in infections is limited by several provinces and territories withholding their data over the holidays. As of Monday evening, there have been 554,780 lab-confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Canada, while over 466,000 infections are now considered resolved and a total of 18 million tests have been administered.
Health Minister Patty Hadju’s office also confirmed that the Moderna vaccine was set to arrive in the Yukon and Northwest Territories Monday, with both receiving 7,200 doses each.
The less stringent temperature requirements of transporting the vaccine, which was approved last week, have made it the main choice to be administered in rural areas and long-term care homes. No information was provided yet on when Nunavut — the territory with the most COVID-19 cases — would get the vaccine, though the government said that the rest of the 168,000 doses would be delivered to provinces and territories “this week.”
Another province also identified another case of the new COVID-19 variant, with health authorities in Alberta linking it someone who recently arrived arrived from the U.K. To date, British Columbia and Ontario have both reported cases caused by the new variant, with several health experts warning that the new mutation has most likely already spread to other provinces.
The Ontario government also faced criticism Monday after it said that it cut back on administering their coronavirus vaccines during the Christmas holidays. According to the province’s ministry of health, the cut was due to staff shortages over the holidays.
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“As with any holiday season, ensuring proper staff coverage can be challenging,” the ministry said in a statement. “Schedules for vaccination clinics were adjusted over the holidays to ensure that there was no impact on staffing levels within the long-term care homes or for the hospitals operating the clinics.”
The province did not report any new case data on Monday, with cases and deaths there standing at 171,416 and 4,377, respectively.
Alberta also marked over 1,000 deaths from the virus on Monday after health authorities announced that 112 people had died between Dec. 23 to Dec. 27. The province’s caseload also stands at 98,269 after 917 new cases were announced over the last 24 hours.
“This tragic milestone is more than a number or statistic,” said Alberta Premier Jason Kenney in a statement. “It represents more than 1,000 mothers, wives, fathers, husbands — empty spaces around the table that can never be filled.”
Quebec added another 2,265 cases of the coronavirus on Monday as well, pushing it’s total infections to 194,930. Another 37 deaths were reported, while Monday marked the second day in the row the province logged more than 2,200 new cases.
Manitoba added another 107 cases of the virus, while both B.C. and Saskatchewan did not release new data due to the holidays.
In Atlantic Canada, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia added one new infection while Newfoundland and Labrador reported another two cases.
Is the new coronavirus variant in Quebec?
Nunavut added on new lab-confirmed infection, though both the Northwest Territories and the Yukon did not release new data.
To date, over 81,247,000 people have been infected with the novel coronavirus worldwide according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University. A total of 1,772,869 people have since succumbed to the virus, with the U.S., Brazil and India continuing to lead in both cases and deaths.
— With files from The Canadian Press
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
Pfizer to temporarily reduce vaccine deliveries to Canada, minister says – CBC.ca
Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand said today that global pharmaceutical giant Pfizer will temporarily reduce shipments of its vaccine to Canada, further complicating the slow rollout of doses.
Anand said she was told last night that Pfizer will send fewer doses than expected because it is pausing some production lines at its facility in Puurs, Belgium, in order to expand long-term manufacturing capacity.
“This expansion work means that Pfizer is temporarily reducing deliveries to all countries receiving vaccines manufactured at its European facility, and that includes Canada,” Anand told reporters at a public health briefing.
“Pfizer believes that by the end of March it will be able to catch up, such that we will be on track for the total committed doses for Q1,” she added, referring to the first quarter of the calendar year.
Anand stressed that this is a “temporary reduction” and not a “stoppage,” as some doses will still be shipped to Canada when some of Pfizer’s manufacturing lines are idle.
“It’s going to be temporary, it’s not a loss, and we will make up those doses,” she said, adding deliveries will be disrupted for “two or three weeks.”
WATCH | Canada affected by Pfizer vaccine production delay in Europe:
Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, the military commander leading vaccine logistics for the federal government, said Thursday that Canada was expecting deliveries of 208,000 doses of the Pfizer product each week for the rest of January. He also projected that 1.4 million doses would be delivered in February.
Anand said those delivery numbers will change as a result of this manufacturing hiccup, but she couldn’t say by how much.
“I am aware this morning that Pfizer is speaking with the Public Health Agency of Canada to provide further information related to the numbers so planning can take place,” she said.
Other countries supplied by Pfizer’s European facility provided some rough estimates Friday of how deliveries will be affected as Pfizer retools.
The Norwegian Institute of Public Health said Friday it expects deliveries to be reduced by as much as 20 per cent over the coming weeks. Lithuania said it was told its supplies would be halved until mid-February.
“The manufacturer told us the cuts are EU-wide,” Lithuanian health ministry spokesperson Vytautas Beniusis told Reuters.
Anand said the federal government still expects to receive roughly four million doses of the Pfizer product in the first three months of this year. Moderna is expected to deliver another two million doses of its vaccine.
Pfizer also has a plant in Kalamazoo, Mich., but all of Canada’s doses are being shipped from the company’s European operation.
Canada is on a 'rapid growth trajectory,' 2,000 more people could die from COVID-19 in the next 10 days: PHAC – CBC.ca
New modelling released by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) suggests the number of daily COVID-19 cases could more than triple to 30,000 if people increase their contacts at a time when there’s widespread community transmission.
The report also projects that if Canadians simply maintain the current level of contact they have with people outside their households, case counts will also rise to roughly 13,000 a day from 7,900 now.
The modellers said, based on current case counts, Canada “remains on a rapid growth trajectory,” with roughly 2,000 more people expected to die over the next 10 days as the country approaches the threshold of 20,000 people dead from the virus. As many as 100,000 more people could contract the virus over the next week and a half, PHAC said.
“Quick, strong and sustained measures are needed to interrupt rapid growth and maintain COVID-19 control,” PHAC said in its report. “Reducing COVID-19 activity is urgently needed as rollout of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines begins.”
Alberta, Ontario, Saskatchewan and Quebec are the provinces reporting the highest infection rates per 100,000 people.
Some 10 months into this pandemic, long-term care homes continue to report hundreds of daily cases. There are currently more than 400 outbreaks nationwide, which is expected to push hospitalization rates higher still. Alberta and Manitoba are reporting the highest rates of hospitalization per 100,000 people.
PHAC said COVID-19-related deaths are steadily rising and may soon exceed levels seen during the first peak.
Canada adds 7,563 new coronavirus infections as more variant cases found – Global News
Canada added 7,563 coronavirus cases Thursday and 154 deaths as the second detection of the South African variant of the virus was reported in the country.
There are now 688,891 cases in total and 17,537 deaths in the country.
The new variant case was found in British Columbia’s Vancouver Coastal Health region after the first case was reported last week in Alberta.
The new B.C. case has not been known to have travelled or been in contact with someone who travelled recently.
An investigation is underway to see how the case was contracted.
The variation appears to spread more easily and has not been found to be immune to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
B.C. also reported a fourth case of the U.K. variant of the virus, this one not related to the same family to which the first three were connected.
B.C. detects 1st case of South African variant, 4th case of U.K. variant of COVID-19
Gen. Dany Fortin, who is overseeing logistical planning for Canada’s vaccine distribution efforts, also outlined the future of the country’s rollout on Thursday.
He said that one million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccine will arrive in Canada by April, with 20 million doses planned between April and the end of June.
“This will signal our transition into this ramp-up phase,” he said.
For the time being, Ontario announced 3,326 new cases of the coronavirus Thursday and 62 more deaths.
The province has enacted a new stay-at-home order that requires everyone to not leave their homes unless for essential trips and requires non-essential businesses to close by 8 p.m.
The province currently has 1,657 hospitalizations related to COVID-19, with 388 of them in intensive care.
In Quebec, the province reported 2,132 new cases and 64 more deaths, 15 of which occurred in the last 24 hours. The province now has 1,523 people in hospital due to the virus, with 230 of them in intensive care.
The province also announced a new vaccine strategy of waiting at least 90 days between an initial shot and the necessary second dose. The policy is meant to reduce pressure on the health-care system until more vaccine doses arrive.
Quebec to deliver second dose of COVID-19 vaccine within 90 days
However, Canada’s vaccine advisory council recommends the second dose be given no later than 42 days after the first.
Over in B.C., the province announced 536 new cases of the coronavirus and seven more deaths. The province has 362 hospitalizations total, with 74 people in intensive care.
Alberta reported 967 new coronavirus cases Thursday and 21 more deaths, as the province also announced it would ease restrictions by now allowing outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people. Personal wellness businesses, such as barbershops and salons, will also be able to open Monday with one-on-one appointments.
The province currently has 806 hospitalizations with 136 in ICU.
Saskatchewan reported 312 new cases and no new deaths as its hospitalizations rose to a new high of 206, with 33 in intensive care.
Manitoba reported 261 more cases and two new deaths.
In the Atlantic bubble, New Brunswick reported 23 more cases and one more death, Nova Scotia has six more cases, and P.E.I. and Newfoundland and Labrador each have one more case respectively.
There have been 93,044,567 cases worldwide so far and 1,991,921 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
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