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Rapid test for COVID-19 recalled after Health Canada expresses concerns – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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OTTAWA – An Ottawa biotech company is voluntarily recalling a rapid test for COVID-19 after Health Canada expressed concern about its effectiveness, dealing a setback to expanded testing in the country.

Spartan Bioscience said Sunday that the concerns centre around the proprietary swab used in the test, but that the Health Canada report out Friday did not raise concerns about the accuracy of the test reagents and portable analyzer device.

The company said it would recall the 5,500 test shipped nationally and work on additional clinical studies to assess the sampling method and swab.

“Spartan will be working as quickly as possible to address the concerns and bring its test to market,” the company said in a statement.

Spartan declined an interview request.

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam said Sunday at a news conference that real-world trials of the test so far haven’t delivered necessary outcomes.

“While the Spartan system, or the device, performed very well in a laboratory setting, and along the specifications the manufacturer had provided, it was in the real-life setting, in the clinical setting, where it didn’t perform well.”

Tam said the recall won’t affect the national testing goal of 60,000 people a day, since that figure is based on systems already in use, but that it could affect the speed of further test increases and especially affect rural communities where local in-clinic tests would be especially useful.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the federal government has moved to accelerate approvals for testing and other potentially life-saving measures, but also needs to be ready to respond quickly to new information.

“That is why we are being as nimble as we possibly can to respond to what’s working, to what perhaps isn’t working as well as we hoped that it would, and we will always need to adjust every step of the way as new information comes in on a daily basis through this pandemic, through this crisis.”

Health Canada says the product is restricted to research use only until adequate evidence of clinical performance can be provided.

The federal government announced it had approved the hand-held DNA analyzer on April 13.

The need for greater testing is widely acknowledged as key to understanding the true scope of COVID-19 infection in Canada, and how best to deploy suppression strategies.

Canada was hoping to send the devices to remote and Indigenous communities where access and timely results have been hindered by distance and limited resources.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 3, 2020.

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COVID-19: Ottawa reports seven new cases, fatal cases decline sharply in July – Ottawa Citizen

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Vaccinations have slowed considerably in the capital since the peak week in early July when nearly 133,000 doses were administered.

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Ottawa is reporting seven new laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases Monday as severe cases, hospitalizations and fatal outcomes continue to sharply decline in Ottawa while vaccination rates gradually climb.

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No deaths have been reported since early July, and there were two COVID-related deaths in the city during the month, while there were 14 deaths in June and 56 deaths in May. There have been 593 COVID-related deaths in the city since the beginning of the pandemic and 27,827 total cases.

There are currently no patients in local hospitals or in intensive care wards. Of Ottawa’s total cases, 27,184 people have now recovered.

There have been 49 cases in the last seven days at a rate of 4.6 cases per 100,000 population. That key indicator has remained relatively flat this week.

The virus reproduction rate, which measures the number of secondary cases generated by each COVID-19 case in the community, has a weekly R(t) value of 1.15. Any number above 1.0 indicates the virus is spreading in the community, while any value below that threshold indicates it is receding.

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The R(t) value was below that threshold during May and June, but has remained above 1.0 since mid-July. There has also been a slight rise in the viral signal in Ottawa’s wastewater over the last seven days, which typically signals a corresponding rise in daily case counts.

Ottawa’s test positivity average is 0.5 per cent for the past week.

Vaccinations have slowed considerably in the capital since the peak week in early July when nearly 133,000 doses were administered. There were 33,212 doses administered in Ottawa last week and 104,906 the week before.

Vaccinations so far in August have followed a similarly slowing pace with 4,277 doses administered on Sunday.

The city continues to outpace the provincial vaccination rate with 1,450,733 doses administered, with 799,882 first doses and 650,851 second doses administered. That represents 83 per cent of the eligible population (12-plus) with one dose and 72 per cent of eligible residents with both doses.

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Public Health Ontario did not release provincial data on the Civic Holiday Monday, and said the compiled data will be available during the regular morning update Tuesday.

There were 154 new cases in Quebec reported in the past 24 hours and no deaths in the province.

There are 61 patients in Quebec hospitals, one more admission since Friday, with 17 patients in ICU.

Another 38,883 vaccine doses were administered in the past 24 hours, and according to Monday’s provincial update, a total of 11,330,968 vaccine doses have been administered in Quebec, representing 74 per cent of the population.

Ontario reported 218 new cases on Sunday and two deaths, and as of the last update, the province had reported 550,654 total cases and 9,347 deaths. There were 78 patients in hospital and another 110 in ICU, with 78 requiring a ventilator.

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COVID-19 BY THE NUMBERS

Ottawa

(Reported Monday)

7: New cases

27,827: Total cases

0: New deaths

593: Total deaths

50: Active cases

0: In hospital

0: In ICU

4.6: Rolling seven-day average of cases per 100,000 people

0.5: Per cent test positivity, previous seven days

1.15: Estimated R(t), seven-day average. A number greater than one indicates the virus is spreading.

Ontario

(Reported Sunday. Due to Civic holiday, Monday’s data will be included in Tuesday’s update.)

218: New confirmed cases

550,654: Total cases

2: New deaths

9,347: Total deaths

78: Currently in hospital

*110: In intensive care

*78: On a ventilator

(*Note: Ontario Public Health statistics of ICU hospitalizations and ventilator cases contain some patients who no longer test positive for COVID-19, but who are being treated for conditions caused by the virus.)

60,583: Daily doses administered

19,519,781: Total doses administered

14,122: Tests conducted in previous 24 hours

1.4: Per cent positivity in cases

1.0: Estimated reproductive number, R(t). A number lower than one indicates the virus is receding.

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Russia Boosts July Oil Production As OPEC Allies Pump More – OilPrice.com

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Russia Boosts July Oil Production As OPEC+ Allies Pump More | OilPrice.com


Tsvetana Paraskova

Tsvetana Paraskova

Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews. 

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Russia saw its oil production rise for the first time in three months in July as OPEC+ continued to ease the production cuts and planned maintenance at some Russian oilfields ended.

Russia’s crude oil and condensate production combined stood at around 10.46 million barrels per day (bpd) in July, up by 0.3 percent from June, according to Bloomberg estimates based on preliminary data from Russia’s Energy Ministry.

In May and June, Russia’s crude and condensate production was lower despite the higher quota the leader of the non-OPEC group in the OPEC+ alliance had. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), cited by Bloomberg, Russian crude oil production was lower in June because of planned maintenance.

It’s difficult to assess Russia’s compliance with the OPEC+ deal because its energy ministry is not breaking down crude oil and condensate production. Russia has won an exemption not to consider its condensate output as part of the production cut agreement.

As per Bloomberg estimates, if Russia’s condensate production in July was the same as in June, at around 900,000 bpd, then its crude oil production should have been 9.56 million bpd, above its quota of 9.495 million bpd for July. 

Russia’s compliance with the OPEC+ deal will be around 100 percent in July, Deputy Prime Minister and chief oil negotiator, Alexander Novak, told reporters in Moscow on Friday.

Russia can boost its oil production in August by 100,000 bpd, as per the parameters in the OPEC+ deal agreed in July, Novak added.

On July 18, the OPEC+ group decided it would start returning 400,000 bpd to the market every month beginning in August until it unwinds all the 5.8 million bpd cuts.

While Russia saw its oil production inch up by 0.3 percent month over month in July, OPEC’s oil production is estimated to have jumped last month by 610,000 bpd to 26.72 million bpd, the highest since April 2020, the monthly Reuters survey showed.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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COVID-19: Canada's Moderna vaccines risk expiring due to hesitancy and preferences – Global News

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