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The latest news on COVID 19 developments in Canada for March 28, 2021 – HalifaxToday.ca

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The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times Eastern):

6:30 p.m.

Alberta is reporting 644 new cases of COVID-19 and three new deaths.

The province says on its website that as of Saturday night, 1,972 of the 7,698 active COVID-19 cases were variants of concern.

Alberta’s chief medical health officer says in a tweet that there are 277 people in hospital with COVID-19, including 63 in ICU.

4:55 p.m.

Health officials in Saskatchewan are now urging residents of Moose Jaw to follow the same public health guidelines as Regina due to a rise in the number of COVID-19 variants of concern in the province’s south.

The advice, contained in Saskatchewan’s daily pandemic update on Sunday, follows a warning from officials a day earlier that variants of concern cases were rising in Moose Jaw, which is about 70 km west of the capital.

Regina remains the area with the most variants of concern cases, with 1,126 of the Saskatchewan’s 1,365 variant cases identified so far through screening.

Last week, the province recommended that people avoid travelling into or out of Regina unless it was absolutely necessary, in order to stop the spread of more infectious variants of COVID-19.

Extra restrictions took effect in Regina and surrounding areas Sunday, including a ban on in-person dining in restaurants.

Saskatchewan reported three new deaths and 248 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday.

4:30 p.m.

Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting one new case of COVID-19.

Health officials say a man in his 40s from the central region was infected while travelling in Canada.

The province now has two active cases of COVID-19.

A total of 1,004 people in the province have recovered from the virus since the pandemic began.

4:30 p.m.

Two new cases of COVID-19 are being reported in Nova Scotia.

Both cases were recorded in the province’s central zone, with one related to travel and the other under investigation.

As well, health officials confirmed that an earlier case in the central zone related to travel was linked to the U.K. variant of the virus, though that case is now considered resolved.

This brings the total number of cases of the U.K. variant in Nova Scotia to 14, while the South African variant remains at 10.

As of Sunday, Nova Scotia had 25 active cases of COVID-19.

4:30 p.m.

Health officials in New Brunswick are reporting six new cases of COVID-19 — all but one of them in the Edmundston area.

The new cases in the northern New Brunswick community, which is dealing with a recent outbreak, are all contacts of previously reported infections.

One new case reported in the Miramichi region is an individual in their 40s whose infection is travel related.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the province has reported 1,577 cases, which includes 1,432 recoveries, 30 deaths and 114 active cases.

Five patients remain in hospital, including one in intensive care.

2:05 p.m.

Manitoba is reporting one new death of a person with COVID-19 and 55 new cases.

Today’s new death — a man in his 60s in the Winnipeg health region — is the 934th person with COVID-19 in Manitoba to die since the pandemic began.

The province reports there are 1,179 active cases, with 140 people in hospital due to COVID-19.

Twenty-seven of those are receiving intensive care.

11:30 a.m.

The Quebec government is reporting 917 new cases of COVID-19 and two additional deaths due to the pandemic, but none in the past 24 hours.

Hospitalizations declined by one to 480, but the number of people in intensive care increased by six to 114.

The province vaccinated 45,745 people in the last 24 hours, and has currently given a vaccine dose to 14.4 per cent of the population.

Some 29,407 tests were completed on Friday, which is the last day for which data is available.

10:30 a.m.

Ten more people in Ontario have died with COVID-19 as the province reports 2,448 new cases of the disease.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says there are 780 new cases in Toronto.

She says there are also 356 new cases in Peel Region, 278 in York Region, 278 in York Region, 219 in Durham Region and 150 in Ottawa.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 28, 2021.

The Canadian Press

<!– Photo: 20210328110340-6060a37ee95030990984e374jpeg.jpg, Caption: Vaccine clinic visitors fill in paperwork as they wait in line at a mass vaccination clinic in Toronto on Tuesday, March 23, 2021. Toronto's mayor is urging anyone 70 years or older to get vaccinated.
John Tory says three new COVID-19 mass vaccination clinics will open Monday, but there are still many appointments unfilled. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn –>

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Canada will not restrict AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, says benefits outweigh risk

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OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canada‘s health ministry said on Wednesday it would not restrict use of AstraZeneca Plc’s COVID-19 vaccine after a review showed the benefits outweighed the very rare risk of blood clots.

A separate advisory council had earlier recommended Canada stop offering the vaccine to people under 55. The panel is now reviewing that advice, the health ministry said in a statement.

Denmark on Wednesday became the first country to stop using the vaccine altogether over a potential link to the rare blood clots. Other nations have imposed limits on its use.

But Health Canada, the federal health ministry, said in a statement that a review of data from Europe, Britain and AstraZeneca had not identified specific risk factors.

“Therefore, Health Canada is not restricting the use of the vaccine in any specific populations at this time … The potential risk of these events is very rare, and the benefits of the vaccine in protecting against COVID-19 outweigh its potential risks,” it said.

Canada on Tuesday said it had recorded its first case of blood clotting with low platelets after someone received the AstraZeneca shot. The patient in question, a woman from Quebec, is recovering. (Graphic on vaccines: https://tmsnrt.rs/3tUM8ta)

COVID-19 cases are surging in Canada with the country reporting a near-record number of new cases recently. (Graphic on cases: https://tmsnrt.rs/34pvUyi)

 

(Reporting by David Ljunggren in Ottawa and Allison Martell in Toronto; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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Factbox-Some countries limit AstraZeneca vaccine use, US pauses J&J shot

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(Reuters) -Some countries are restricting use of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to certain age groups or suspending use after European and British regulators confirmed possible links to rare blood clots.

Denmark became the first country to stop using the vaccine altogether, as it said results of investigations showed “real and serious side-effects”.

Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot vaccine has also been hit by concerns over blood clots, with European regulators reviewing such cases and U.S. federal health agencies recommending pausing its use for a few days. J&J noted no clear causal relationship had been established between the clots and its vaccine.

The developments pose a risk to vaccination plans in Europe.

Regulators have said the benefits of the AstraZeneca shot outweigh risks.

Anglo-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca said it was working with regulators to list the possible brain blood clots as “an extremely rare potential side effect” on the vaccines labels.

As of April 4, the European Medicines Agency had received reports of 169 cases of a rare brain blood clot known as cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST), after 34 million doses had been administered in the European Economic Area. Most cases were in women under 60 years of age.

ASTRAZENECA VACCINE BEING USED, WITH OR WITHOUT RESTRICTIONS

AUSTRALIA

Said on April 8 it recommends people under 50 should get Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine in preference to AstraZeneca’s shot.

AUSTRIA

Has resumed use.

BRAZIL

Authorities said they would not limit use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, saying benefits outweigh risks.

BRITAIN

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has said an alternative to the vaccine should be given for people under 30 where possible, but people should continue to have a second shot if they have received a first dose.

BULGARIA

Resumed inoculations from March 19.

CYPRUS

Resumed inoculations on March 19.

CANADA

Authorities said in early April they would pause offering the vaccine to people under 55 and require a new analysis of the shot’s benefits and risks based on age and gender. On April 13, the country said it had recorded its first case of blood clotting with low platelets.

ESTONIA

Suspended use of the vaccine for people under 60 on April 7.

FRANCE

Approved resumption of the vaccine on March 19 but said it should be given only to people aged 55 and over. On April 9, recommended that recipients of a first dose of the AstraZeneca shot who are under 55 should receive a second dose with a messenger RNA vaccine.

FINLAND

Resumed using the AstraZeneca vaccine from March 29, but only for people aged 65 and over.

GEORGIA

Has limited use of the vaccine following the death of a nurse from anaphylactic shock, and vaccinations will continue only in full-fledged medical centres, Russian news agency TASS reported on March 19.

GERMANY

Sticking to its guidance from March 31 to limit use of the vaccine to those aged over 60. On April 1, Germany’s vaccine commission recommended people under 60 who have had a first shot of the vaccine should receive a different product for their second dose.

HUNGARY

Continuing the vaccine’s rollout.

ICELAND

Resumed use on March 25 after suspending it on March 11.

INDONESIA

Resumed using the vaccine on March 22 but warned against its use in people with a low blood platelet count.

IRELAND

On April 12, the country said it was restricting use of the vaccine to those over 60.

ITALY

Has recommended the vaccine be used only for people over 60, the country’s top health adviser said.

LATVIA

Announced it was restarting administering the shots from March 19.

LITHUANIA

Restarted use on March 19.

MEXICO

Drug regulator Cofepris said on April 7 it did not “at this time” plan to limit the vaccine’s use but was investigating the information raised by Britain.

NETHERLANDS

Limited use of the vaccine to people over 60, the Dutch government said on April 8.

NORTH MACEDONIA

Health minister said on March 31 the vaccine would be limited to people aged over 60 as a precautionary measure.

PHILIPPINES

Suspended use of the vaccine for people under 60 on April 8.

ROMANIA

Has resumed use of the vaccine after temporarily stopping vaccinating people with one batch of the vaccine on March 11.

SOUTH KOREA

Resumed use of the shot for people aged 30 or older on April 12. On April 7, it had suspended providing the AstraZeneca shot to people under 60.

SPAIN

From April 8, it was giving the vaccine only to people over 60.

SWEDEN

Resumed use of the vaccine on March 25 for people aged 65 and older.

THAILAND

Began use on March 15 after delaying rollout the week before.

COUNTRIES WHERE ASTRAZENECA VACCINE USE SUSPENDED

CAMEROON

Suspended administration of the vaccine it was scheduled to receive on March 20 as part of the global vaccines sharing scheme COVAX, the health ministry said.

DENMARK

In a world first, Denmark decided to stop using the AstraZeneca vaccine altogether after initially suspending use of the shot.

NORWAY

Authorities said on March 26 Norway would delay a decision on use of the vaccine, with a decision expected by April 15.

J&J VACCINE DELAYS AND RESTRICTIONS

UNITED STATES

On April 13, U.S. federal health agencies recommended pausing use of J&J’s COVID-19 vaccine for at least a few days after six women under the age of 50 developed rare blood clots after receiving the shot.

EUROPEAN UNION

The company said it would delay the rollout of the vaccine to Europe, after regulators said they were reviewing rare blood clots.

Widespread use in the EU had not yet started after the company began delivering the doses in the week beginning April 12. The European drug regulator recommended storing doses already received until its safety committee issues an expedited recommendation

SOUTH AFRICA

Suspended use of J&J’s vaccine on April 13.

(Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka, Yadarisa Shabong, Manas Mishra, Vishwadha Chander, Amruta Khandekar and Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru; editing by Josephine Mason, Alison Williams, Timothy Heritage, Larry King, Barbara Lewis)

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Ontario hospitals may have to withhold care as COVID-19 fills ICUs

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By Allison Martell and Anna Mehler Paperny

TORONTO (Reuters) – Doctors in the Canadian province of Ontario may soon have to decide who can and cannot receive treatment in intensive care as the number of coronavirus infections sets records and patients are packed into hospitals still stretched from a December wave.

Canada‘s most populous province is canceling elective surgeries, admitting adults to a major children’s hospital and preparing field hospitals after the number of COVID-19 patients in ICUs jumped 31% to 612 in the week leading up to Sunday, according to data from the Ontario Hospital Association.

The sharp increase in Ontario hospital admissions is also straining supplies of tocilizumab, a drug often given to people seriously ill with COVID-19.

Hospital care is publicly funded in Canada, generally free at the point of care for residents. But new hospital beds have not kept pace with population growth, and shortages of staff and space often emerge during bad flu seasons.

Ontario’s hospitals fared relatively well during the first wave of the pandemic last year, in part because the province quickly canceled elective surgeries.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario told doctors last Thursday that the province was considering “enacting the critical care triage protocol,” something that was not done during earlier waves of the virus. Triage protocols help doctors decide who to treat in a crisis.

“Everybody’s under extreme stress,” said Eddy Fan, an ICU doctor at Toronto’s University Health Network. He said no doctor wants to contemplate a triage protocol but there are only so many staff.

“There’s going to be a breaking point, a point at which we can’t fill those gaps any longer.”

In a statement, the health ministry said Ontario has not activated the protocol. A September draft suggested doctors could withhold life-sustaining care from patients with a less than 20% chance of surviving 12 months. A final version has not been made public.

Ontario’s Science Advisory Table had been forecasting the surge for months, said member and critical care physician Laveena Munshi. During a recent shift she wanted to call the son of a patient only to discover he was in an ICU across the street.

“The horror stories that we’re seeing in the hospital are like ones out of apocalyptic movies,” she said. “They’re not supposed to be the reality we’re seeing one year into a pandemic.”

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