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Sask. medical health officers urge people to stay home this Easter – Regina Leader-Post

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“We are asking you to ask yourself: ‘Just because I can do it, should I do it?'”

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Twenty medical health officers joined forces to call on all Saskatchewan residents to keep COVID-19 at bay over the Easter long weekend.

In an open letter to everyone in the province, the health experts urged people to go above and beyond public health measures to make sure they are not helping COVID-19 in its rapid spread, particularly as variants of concern (VOC) continue to circulate.

“Transmission between households is one of the top causes of COVID transmission. Holiday travel has the potential to carry the virus around the province. We typically see case surges post holidays. Easter brings us to another tipping point,” the letter read.

It continues by urging everyone to get vaccinated as soon as they are able, reassuring people that all available vaccines are safe and effective. It also called on residents to continue abiding by public health orders like physical distancing, wearing masks and isolating immediately before getting tested if you show any symptoms.

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But the letter also called the health orders the “bare minimum” people should be doing to protect themselves and others.

“Like driving through a bad snow storm, the risks are too great if we hurtle along at the speed limit oblivious to the icy roads and reduced visibility that threaten to plunge us into the ditch. So have a plan to protect yourself and those you love,” it said.

“We are asking you to ask yourself: ‘Just because I can do it, should I do it?’”

While private indoor gatherings are currently restricted to immediate households only in Regina and the surrounding area, other parts of the province are allowed to gather in bubbles of up to three households with a total of 10 people maximum. Instead of gathering in their household bubbles, the medical health officers encouraged people to leave the Easter gathering for next year and stick only to their immediate households and to avoid travelling outside their home communities.

Over the last week, Regina has continued to be responsible for the bulk of new VOC cases, but variants have also been on the rise across southern Saskatchewan. On Wednesday, Saskatoon also reported 21 new VOC cases.

  1. A classroom at St. Gregory School in Regina.

    Regina and area schools extend remote learning to April 23

  2. Sharon Allan sits outside Brightwater Seniors Living in Regina, where she is a resident.

    Families call for more visitation for vaccinated care home residents

  3. An individual working security detail at a checkpoint on the edge of Pasqua First Nation speaks to a driver through the window of a vehicle leaving the area in April 2020. The First Nation is restricting traffic in and out of its community due to the COVID-19 pandemic. BRANDON HARDER files

    21 COVID variant cases in south Saskatchewan First Nations: ISC

lgiesbrecht@postmedia.com

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COVID cases in Ontario could spike to 30,000 per day by June

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TORONTO (Reuters) – New cases of COVID-19 in Canada‘s most populous province could rise more than six fold, topping 30,000 per day by early June if public health measures are weak and vaccination rates remain flat, a panel of experts advising the province of Ontario said on Friday.

Even if measures to control the virus are “moderate,” the number of patients in Ontario ICUs could reach 2,000 in May, up from 695 on Friday.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario told doctors last week they may soon have to decide who can and cannot receive intensive care.

 

(Reporting by Allison Martell; Editing by Chris Reese)

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Moderna sees shortfall in Britain COVID vaccine shipments, EU deliveries on track

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ZURICH (Reuters) – U.S. drugmaker Moderna expects a shortfall in COVID-19 vaccine doses from its European supply chain hitting second-quarter delivery quantities for Britain and Canada, though European Union– and Swiss-bound shipments are on track, a spokesperson said.

The delays, first announced on Friday when Canada said Moderna would be delivering only about half the planned 1.2 million doses by the end of April, come as Switzerland’s Lonza ramps up three new production lines to make active ingredients for Moderna vaccine supplies outside of the United States.

“The trajectory of vaccine manufacturing ramp-up is not linear, and despite best efforts, there is a shortfall in previously estimated doses from the European supply chain,” Moderna said in a statement.

Lonza didn’t immediately return a phone call and email seeking comment on any issues in its production.

 

(Reporting by John Miller; editing by David Evans)

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Moderna says vaccines to Canada to be delayed due to Europe shortfall

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(Reuters) -Moderna Inc said on Friday a shortfall in COVID-19 vaccine doses from its European supply chain will lead to a delay in deliveries to some countries including Canada.

The drugmaker would be delivering only 650,000 doses by April end as opposed to 1.2 million, Canada‘s Procurement Minister Anita Anand said in a statement.

She said one to two million doses of the 12.3 million doses scheduled for delivery by Moderna in the second quarter would be delayed until the third.

Moderna officials in Europe did not immediately comment on the reason for the delays or give the total number of countries that would be impacted.

“Vaccine manufacturing is a highly complex process and a number of elements, including human and material resources have factored into this volatility,” said Patricia Gauthier, an executive at Moderna Canada.

Canada has distributed a total of 2.82 million doses of the Moderna vaccine as of April 14 and 12.7 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines in total.

Moderna has been aiming to deliver 700 million to 1 billion doses of the COVID-19 globally this year, including from plants in Europe and the United States.

Swiss contract drug manufacturer Lonza makes active ingredients for Moderna’s vaccine in Visp, but it was still ramping up three new production lines that once operational would be able to produce 300 million shots annually.

The current supply, demand and distribution landscape has led the drugmaker to make adjustments in the expected second-quarter deliveries, Gauthier said.

(Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru, Allison Martell in Toronto and John Miller in Zurich; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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