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Signs if a COVID-19 vaccine works possible

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ZURICH — First indications of the effectiveness of a potential vaccine against coronavirus may be available in the autumn, the head of the GAVI vaccine alliance told a Swiss newspaper, forecasting a long road from there to broad availability.

“Unfortunately, we really do not know which vaccine will work and whether there will be one at all. If we’re lucky, we’ll receive indications in autumn as to (a potential vaccine’s) effectiveness,” GAVI head Seth Berkley told NZZ am Sonntag in an interview published on Sunday.

“But there will still be a long way to go from there until an approved active substance becomes available in large quantities for the global population.”

Calling for globally coordinated efforts both to produce and share an eventual vaccine, Berkley said international agreement was needed to build up manufacturing capacity to rapidly produce a vaccine once one is found.

“(Countries) should work together in order to share in each other’s vaccines in case one’s own are not good,” he said, adding it was possible some vaccines would work better for younger people and others for older age groups.

He urged the World Health Organization to issue clear guidelines on a vaccine’s use and distribution to prevent a vaccine first being made available to the rich at the expense of the people most in need.

Should an effective vaccine become available in an initially limited supply, it should first be used to immunize health personnel, he said. (Reporting by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi; Editing by Mark Potter)

Source:National Post

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Edited By Harry Miller

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Coronavirus Canada Updates: BC shatters records with 274 new COVID-19 cases, social gatherings blamed – lintelligencer

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Coronavirus Canada Updates: More than a quarter of inmates at Calgary jail infected

For the second day in a row, British Columbia has announced a record-breaking number of new COVID-19 cases.

At a Thursday briefing, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry reported 274 new cases — shattering the previous record, announced Wednesday, of 203.

B.C. is now facing 1,920 active cases, nearing the previous record of 1,987 set in September. In addition, 4,425 people were in isolation due to possible exposure.

The province’s death toll was unchanged at 256.

Despite surging cases, the situation in B.C. hospitals has remained relatively stable since early October.

Seventy-one people were in hospital, 24 of them in critical or intensive care.

About 82 per cent of B.C.s 12,331 cases have recovered.

Much of the surge in new cases has been driven by social gatherings, such as weddings and funerals, which Henry described as “high risk.”

A small percentage of the new cases were also linked to “large” Thanksgiving gatherings.

Many of the events have been concentrated in the Lower Mainland, but their effects have since spread province-wide as attendees returned to homes outside the region, Henry said.

They have also spread into the healthcare system and workplaces people who were exposed returned to work, she added.

“People are not sticking with their COVID-19 safety plans for social gatherings, particularly ones like weddings and funerals,” Henry said.

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Take a step back from social interactions, says B.C.'s top doctor – NiagaraFallsReview.ca

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VICTORIA – British Columbia reported 223 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, tipping the number of active infections over 2,000.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says in a statement infections have been detected at two more assisted-living or long-term care homes and there are two new community outbreaks.

The latest health-care outbreaks are at Laurel Place in Surrey and Fair Haven Homes at Burnaby Lodge, while the community outbreaks involve Coast Spas Manufacturing and Pace Processing in Langley.

Outbreaks at a number of other care homes have been declared over, leaving 16 homes and two acute-care facilities with active infections.

Seventy-five people are in hospital, including 24 in intensive care, but no one else has died from the illness since the province’s last update.

Henry says contact tracing teams throughout the province are working around the clock, but their success depends on everyone taking a step back from social interactions.

There are nearly 4,640 people under public health monitoring as a result of exposure to a known case.

B.C. has confirmed 12,554 cases of COVID-19 so far.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 23, 2020.

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Northern Manitoba braces for increased COVID-19 restrictions while cases rise – Global News

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While Manitoba’s north is set to come under increased restrictions meant to combat rising COVID-19 case numbers Monday, the mayor of The Pas says heightened rules are necessary to quell the virus’s spread.

“We need to get a handle on this virus in our community and if the restrictions will allow us to do that, then it needs to be done,” said Herb Jaques, the mayor of the northern town of 12,000.

Read more:
Manitoba reports 4 new coronavirus deaths, 147 cases, Winnipeg schools moving to restricted level

Generally, gatherings will be capped at five people under the province’s orange level in its pandemic rating system — gatherings of more than five can take place if the number of people doesn’t exceed 30 per cent of a given location’s capacity, the location is physically divided into separate areas where five people are allowed at a time and people aren’t allowed to come into close contact.

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Masks will be mandatory in all public, indoor spaces. Restaurants, retail stores and other businesses will be allowed to open at 50 per cent capacity, while casinos and bingo halls will have to close.

Chief public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin made the announcement Thursday.

“We know that the north is already at risk for transmission of this virus, especially in remote, isolated communities (where there is lack of) access to health care,” Roussin said at the time.


Click to play video 'Manitoba tightens restrictions on schools in Winnipeg Metro, northern regions, in response to rising COVID-19 numbers'



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Manitoba tightens restrictions on schools in Winnipeg Metro, northern regions, in response to rising COVID-19 numbers


Manitoba tightens restrictions on schools in Winnipeg Metro, northern regions, in response to rising COVID-19 numbers

Jaques said people in The Pas have already begun to wear masks in the town’s shopping district.

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“It’s very common now to see people wearing masks in town; all the local businesses have taken measures to ensure there is social distancing,” Jaques said. “It’s just a regular occurrence now in their businesses.

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“Handwashing stations are everywhere; we’re doing whatever we can for the recommendations of (chief public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin) to be compliant and try to get ahead of this.”

The sprawling Northern Health Region, which encompasses 396,000 square kilometres of the province, avoided significant numbers of COVID-19 cases early in the pandemic. On Saturday, however, the region saw 15 new cases, while 58 cases are active.

“I think a solemnness is setting in in my community,” Jaques said. “As you know, we were almost exempt from participating in (the pandemic), we had no cases and we went with no cases for quite a while. Now it’s here and it appears to be here with a vengeance.”

The neighbouring communities of The Pas, Opaskwayak Cree Nation and the rural municipality of Kelsey currently have 15 active novel coronavirus cases combined.

Jaques said he is concerned about the area health-care system’s capacity — The Pas Health Complex has 48 beds total, according to the health authority.

Four of those are functioning intensive care beds, Jaques said.

“If this starts to get out of hand, we’re going to fill up those spaces fairly quickly and that’s a concern,” he said.

“Now is not the time to point fingers or lay criticism, but when this is over, there really needs to be some serious discussions about health care in the north and in Manitoba.”

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Click to play video 'Grand Chief Arlen Dumas on travel to northern Manitoba'



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Grand Chief Arlen Dumas on travel to northern Manitoba


Grand Chief Arlen Dumas on travel to northern Manitoba

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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